At least two topics on the council’s Oct. 7 agenda could offer potential points of friction: (1) leftover controversy from the confirmation of Al McWilliams to the board of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority at the council’s previous meeting on Sept. 16; and (2) adoption of an update to the city’s solid waste plan.
A resolution added to the agenda on Friday, Oct. 4 would, if approved, result in the waiver of attorney-client privilege with respect to a specific advice memo that has already been written by the city attorney’s office on the McWilliams appointment.
The memo responds to questions that were raised about the procedure used to appoint McWilliams to the DDA board. Mayor John Hieftje had asked the council to vote on McWilliams’ appointment after saying at a previous meeting that he was withdrawing the nomination. Under the council’s rules, an 8-vote majority is required for confirmation of an appointment when the nomination is made at the same meeting when the confirmation vote is taken. McWilliams was confirmed on a 6-5 vote.
It’s also possible that a motion could be put forward to reconsider McWilliams’ confirmation, in order to eliminate the procedural controversy. However, by the end of the weekend before the meeting, no such item had been added to the agenda.
The council will also be asked to adopt an update to its solid waste plan. [Waste Less: City of Ann Arbor Solid Waste Resource Plan] [Appendices to Waste Less] The update proposes a number of initiatives, including goals for increased recycling/diversion rates – both generally and for apartment buildings in particular. A pilot program would add all plate scrapings to the list of materials that can be placed in the brown carts used to collect compostable matter.
And if that pilot program is successful, the plan calls for exploring the possibility of reducing the frequency of curbside pickup – from the current weekly regime to a less frequent schedule. Also included in the draft plan is a proposal to relocate and upgrade the drop-off station at Platt and Ellsworth. The implementation of a fee for single-use bags at retail outlets is also part of the plan. [Previous Chronicle coverage: "Waste as Resource: Ann Arbor's Five-Year Plan."]
The solid waste plan update could face opposition from some councilmembers who don’t think it would be feasible or desirable to reduce the frequency of curbside trash pickup to once every two weeks.
The council will be asked to give initial consideration to a new definition of a sidewalk, covering so-called cross-lot walkways. Such walkways aren’t really on the “side” of anything. They connect a street to a park or school, or two parallel streets. The item had been up for final consideration at the council’s July 1, 2013 meeting, but it was postponed until Oct. 7.
In the meantime, the city’s approach to the cross-lot walkways has changed. Currently if an existing walkway meets the definition of a “sidewalk,” then the city bears responsibility for its repair for the duration of the sidewalk repair millage. All other things being equal, the adjacent property owner would be responsible for snow removal in the winter. The new approach, to be considered on Oct. 7, would allow the cross-lot walkways to qualify as sidewalks under the city’s ordinance, but not trigger a winter maintenance requirement for adjacent property owners. This fresh look would mean that any action taken on Oct. 7 would be considered only an initial approval of the ordinance change.
Land use is on the agenda in the form of two developments and one annexation.
Returning to the council’s agenda is the planned unit development (PUD) zoning for the Shell/Tim Hortons at the northeast corner of Ann Arbor-Saline Road and Eisenhower Parkway. The proposal for the 1.44-acre site would allow for a drive-thru restaurant within the existing convenience store, where a Tim Hortons is already located. The project includes constructing a 109-square-foot drive-thru window addition and access driveway on the north side of the building.
The council had given initial approval for changes to the project’s PUD supplemental regulations at its Sept. 3, 2013 meeting. That’s when Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5) objected to including the drive-thru as a public benefit in the regulations: “To say that somebody now doesn’t have to spend the 10 extra calories between getting out of their car to get their salt-sugar-fat fix?! I don’t see that as a public benefit and I don’t want us to list that as some big thing that we’re modifying our zoning for in our ordinance.” On that occasion, the council modified the PUD regulations to accommodate his objection. The final approval of the PUD zoning as well as the site plan is on the council’s Oct. 7 agenda.
Councilmembers will also be asked to approve a site plan for Belle Tire on the north side of Ellsworth, adjacent to and east of a different Tim Hortons – one that’s located near the intersection with South State. The currently vacant 1-acre site will become a one-story, 9,735-square-foot auto service facility with 49 parking spaces, including 10 spaces located in service bays.
The council will also be asked to vote on a standard annexation from Ann Arbor Township to the city of Ann Arbor – a 0.39-acre site at 2640 Miller Ave.
Also on the Oct. 7 agenda is an item to approve a change to fees associated with liquor licenses. Some fees are being eliminated – those related to licenses for which the state of Michigan doesn’t require local review.
Other Oct. 7 agenda highlights include an allocation for more traffic calming studies and a resolution that would direct the city administrator to apply for a Rockefeller Foundation grant to make Ann Arbor one of 100 Resilient Cities.
More details on other meeting agenda items are available on the city’s Legistar system. Readers can also follow the live meeting proceedings on Channel 16, streamed online by Community Television Network. The Chronicle will be filing live updates from city council chambers during the meeting, published in this article “below the fold.” The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
6:38 p.m. Pre-meeting activity. The scheduled meeting start is 7 p.m. Most evenings the actual starting time is between 7:10 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. A handful of members of the public are here who are not usual suspects: “It looks bigger on TV, doesn’t it.”
6:51 p.m. About 20 people here now. Taxicab board member Michael Benson is here, as is Jack Eaton, who is the Democratic Party nominee in Ward 4, unopposed on the Nov. 5 ballot.
6:56 p.m. City administrator Steve Powers has been in and out of council chambers since about 6:30 p.m. Peter Eckstein is here. Councilmembers have started to arrive: Jane Lumm (Ward 2), and Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1). Jeff Hayner, Ward 1 independent city council candidate, is also here. He has his motorcycle helmet in hand.
7:03 p.m. Mike Anglin (Ward 5) has arrived. Still missing several councilmembers. Sally Petersen (Ward 2) and Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) are not expected to attend. Sabra Briere (Ward 1) has now arrived.
7:11 p.m. And we’re off.
7:13 p.m. Only eight councilmembers are present. Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) and Sally Petersen (Ward 2) are attending the International Downtown Association conference in New York City, which runs Oct. 6-9. A contingent of Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board members is also attending the conference. The Chronicle has not yet received a response from the DDA about which, if any, conference and travel costs are being covered by the DDA. City administrator Steve Powers responded with requested information about the council’s travel budget: $6,500 was budgeted for FY 2014 with $0 used to date. Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) is also absent.
[Added on Oct. 8, 2013: Petersen responded to a Chronicle emailed inquiry by saying that the DDA is paying for her conference registration, but she is paying for her own airfare, hotel, meals, etc.]
7:16 p.m. Communications from the city administrator. Steve Powers announces an Oct. 8 meeting on WALLY station locations at 7 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Community Center. He also reports that tree removal has begun. Trees to be removed have been painted with a green dot. The report on University of Michigan football game street closures is now available, Powers says.
7:17 p.m. The report on football game day street closures has been attached to the agenda. [.pdf of UM football street closures report] Police chief John Seto gave a preliminary oral report at the council’s Sept. 16, 2013 meeting.
7:17 p.m. Proclamations. The Concordia University football team is being recognized for volunteering in the Ann Arbor parks – specifically for participating in the city’s adopt-a-facility at Fuller Park pool.
7:17 p.m. Public commentary. This portion of the meeting offers 10 three-minute slots that can be reserved in advance. Preference is given to speakers who want to address the council on an agenda item. [Public commentary general time, with no sign-up required in advance, is offered at the end of the meeting.]
All 10 slots have been reserved tonight, including two alternates. Thomas Partridge is signed up to promote his write-in candidacy for the Ward 5 city council seat and to call for the replacement of mayor John Hieftje, Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. House speaker John Boehner. Signed up to speak on the amendment to the current fiscal year budget for traffic calming studies ($55,000) are: Diane Kreger, James Billingslea, Alissa Ruelle, Sheila Henley, Zoltan Jung, Lisa Richardson, and Ana Morgan (alternate). Signed up to speak on the resolution to waive attorney-client privilege are: Jeff Hayner, Peter Zetlin, Mary Underwood, and Rita Mitchell (alternate).
7:21 p.m. Diane Kreger is addressing the council. She loves living in Ann Arbor. She loves her neighborhood. She’s lived on Northside for many years, but she’s concerned about the lack of traffic calming. She calls it a “recipe for disaster.” She describes a situation where a car had come whipping down the street and almost hit a little girl. She reads a statement from a 10-year old girl, Ana Morgan, who writes that she’s not allowed to play in the front yard because the cars go faster than the 25 mph speed limit and there are no sidewalks. “Please help make my street safer for everyone,” the statement concludes.
7:25 p.m. James Billingslea notes that the traffic calming item has six of the 10 speaking slots. He says that there would have been more people who would have come to address the council, except for the limit on reserved slots. He stresses that these measures are not luxuries. He describes several of the specific locations where there are problems. He lives on Northside. It’s a short street, with 20 houses, eight of which have young children. He describes how cars often have taken out mailboxes or the stop sign. A short 25 mph street shouldn’t have to endure that, he says. There’s a blind rise and a blind corner, he says. Without the budget amendment, it would be 2017 before traffic calming measures would be implemented, he notes.
7:28 p.m. Jeff Hayner reads from the New York City charter, Chapter 68, on conflicts of interest. He asked why the council has no conflict of interest policy, citing the deliberations on Al McWilliams’ appointment to the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. He says we can’t trust the national or the state government, or now the local government to make good appointments. It’s important to choose carefully. He said he’d asked to be appointed to the North Main Street Huron River task force, and the reply he’d received from Sabra Briere (Ward 1) indicated that the members of that task force had been pre-selected before the task force had been established.
7:31 p.m. Tom Partridge is now at the podium. He’s asking for write-in votes for the Ward 5 council seat. He’s a declared write-in candidate. He calls for a new attitude in Ann Arbor, one that’s family-friendly. The number of speakers in favor of traffic calming is a testament to the problem with the socio-economic environment, Partridge says. He calls for the end of crime and corruption. He calls for the replacement of mayor John Hieftje, Gov. Rick Snyder, and U.S. House speaker John Boehner. Ann Arbor and its families and college students suffer without a respectful set of attitudes, he says. Partridge calls for building affordable housing and ending homelessness in Ann Arbor.
7:34 p.m. Peter Zetlin is talking about community values related to Al McWilliams’ appointment to the DDA board. He’d looked at McWilliams’ blog and seen images of women that objectified them. He invites councilmembers to think about if the images had related to race or religion. If the images were appropriate, he asks, why did McWilliams take them down? He says McWilliams is immature. He alludes to the recommendation by Maura Thomson of McWilliams. Thomson, who’s executive director of the Main Street Area Association, declined to answer his question to her, he says: Did she still support McWilliams? Zetlin’s remarks get a smattering of applause.
7:37 p.m. Alissa Ruelle is representing residents who live on Pomona, a street that runs north-south from the water treatment facility down to Miller. Newport is a main road, but Pomona is a secondary road. Pomona winds downhill and has only one stop sign. Cars drive very fast down Pomona, she says. The neighborhood had petitioned back in 2009 for traffic calming measures. Her understanding is that the traffic calming measures are supposed to be implemented next year. Regarding the children who live on the street, she said she didn’t want their young mistakes to be their last mistakes. Residents are looking forward to traffic calming measures. Her remarks generate applause.
7:38 p.m. Sheila Henley is also representing Pomona. There are definitely kids in the neighborhood, she says. Her mother is 78 and there are Alzheimer patients. She signed the petition back in 2005, she said. She definitely supports the resolution. More applause.
7:41 p.m. Mary Underwood says that after all the “brouhaha” about the McWilliams appointment, she decided to look at his blog. She calls it third-grade level potty humor. She’s embarrassed for the mayor, the council, and downtown merchants. She questions the ability of McWilliams to exercise good judgment. She asks if he was the best candidate that could be found to represent the city. She refers to a phrase that she attributes to McWilliams about an ice cream promotion: “Hey everybody, don’t forget to shove an ice cream cone up your ass.”
7:43 p.m. Zoltan Jung is speaking on behalf of the Northside neighborhood in support of traffic calming measures. He characterizes the demographics as a bimodal distribution of very old and very young. Our kids run and play on this street, he says. Cars bounce off the neighbor’s tree and wind up in his yard, he reports.
7:46 p.m. Lisa Richardson lives on Wells, seven houses from Packard and Burns Park Elementary. Drivers routinely speed down the street, using it as a cut-through. Someone is going to be injured or killed, she says. Fourteen small children live on the street, she says. No one stops at the three-way stop, she says. When drivers turn onto Wells, they “gun it” to get to Packard, in order to make the light, Richardson reports. A traffic study was completed in 2010, she said, but it’s not scheduled for implementation until 2016. The city knows that a dangerous situation exists and results in liability for the city. The reaction time of drivers doesn’t allow them to react if they’re speeding. She thinks the city needs to look at speeding on all the city’s roads. Lots of applause follows her commentary.
7:46 p.m. Council communications. This is the first of three slots on the agenda for council communications. It’s a time when councilmembers can report out from boards, commissions and task forces on which they serve. They can also alert their colleagues to proposals they might be bringing forward in the near future.
7:49 p.m. Sabra Briere (Ward 1) responds to Jeff Hayner’s remarks during public commentary about the task force appointments. Often a task force is appointed the same night they are established, she says. When the North Main Huron River task force was established, many people stepped forward and asked that additional seats be added. They’d tried to make the process open and transparent. Many of the non-members of the task force had attended meetings and helped the process.
Briere also reports that a public meeting will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Clague Middle School about the intersection of Dhu Varren, Green and Nixon roads. She also notes that she attended the Michigan Association of Planning conference in Kalamazoo the previous weekend.
7:52 p.m. Jane Lumm (Ward 2) is talking about the crosswalk ordinance and the possibility of repealing the city’s ordinance and replacing it with the uniform vehicle code. It sounds like that proposal will be coming forward at a future meeting. On the topic of education about crosswalk safety, Lumm says there’s the possibility about posting signs for bicyclists to educate them about how to approach crosswalks. This is appropriate in the context of launching a bike sharing program next spring, she says. She wants the signs placed first at the busiest crosswalks. She also thanks city administrator Steve Powers for the announcement about tree removal.
7:54 p.m. Mike Anglin (Ward 5) says that as the city has less money, residents will come forward about public safety, health and welfare issues. He says that signs could work as traffic calming devices. He also suggests that concrete barriers be placed on streets. “Drivers will not go through impediments,” he says.
7:55 p.m. Appointments. The council will be asked to vote tonight on nominations that were made at the Sept. 16, 2013 meeting. Those include Brock Hastie to the employees’ retirement system board of trustees. That’s a re-appointment. Being appointed to the city’s energy commission tonight are Erik Eibert (replacing Cliff Williams), and Elizabeth Gibbons (replacing Josh Long). Being appointed to fill a vacancy on the housing and human services advisory board is Kyle Hunter, and to fill a vacancy on the recreation advisory commission is Katie Lewit.
7:57 p.m. There’s back and forth between Anglin and Hieftje on the nomination of Wayne Appleyard to the city’s energy commission. Appleyard’s nomination was not moved tonight, Hieftje says. Anglin responds that he doesn’t think it’s necessary to recruit people who don’t live in the city. Appleyard is not a city resident. Hieftje is now saying that he will probably bring the nomination forward at a later time.
7:59 p.m. Appleyard’s confirmation, as a non-city resident, would have needed seven votes, which he would likely not have received, given the short-handed council tonight. From the city charter: [emphasis added]:
Section 12.2. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, a person is eligible to hold a City office if the person has been a registered elector of the City, or of territory annexed to the City or both, and, in the case of a Council Member, a resident of the ward from which elected, for at least one year immediately preceding election or appointment. This requirement may be waived as to appointive officers by resolution concurred in by not less than seven members of the Council.
Appleyard lives in Grass Lake, Mich., according to the nomination information. The city energy commission was established in 1985 by a council resolution to “oversee City policies and regulations in areas of energy efficiency concerns and make periodic public reports and recommendations to the City Council.” Under special qualifications, the online Legistar description states: “wide spread representation; interest in energy.”
Appleyard has served on the energy commission since 2002. Terms of appointment for energy commissioners are three years. When Appleyard was up for reappointment in 2010, no objections were raised. Hieftje separated out Appleyard’s confirmation for a separate vote at that time to ensure it was clear that he’d specifically received adequate support from the council, despite not being a city resident. Appleyard is principal with Sunstructures Architects, with a focus in renewable energy and sustainable architecture.
7:59 p.m. Public hearings. All the public hearings are grouped together during this section of the meeting. Action on the related items comes later in the meeting.
Five public hearings are scheduled tonight. Separate public hearings are being held for PUD (planned unit development) zoning and site plan for the Shell/Tim Hortons at the northeast corner of Ann Arbor-Saline Road and Eisenhower Parkway. The changes to the PUD supplemental regulations on the 1.44-acre site would allow for a drive-thru restaurant within the existing convenience store, where a Tim Hortons is already located. The project includes constructing a 109-square-foot drive-thru window addition and access driveway on the north side of the building.
The third public hearing is on a site plan for Belle Tire. The 1-acre site – currently vacant – is on the north side of Ellsworth, adjacent to and east of a new Tim Hortons. That’s a different Tim Hortons from the one that’s the subject of the Shell station PUD. The Belle Tire proposal calls for putting up a one-story, 9,735-square-foot auto service facility with 49 parking spaces, including 10 spaces located in service bays. The planning commission voted to recommend approval of the Belle Tire site plan at its Aug. 20, 2013 meeting.
The fourth public hearing is on a standard annexation – from Ann Arbor Township to the city of Ann Arbor. It’s 0.39 acres, located at 2640 Miller Ave.
The final public hearing is on a change to fees associated with liquor licenses. Some fees are being eliminated – those related to licenses for which the state of Michigan doesn’t require local review. And the remaining license fee schedule is being revised to reflect actual costs:
- on-premise liquor license annual renewal: $90 (increase from $50)
- new liquor license: $600 (reduction from $2,500)
- new liquor license application fee: $150 (increase from $100)
- new DDA district license: $600 (reduction from $1,000)
8:01 p.m. PH: Shell/Tim Hortons PUD zoning. Thomas Partridge is holding forth. He says it’s a very busy location. He contends there’s no evidence of a traffic study being done, especially during rush hour. He asks that the proposal be referred back to the planning commission.
8:03 p.m. A resident who lives near the corner of Eisenhower and Ann Arbor-Saline Road is speaking. A number of concerns had been voiced by residents, none of which had been addressed so far, he says. Because of the speed on Ann Arbor-Saline, bicyclists use the sidewalk. So he has concerns about pedestrians being impacted by this development. Planning staff contends that traffic would not increase, but he is skeptical. He asks that the project be referred to the planning commission for further review.
8:05 p.m. A resident of Pomona, who’s a practicing Muslim, wants to advocate against negative perceptions of Muslims. Hieftje explains that speakers must address the topic of the public hearing. The resident thanks the mayor for the explanation and leaves the podium.
8:06 p.m. PH: Shell/Tim Hortons site plan. Thomas Partridge is again criticizing the project based on traffic issues.
8:08 p.m. PH: Belle Tire site plan. No one speaks at this public hearing.
8:11 p.m. PH: Rayer annexation. Thomas Partridge says he’s very concerned about the proliferation of zoning changes and annexations that are brought before the council without transparent information about them. He calls for this annexation proposal to be returned to the planning commission, so that an equal amount of acreage should be zoned for affordable housing and for businesses on public transportation routes.
8:14 p.m. PH: Liquor license review fees. Jeff Hayner is addressing the council on this issue. He’d just received a text message from a Ward 1 bar owner. The bar owner’s message says that lowering the fee for new licenses helps reduce the barrier to entry, but the owner is not in favor of the increase of fees for existing license holders. He appreciated the fact that the city wants to cover its staff costs.
8:17 p.m. Thomas Partridge is concerned about the loss of income to the city through the lowering of the fees. He calls for the proposal to be returned to the council’s liquor license review committee, to see if fees can be raised.
8:18 p.m. A young man is addressing the council based on free market principles. It should be easier to start businesses in all areas. We should make it cheaper to obtain liquor licenses, he says. He gets applause.
8:24 p.m. Minutes. Kunselman alludes to an updated version of the council minutes. He questions whether the minutes accurately reflect the McWilliams confirmation to the DDA board. Kunselman reviews the Sept. 3 meeting minutes. He now reviews the Sept.16 meeting minutes. He asks mayor John Hieftje to correct the characterization that the mayor gave on Sept. 16 when he said the nomination had been “postponed.” Kunselman notes that the nomination was crossed out after the Sept. 3 meeting. There’s a blow-by-blow here: “Column: How to Count to 8, Stopping at 6.”
8:24 p.m. Kailasapathy says she thought the nomination of McWilliams had been withdrawn on Sept. 3.
8:28 p.m. Kunselman asks that the minutes be amended to say that the mayor “pretended” the nomination had been postponed. Briere expresses no enthusiasm for discussing it. She asks for input from city attorney Stephen Postema. Postema says that it’s not a legal issue, and that what the council is being asked to do is approve the minutes. Anglin ventures that the minutes could be approved with an exception. There’s no interest in that from Kunselman.
8:28 p.m. Warpehoski says that Kunselman is proposing to falsify the historical record, and that he’s just engaging in political theater.
8:35 p.m. Lumm says that she thought McWilliams’ name had been withdrawn and was surprised to see it brought forward on Sept. 16. She says she wished she’d had better command of the parliamentary procedures. Teall says she thought the confirmation had been postponed on Sept. 3. She tells Kunselman that what he’s proposing isn’t accurate.
8:39 p.m. Kunselman says that others took the mayor at his word when he said he was withdrawing the nomination. There’s back and forth between Teall and Kunselman on the question of what Hieftje’s intent was. Briere raises a point of order, asking Hieftje to recognize each speaker in turn to regulate the speaking turns.
Hieftje apologizes for contributing to the murkiness. He says his intent was to have the motion for confirmation withdrawn, but not to withdraw the nomination. If he had it to do over again, he would have said that he wanted to have the motion withdrawn. But Hieftje says he doesn’t have a problem having the minutes amended to reflect the exact transcript of the meeting.
8:40 p.m. Outcome: The amendment on the minutes is unanimously approved, as are the minutes themselves.
8:41 p.m. Briere pulls out the Azimuth Group Inc. professional services agreement from the consent agenda, to be considered separately.
8:42 p.m. Briere asks city administrator Steve Powers to explain the item. Powers says the intent is to help improve the city government’s ability to organize among the departments and to align the staff with the priorities set by the council. He describes the involvement of the consultant as lasting about 12 months.
8:42 p.m. Outcome: The council has approved the consent agenda.
8:42 p.m. Shell/Tim Hortons PUD zoning. The Shell/Tim Hortons is at the northeast corner of Ann Arbor-Saline Road and Eisenhower Parkway. The changes to the PUD (planned unit development) supplemental regulations on the 1.44-acre site would allow for a drive-thru restaurant within the existing convenience store, where a Tim Hortons is already located. The project includes constructing a 109-square-foot drive-thru window addition and access driveway on the north side of the building.
8:44 p.m. Teall invites city planning manager Wendy Rampson to address the traffic issues. Rampson indicates that the study concluded that most of the traffic that would be turning into the drive-thru would already be on the road.
8:44 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the changes to the PUD supplemental regulations for the Shell/Tim Hortons drive-thru on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.
8:45 p.m. Shell/Tim Hortons site plan. A request for approval of the site plan for this project is considered separately.
8:45 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the site plan for the Shell/Tim Hortons drive-thru on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.
8:45 p.m. Recess. The council is now in recess.
8:54 p.m. Have been told by his elementary school principal from years ago, that the young man who addressed the council during the liquor license public hearing was Josh Nacht, David Nacht’s son.
8:56 p.m. We’re back.
8:56 p.m. Sidewalk ordinance changes. This ordinance change – to the definition of a sidewalk – was up for final approval on July 1, 2013. If an existing walkway meets the definition of a “sidewalk,” then the city bears responsibility for its repair for the duration of the sidewalk repair millage – which was approved by voters in November 2011 for a five-year period. All other things being equal, the adjacent property owner would be responsible for snow removal in the winter.
The change to the definition relates to walkways that aren’t really on the “side” of anything – walkways that connect a street to a park or school, or that connect two parallel streets. The city calls them “cross-lot” walkways. The ordinance change would allow such walkways to be “sidewalks” if the council votes to accept them for “public use.” A companion resolution later on the agenda would do that – for 34 cross-lot walkways.
If such walkways were added into the definition of “sidewalk” in this way, then the city would be responsible for repair. That’s a result welcomed by property owners. But all other things being equal, that would put the burden for snow removal on those property owners – a less welcome result. That was the sentiment that led the council to postpone final consideration of the change back in July.
But tonight the council will be asked to consider a different approach to that definitional change – one that would allow the so-called “cross-lot” paved pathways to qualify as sidewalks under the city’s ordinance, but not trigger a winter maintenance requirement for adjacent property owners. This fresh look tonight would mean that any action taken would be considered only an initial approval of the ordinance change. Final enactment of the change would require a second vote at a subsequent council meeting.
8:59 p.m. Briere thanks the staff for responding to concerns of the council. The ordinance doesn’t just change the definition, but also makes clear that adjacent property owners are not responsible for winter snow clearance or mowing the grass. Historically, they’ve never been responsible, she says. She notes that this approach will eliminate the possibility that one of four property owners might be regarded as a “slacker.” Lumm also says she’ll support the ordinance tonight.
9:01 p.m. Lumm says the original intent was a good one – to allow the sidewalk repair funds to be used for these cross-lot paths. She compliments the staff for looking at other communities. The $7,000 cost to the city for repair and maintenance, she says, is “peanuts.” It’s just what local government should do, she says.
Kunselman also says he supports this approach. He wants to know what happens if a renewal of the sidewalk repair millage does not pass.
9:01 p.m. Cresson Slotten, manager of the city’s systems planning unit, says that if that millage were not renewed, the property owners would still not have any responsibility.
9:07 p.m. Responding to a question from Anglin, Slotten indicates that the new ordinance makes clear that adjacent property owners do not have responsibility for repair and maintenance. Anglin wants it to be made clearer. Briere says she can understand Anglin’s confusion, because the two parts of the ordinance don’t appear to be related. But she reiterates Slotten’s point that the ordinance simply states that property owners don’t have responsibility for cross-lot walkways.
Assistant city attorney Abigail Elias explains that the exception for the cross-lot walkways is an absolute exception – that is, not contingent on the passage of the sidewalk repair millage. Lumm is now saying that this clarification was sent to the property owners, saying it was “great work on staff’s part.”
9:14 p.m. Warpehoski brings up subsection (B) and wonders if it voids existing agreements with neighborhood associations. Elias says that it’s an exception to the exception. Anglin wants the city to provide a document for residents that they can keep with their deeds. Kailasapathy questions whether the cross-lot walkways belong to the property owners. Elias is reluctant to record any documents with deeds, because the council can change the ordinance in the future.
9:17 p.m. Anglin says a resident has just handed him some communication he’d received from the city in 2009. That communication had stated that the resident now had responsibility for maintenance. Anglin suggests that a similar communication could be sent to state that people don’t have responsibility.
Slotten responds to a question from Warpehoski saying that two of the 34 cross-lot walkways have existing maintenance agreements with a homeowner’s association. Elias says that the agreements with the homeowner’s associations will remain intact.
9:19 p.m. Kunselman asks about the dates in the ordinance that refer to the Ann Arbor DDA. Elias allows that the ordinance would need to be revised if the sidewalk repair millage is renewed. She explains that this is part of the ordinance that relates to ordinary sidewalks on the side of streets.
9:19 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to give initial approval to the inclusion of cross-lot walkways in the definition of sidewalk, but without the associated requirement that adjacent property owners are responsible for snow clearance.
9:20 p.m. Accept 34 sidewalks for public use (8 votes required). This is the companion resolution to the ordinance change that would broaden the definition of a sidewalk to include cross-lot walkways. The ordinance change – which was given initial approval earlier in the meeting – allows such walkways to qualify as sidewalks for purposes of spending from the sidewalk repair millage, without triggering a winter maintenance requirement by adjacent property owners. But to qualify, the walkways must be accepted for public use by the city council. This resolution would accept 34 cross-lot walkways for public use.
9:20 p.m. Lumm moves to postpone. It will be considered at the second reading of the ordinance change. Steve Powers confirms it should be postponed.
9:21 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to postpone acceptance of 34 different cross-lot walkways for public use until the council’s Oct. 21 meeting
9:21 p.m. Authorization of sewage disposal revenue re-funding bonds.
9:22 p.m. Lumm says she appreciates that all the costs associated with the bond issuance are included in the savings.
9:22 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the re-funding of the sewage disposal revenue bonds.
9:22 p.m. Liquor license fee changes. This item is coming forward from the liquor license review committee. Some fees are being eliminated – those related to licenses for which the state of Michigan doesn’t require local review. And the remaining license fee schedule is being revised to reflect actual costs:
- on-premise liquor license annual renewal – $90 (increase from $50)
- new liquor license – $600 (reduction from $2,500)
- new liquor license application fee – $150 (increase from $100)
- new DDA district license – $600 (reduction from $1,000)
9:24 p.m. Lumm is speaking on behalf of the council’s liquor license review committee. She explains that transfers don’t require review by the state, so those fees are being eliminated. She notes that the adjustments are meant to reflect the actual underlying city costs. The fees hadn’t been reviewed in a quite a while, she says.
9:25 p.m. Lumm thanks the various staff who helped with the recommendation.
9:25 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the changes to the liquor license fees.
9:25 p.m. 100 Resilient Cities Centennial challenge grant application. This resolution directs the city administrator to apply for the grant, which is sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. Each of 100 winning cities will receive three forms of support, according to the Rockefeller Foundation website:
- membership in the newly formed 100 Resilient Cities Network, which will provide support to member cities and share new knowledge and resilience best practices.
- support to hire a chief resilience officer (CRO). The CRO would oversee the development of a resilience strategy for the city.
- support to create a resilience plan, along with tools and resources for implementation.
9:26 p.m. Warpehoski says the resolution was recommended by the city environmental commission. He says it might be somewhat of a long shot, but the strength of the city’s application resides in the work that the city has already done. Staff effort to put together the application is not anticipated to be onerous, he says.
9:29 p.m. Kailasapathy asks Matt Naud, environmental coordinator for the city, to come to the podium. She asks about working toward rankings compared to actually approving the quality of life. Naud says that the amount of the grant would be $1 million, with the only requirement that the city name someone as the chief resilience officer. Kailasapathy asks about staff time. Naud says the city would be buying someone to work on this for the period of the grant. He says it would supplement the work that the city is already doing.
9:30 p.m. Kunselman asks what “resiliency” means in this context and what would the city be planning for. Naud’s first try gets this response from Kunselman: “You didn’t answer my question.” Naud says it’s being resilient to natural and made-made disasters. He refers to emergency management and climate action plans as examples.
9:32 p.m. Briere says that the environmental commission, on which she serves as a councilmember, has been talking about resiliency. It includes helping neighborhoods to make connections to the city to make sure that assistance can be provided – to deal with a tree that’s fallen down or a road that’s collapsed. The goal is to create the capacity to recover quickly when things go wrong, she says.
9:34 p.m. Briere says the issue has been studied in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, as well as in Chicago, studying how neighborhoods responded to economic downturns. Anglin wonders if these grants were intended for cities much larger than Ann Arbor.
9:35 p.m. Anglin says he thinks it’s a good idea to be prepared. Hieftje says he doesn’t see a reason not to apply. The reward could be great. He ventures that these kinds of grants tend to be awarded to cities that already have “a lot on the ball.” Ann Arbor is not immune from natural disasters, he says. He calls the departure of Pfizer as an economic storm that the city had weathered very well. He appreciates the environmental commission bringing it forward.
9:36 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to direct the city administrator to apply for the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities grant.
9:36 p.m. Street closure for University of Michigan Victors for Michigan Campaign. The Victors campaign is the university’s capital fundraising campaign. The proposed street closure would shut down North University from Thayer to Fletcher from noon to midnight on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 for the launch of the campaign. The staff memo indicates that the activities will include live music, entertainment, activities, free food and drinks and giveaways. The event itself starts at 5 p.m.
9:36 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the street closure for the UM Victors campaign.
9:36 p.m. Amend FY 2014 general fund budget for traffic calming (speed bumps) projects ($55,000). (8 votes required). This resolution would add an additional five traffic calming projects to the work plan over this year and the next fiscal year. Starting in 2010, the city had reduced the number of traffic calming studies that it would fund to just one per year. Tonight’s resolution would transfer $55,000 from the city’s general fund to the local street fund, to pay for an additional two studies this year (FY 2014). In addition, the resolution directs city administrator Steve Powers to include three traffic calming projects in FY 2015.
The five projects mentioned in the resolution are: South Boulevard (Ward 3 – qualified for traffic calming in 2009); Pomona Road (Ward 5 – qualified in 2009); Wells (Ward 3 – qualified in 2009); Larchmont Drive (Ward 2 – qualified in 2010); Northside (Ward 1 – qualified in 2012). The resolution is being sponsored by Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1), Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Jane Lumm (Ward 2) and Christopher Taylor (Ward 3).
9:40 p.m. Briere says that her neighborhood had sought traffic calming measures back in about 2003. They’d first asked for stop signs and had been told they couldn’t have them. She recalled the confusion about the petitioning process. She’s describing her neighborhood’s experience in a fair amount of detail. Duck and mating season are a point of information. A porch was torn off by a speeding car. A stopped speeder told the police officer to just keep her driver’s license because she was in a hurry. Briere is now talking about the importance of addressing the traffic calming measures in other neighborhoods.
9:42 p.m. Kailasapathy says that cars speeding down quiet streets is not the kind of Ann Arbor we want to see. Traffic calming helps make neighborhoods livable, she says. She’s contrasting the importance of funding projects like this, with the constant push to focus on the downtown area.
9:46 p.m. Lumm says she’s happy to co-sponsor the resolution, and thanks Briere and Kailasapathy. She asks Nick Hutchinson, senior project manager, some questions. He says that the five petitions mentioned in the resolution are the only petitions currently active.
Lumm wants to know if the money allocated for the State Street corridor study could be used for the FY 2014 traffic calming. City administrator Steve Powers indicates that the State Street corridor study is complete. There’s also a State Street traffic study, he says. Community services area administrator Sumedh Bahl explains that the study in the FY 2014 budget is for traffic and transportation in the State Street area.
9:47 p.m. Lumm says she’s supportive of the resolution and is glad to see it move forward. Kunselman says he’s also supportive.
9:48 p.m. Kunselman says he’s concerned about a future backlog. He says he’d hate to have a backlog in FY 2016. He wants to know who makes the decisions about opening up the petitioning process.
9:51 p.m. Nick Hutchinson says the FY 2014 would need to be done by June 30, 2014. The other two would need to be done after July 1, 2014. Kunselman says there are a number of street projects coming up in FY 2014. Kunselman wants to know if the traffic calming project would impact the staff’s ability to complete those projects. The design, Hutchinson says, is not complicated. It’s more the public engagement process that requires effort. He says the 2010 decision to suspend acceptance of petitions was made by the public services area administrator at the time [Sue McCormick].
9:54 p.m. Kunselman is pressing for details about the program. He wants to know why more money wasn’t already budgeted n FY 2014. Powers says it was a question of priority. Kunselman wants to know why the council would now amend the budget. Briere ventures that the reason that the city council didn’t ask for more traffic calming is that they had forgotten that such projects were done. She says the neighborhoods might not have pestered councilmembers about it.
10:00 p.m. Teall says that the rerouted traffic from the East Stadium bridges project had led a neighborhood to delay a request for traffic calming. Lumm says she now has a list of streets where people have said they want traffic calming for their streets. She suggests that the $237,000 of street funds in the public art fund could be tapped for additional traffic calming projects. She wants information from the city attorney about how to proceed with that. That seems like a logical and appropriate source for funding traffic calming.
Briere says she appreciates the reminder about the public art fund. She notes that the public art ordinance would need to be amended in order to return those public art funds to the street fund.
10:04 p.m. Kunselman says he doesn’t think that the street millage fund can be used for traffic calming. But he wants more information about how to fund it for a much longer duration. He doesn’t want a stop-and-go approach for the funding of the program. As much as he’d like to spend the money, he says he still wants to be careful. It would open up the door for other safety projects – streetlights, crosswalks and the like.
10:04 p.m. Kunselman wants a postponement. [As a budget amendment, the resolution needs eight votes and any one of the councilmembers could effectively "veto" the resolution.] Kunselman moves for postponement.
Anglin is holding forth. Teall raises a point of order, saying that Anglin should be speaking to the postponement. Anglin replies that he’s speaking about a reason for the postponement – he wants a more scientific way of looking at it. Lumm understands the intent of the postponement, but won’t support it. The resolution tonight is modest, she says.
10:09 p.m. Briere says she appreciates Kunselman goal in postponement. She feels it’s an infrastructure improvement, so it’s a resolution consistent with the council’s priorities. It focuses on Kunselman’s regular critique of the council, she notes – that the council doesn’t focus on health, safety and welfare. Briere says she appreciates the need for more data, but thinks a lot of the data already exists.
Teall says she won’t support the postponement, but appreciates what Kunselman’s goal is – to look at the issue more comprehensively.
10:09 p.m. Outcome on postponement: The motion to postpone fails.
10:12 p.m. Kunselman says he’ll support the resolution. It brings forth a new era of projects supporting safety in neighborhoods, he says. Lumm reiterates her support of the resolution.
Hieftje recalls being around when the traffic calming program started. During the recession, many things were cut, he says. He warned there is pushback on these kinds of projects, because some people don’t support traffic calming.
10:12 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted to add five traffic calming projects.
10:12 p.m. Waive attorney-client privilege. If approved, the resolution would result in the waiver of attorney-client privilege with respect to a specific advice memo that has already been written by the city attorney’s office. The memo responds to questions that were raised about the procedure used to appoint Al McWilliams to the board of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority at the council’s Sept. 16, 2013 meeting.
Mayor John Hieftje had asked the council to vote on McWilliams’ appointment after saying at a previous meeting that he was withdrawing the nomination. Under the council’s rules, an 8-vote majority is required for confirmation of an appointment when the nomination is made at the same meeting when the confirmation vote is taken. McWilliams was confirmed on a 6-5 vote.
The advice memo likely establishes that it’s doubtful a successful court challenge could be brought – partly because it’s not clear who might have standing to bring such a suit. A “whereas” clause in the waiver resolution states that “the public good will be best served by releasing this advice to the public.” The first of two “resolved” clauses makes clear that the waiver of the attorney-client privilege is confined to a narrow circumstance: “The Council waives privilege in this specific circumstance, as the waiver of privilege does not expose the City to material legal risk and disclosure of the legal issues raised in this memo would not unduly constrain future Council actions.”
10:18 p.m. Warpehoski explains that the resolution was developed before the city attorney’s advice memo was written. The city attorney’s advice is generally confidential for a good reason, he says. Warpehoski proposes four tests: (1) legal risk should be small; (2) public interest is wide; (3) release of information doesn’t unduly constrain future council action; and (4) it doesn’t blindside the city attorney. Based on conversations with Christopher Taylor and the city attorney, Warpehoski says, the idea is to ask that an opinion, for a third party, be written as opposed to waiving privilege for an existing document.
10:21 p.m. Warpehoski is explaining the difference between the first draft of the resolution and the revised one: “That City Council requests that the City Attorney draft an opinion by October 16, 2013 for the benefit of the public that answers whether the September 16, 2013 vote to appoint Al McWilliams to the DDA can be challenged on the grounds that the confirmation motion should have required 8 votes…”
10:23 p.m. Postema says that it would make no sense for him to prepare an opinion for an audience outside the council in the ordinary course of business. But this resolution is an action taken by the council, his client, so he’s prepared to draft the opinion.
10:27 p.m. Kailasapathy addresses the issue of the public’s interest. Postema says that the vote was taken and the vote was announced. The legal significance of that is the only thing he’s going to put in his opinion, and the answer is going to be fairly easy.
Kailasapathy is not satisfied: “People are really upset.” She’s really troubled that the legal opinion will be so narrowly focused. She’s concerned about the integrity of the entire confirmation process. Briere says that the city attorney has suggested that the rules be revised to make the appointment process clear. She says she’s not sure how to change the outcome of the vote. She doesn’t know how Kailasapathy’s goal can be realized – which Briere thinks is to rescind McWilliams’ nomination.
10:31 p.m. Kunselman says he finds the resolution bizarre, because the provision in the charter already sets forth the procedure for filing the opinion. Kunselman reviews the arguments regarding the procedural requirement of 8 votes. He reviews his email correspondence with the city clerk. Kunselman says that the clerk has asked the city attorney for advice, which Kunselman says triggers the charter requirement for when an administrative head requests advice. Postema says that he responds only to council requests.
Hieftje says he’s happy to support the resolution.
10:36 p.m. Anglin says that anyone who voted in favor could bring it back now. Warpehoski asks Kailasapathy what she was looking for in the resolution. She says she doesn’t have the exact verbiage. She feels that justice was not served. It was not just the council feeling blindsided, but also the public. Warpehoski says he hears that, and as he reads Roberts Rules, he doesn’t see a motion to reconsider as being in order – based on the DDA Act that states that a member can only be removed after a public hearing. He was ready to move forward with a motion to reconsider, but doesn’t think it’s in order under parliamentary rules.
10:39 p.m. Kunselman says that city clerk Jackie Beaudry was due a response. Postema says she was not due a response. Kunselman asks Postema if Warpehoski could bring back the motion for reconsideration. Postema says that’s up to Warpehoski to answer. Warpehoski says that the outcome of the confirmation vote has been partially executed, and for that reason Roberts Rules would prohibit it.
10:41 p.m. Kunselman asks Hieftje if he would allow Warpehoski to bring a motion to reconsider. Hieftje appeals to the DDA Act and what’s required for removal of a DDA member. Kunselman says that the entire board has engaged in willful neglect. So that would be the “cause” that could be used to remove members of the DDA board.
10:46 p.m. Lumm says it’s important to clear the air on this. Postema says that the question is the legal effect of the vote. Lumm says that that doesn’t clear the air. She discusses various council rules.
10:46 p.m. Anglin says that the councilmembers who are “hiding behind” legal consideration should move for a reconsideration.
10:47 p.m. Outcome: The council voted over dissent from Mike Anglin to direct the city attorney to draft an opinion on McWilliams’ appointment.
10:48 p.m. Closed session. The council has voted to go into closed session to discuss land acquisition.
11:08 p.m. We’re back from closed session that was followed by a recess.
11:08 p.m. Adopt solid waste resource plan. The council is being asked to adopt a plan that includes a number of initiatives, including goals for increased recycling/diversion rates – generally and for apartment buildings in particular. A pilot program would add all plate scrapings to the materials that can be placed in the brown carts used to collect compostable matter. And if that pilot program is successful, the plan calls for the possibility of reducing the frequency of curbside pickup – from the current weekly regime to a less frequent schedule.
Also included in the draft plan is a proposal to relocate and upgrade the drop-off station at Platt and Ellsworth. The implementation of a fee for single-use bags at retail outlets is also part of the plan. Previous Chronicle coverage: Waste as Resource: Ann Arbor’s Five Year Plan[Waste Less: City of Ann Arbor Solid Waste Resource Plan.] [Appendices to Waste Less]
11:12 p.m. Sabra Briere (Ward 5) is explaining the background of how the plan was developed. The goal is to reduce the amount of material that is thrown away, she says. Solid waste manager Tom McMurtrie is at the podium explaining that there was a lot of participation from various parts of the community to develop the plan. There’s a big item that the plan includes, he says – reduced organic waste. It’s the next big “frontier,” he says, to expand organics collection for composting.
11:16 p.m. Briere is now asking questions of McMurtrie. When the manual sorting of the waste in a truck had been done, she said, it was hard to estimate how much food waste could be diverted. McMurtrie explained that it was hard because it was mixed in with all the other material, and he asked councilmembers to imagine “ripping open garbage bags pawing through material.”
Responding to a question from Briere, McMurtrie allows there will be increased costs associated with processing food waste.
11:19 p.m. Briere asks McMurtrie to address the issue of some items that could not be composted – like diapers. McMurtrie described the plan as directing the evaluation of reduced frequency, not to implement it. He gives Portland as an example. Briere ventures that the food waste collection could be implemented and then be evaluated for the potential. She says that reduced frequency could voluntarily be implemented by people simply not setting out their carts if they’re not full.
11:23 p.m. Lumm thanks all those involved. She understands that the plan doesn’t commit the city to particular actions, but is concerned about some that are mentioned – like the reduced frequency of trash pickup. People can’t believe that the solid waste millage, which generates $12 million annually, she says, isn’t enough to pay for weekly trash pickup. She calls this the most basic and fundamental service to residents. She moves an amendment to the solid waste plan, to remove all references to every-other-week curbside pickup. Kailasapathy also wants “pay as you throw” to be deleted from the plan.
11:26 p.m. Lumm considers Kailasapathy’s suggestion friendly. Lumm recalls her previous tenure on the council when pay-as-you-throw proposals had been studied. Briere tells McMurtrie that she recalls him saying that not everything the city has done in the last 10 years has been included in the plan. She ventures that even if mention of the frequency reduction is omitted, it’s still possible that it could be implemented. McMurtrie says yes, but not without approval of the council.
11:34 p.m. Kunselman brings up RecycleBank. He also questions whether Portland should be used as an example, since that region doesn’t deal with freezing weather. Kunselman says that he supports the amendments. He says that if you leave a baby diaper in a cart for more than a week, it will be pretty “rank.”
Teall won’t support the amendments. You have to study an issue, she said, to find out if it will work. She’s grateful that we live in an environment where “poop freezes,” Teall says. Warpehoski teases Teall that the council will not appoint her – a reference to the McWilliams appointment to the DDA.
11:41 p.m. Hieftje says that Portland is generally regarded as a model city in the U.S. Briere says that it’s possible to track how often people set out their refuse carts, so the city could measure the impact of its efforts. Briere points out that Portland has privatized its trash collection, so its approach can’t be compared directly.
Kunselman says that Briere’s point is an important piece of information. He asks if Portland has a “dumping problem.” McMurtrie says that hasn’t been researched. Briere says she couldn’t find anything on that topic. Responding to Teall’s point that there’s a lot of citizens who really like to reduce, reuse, and recycle, Kunselman says he’s one of them. But it’s important to give residents confidence that the city is staying on track with weekly trash collection.
11:47 p.m. Hieftje wants to have the amendments on pay-as-you-throw and on every-other-week trash collection separated out again. Lumm and Kailasapathy agree to that. Hieftje says that on his block, many people don’t put out their trash every week. Warpehoski says he understands Teall’s frustration about not being leaders. But he’ll support the amendment on the mention of every-other-week. There’s other lower hanging fruit than food waste – like improving multi-family recycling rates – which offer less angst, he says.
11:50 p.m. Kunselman says there’s nothing he likes more than “talking trash,” apparently completely aware of the pun. He was responding to Hieftje’s effort to move the council along to a vote on the amendment. Lumm says she supports the amendment.
11:51 p.m. Outcome on the every-other-week amendment: The council has approved the amendment over dissent from Hieftje and Teall.
11:52 p.m. Kailasapathy is now arguing for her amendment that would remove mention of pay-as-you-throw from the five-year solid waste plan. Hieftje says he’ll support the amendment and hopes it’ll move along quickly.
11:53 p.m. Outcome on the pay-as-you-throw amendment: The council has unanimously approved the amendment removing mention of pay-as-you-throw as a possibility.
11:57 p.m. Anglin has raised the question of how dangerous materials are disposed of, like fluorescent light bulbs. Lumm says she’ll support the solid waste plan. Kunselman reads a headline out of Portland indicating that when Portland switched to every-other-week pickup, dirty diapers started piling up in recycling bins.
11:58 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to adopt the solid waste plan as amended.
11:58 p.m. Belle Tire site plan. The planning commission recommended approval of the site plan at its Aug. 20, 2013 meeting. The site is located at 590 W. Ellsworth – just east of the intersection with South State Street.
The 1-acre site – currently vacant – is on the north side of Ellsworth, adjacent to and east of a new Tim Hortons. A restaurant building formerly located on the property was demolished.
The proposal calls for putting up a one-story, 9,735-square-foot auto service facility with 49 parking spaces, included 10 spaces located in service bays. An existing curb cut into the site from Ellsworth would be closed, and the business would share an entrance with the Tim Hortons site. The project includes a new sidewalk along Ellsworth.
11:58 p.m. Outcome: The council voted unanimously to approve the Belle Tire site plan.
11:58 p.m. Rayer annexation. This is a standard annexation into the city of Ann Arbor. It’s 0.39 acres, located at 2640 Miller Ave.
11:58 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the Rayer annexation.
11:58 p.m. Annual purchase order for U.P.M. high performance cold patch material (pothole repair) Barrett Paving Materials Inc. ($116,500). UPM seems to stand for “universal patching material.”
11:59 p.m. Briere says it’s always good to see it on the list of things the city is doing.
11:59 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to approve the purchase of cold patch material.
11:59 p.m. Easement for water main from the University of Michigan at 2850 South Industrial Highway (8 votes required). The easement is needed in connection with the construction of a bus storage facility at the adjacent Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority headquarters at 2700 South Industrial Hwy.
11:59 p.m. Outcome: The council has voted unanimously to accept the easement for a water main from the University of Michigan.
12:08 a.m. Open agenda. Warpehoski wants to open the agenda to reconsider the McWilliams nomination. Agenda is now open.
Warpehoski moves reconsideration of the nomination. He says that whether it took six or eight votes, the ruling of the meeting made at the meeting should stand, saying that it’s too late to raise a point of order. A point of order has to be made at the time of
breech breach. So he feels the vote stands.
However, for purposes of the public interest and the smooth working of the council, Warpehoski wanted to put forward this reconsideration. He’s asking for some assurances: (1) that there’ll be support for a postponement, and that the council won’t vote on it tonight; (2) the vote required at a later meeting will be a six-vote tally, not eight; and (3) if six votes in support aren’t in attendance at Oct. 21, then there’d be support for postponement until the Nov. 7 meeting.
12:11 a.m. Kunselman says he really supports Warpehoski’s leadership. He offers the assurance requested by Warpehoski. Now Warpehoski moves for postponement – but the council hasn’t voted on the motion to reconsider. Hieftje indicates the motion to reconsider will be moved to the next meeting. If that vote is successful, then the council will debate the confirmation.
12:13 a.m. Hieftje says he’ll support the effort. He apologizes for using the wrong word – “nomination” versus “motion.” Briere says she appreciated Warpehoski’s work on the effort. They’d worked together on the issue of the attorney’s opinion as well.
12:13 a.m. Outcome: The council has postponed until Oct. 21 the motion to reconsider the vote on the Al McWilliams appointment to the DDA board.
12:13 a.m. Public Commentary. There’s no requirement to sign up in advance for this slot for public commentary.
12:17 a.m. The Muslim speaker from earlier has waited until the end of the meeting. He invites councilmembers to the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor to learn more about their community. His name is Eldred Bruce Meadows.
12:17 a.m. Adjournment. We are now adjourned. That’s all from the hard benches.
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