Comments on: Ann Arbor Grinds Gears But OKs Rail Study it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Wed, 06 Nov 2013 02:48:54 +0000 Some good arguments against the position I took in #3. Thanks for an interesting discussion.

By: Alan Goldsmith Alan Goldsmith Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:17:49 +0000 Mr. Taylor needs to work on his selective memory, especially if he plans to run for Mayor next year.

By: Tom Whitaker Tom Whitaker Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:48:50 +0000 ‘[Christopher Taylor] called the sewer reconstruction done at the Fuller Road site – which was in the city’s capital improvement plan (CIP) – as something necessary anyway. To suggest that it wasn’t necessary is “flat-out false,” he said.’

The sewer relocation project that took place in Fuller Park was put out for bid as the “Fuller Road Station Northside Interceptor Sanitary Sewer Relocation and Site Utility Project.”

Per the cover sheet for the bid set of plans issued by the City, rerouting around the proposed Fuller Road Station was the primary (if not only) reason for the sanitary sewer relocation: “Sanitary Sewer Basis of Design: 1. This sanitary sewer relocation is required to reroute the City of Ann Arbor’s Northside Interceptor Sewer around the site of the proposed Fuller Road Intermodal Transit Center.”

Link: [link]

This sewer relocation work actually resulted in a DECREASE in “..the pipe-full sewer capacity by approximately 1.7%…”

After bids were received questions came up from the public, such as, “Why is the City proceeding with site work for the station before the environmental study is complete?” and, “Should the firm that is doing the environmental study also be getting paid to do design work related to the construction of the station?”

Before the project came to Council for a vote, the words “Fuller Road Station” were removed and some tortuous justifications were made for why the City would need to dig up a functioning 30-year-old concrete sewer and move it north about 100 feet, adding new bends and additional length and even slightly reducing its capacity in the process.

The project also included storm water detention and other utility improvements that increased their capacity to serve a future building on the site.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Wed, 30 Oct 2013 16:32:05 +0000 Some city boards and commissions have a 6-year term limit. I think that may be a single reappointment or maybe 2 (I haven’t done the research on this.)

I’m against term limits for elected officials because they have automatic term limiters – elections. The example of the Michigan legislature is not a recommendation for this either. I’d rather the voters make the decision.

However, I do think that term limits (generous ones) for appointed boards are a good idea. These often do the heavy lifting on various topics for Council or other elected body. They provide the expertise and close attention that the multitasking councilmember can’t. The solution is to rotate terms so that there are always some experienced members. But when someone is allowed to stay on too long, they experience a sense of ownership of the issue and you can have development of a little fiefdom, which is not subject to that oversight by the voters.

By: Steve Bean Steve Bean Wed, 30 Oct 2013 16:04:37 +0000 As I’ve noted before, term limits for elective office are anti-democratic (along with a lot of other things, but those are separate matters). Term limits for appointed positions are more appropriate, though certainly debatable, since inclusiveness and citizen participation are valid objectives. Experts like Wayne (who I consider a friend—it’s not about him) can always contribute as non-voting participants or perhaps consultants in the process. Personally, I served for 20+ years on city commissions, and it was at least 10 years too long. Someone would have done me a favor to force me to at least take a break and reconsider how (in)effective our efforts were.

Then again, this might be much ado about nothing with regard to commissions, since little of consequence comes from their work absent a desire on the part of city council. (Or am I just ignorant of concrete examples? Let’s hear about ‘em.) Perhaps eliminating them in favor of reactive ad hoc task forces would be a better approach. Now there’s a question: is the commission system actually helping us be proactive as a community?

By: Peter Zetlin Peter Zetlin Wed, 30 Oct 2013 14:31:43 +0000 When government functions well with less regulation, so much the better. In Ann Arbor, multi-term officials have grown an administration which does not do a good job of representing the population.

If term limits swing the pendulum a bit too far in the opposite direction, they are still a worthwhile remedy for an unbalanced regime. Perhaps limits could be proposed with a sunset provision. Implement limits for 5 years or so.

Now that term limits are in the air, it would be a good idea to include city council seats in the conversation.

By: Alan Goldsmith Alan Goldsmith Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:56:30 +0000 @3 If appointments by The Mayor were more inclusive of the City at large and the range of views and opinions as opposed to his current process of appointing rubber stamps, there would be no need for term limits. Until that happens, Ms. Kailasapathy and other on Council are correct in looking at term limits. Mr. Appleyard can’t be the only person who can effectively serve in this position. His reappointment, when taken with past appointments and reappointments and reappointments makes term limits an issue. Perhaps this won’t be needed with the next Mayor, but for now the safeguards need to be approved.

By: Brad Cook Brad Cook Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:30:28 +0000 Love the animated gif of the Fuller Park site! Who else remembers the old “Rock Pile” golf course down there?

By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Tue, 29 Oct 2013 19:22:56 +0000 CM Lumm says reasonable term limits are a good government practice… I would have thought that recent history has proven how questionable that assumption is (the amateur hour in the Michigan legislature is a case in point). In Wayne Appleyard’s case, they would deprive the city of a truly knowledgeable, committed person in order to give us… who? CM Kailasapathy’s confidence notwithstanding, I haven’t heard anyone offer a name. And even though Wayne isn’t a city resident, he’s still a city business owner, so it’s not like he’s really an outsider.

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:53:24 +0000 Re: Main Street light poles

Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) has stated on Facebook that: “… DDA bought the poles at the City’s request in the early 1980s. At the time there were standard issue. Now of course, all poles come on fingers, if you will, to prevent pooling.”

That account seems to be at odds with the recollection of Jim Rees, whose 1993 photographs of the lampposts he recalled in a Chronicle comment as being taken no more than a year or two after the poles were installed.

And Jim’s recollection is supported by city of Ann Arbor public services area administrator Craig Hupy, who looked into the city’s archives, responding to a Chronicle request. On Oct. 29, 2013 he wrote in an email:

The dates on the drawing indicate a 1988 start or initiation for the project, with intermediate plan review dates in 1989. The drawing shows a date of 1999 being scanned in and entered into Project Management’s drawing file. This is what I would expect to find for a project of this time period done by the DDA. While I have no direct evidence of the date the DDA constructed the lights, I would guess spring/summer of 1990 was likely the time frame. During this period of time, DDA undertook projects independently.