Author: Dave Askins

Recent Posts

Column: DDA Pay Increases, Open Meetings |

Earlier this month, Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority executive director Susan Pollay received a 5% raise from the DDA board, bringing her annual compensation to $114,570. The procedure used by the board this year to award Pollay a salary increase appears to have been completely consistent with the requirements of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act (OMA). However, that procedure was different from the one used to award raises to Pollay in each of the two previous years – of 8% and 6.7%, respectively. Decisions on those raises do not appear to have been made at open meetings. [Full Story]

July 21, 2014: Council Live Updates |

A common theme among several of the items on the council’s July 21, 2014 agenda is infrastructure. That includes physical infrastructure – like roads, sidewalks and bridges. But it also includes legal infrastructure. The council will be considering a vote to put a charter amendment in front of voters for the Nov. 4 election. The amendment would establish eligibility requirements for elected officials, after a federal court ruled earlier this year that the existing requirements are not legally enforceable. Three land sale/acquisition items also appear on the agenda. [Full Story]

July 21, 2014: City Council Meeting Preview |

A common theme among several of the items on the council’s July 21, 2014 agenda is infrastructure. That includes physical infrastructure – like roads, sidewalks and bridges. But it also includes legal infrastructure. The council will be considering a vote to put a charter amendment in front of voters for the Nov. 4 election. The amendment would establish eligibility requirements for elected officials, after a federal court ruled earlier this year that the existing requirements are not legally enforceable. Three land sale/acquisition items also appear on the agenda. [Full Story]

Court to Ann Arbor: Aren’t You in Contempt? |

A procedural issue on the Ann Arbor Ward 3 city council ballot counting question has been decided by a federal court as expected: The Michigan Secretary of State has been allowed as an intervening party in the dispute. Not necessarily expected, however, was the court’s issuance of a show cause order that requires the city of Ann Arbor to demonstrate why the city is not in contempt of court. The court has essentially ordered the city to present an explanation for the fact that the city clerk sent out ballots to 392 voters that did not contain Bob Dascola’s name – after the court had earlier ruled in a lawsuit that the city’s eligibility requirements could not be enforced against Dascola. [Full Story]

Live Mayoral Forum: Affordable Housing |

A forum for Ann Arbor mayoral candidates was hosted on July 15 at 7 p.m. at St. Clare’s and Temple Beth Emeth at Genesis of Ann Arbor, located at 2309 Packard St. Focus of the forum was homelessness and affordable housing. Competition for the Democratic Party’s mayoral nomination is a four-way race: Stephen Kunselman, Sabra Briere, Christopher Taylor, Sally Petersen. All candidates currently serve on the Ann Arbor city council. Kunselman and Briere are in the middle of their two-year terms, while Taylor and Petersen have chosen to run for mayor instead of seeking re-election to their Ward 3 and Ward 2 council seats, respectively. [Full Story]

Live from the Library: Ward 2 Council Forum |

The Orchard Hills-Maplewood neighborhood association hosted a forum on July 14 at 7 p.m. for Ward 2 city council candidates in the Democratic primary election, to be held Aug. 5, 2014. The Ward 2 city council race features current chair of the city planning commission, Kirk Westphal, and current trustee on the Ann Arbor District Library board, Nancy Kaplan. [Full Story]

Council Candidates Live: Ann Arbor Dems |

The Ann Arbor Democratic Party hosted a candidate forum for all city council candidates July 12, 2014 at the Ann Arbor Community Center at 625 North Main Street. This article includes the audio broadcast from that event. Races in three of the city’s five wards are contested. The Ward 1 race features one-term incumbent Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams, who is seeking elected office for the first time. The Ward 2 city council race features current chair of the city planning commission, Kirk Westphal and current trustee on the board of the Ann Arbor District Library board, Nancy Kaplan. This year’s Ward 3 contest features Julie Grand, Bob Dascola and Samuel McMullen, who are all competing for the seat that Christopher Taylor is leaving in order to run for mayor. [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Ballot Dispute: Michigan Wants In |

Michigan’s Secretary of State has asked the federal district court to be allowed as an intervening party to an action that is current pending before the court – on the question of how to count ballots in the city of Ann Arbor Ward 3 Democratic primary. The Secretary of State’s current position is that votes in the Ward 3 race that are cast with the incorrectly printed ballots should still be counted – if no replacement ballot is sent in by the voter. [Full Story]

Column: Greek Drama In A Public Park |

Chronicle editor Dave Askins urges readers to attend one of the upcoming performances of “Elektra,” which is the Penny Seats Theatre Company West Park production this year. His pitch is not for Greek drama, but rather for Greek drama performed in an Ann Arbor park. The show will be performed over three weekends in July. [Full Story]

Election Commish Live: Which Votes Count? |

On July 8, 2104, the Ann Arbor city election commission met to discuss the question of how to count votes that are cast in the Ward 3 Democratic primary election. This was a live broadcast of that meeting. In-person voting for the election takes place on Aug. 5, 2014. But the point in dispute concerns ballots that were printed incorrectly and sent to absentee voters. The question of counting votes has arisen because the ballots for the race were printed incorrectly, omitting the name of one of the candidates. Printed correctly on the ballots were Julie Grand and Samuel McMullen. However, Bob Dascola – who had filed a successful lawsuit against the city in order to be a candidate – was mistakenly left off the ballots. [Full Story]