Author: Dave Askins

Recent Posts

Transit Board Acts on Policy, Infrastructure |

At its April 17, 2014 meeting, the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority took action on two voting items: a contract for small concrete work related to bus stops; and a policy for evaluating under Title VI civil rights legislation what constitutes disproportionate impacts of fare increases or service changes on disadvantaged populations. CEO Michael Ford also delivered some remarks intended to address what he called “myths” about the AAATA that are being promoted by opponents of the May 6 transit millage. [Full Story]

April 21, 2014: City Council Meeting Preview |

The Ann Arbor city council’s April 21, 2014 agenda is highlighted by three items related to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission: a $600,000 fund transfer and two resolutions that reduce taxes and fees for AAHC projects. Also on the agenda is final approval of an outdoor smoking ordinance. Sidewalk construction is highlighted in at least five separate agenda items. Also on the agenda are three appointments to the city’s environmental commission. [Full Story]

Column: Stop Reading the City’s Website |

In this column Chronicle editor Dave Askins shares a simple technique for finding what you’re looking for on the city of Ann Arbor’s website. The technique works on any website: Use Google’s site-specific search. He illustrates with an example that allowed him to track down the name of a speaker at a public hearing at a city council meeting – in a 30-year old document hidden away on a2gov.org. [Full Story]

Column: Ann Arbor’s Dumb Old Charter |

Ann Arbor Chronicle editor Dave Askins calls for the city council to take the steps necessary to establish a commission to review the six decade old city charter – which in part refers to city offices that no longer exist. Prompting Askins to write is a current dispute over the candidacy of Bob Dascola for Ward 3 city council. The city clerk as informed him that he doesn’t meet city charter requirements on eligibility to serve as a councilmember. [Full Story]

April 7, 2014: Council Live Updates |

The Ann Arbor city council’s April 7 agenda features two significant items of old business: a first reading of an ordinance that would regulate outdoor smoking in certain locations; and an allocation of funds for the work of a pedestrian safety and access task force. Pedestrian issues form one of the main themes of the meeting agenda, as some other items are also related to pedestrian infrastructure. Another significant theme is land-use issues. [Full Story]

DDA: Transit, Housing, Parking |

At its April 2, 2014 meeting, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board approved about $1.2 million in grants. A $674,264 grant will support the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s getDowntown program for another year. A $600,000 grant to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission will be invested in capital improvements to two properties in or near the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority tax capture district: Baker Commons and Miller Manor. In other action, the board approved a policy defining “community benefit” in the context of the removal of on-street metered spaces. [Full Story]

April 7, 2014: City Council Meeting Preview |

The council’s April 7 agenda features two significant items of old business: a first reading of an ordinance that would regulate outdoor smoking in certain locations; and an allocation of funds for the work of a pedestrian safety and access task force. Pedestrian issues form one of the main themes of the meeting agenda, as some other items are also related to pedestrian infrastructure. Another significant theme is land-use issues. [Full Story]

Old Y Lot: 2 More Years of Surface Parking? |

Starting March 30, the city-owned 87-space surface parking lot at Fifth and William streets in downtown Ann Arbor (aka the former Y lot) might sit unused for any purpose for a year or longer. For the parcel to remain in use as a part of the city’s public parking system, the pending purchaser of the property, Dennis Dahlmann, would need to reach an agreement on a leasing arrangement with Ann Arbor’s Downtown Development Authority. A March 26 meeting of the DDA’s operations committee indicated a lack of enthusiasm by the DDA for reaching an agreement. [Full Story]

Lawsuit Now Filed on Dascola Candidacy |

Even though Bob Dascola has more than the required 100 signatures to stand for election to represent Ward 3 on the city council, the Ann Arbor city clerk has informed Dascola that he does not meet the city charter requirements for eligibility. So on March 28, 2014 Dascola filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan’s U.S. District Court to assert his right to compete in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary election. He’s relying on two federal court cases from the early 1970s that struck down each of two different Ann Arbor city charter eligibility requirements for candidates. [Full Story]

Committee Meeting: Why a Police Presence? |

Ann Arbor police were present at a March 20, 2014 meeting of a citizens advisory committee (CAC), created in conjunction with Ann Arbor’s sanitary sewer wet weather evaluation study (SSWWES). The background to that meeting included the removal of one of the committee members the day before the meeting. Also a part of the context was a lawsuit filed earlier in the month challenging the legal basis of the city’s footing drain disconnection program. This article includes responses from city administrator Steve Powers to questions about the police presence. [Full Story]