Ann Arbor City Council meeting (March 1, 2010) Part 1: Having postponed a resolution at its last meeting – which directed the city administrator to reduce wages of non-union workers by 3% – on Monday the council passed a revised version of it.
Tony Derezinski (Ward 2), who co-sponsored a new ordinance banning use of cell phones while driving or bicycling. The ban does not apply to driving one's council chair before the meeting starts. (Photos by the writer.)
But it was approved without the support of the measure’s two sponsors, Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) and Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2). The version adopted by council specified a 3% minimum cut in compensation packages, taken over the aggregate of non-union workers. By the time the resolution was passed, it had also shed a “whereas” clause that Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) called “self-laudatory.”
In development news, The Moravian – a planned unit development (PUD) proposed on East Madison Street – received unanimous council support at its first reading. Approval at two readings is required for final approval. But Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) responded to a resident request made at the previous night’s caucus to give some clue at the first reading as to how councilmembers were thinking about the project: “I’ll be voting against it at second reading – so there’s no question in the community’s mind.”
Based on the Sunday caucus, The Moravian will face a protest petition, which raises the bar for approval from six to eight votes.
The council also wrangled through a proposed ban on cell phone use while driving and bicycling – at a level of detail unusual for a first reading. The measure had undergone enough revisions since it was approved at the council’s previous meeting that its status Monday was reset to a first reading. Dissent on the ban came from Sandi Smith (Ward 1), who questioned whether it should be undertaken at the local level – as opposed to the state. Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) also dissented, pointing to the fact that the ban did not include hands-free phones.
The council also transacted a variety of other business, including a repeal of the city’s bicycle registration program, which is to be replaced with a new system after further consultation with stakeholders. The bicycle registration program, as well as other business and announcements, will be wrapped up in Part 2 of this report. [Full Story]