Ann Arbor City Council Meeting (Nov. 16, 2009) Part II: The length of Monday’s city council meeting, which did not adjourn until nearly 1 a.m., might be blamed on the lengthy public commentary and deliberations on downtown zoning and design guidelines.
Left to right: Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Sabra Briere (Ward 1) and Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2) getting ceremonially sworn in at the start of council's Nov. 16, 2009 meeting. Standing to the left out of frame are Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) and Mike Anglin (Ward 5). (Photo by the writer.)
But it would have been a long meeting even without the downtown planning content, which we’ve summarized in a separate report: “Downtown Planning Process Forges Ahead.”
Before postponing the acceptance of the Huron River and Impoundment Management Plan (HRIMP), the council got a detailed update on how things stand on the city’s dispute with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) over Argo Dam.
An agenda item authorizing capital improvements in West Park prompted a lengthy discussion of how the Percent for Art program works.
Some public commentary calling abstractly for greater support for inventors and entrepreneurs was followed later in the meeting by an appropriation from the city’s LDFA to Ann Arbor SPARK to fund more business acceleration services.
A consent agenda item on the purchase of parking meters was pulled out and postponed.
The council also heard a detailed report from the city administrator, which covered emergency response time to a recent house fire, ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps, responses to the library lot Request for Proposals, updates on the task forces for Mack Pool and Ann Arbor’s senior center, staff reductions in planning and development, the East Stadium bridges, as well as the upcoming budget retreat on Dec. 5.
Stephen Kunselman’s (Ward 3) use of attachments to the agenda to document questions for city staff received some critique.
Also worth noting, the five winners of recent council elections were sworn in, and Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) was elected as mayor pro tem. Those topics in more detail below. [Full Story]