Stories indexed with the term ‘special meetings’

Special Public Art Meeting Set; Others Canceled

A special meeting of the Ann Arbor public art commission has been called for Thursday, March 7 starting at 4:30 p.m. in the fifth floor conference room at city hall, 301 E. Huron. The possibility of a special meeting had been discussed at AAPAC’s regular meeting on Feb. 27, 2013. The main agenda item will likely be a possible memorial to Coleman Jewett – a bronze Adirondack chair at the Ann Arbor farmers market. Although a donor has come forward with funding for the project, it has not yet been formally accepted by AAPAC.

Separately, two meetings related to the city of Ann Arbor’s parks and open space programs were canceled this week. A subcommittee of the park advisory commission … [Full Story]

Next Step in AATA Ad Lawsuit Uncertain

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board special meeting (Jan. 3, 2013): The board had a single item on the agenda for a special meeting that had been announced on Dec. 27. That item was to convene a closed session as allowed under Michigan’s Open Meetings Act – to consider pending litigation.

AATA board members: Clockwise from left bottom: Roger Kerson, Sue Gott, David Nacht, Charles Griffith, Anya Dale, Eli Cooper.

AATA board members: Clockwise from left bottom: Roger Kerson, Sue Gott, David Nacht, Charles Griffith, Jesse Bernstein, Anya Dale, Eli Cooper. (Photo by the writer.)

After about two hours in closed session, the board emerged and voted unanimously to reject – for a second time – an advertisement that had been submitted by Ann Arbor resident Blaine Coleman for placement on the sides of AATA buses. The ad included the text “Boycott ‘Israel’ Boycott Apartheid” and a graphic that depicts a scorpion-like creature.

Both the text and the image figured into reasoning for the board’s decision to reject the ad – based on a new advertising policy that the AATA board adopted in November. [See Chronicle coverage: “AATA Adopts New Advertising Policy”]

The board’s resolution stressed that there were two reasons for rejecting the advertisement, either of which the board considered to be sufficient on its own to warrant rejection. First, the proposed ad violates the policy’s provision against political advertisements. Second, the advertisement is likely to hold up a group to scorn or ridicule, according to the board’s resolution – by dint of the enclosure of the word “Israel” in quotes, and the inclusion of the image. [.pdf of new ad policy, with changes indicated]

The AATA board reconsidered the advertisement using the new policy because of a court order issued on Dec. 17. [.pdf of Dec. 17, 2012 court order] That order came from judge Mark Goldsmith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, who’s presiding over the case. The reconsideration of the ad is part of the injunctive relief that Goldsmith is proposing, having ruled in favor of Coleman on his request for a preliminary injunction. Granting the preliminary injunction was based on Goldsmith’s finding that the AATA’s old advertising policy was in part unconstitutional. Coleman’s requested relief, however, was for the AATA to run the advertisement. Goldsmith has not yet explicitly ruled on that request.

Under the court order, the AATA had until Jan. 4 to notify Coleman of its decision on the re-submitted advertisement.

A status conference scheduled for Jan. 9 will focus on whether the injunctive relief that’s been granted thus far is sufficient, and will allow the parties to talk to each other and the judge about how they’d like to move forward. The lawsuit, filed in late 2011, has not yet proceeded to trial. However, the legal standard of review for granting Coleman’s motion for a preliminary injunction is based in part on the likelihood that Coleman would prevail, if the case were to go to trial.

Public commentary at the Jan. 3 special meeting of the AATA board was focused on the possible conflict of interest that judge Goldsmith has, given his membership in various Jewish organizations.  [Full Story]

County Board to Discuss “Right to Work”

The Washtenaw County board of commissioners will hold a special working session on Thursday, Jan. 3 to discuss how “right to work” legislation – passed by the lame duck state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in mid-December – will affect the county. The special session was set during the board’s first meeting of the year, on Jan. 2, 2013.

In an email sent to commissioners and commissioners-elect on Dec. 30, Yousef Rabhi – who was elected chair earlier at the Jan. 2 meeting – announced the intent to call a special session: “Second, there is a group of Commissioners (myself included) that wish to call a Special Working Session on January 3rd at 6:00 pm. Technically, this … [Full Story]

UM Regents Call April 2 Special Meeting

The University of Michigan board of regents has called a special meeting for Monday, April 2, 2012 in the boardroom of the Fleming administration building, 503 Thompson St. in Ann Arbor. The announcement was emailed to media on Saturday morning, March 31. No topic for the meeting was identified.

This is the third special meeting for the regents so far in 2012. Most recently, the board met on Feb. 21 – with all members participating via conference call – and voted 6-2 formally to oppose Senate Bill 971. The legislation, which was subsequently enacted, made explicit that graduate student research assistants (GSRAs) are not entitled to collective bargaining rights under Michigan’s Act 336 of 1947. The board’s two Republican … [Full Story]

Approved: Earth Retention, Zipcars

ground breaking ceremony

Last week's groundbreaking ceremony for the new Fifth Avenue underground parking garage. Left to right: Susan Pollay, Leigh Greden, John Splitt, Newcombe Clark, Sandi Smith, Roger Hewitt. (Photo by the writer.)

Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Oct. 7, 2009): Last week’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new underground parking garage at the Library Lot included car-related songs from DJ Surfer Joe. And the theme of cars – and specifically the underground parking project, which the DDA is undertaking – echoed through the DDA board’s Wednesday meeting.

The board approved a $50,000 expenditure for an earth retention system design, as well as a commitment to support two additional Zipcars at $36,000 a year, for a total of six cars in the downtown area. The actual amount of the subsidy is expected to be zero, based on experience with the first four vehicles.

The board also heard a report from getDowntown director Nancy Shore about the results of a commuter survey. Board members also spent time discussing under what conditions they should call special meetings.

Mayor John Hieftje announced that Ann Arbor’s Main Street had earned a special designation from the American Planning Association. All that and who’s getting married, after the jump. [Full Story]