An extraordinarily light agenda offers the council a rare opportunity to dispatch with a meeting in about an hour tonight. No proclamations or presentations are scheduled for the start of the meeting.
Besides the consent agenda, the council will need to vote on just eight items. And half of those eight are standard easements, which are rarely subjected to any council discussion.
But those easements also mean that not too many councilmembers would have the chance to take the night off. As conveyances of land interest, the easements will require an 8-vote majority on the 11-member council. Two of the easements are related to the construction of a new Tim Hortons on South State Street, one is related to the Arbor Hills Crossing development at Washtenaw and Platt, and the fourth is linked to construction of the new Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor.
The other land-related item on the agenda is initial consideration of a rezoning request for a site that has been annexed into the city from Ann Arbor Township. The final vote on the item would come at a subsequent meeting after a public hearing at that meeting. The Aug. 19 agenda doesn’t include any items that require a public hearing.
The council will be asked to approve a $107,000 purchase order for continued participation in CLEMIS (Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System). The service is used by several public safety agencies in southeast Michigan. Among the support services provided by CLEMIS are computer-aided dispatch (CAD), mobile CAD, report management system, fingerprinting and mug shots.
The council will also be asked to approve the issuance of $3.15 million in revenue bonds to fund some electrical improvements for the water supply system.
The final voting item on the agenda is confirmation of several nominations to city boards and commissions made at the council’s previous meeting.
The agenda still offers some opportunity for stretching long. For example, the council could separate out some of the nominations for individual consideration. Among those nominations, the council will be asked to confirm appointments to the boards of two high-profile organizations – the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Rishi Narayan, founder of Underground Printing, is the nominee to the DDA board. Jack Bernard, who works in the University of Michigan’s office of the general counsel, is the nominee to the AAATA board.
The council could also pull individual items off the consent agenda for separate consideration. Two of those items are street closures for downtown bars to host Oktoberfest activities on Sept. 20-21. It’s possible those items could be pulled out for separate consideration – but not because of a desire to deny the requests. Instead, a possible reason to consider them separately would be to highlight what’s different about the Oktoberfest street closures, compared to a similar request made at the council’s last meeting for “Beats, Eats, and Cleats.” That request, which was denied, was for an event sponsored by The Landmark apartment building. It was scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, the evening before the football game between the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame.
The Oktoberfest event also takes place on a weekend when the Michigan football team plays a game. But that game against the UConn Huskies will be contested on the gridiron of Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. – over 700 miles away from the intersection of Washington and Main Streets in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Councilmembers also have the opportunity at three different points in the agenda to share communications with the public and their fellow councilmembers.
More detail on the meeting agenda items is available on the city’s Legistar system. Readers can also follow the live meeting proceedings on Channel 16, streamed online by Community Television Network.
The Chronicle will be filing live updates from city council chambers during the meeting, published in this article “below the fold.” The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.