Ann Arbor Council Does Not Act on Budget

At the May 23, 2011 session of its meeting that had begun the week before on May 16, the Ann Arbor city council did not address two issues it was expected to settle so that it could adopt its fiscal 2012 budget: (1) ratification of a new contract under which the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority would continue to manage the city’s public parking system; and (2) acceptance of prior contributions by the DDA to city projects, as payment for excess tax increment finance (TIF) revenues that have been captured in the DDA’s TIF district since 2003.

Instead of addressing those issues or any other budget issues, the council voted at the very start of the meeting to recess the meeting and continue it on May 31, 2011.

Per Ann Arbor’s city charter, the city council needs to adopt the city administrator’s proposed budget with any amendments no later than the second meeting in May. Failure to adopt the budget results in adoption of the administrator’s proposed budget by default. The city council is hoping to avoid some of the cuts to police and firefighters that are a part of that budget.

For a preview of the council meeting, see Chronicle coverage: “To Be Continued: Ann Arbor Council

The vote to recess, taken before any other item was considered or could be introduced, could be seen as a move to prevent Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) from proposing a resolution to take back responsibility for managing the city’s public parking system from the DDA. The Ann Arbor DDA has a current contract with the city that runs through 2015.

However, Kunselman’s proposed budget amendment would have essentially ignored that contract, and restored oversight of the city’s parking system to the city’s public services unit, by transferring all of the DDA’s parking funds to the city and eliminating two full-time employees at the DDA. [.pdf of Kunselman's resolution as proposed]

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow.