Resolution Fails Opposing Mayoral Picks

At its Dec. 19, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council voted 4-7 on a resolution opposing mayoral appointments of city of Ann Arbor employees to serve on boards and commissions, which meant that it failed. Councilmembers voting for the resolution were its sponsors: Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Mike Anglin (Ward 5), Jane Lumm (Ward 2)  and Sabra Briere (Ward 1) .

The “resolved” clause read: “Therefore be it resolved, That Council opposes Mayoral nominations of City of Ann Arbor employees to office appointments.”

Reasons cited in the “whereas” clauses include the possible appearance of conflicting interests and commitments, as well as a clause in the city charter that might be construed as limiting the rights of city employees who are appointed to boards or commissions: “The personnel of the City, other than the elective and appointive officers, shall be deemed City employees.”

The resolution came in the context of mayor John Hieftje’s nomination at the council’s previous meeting (on Dec. 5, 2011) of a city employee to serve on a board. Hieftje nominated the city’s transportation program manager, Eli Cooper, to serve on the board of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.

The council’s vote on Dec. 19 to confirm Cooper filled the vacancy on the AATA board left by another city employee, Sue McCormick. McCormick was, until Dec. 16, the city’s public services area administrator. She left to take a job as head of the Detroit water and sewerage department.

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: [link]