Gunn to Chair Ann Arbor DDA Board

At its annual meeting on July 2, 2012, held immediately following its regular monthly meeting, the board of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority elected its officers for the coming year: Leah Gunn, chair; Sandi Smith, vice chair; Keith Orr, secretary; Roger Hewitt, treasurer. The DDA thus followed its custom of electing its current vice chair to serve as chair for the next year.

DDA board members serve four-year terms. Reaching the end of their terms this year on July 31, 2012 are Roger Hewitt, Sandi Smith and Keith Orr. Smith is not seeking re-election to the city council representing Ward 1 city, but has indicated she’d like to continue to serve on the DDA board. It would be her third term. Orr has also indicated a willingness to serve a second four-year term. First appointed in 2004, it’s not clear if Hewitt would be willing to serve a third term on the DDA board.

Board member Newcombe Clark abstained on the votes for secretary and vice chair after establishing that the terms for Orr and Smith would be coming to a conclusion. Smith offered in response to Clark’s questions that DDA board members can continue to serve past the end of their terms, if no replacement has been appointed. This marks the third year in a row that Clark has abstained from officer elections over the uncertainty of board appointments – which are the responsibility of mayor John Hieftje to make. Hieftje serves on the DDA board, but did not attend the July 2 meeting.

Outgoing chair Bob Guenzel was thanked for his service and awarded a brass plate engraved with his name – which will be affixed to a barstool at Arbor Brewing Company. He was also given a gift card to ABC.

Guenzel had been elected to that post at the board’s Sept. 7, 2011 meeting – after the board had elected Gary Boren chair two months earlier at its July 6, 2011 meeting. Boren’s term expired at the end of that month, however, and Hieftje chose not to nominate him for re-appointment. (Nader Nassif later was appointed instead.) Last year, Guenzel had already been elected vice chair, and thus was asked by his board colleagues to accept the chair’s role. And Gunn was elected vice chair to fill the vacancy left by Guenzel, which left the other board officer positions intact:  Keith Orr, secretary; and Roger Hewitt, treasurer.

This brief was filed from the at the DDA offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 301, where the board held its annual meeting. A detailed report of the meeting will follow: [link]