Ann Arbor Mayor: Need Transit Board Members

Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje has made a public call for volunteers to serve on the new 15-member transit authority board, recently incorporated under Act 196 of 1986. He made the formal announcement at the city council’s Oct. 15, 2012 meeting.

Also added to the meeting’s agenda were two of the seven needed nominations to the new Act 196 transit board: Susan Baskett, who currently serves as a trustee on the Ann Arbor Public Schools board; and Tony Derezinski, who currently serves on the city council. Derezinski will be leaving the council in mid-November, because he did not prevail in his August Democratic primary race. His last city council meeting will be Nov. 8.

While it had been previously assumed that the seven Ann Arbor appointments to the new authority’s 15-member board would serve simultaneously on Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s board, legal questions about simultaneous service on the two boards led to the Hieftje’s announcement.

An application for all city boards and commissions is available on the city clerk’s website.

Ann Arbor’s seven representatives to the new authority’s board first need to be nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the city council – under terms of a four-party agreement ratified between the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County and the AATA. Under the terms of that agreement, the AATA’s assets would not be transferred to the new authority, to be called The Washtenaw Ride, until voters approve a funding source for the expanded service to be offered.

The composition of the Ann Arbor contingent on the new authority’s board, as well as Ann Arbor’s eventual participation in the new Act 196 authority, could potentially be impacted by the delay in decision-making past the November election. Three new members will be joining the Ann Arbor city council. For more details and analysis, see previous Chronicle reporting: “Positions Open: New Transit Authority Board.”

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]