Appointments to AATA, GAC, PC Approved

Appointments to the city’s greenbelt advisory commission (GAC), the board of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA), and the city planning commission have been confirmed by the Ann Arbor city council in action taken at its May 20, 2013 meeting. Receiving confirmation from the council were Stephanie Buttrey (GAC), Susan Baskett (AATA board) and Paras Parekh (planning commission).

Buttrey had been nominated at the council’s May 6 meeting. She’s an engineer and retired Chrysler executive. She’ll serve out the remainder of Liz Rother’s term, through June 30, 2014.

Baskett currently serves as a trustee on the board of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, an elected position. She’s worked with a committee to replace some school bus routes with AATA service. Her confirmation by the council was 11-0, unlike the 7-4 vote taken a week earlier on May 13, 2013 on Eric Mahler’s appointment to the AATA board. Mahler’s term on the planning commission currently ends this summer and he won’t continue in that position after accepting appointment on the AATA board.

Replacing Mahler on the planning commission is Paras Parekh, whose confirmation was unanimous. Parekh is currently director of marketing and membership for the University of Michigan alumni association. His undergrad degree in economics is from UM. He has worked in marketing for a bit more than a decade, and spent two years as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives working for Congresswoman Lynn Rivers.

The council also confirmed Jennifer Geer as Tim Doyle’s replacement on the park advisory commission.

Also nominated at the May 20 meeting for service on GAC was Jennifer Fike, who is finance director of the Huron River Watershed Council. She would replace Laura Rubin, HRWC’s executive director, whose term on the commission ends in June. Fike attended the April 4, 2013 meeting of the commission to introduce herself and express her interest in serving. Nominations for GAC are made by the city council, not by the mayor. The procedure followed by the council is to place on the agenda a resolution making the appointment at one council meeting, but postpone it until the following meeting. For mayoral nominations, the names are placed before the council at a meeting as a communications item – on which no council vote is required. The confirmation vote takes place at a subsequent meeting.

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]