DDA, AAATA Appointments Confirmed

The Ann Arbor city council has confirmed appointments to the boards of two key organizations – the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. The action took place at the council’s Aug. 19, 2013 meeting.

Rishi Narayan was appointed to the board of the Ann Arbor DDA. On the DDA board, Narayan is replacing Leah Gunn, who did not seek reappointment to the board this July after serving nearly 22 years, starting in 1991. Narayan is founder and managing member of Underground Printing, which offers screenprinting of apparel in more than a dozen cities nationwide. Narayan made the Crain’s Detroit Business “Twenty in their 20s” list in 2010 as a 28-year-old.

That still leaves two positions unfilled on the DDA board. One of those resulted from the departure of Newcombe Clark, who made an employment-related move to Chicago and thus was not reappointed after serving a four-year term. The other slot that needs to be filled is that of Nader Nassif, who resigned from the board after being arrested on a sexual assault charge.

Al McWilliams was nominated to replace Clark at the council’s Aug. 19 meeting. McWilliams’ name had appeared on an early version of the list of nominees for the council’s Aug. 8 meeting. The final version for that meeting, however, did not include his name. McWilliams is founder of Quack!Media, an ad agency located in downtown Ann Arbor. Quack!Media lists the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority on its website as one of its clients. McWilliams has written advocacy pieces for bicycling on his blog.

Also at the Aug. 19 council meeting, Jack Bernard was appointed to the board of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Bernard is a lecturer in the University of Michigan law school and an attorney with UM’s office of the vice president and general counsel. He is also currently chair of the university’s council for disability concerns.

That brings the total of UM employees on the AAATA board to three, or one-third of the nine members. The other two UM employees on the AAATA board are Sue Gott (the university’s head planner) and Anya Dale (a representative in the office of sustainability).

Other appointments confirmed by the council at its Aug. 19 meeting were:

  • Alison Stroud to the Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues. On the city commission, Stroud would be finishing the term of Ian Scott. Stroud is a public policy intern for the summer at the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. She addressed the board of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority during a public hearing at its June 20, 2013 meeting.
  • Paul Darling (reappointment) to the Building Board of Appeals.
  • Reka Farrakand to the Housing Board of Appeals. Farrakand is city of Ann Arbor fire marshal.
  • Alex Milshteyn (reappointment) to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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]