Appleyard OK’d for Energy Commission

Wayne Appleyard has been appointed to another three-year term on the city of Ann Arbor’s energy commission, a body on which he’s served since 2002.

Wayne Appleyard (Chronicle file photo, uncertain date or context. Also at the table is Ann Arbor city planning commissioner Bonnie Bona.)

Wayne Appleyard at an April 2010 joint meeting of the city’s energy, environmental and planning commissions. Next to Appleyard is Bonnie Bona, who at that time chaired the planning commission. (Chronicle file photo.)

The confirmation vote took place at the city council’s Oct. 21, 2013 meeting. The 8-3 vote gave Appleyard the seven votes needed for a non-city resident to be appointed to the commission. Dissenting were Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1), Jane Lumm (Ward 2) and Mike Anglin (Ward 5). The votes against Appleyard’s nomination were based in part on his status as a non-city resident and on his long term of service on the board.

Appleyard’s nomination was put forward at the council’s Sept. 16 meeting, but his confirmation was not requested at the council’s following meeting on Oct. 7. At the Oct. 7 meeting, Anglin registered his concerns about the nomination of a non-city resident.

As a non-city resident, Appleyard’s confirmation needed seven votes, which it would likely not have received on Oct. 7, given the short-handed council that night. [Only eight out of 11 councilmembers attended.]

The seven-vote majority, instead of the typical six, is required by the city charter for non-city residents: [emphasis added]:

Section 12.2. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, a person is eligible to hold a City office if the person has been a registered elector of the City, or of territory annexed to the City or both, and, in the case of a Council Member, a resident of the ward from which elected, for at least one year immediately preceding election or appointment. This requirement may be waived as to appointive officers by resolution concurred in by not less than seven members of the Council.

Appleyard lives in Grass Lake, Mich. With respect to Appleyard’s long tenure, a city charter requirement on city boards and commissions has been analyzed as not applicable to the city’s energy commission. The charter requirement limits continuous service on some kinds of boards and commissions to six years, after which a three-year lapse is required:

Boards and Commissions SECTION 5.17.
(a) The Council may create citizen boards for each of the following departments: Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works, Utilities Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Building and Safety Engineering. It may, in addition, create such a board for any department established pursuant to this charter. The Council shall prescribe the number of persons on each such board, the terms of office, the method of appointment of members, the board officers and the method of their selection, and provisions concerning the holding of regular and special meetings. No person serving on such board continuously for six years shall be eligible to reappointment, until the lapse of three years. …

The city energy commission was established in 1985 by a council resolution to “oversee City policies and regulations in areas of energy efficiency concerns and make periodic public reports and recommendations to the City Council.” So it’s not analyzed as corresponding to any particular city department. Under special qualifications, the online Legistar description states: “wide spread representation; interest in energy.” Terms of appointment for energy commissioners are three years.

When Appleyard was up for reappointment in 2010, no objections were raised. On that occasion, mayor John Hieftje separated out Appleyard’s confirmation for a separate vote to ensure it was clear that he’d specifically received adequate support from the council, despite not being a city resident.

Appleyard is principal with Sunstructures Architects, with a focus in renewable energy and sustainable architecture. Appleyard designed the house of Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3).

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]