AAATA Bylaws Now Give Public More Time

Speakers during public commentary at Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority board meetings will now have an extra minute per turn to address the board. The time limits per speaker for each of two slots on the agenda have been increased from two to three minutes. So someone could now address the board for a total of six minutes at a meeting.

That additional change to their bylaws came as AAATA board members reviewed their rules and revised them to reflect the addition of two new member jurisdictions in addition to the city of Ann Arbor: the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. It was last year, under separate processes, that the two Ypsilanti jurisdictions were admitted into the AAATA. The authority also changed its name at the time to include the word “area.” [.pdf of AAATA bylaws changes]

Action on the bylaws came at the AAATA board’s Feb. 20, 2014 meeting.

The bylaws changes included some straightforward consequences of the increase from seven to 10 board members, such as: changing the definition of a quorum from four to six members; and raising the majority approval threshold from four to six members – for items like adopting a labor contract or approving a financial transaction in excess of 5% of the annual budget.

A change that was independent of the board size was also made for some other voting items: relaxing the requirement from “a majority of the Board duly appointed and confirmed” to “a majority vote of board members present.” That means some types of resolutions could win approval with support from as few as four board members at a meeting.

In a separate board action, before the bylaws change was approved at the Feb. 20 meeting, the board passed a resolution to waive a condition in the bylaws that requires written notice be given to board members two weeks before a vote on a bylaws change. The resolution was prompted by additional amendments that had been made within the two-week window. One of the bylaws changes made on Feb. 20 was to relax the requirement of notice to just one week in advance of a vote.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth Ave., where the AAATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report of the meeting will follow: [link]