Stories indexed with the term ‘agenda’

New Rules for City Council: Postponed

New rules on speaking times and agenda setting will need to wait another meeting until they apply to meetings of the Ann Arbor city council. At its July 1, 2013 meeting, the council decided to postpone a vote on the new rules until its next meeting, on July 15.

Highlights of the proposed rules changes include adding public commentary to council work sessions. But public speaking time would be reduced from three minutes to two minutes across all types of public speaking – general commentary, public hearings, and reserved time. A “frequent flyer” rule would prevent people from signing up for reserved time at the start of a meeting two meetings in a row.

The total time that each councilmember could speak … [Full Story]

May 6, 2013 Ann Arbor Council: In Progress

The Ann Arbor city council’s May 6, 2013 meeting agenda includes significant unfinished business – postponed from its meeting on April 15. Live updates on action taken at the May 6 meeting will be included in this article “below the fold.”

Door to Ann Arbor city council chambers

Door to the Ann Arbor city council chamber.

The April 15 meeting had lasted until 3 a.m. before the council decided to postpone all remaining items on its agenda until May 6. Two controversial issues left unfinished from April 15 – 413 E. Huron’s site plan and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority ordinance – could themselves potentially take up enough time to extend the May 6 meeting into the early morning hours.

In addition to a significant amount of new business on the council’s agenda, the May 6 docket includes a total of eight public hearings, including one on the fiscal year 2014 budget. The council will need to make any amendments to the city administrator’s proposed budget by the end of its May 20 meeting.

Based on discussion by councilmembers after their special workshop held on April 29, and subsequent follow-up by The Chronicle, the council has a contingency plan for the May 6 meeting. If it lasts too long, councilmembers may decide at a certain point to recess the meeting until May 13. That is, on May 13, the May 6 meeting would continue. That’s a different strategy from the one used on April 15, when the council chose to end that meeting, but postponed all remaining items until May 6.

Recessing a meeting, to be resumed at a later time, is a strategy the council last used two years ago. The council began a meeting on May 16, 2011 – when it was supposed to adopt the FY 2012 budget – but recessed the meeting until May 23, 2011. Then on May 23 councilmembers immediately recessed the meeting again, and finally ended the meeting on May 31, 2011.

Readers can follow the live meeting proceedings on Channel 16, streamed online by Community Television Network. But even for interested residents, the proceedings might be difficult to follow – due to their sheer length.

So in this report, we’ll be filing live time-stamped updates from the meeting. At the end of the May 6 session, these updates will provide a record of what items received council action and which (if any) were left until later. [Full Story]

Council Preview: Redistricting, Recycling

On the day after Independence Day, the Ann Arbor city council’s agenda for its meeting – shifted from Monday to Tuesday due to the holiday – is comparatively light. But it features a few items that could prolong the meeting, which starts at its usual time in its usual place, broadcast on its usual channel: 7 p.m. in city council chambers at the municipal center, located at 301 E. Huron St., and aired on Channel 16.

One of those items features a proposal to redraw the boundaries for the city’s five wards. The resolution before the council would change the boundaries during the time between the Ann Arbor city council primary election in August and the general election in November. While the changes to the boundaries are relatively minor and are not the subject of great dispute, the proposed timing of the changes is controversial enough that several redistricting experts may appear at the council’s meeting to weigh in on the topic during public commentary.

And the council reportedly may decide to convene a closed session on the subject, citing attorney client privilege. If the council were to convene such a closed session, it would be the first such session convened since being sued by The Chronicle over a similar session in early September 2010. After publishing a July 2 column – “Ann Arbor Ward Shifts Should Wait” – The Chronicle has established that city staff were aware of the issue with sufficient time for the city council to take action. However, that did not result in resolving the redistricting issue before the primary election candidate filing deadline.

A second agenda item that may generate some discussion among councilmembers is a resolution that would increase voluntarily the payment the city makes to Recycle Ann Arbor for curbside collection of the city’s single-stream recycling carts – from $3.25 to $3.55 per month per cart. The city council had voted on March 15, 2010 to adopt the single-stream recycling program, which began exactly one year ago, on July 5, 2010.

The rationale for the change is that RAA is receiving less revenue than anticipated under the adopted contract. In the first year of the contract, RAA received less money from its cart-emptying service, because there are fewer carts deployed in the city than projected. And although the tonnage of recyclable material collected has increased, it has not increased by as much as projected, so RAA is receiving less revenue for tonnage than expected.

Not on the agenda – and not expected to be announced at tonight’s meeting – are names of the finalist candidates for the city administrator job. However, the council’s search committee is scheduled to meet in a closed session on Tuesday afternoon (July 5) to winnow down the applicant pool to a handful. Robyn Wilkerson, head of human resources for the city, indicated in an email to The Chronicle that she did not expect that names of finalists would be released until Thursday or Friday.

For Chronicle readers who want immediate reports on the votes taken by city council, check out The Chronicle’s Civic News Tickers – brief reports on actions taken by the council that will be filed during tonight’s meeting. [Full Story]