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Monday, November 20, 2017

#a2council preview

The borders of the Lower Town parcel from Washtenaw County's GIS system

Gentle readers, there is an Ann Arbor City Council meeting tonight. You can see the agenda here. Tonight's meeting could be long--there are 4 public hearings scheduled. Three of the public hearings are on the Lower Town development at 1140 Broadway. The other is on the Weber Site Plan. The Weber Parcel, at 2857 Packard, is 7.66 acres of largely undeveloped land. The proposal is coming from the planning commission with unanimous disapproval. As always you can follow all the #a2council action live on twitter.

Gentle readers, what are you most interested in seeing at tonight's Ann Arbor City Council Meeting?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Vote tomorrow

Gentle readers, if you are registered to vote in Ann Arbor, tomorrow is your last chance to vote in an odd-year city council election. You wouldn't want to miss that. Also, unlike most years, there are contested races in a majority of wards. Here's a summary of the contested races linking to Ann Arbor Votes excellent candidate profiles.

In Ward 2, Democratic candidate Jared Hoffert is challenging incumbent Jane Lumm, an independent.

In Ward 4, independent candidate Diane Giannola is challenging incumbent Jack Eaton, a Democrat.

In Ward 5, independent candidate Ali Ramlawi is challenging incumbent Chip Smith, a Democrat.

In the lifespan of this blog, Jane Lumm has been the only successful independent candidate. It will be interesting tomorrow to see if the independent challengers will be able to unseat the incumbent Democrats in Wards 4 and 5. Also, though they are both democrats, CM Eaton and CM Smith are on different factions in the City Council. I'm curious to see if the independent challengers will have more traction against Eaton or Smith.

There are also two countywide ballot proposals. One for a renewal of the Washtenaw County Intermediate School District Special Education Millage. The other is for the somewhat confusing Washtenaw County Public Safety & Mental Health Services Millage. From Ann Arbor Votes:

Anyone who owns property in Washtenaw County would pay the new tax. It would be levied at 1 mill for eight years, starting in December 2018. It would raise an estimated $15 million in its first year.

The proceeds would be distributed in three ways:

Thirty-eight percent (38%) would go to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, led by Sheriff Jerry Clayton, for public safety services.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) would go to the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health Department. They provide services for the mentally ill.

Twenty-four percent (24%) would be divided among communities that have local police forces, including the cities of Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Milan, Saline and Ypsilanti, as well as in Pittsfield Township and Northfield Township.

For the 24% divided among municipalities with their own police forces, there are no restrictions on how that money is spent. That is, the proposal does not stipulate that those communities must spend the tax revenues on public safety or mental health services.

Gentle readers, take some time this evening to plan your election day tomorrow. Make sure you get out there and vote.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sounds from the Inside tomorrow at the Neutral Zone

Michigan is one of only 5 states where 17-year-olds who are alleged to have committed a crime are automatically charged as adults. This is morally abhorrent (as is charging any juvenile as an adult). How can a 17-year-old, who does not have the legal capacity to vote, or marry, or own a firearm, have the capacity to have adult criminal culpability. Raise the Age Michigan is a campaign dedicated to ensuring that 17-year-olds who are alleged to have committed are tried as juveniles. They are having a fundraiser tomorrow at the Neutral Zone's B-Side.

The show is from 7:00 to 11:00 and will feature music and spoken word poetry written by people incarcerated in Michigan prisons preformed by local artists. Cover is $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Gentle Reader, you should go to Sounds from the Inside and give Raise the Age Michigan your money.