Monday, June 18, 2018

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: June 18, 2018

Tonight at 7:00 pm we've got a #a2council meeting. Here's the agenda. Starting things off is a thick 27 item Consent Agenda. Highlights include 6 street closures ranging from the 4th of July Parade to UM home football games.

There are 4 public hearings, but I am only going to mention 3 of them. PH-2 is on the Fraternity/Sorority rezoning that has been at a few other meetings. PH-3 is on a change to water and sewer rates. PH-4 is on the site plan for 1101 South University. This is the site of the South University Espresso Royale and there is a proposal to build a 5 story building there.

The item I am most interested in is C-1, the Flag and Seal ordinance. This ordinance would require people who want to use the flag or seal of the city to get permission from the city first. I wonder if this is in response to a real issue or if it's a preemptive strike, so to speak. Part of the text of the ordnance reads:

The use of the city seal or city flag by any person for the following, or for any use not expressly approved or authorized by this chapter, is prohibited:


(2) Except expressly provided by this chapter, in connection with any advertisement or promotion for any product, business, organization or service whether offered for sale, profit, or without charge; (3) On any written or printed materials that are not official city publications, including proposals or other materials that are submitted to the city for any purpose;


This seems like a pretty broad restriction on the use of public images and I wonder whether it would stand up in court. Also, I again wonder if this is really needed.

Gentle reader, what are you most looking forward to at tonight's #a2council meeting? We are well into campaign season so there may be some political fireworks. Make sure you tune in tonight at 7 to watch CTN's live stream and follow the blow-by-blow action on #a2council hashtag on Twitter.

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