Monday, May 20, 2019

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: May 20, 2019

Buckle up gentle readers, tonight's #a2councl could be a bumpy ride. Here's the agenda. The night starts off with a modest, 4-item consent agenda.

There are three public hearings tonight and PH-1/DS-1 is where the agenda starts to get a little spicy. The aforementioned public hearing/resolution is for the Northside STEAM Safe Routes to School Sidewalk Special Assessment. The plan is to fill sidewalk gaps around Northside School so that pedestrians do not have to walk in the street. The way the city pays for filling these gaps is by assessing property owners based on how much sidewalk is going to be built on their property. The city also has grant money to offset some of the costs. Many of the residents on Traver Road, who would be get sidewalks in this program are opposed this portion of Safe Routes to School program. Several residents have signed a petition in opposition to the Traver Road sidewalk assessment and are threatening to sue if it goes through. There is also a vocal group of residents who support the full implementation of the Safe Routes to School program who may be speaking at council tonight.

The other two public hearings are for fairly routine township island annexations. I don't imagine they will be too controversial.

Tonight's second chili pepper comes in a place where you rarely expect it: commission appointments. I think the last time there was a contested commission appointment was Al McWilliam's DDA Board appointment in October of 2013. This is a complex issue that probably deserves it's own article. The gist is that several members of council have announced they will oppose the Mayor's reappointment of members of the Transportation and Planning commissions arguing the need for a greater diversity of ideas. Several of these reappointments will pit the council factions against each other so we should see some sparks fly.

Tonight's third and final chili pepper is DS-3, Resolution to Adopt Ann Arbor City Budget and Related Property Tax Millage Rates for Fiscal Year 2020. There have been a couple of late breaking amendments [ED: it turns out that this is the normal process for the budget amendments to come in in this fashion.]to the budget that would, among other things, decrease funding from climate action and increase funding to hire more police.

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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