Monday, May 3, 2021

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: May 3, 2021


Gentle readers, tonight is the first #a2Council meeting of May, 2021. Here's the agenda and here's the A2AF episode covering the agenda. 

The evening kicks off with a modest, 14-item consent agenda. Of note, CA-14, Healthy Streets 2021. This includes temporary neighborhood slow streets for the summer, as well as permanent improvements on South Main and Packard. Both components of this are really exciting, unfortunately this needs 8 votes to pass and there were some murmurs of opposition at the Caucus meeting last night. This should pass unanimously, but I hope it at least has 8 votes. 

Tonight's agenda is stacked with 10 public hearings. PH-1 and PH-2 are routine township island rezonings. PH-3 and PH-4 are the second reading of changes to the rules around short term rentals. PH-5 is on a change to stormware rates. PH-6 is a public hearing on a ~200 sq ft addition to 614 S. Ashley. The city should change whatever rule elevates something this trivial to the level of policy. City Council does not need to waste time with this. PH-7, PH-8, and PH-9 are on adjustments to various fees. PH-10 is a big one. It is the public hearing on the FY22 budget. 

C-1 is a new ordinance that would cap the fees that 3rd party delivery companies could charge restaurants in Ann Arbor at 15%. DC-1 is a resolution to improve council effectiveness, performance, and communication. It allocates $20,000 for hiring professionals to help council in these areas. DC-2 supports SB 352, a Michigan senate bill that would allow municipalities to set some of their own firearm regulations. DC-3 is a resolution that requests MDOT do something about the M14 bridge over the Huron River. To whit, in one 24 hour period recently, there were 3 semi-truck crashes on that bridge. DC-5 is a resolution to approve amendments to council rules. And finally we have DC-6. This is a resolution to have a community conversation about "Palestinian People and Palestinian-Americans." I don't have a ton to say about this and the history of it and how it will be divisive. I will say this, if #a2couincil is in the business of facilitating community conversations, why not do one on politicians attacking journalists with homophobic slurs? Why not have one on police violence?

As always, gentle reader, I am probably forgetting some very important items here. What agenda items are you most looking forward to seeing. I am guessing that tonight will be another late night around the virtual council table. Hopefully we will see you there. The CTN stream starts at 7 pm. Make sure you follow the action on the #a2council hashtag.

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