John Hieftje http://wemu.org en University Of Michigan Class Led By Ann Arbor Mayor Hosting Forum Of Candidates To Be Next Mayor http://wemu.org/post/university-michigan-class-led-ann-arbor-mayor-hosting-forum-candidates-be-next-mayor <div>The 4 Ann Arbor City Council members seeking Mayor John Hieftje's job will participate in a forum in his <strong><a href="http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/" target="_blank">Ford School of Public Policy</a></strong> class Wednesday. &nbsp;The forum set to begin at 1 in the afternoon in Weill Hall will be open to the public. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Hieftje says he doesn't know exactly what the students will be asking <strong><a href="http://www.sabrabriere.org/Sabra%20Briere%20for%20Mayor.php" target="_blank">Sabra Briere</a></strong>, <strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/SallyHartPetersen" target="_blank">Sally Hart Petersen</a></strong>, <strong><a href="http://www.kunselmanforcouncil.com/" target="_blank">Stephen Kunselman</a></strong>, and <strong><a href="http://www.taylorforannarbor.com/" target="_blank">Christopher Taylor</a></strong>.</div><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:14:07 +0000 Andrew Cluley 44430 at http://wemu.org University Of Michigan Class Led By Ann Arbor Mayor Hosting Forum Of Candidates To Be Next Mayor Ann Arbor City Council May Have Resolved Debate Over Public Art Program http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-may-have-resolved-debate-over-public-art-program <p>Ann Arbor will use general fund money to help the public art program transition to a new funding model, but over $940,000 in old percent for art funds are being returned to their original sources.&nbsp; That’s the result of three resolutions passed by city council Monday night to hopefully end the long debate over the program.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 05:04:20 +0000 Andrew Cluley 42295 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council May Have Resolved Debate Over Public Art Program Ann Arbor Not Buying Edwards Brothers Property http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-not-buying-edwards-brothers-property <p>The University of Michigan can go ahead with plans to buy the Edwards Brothers property on State Street for nearly 13 million dollars.&nbsp; Ann Arbor City Council voted six to five Monday night against using the right of first refusal to match the university’s offer. &nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 06:20:10 +0000 Andrew Cluley 42016 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor Not Buying Edwards Brothers Property Ann Arbor City Council Expected to Decide Tonight if the City Will Buy the Edwards Brothers Property http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-expected-decide-tonight-if-city-will-buy-edwards-brothers-property <div>A decision is expected Monday night as Ann Arbor officials debate whether they should buy a State Street Property or have it permanently removed from the tax rolls. &nbsp;City Council is holding a special meeting to consider using a right of first refusal to buy the Edwards Brothers property. &nbsp;</div><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 05:24:07 +0000 Andrew Cluley 41963 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council Expected to Decide Tonight if the City Will Buy the Edwards Brothers Property Ann Arbor Officials Asking Residents to Clear Sidewalks, Drains During Warmer Weather http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-officials-asking-residents-clear-sidewalks-drains-during-warmer-weather <p>Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje calls on residents to take advantage of the warmer weather and clean off their sidewalks.&nbsp; Hieftje admits the amount of snow, and the freezing rain a few walks ago caused a mess, but many people rely on walking to get to jobs and other important appointments.</p><p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:56:20 +0000 Andrew Cluley 41776 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council Likely to Decide Fate of Edwards Brothers Property Monday http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-likely-decide-fate-edwards-brothers-property-monday <div>With the deadline to use a right of first refusal to buy the Edwards Brothers Property on State Street about a week away, Ann Arbor City Council will hold a special meeting on the issue Monday. &nbsp;</div><p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 07:50:45 +0000 Andrew Cluley 41736 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor Public Art Funding Clawback Closes In, Administrator Contract Rejected http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-public-art-funding-clawback-closes-administrator-contract-rejected <p>The battle over the future of <a href="http://wemu.org/post/plans-change-funding-public-art-ann-arbor-move-forward">public art</a> in Ann Arbor continues, with City Council approving the first reading of an ordinance amendment to allow them to return up to $840,000 to other departments.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A six month extension of Public Art Administrator Aaron </span>Seagraves<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> contract was then rejected.</span></p><p>Council member Jack Eaton expects to bring the contract back up for a vote after final approval of the amendment to the public art ordinance to allow old "Percent for Art" funds to be returned.&nbsp; Eaton says he's sorry for Seagraves but democracy is sometimes messy.</p><p><br />Council member Jane Lumm wants proposed Art Projects at Argo Cascades, the Stadium Bridges, and the Kingsley Rain Garden completed.&nbsp; However she thinks a clean break needs to be made between the old program and one where the city partners with a non-profit organization.</p><p><br />Chair of the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission Bob Miller says a change would be good but it appears city council is holding public art administrator Aaron Seagraves hostage over the funding debate.<br /><br />Mayor John Hieftje is disappointed with council's vote on the administrator, and fears they may lose him even if the contract extension is approved in two weeks.</p><p><em>Earlier WEMU coverage of the Public Art Funding issues can be found here:</em></p><ul><li><a href="http://wemu.org/post/plans-change-funding-public-art-ann-arbor-move-forward"><strong>Plans to Change Funding for Public Art in Ann Arbor Move Forward</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="http://wemu.org/post/public-input-sought-public-art-project-new-ann-arbor-rain-garden"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Public Input Sought For Public Art Project At New Ann Arbor Rain Garden</span></a></strong></li></ul><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 09:28:59 +0000 Andrew Cluley 41060 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor Public Art Funding Clawback Closes In, Administrator Contract Rejected Ann Arbor City Council Delays Decision on Buying Edwards Brothers Property http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-delays-decision-buying-edwards-brothers-property <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ann Arbor City Council will take another two weeks before deciding if they want to purchase the Edwards Brothers property on State Street.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The city is considering exercising a right of first refusal to stop the University of Michigan from buying the land.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Mayor John Hieftje doesn't think the recent experience with the former YMCA property will have much influence on this State Street parcel.&nbsp; He says that's because downtown property is in great demand while Edwards Brothers is well south of downtown.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;<br />Ann Arbor would have to match U-M's $12.8 million purchase price for the property.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Map of the Edwards Brothers property is here:</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2953.289331751762!2d-83.74028269999994!3d42.25099345000002!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x883cafb8f46b5d9f%3A0x25a7dd2f5e715670!2sEdwards+Brothers+Malloy%2C+South+State+Street%2C+Ann+Arbor%2C+MI!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1391524638508" style="border:0" width="600"></iframe></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">City Council last night also postponed action on a first reading of a proposed smoking ban for city parks, bus stops, and entrances to city buildings.&nbsp;&nbsp; The delay is so council members can get feedback from some of the organizations that would be impacted by the proposal.</span></p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 09:19:22 +0000 Andrew Cluley 41059 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council Delays Decision on Buying Edwards Brothers Property Ann Arbor City Council Likely Revisiting Crosswalk Ordinance http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-likely-revisiting-crosswalk-ordinance <p>Ann Arbor City Council soon may be once more looking at revisions to the city's crosswalk ordinance.&nbsp;</p><p>Council member Stephen Kunselman says another proposed amendment is likely.&nbsp; He adds that the new proposal will be based on language used by Mayor John Hieftje in his veto of the amendment council passed late last year.&nbsp; Kunselman says the mayor mentioning motorists need to stop if they can do so safely is a change.<br /><br />Hiefjte says the comment about motorists stopping if they can safely do so is nothing new.&nbsp; He says pedestrians remain safer if they don't have to step into the road to get motorists to stop.&nbsp;</p><p>The city also has a new task force looking at a wide variety of pedestrian safety issues including the crosswalk ordinance.</p><p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 05:18:22 +0000 Andrew Cluley 40695 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council Likely Revisiting Crosswalk Ordinance 14 Story Apartment Project for Church Street Approved by Ann Arbor City Council http://wemu.org/post/14-story-apartment-project-church-street-approved-ann-arbor-city-council <p>Ann Arbor City Council has approved the site plan and development agreement for an apartment building at 624 Church Street.&nbsp; The proposal is for a 14 story apartment building built partially over the Pizza House Restaurant.&nbsp; The plan calls for 232 bedrooms in 123 units.&nbsp;</p><p>The project has been given positive reviews from the city’s Design Review Board but parking issues led to a lengthy conversation at the council table.&nbsp; The concerns centered around having spaces reserved in the Forest Avenue parking structure for the next 15 years, and three five year extensions to have spaces somewhere in the city’s parking system.&nbsp;</p><p>Council members say the city’s payment in lieu of parking program needs to be reviewed, as well as the requirement for parking at downtown developments.&nbsp;</p><p>The developers of the project hope to begin work in the spring with a targeted occupancy date in August of 2015.</p><p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 04:53:59 +0000 Andrew Cluley 40481 at http://wemu.org Sally Hart Petersen Announces She's Running For Mayor of Ann Arbor http://wemu.org/post/sally-hart-petersen-announces-shes-running-mayor-ann-arbor <p>Another Ann Arbor City Council member has announced she’s running for mayor.&nbsp; Second Ward Council representative Sally Hart Petersen today announced she will seek outgoing Mayor John Hieftje’s position.<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p><p>Petersen says her combination of leadership experience, skills and interests in the private, public, and non-profit sectors make her uniquely qualified to lead Ann Arbor into its next era of growth and sustainability.&nbsp; She says in addition to promoting growth, Ann Arbor's next Mayor needs to be a champion of civic engagement which she has done on council through surveying residents on a variety of topics.</p><p>Petersen says her top priority will be increasing city services.&nbsp; She says this will be possible if the private business sector is stronger so more revenues will be available to dedicate to services.</p><p>Hieftje announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election.&nbsp; So far City Council members Sabra Briere, Stephen Kunselman, and Christopher Taylor have all announced they are running for mayor.</p><p>Petersen says she's thought about running for mayor for a long time and Hieftje's decision has really opened the door.</p><p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:36:42 +0000 Andrew Cluley 40238 at http://wemu.org Sally Hart Petersen Announces She's Running For Mayor of Ann Arbor Sabra Briere announces intent to run for mayor of Ann Arbor http://wemu.org/post/sabra-briere-announces-intent-run-mayor-ann-arbor <p>First Ward Ann Arbor City Council representative Sabra Briere is running to be the next mayor of Ann Arbor.&nbsp;Briere announced she's running in a letter today.</p><div> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 20:14:56 +0000 Patrik Holubik & Andrew Cluley 40064 at http://wemu.org Sabra Briere announces intent to run for mayor of Ann Arbor Chair of County Commissioners Yousef Rabhi Not Running for Ann Arbor Mayor http://wemu.org/post/chair-county-commissioners-yousef-rabhi-not-running-ann-arbor-mayor <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/128705605&amp;color=000000&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The race to be Ann Arbor’s next mayor won’t include the chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.&nbsp;</p><p>Yousef Rabhi today announced he won’t run for mayor this year.&nbsp; Rabhi says he expects it to be an interesting race, but likely won’t be endorsing any candidate.</p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 18:08:05 +0000 Andrew Cluley 40013 at http://wemu.org Chair of County Commissioners Yousef Rabhi Not Running for Ann Arbor Mayor Ann Arbor City Council Wants More Information As Considering Purchase of Edwards Brothers Property http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-wants-more-information-considering-purchase-edwards-brothers-property <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ann Arbor City Council wants some more information as they consider using their right of first refusal to purchase the Edward Brothers property on South State Street.&nbsp;</span></p><p></p><p>Council Monday night voted unanimously to have the city administrator and city attorney study the issue and identify options to make buying the property financially feasible.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 09:01:17 +0000 Andrew Cluley 39894 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council Wants More Information As Considering Purchase of Edwards Brothers Property Christopher Taylor Running to be Ann Arbor's Next Mayor http://wemu.org/post/christopher-taylor-running-be-ann-arbors-next-mayor <p>Another Ann Arbor City Council member is seeking outgoing Mayor John Hieftje's job.<br />Third Ward Democrat Christopher Taylor today announced he's running for mayor in 2014.</p><p>Stephen Kunselman who also represents the third ward on council has already announced he's running, while Hieftje has said he won't seek re-election.</p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 20:58:49 +0000 Andrew Cluley 39297 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor to Put Proceeds from Sale of Y Lot In Affordable Housing Fund http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-put-proceeds-sale-y-lot-affordable-housing-fund <p>The City of Ann Arbor lost 100 units of low-income housing when they had to close the former YMCA building.&nbsp; Now that the property at 350 South Fifth Avenue is about to be sold the city’s affordable housing will get almost $1.4 million.&nbsp;</p><p>City Council Monday night voted to put all of the revenue from the sale of the property to affordable housing after covering the initial purchase price, closing and broker fees.&nbsp;</p><p>Mayor John Hieftje explains that some of the funds could be used to provide some important services to help keep tenants in Miller Manor.&nbsp; Hieftje adds that the city has made real progress in finding funds for affordable housing in the last year.&nbsp;</p><p>The sale of the Y-Lot to Dennis Dahlmann is expected to close by the end of March.</p><p></p><p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 09:50:29 +0000 Andrew Cluley 39116 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor to Put Proceeds from Sale of Y Lot In Affordable Housing Fund Ann Arbor Mayor Officially Files Veto of Changes to Crosswalk Law http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-mayor-officially-files-veto-changes-crosswalk-law <p>Motorists in Ann Arbor still need to stop for pedestrians waiting at the curb at a crosswalk.&nbsp; Mayor John Hieftje yesterday formally vetoed an ordinance amendment passed by council last week to only require drivers to stop for pedestrians already in the crosswalk.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hieftje says Ann Arbor's current law is safer for pedestrians than the state traffic code and laws in other Michigan cities.&nbsp; </span>Hieftje<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says he looks forward to other measures to increase pedestrian safety.&nbsp; These will include increased education, and enforcement of the crosswalk law.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Council would need eight votes to override the veto, but only six members voted in favor of the ordinance amendment.</p><p></p><p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 06:47:17 +0000 Andrew Cluley 38784 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor Mayor Officially Files Veto of Changes to Crosswalk Law Ann Arbor Mayor to Veto Changes to Crosswalk Law http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-mayor-veto-changes-crosswalk-law <p><a href="http://www.a2gov.org/government/publicservices/systems_planning/Transportation/Documents/Pedestrian_Ordinance_Update_122011.docx">Ann Arbor's crosswalk law </a>won't be changing despite city council approving an ordinance amendment.&nbsp;</p><p>That's because last night immediately after the 6 to 4 vote, Mayor John Hieftje announced he will veto the change.&nbsp; Ann Arbor's law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians on the curb at a crosswalk as opposed to the state traffic code which requires vehicles to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Opponents of Ann Arbor's law would prefer to u<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 21.988636016845703px;">se the&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 21.988636016845703px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/OffenseCode_73877_7.pdf" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">Michigan Traffic Code</a></strong><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 21.988636016845703px;">&nbsp;instead.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 21.988636016845703px;">The difference is whether motorists have to stop for pedestrians still on the sidewalk but at a crosswalk as current law requires, or only having to yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk.</p><p>City Council member Stephen Kunselman says the veto means the poorly crafted and implemented law remains in place.</p><p>However, nearly 40 people spoke in favor of keeping the law during a public hearing.&nbsp; Community members said more motorists are starting to stop for pedestrians and with better enforcement and education pedestrian safety could be further improved.&nbsp;</p><p>Mayor Hiefjte&nbsp;believes the <a href="http://media.mlive.com/annarbornews_impact/other/Pedestrian-Crash-Analysis-112713.pdf">data</a> doesn't show changing the law will help pedestrians.</p><p></p><p> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 08:47:39 +0000 Andrew Cluley 38478 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor Mayor to Veto Changes to Crosswalk Law Ann Arbor City Council Delays Decision on Shortening Meetings http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-delays-decision-shortening-meetings <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Ann Arbor City Council has put off a decision on proposed rule changes aimed at shortening the length of its meetings.</p><p>As&nbsp;WEMU's&nbsp;Andrew&nbsp;Cluley&nbsp;reports, a couple of vacationing council members forced the delay.</p><div> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:44:38 +0000 Andrew Cluley 31610 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor City Council Delays Decision on Shortening Meetings Ann Arbor City Council and DDA Form a New Look Committee http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-city-council-and-dda-form-new-look-committee <p></p><p>Ann Arbor city Council and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority will have reformed an old committee, with a new name and different method of operation. As&nbsp;WEMU's&nbsp;Andrew&nbsp;Cluley&nbsp;reports, the move last night comes as changes are considered to the ordinance that created the&nbsp;DDA.</p><div> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:31:14 +0000 Andrew Cluley 31609 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor's Percent For Art Program is Replaced http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbors-percent-art-program-replaced <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Public Art Ordinance in Ann Arbor has been revised, and the result is elimination of the "Percent for Art"&nbsp; mechanism of arts funding. Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:42:54 +0000 Andrew Cluley 30325 at http://wemu.org Ann Arbor's Percent For Art Program is Replaced Ann Arbor as an Example of Good Government http://wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-example-good-government <p>As Governor Rick Snyder gives his state-of-the-state address tonight, Ann Arbor's Mayor wants the state to look at Ann Arbor as an example of good government.&nbsp; Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.</p><p></p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:29:46 +0000 Andrew Cluley 24314 at http://wemu.org