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Civic Matters: Election Day, Ann Arbor City Budget, Skatepark Proposal In Ypsilanti And More

May 7, 2018

The Ann Arbor schools and Sharon and Ypsilanti Township have ballot proposals on the Tuesday, May 8th Ballot. Ypsilanti Township also has a special election for a partial term on the Parks Commission.

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in "Civic Matters" this week.  In this weekly get-together, WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative, explore what is going on in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.  


Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative

Mary Morgan brings a wealth of experience to the airwaves.  While heading up the CivCity Initiative now, Mary was previously co-founder and publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle.  Prior to that, she served as a reporter and editor for the Ann Arbor News when it was a daily, print--edition newspaper. 

          

This Week's Topics: 

• The local election last May drew a whopping 10% of registered voters to the polls.  Can we do better this year?  We have the chance to prove it on Tuesday, May 8. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.  Or you can get an absentee ballot in person at your local clerk's office Monday until 4 p.m.  Find out what's on your ballot at WEMU.org, AnnArborVotes.org and Vote411.org.

• As usual, there are a raft of public meetings this week.  Highlights include the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission on Tuesday, where commissioners will hear a proposal for a new skatepark in Ypsilanti.  And at tonight's Ann Arbor City Council meeting, the 2018-19 budget is part of a packed agenda.  The meeting also includes a "special presentation" by Mayor Christopher Taylor – no additional details are provided, so we'll have to wait and see what that's about. 

   • The city has launched a new campaign focused on pedestrian safety – specifically, trying to educate drivers to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.  Watch the video here.   

  

• Interested in connecting communities – including Washtenaw County – via public transportation?  Give feedback on a proposed plan for southeast Michigan by taking this online survey.  The plan was developed by the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan.  Find out more on the RTA's website

  

  • May is Bike Month – how else would we know it's truly spring?  The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has added more bike parking, and the publicly funded getDowntown program's Commuter Challenge is underway.  Check out events during May on the Bike Alliance of Washtenaw County's website.  One example: Wednesday, May 9 is Bike to School Day, and more than a dozen schools in Washtenaw County are participating. 

• Help the City of Ann Arbor survey our community's butterfly population by attending a kickoff training 

  session on Saturday, May 12.  Saturday's training runs from 1:30-4 p.m. at the city's Natural Area Preservation office, 3875 E. Huron River Dr.  The event is free, but registration is requested by Wednesday, May 9.  Click here for details

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu