Ann Arbor City Council meets tonight for the final time in 2017. Looking ahead to 2018, there are a lot of major issues to contend with and some significant goals and aspirations. Look ahead to the new year in Ann Arbor with WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative in this week's edition of "Civic Matters."
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.
Resources for this week's topics:
• Ann Arbor City Council meets tonight for the last time in 2017. There are a couple of youth-oriented items on the agenda, including recognition of Zaphra Stupple as the 2017 Ann Arbor Youth Poet Laureate, and a report by the UM Student Advisory Council. There will be eight public hearings, including one for the Treeline master plan, which council is expected to approve.
• In the spirit of looking ahead to 2018, Mary Morgan wrote a report summarizing some of the projects and priorities that were discussed at a recent Ann Arbor City Council budget planning session. Major projects on the horizon include the possible new train station, the Treeline Urban Trail, implementing recommendations of the police-community relations report, a new fire station, repairs at Barton Dam, and a reorganization of city administration.
• The city budget will be discussed and finalized over the next few months, leading up to approval by the council in May. Now's the time to weigh in. To help understand how the budget process works, check out the Ann Arbor Citizen Guide to Budget & Finance. It provides a ton of useful information about the city's revenues, expenses, debt, fund balances and more, including documents related to the upcoming budget cycle.
• Of course, there's still uncertainty about whether the city administrator, Howard Lazarus, will be at the helm much longer. Last week, he traveled to Austin, Texas for a final round of interviews for the city manager's job there. The Austin city council is expected to make a decision this week. If he gets that job, it will start another search process for city administrator here.
• Finally, a reminder that schedules will be altered in the next couple of weeks for local government services due to Christmas and New Year's. This Friday, for example, city offices and the 15th District Court will close at noon.
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