Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje thinks investments made during his tenure are already paying results and will continue to do so. The issue of spending priorities however is one voters will be looking at as the city chooses a new mayor for the first time in 14 years.
89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on some of the spending priorities during John Hieftje's 14 years as Mayor of Ann Arbor.
Hieftje points to the underground parking structure as helping grow the local economy. That's because he doesn't think the city's growing tech sector would have been possible without additional parking downtown. He says these jobs have helped keep the area more active, boosting restuarants and other businesses.
Etched glass panels depicting images of trees in Ann Arbor will be installed above and under the Stadium Bridges. City council has approved spending $385,000 on the final project funded by the old Percent For Art Program.
Ann Arbor may spend nearly $13 million in the hopes of ultimately keeping a State Street property on the tax rolls. City Council Monday will consider a resolution to use their right of first refusal to purchase the Edwards Brothers property instead of it being sold to the University of Michigan.
Another pair of items on the agenda will have a big impact on the future of public art in the city. Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance amendment to allow uncommitted percent for art funds return to their source. Several council members have pushed for this move in the past, but others say the money is needed as the Public Art Commission looks to move to a new funding model relying on donations.
A six month contract extension for Public Art Administrator Aaron Seagraves was postponed two weeks ago and will be considered again. The delay was designed to have his contract considered at the same time the funding issue would be debated.