Stephen Kunselman

Community
5:14 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

University Of Michigan Class Led By Ann Arbor Mayor Hosting Forum Of Candidates To Be Next Mayor

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The 4 Ann Arbor City Council members seeking Mayor John Hieftje's job will participate in a forum in his Ford School of Public Policy class Wednesday.  The forum set to begin at 1 in the afternoon in Weill Hall will be open to the public.   Hieftje says he doesn't know exactly what the students will be asking Sabra Briere, Sally Hart Petersen, Stephen Kunselman, and Christopher Taylor.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje discusses the types of questions his class at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy will likely be asking the four candidates to replace him.

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Community
1:51 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council to Consider Resolution Outlining Specific Park Location on Library Lot

The left edge of the picture is the proposed park location.
Credit Andrew Cluley

Monday Ann Arbor City Council will consider a resolution that would designate about 10-thousand square feet of the surface lot on top of the Library Lane parking garage as the site of a future park.  City officials have long stated a portion of the area will become park space, but this resolution would nail down the specific location. 

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Community
12:24 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Expected to Decide Tonight if the City Will Buy the Edwards Brothers Property

Credit Courtesy Photo

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.  City Council is holding a special meeting to consider using a right of first refusal to buy the Edwards Brothers property.  

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Community
2:50 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Likely to Decide Fate of Edwards Brothers Property Monday

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.  

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Community
12:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Likely Revisiting Crosswalk Ordinance

Credit matthileo / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Ann Arbor City Council soon may be once more looking at revisions to the city's crosswalk ordinance. 

Council member Stephen Kunselman says another proposed amendment is likely.  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.  Kunselman says the mayor mentioning motorists need to stop if they can do so safely is a change.

Hiefjte says the comment about motorists stopping if they can safely do so is nothing new.  He says pedestrians remain safer if they don't have to step into the road to get motorists to stop. 

The city also has a new task force looking at a wide variety of pedestrian safety issues including the crosswalk ordinance.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council likely taking yet another look at the city's crosswalk ordinance.

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Community
11:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

14 Story Apartment Project for Church Street Approved by Ann Arbor City Council

Ann Arbor City Council has approved the site plan and development agreement for an apartment building at 624 Church Street.  The proposal is for a 14 story apartment building built partially over the Pizza House Restaurant.  The plan calls for 232 bedrooms in 123 units. 

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.  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. 

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. 

The developers of the project hope to begin work in the spring with a targeted occupancy date in August of 2015.

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Community
3:17 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Julie Grand Running For Ann Arbor City Council Again

The former chair of the Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission is once more seeking a seat on City Council. 

Julie Grand has announced she will run for the third ward seat Council member Christopher Taylor is opting not to try to keep as he instead runs for mayor.  Grand says she learned some lessons from her narrow defeat to Council member Stephen Kunselman in last year's democratic primary.  She says however her philosophy remains the same.

Grand says she is still running to try to make a direct impact on the quality of life in Ann Arbor.  She says the city needs leaders who use data, best practices, and community engagement to make decisions on issues while also working on constituent services.

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Community
11:36 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Sally Hart Petersen Announces She's Running For Mayor of Ann Arbor

Credit Sally Hart/ Facebook

Another Ann Arbor City Council member has announced she’s running for mayor.  Second Ward Council representative Sally Hart Petersen today announced she will seek outgoing Mayor John Hieftje’s position.

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.  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.

Petersen says her top priority will be increasing city services.  She says this will be possible if the private business sector is stronger so more revenues will be available to dedicate to services.

Hieftje announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election.  So far City Council members Sabra Briere, Stephen Kunselman, and Christopher Taylor have all announced they are running for mayor.

Petersen says she's thought about running for mayor for a long time and Hieftje's decision has really opened the door.

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Breaking
3:14 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sabra Briere announces intent to run for mayor of Ann Arbor

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on First Ward City Council member Sabra Briere announcing she will run for mayor of Ann Arbor

First Ward Ann Arbor City Council representative Sabra Briere is running to be the next mayor of Ann Arbor. Briere announced she's running in a letter today.

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Community
1:08 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Chair of County Commissioners Yousef Rabhi Not Running for Ann Arbor Mayor

Credit Courtesy photo

The race to be Ann Arbor’s next mayor won’t include the chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. 

Yousef Rabhi today announced he won’t run for mayor this year.  Rabhi says he expects it to be an interesting race, but likely won’t be endorsing any candidate.

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Community
3:44 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ann Arbor Officially Ends Agreement on Fuller Road Station with University of Michigan

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council terminating a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Michigan regarding the proposed Fuller Road Station.

Work hasn't progressed on the proposed Fuller Road Station in over a year and the University of Michigan is instead building a parking structure between Maiden Lane and Wall Street. 

City Council Monday night passed a resolution formally terminating the Memorandum of Understanding with U of M regarding the proposed project. 

City Council member Stephen Kunselman says it's good to tie up the loose ends.

U of M and the city first agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding in 2010.  The proposal however had many critics that say parkland shouldn't be used for a transit center.

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.

Local News
3:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Christopher Taylor Running to be Ann Arbor's Next Mayor

Another Ann Arbor City Council member is seeking outgoing Mayor John Hieftje's job.
Third Ward Democrat Christopher Taylor today announced he's running for mayor in 2014.

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.

Community
3:47 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Ann Arbor Mayor to Veto Changes to Crosswalk Law

Credit morguefile.com

Ann Arbor's crosswalk law won't be changing despite city council approving an ordinance amendment. 

That's because last night immediately after the 6 to 4 vote, Mayor John Hieftje announced he will veto the change.  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 use the Michigan Traffic Code instead.

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.

City Council member Stephen Kunselman says the veto means the poorly crafted and implemented law remains in place.

However, nearly 40 people spoke in favor of keeping the law during a public hearing.  Community members said more motorists are starting to stop for pedestrians and with better enforcement and education pedestrian safety could be further improved. 

Mayor Hiefjte believes the data doesn't show changing the law will help pedestrians.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council approving changes to the city's crosswalk law, but Mayor John Hieftje announcing he will veto the changes.

Community
4:08 am
Fri November 8, 2013

New Ordinance to Limit Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority TIF Capture Passes First Reading

Starting in 2016 Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority will likely have their ability to capture tax increment financing capped at a growth rate of 3.5% . 

City Council last night voted nine to two in favor of the first reading of a new ordinance amendment limiting the DDA's TIF capture. 

Chair of the DDA board Sandi Smith says this is a better plan than council originally considered but she thinks it will still hurt the city in the long run.
  
City Council member Stephen Kunselman says the amendment will allow the DDA to continue to do great work downtown, but force the authority to be more responsive to the city and other taxing authorities. 

The amendment also caps DDA board members to three consecutive terms and requires annual contributions to the DDA's housing fund.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a revised effort to limit tax increment financing captures by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.

Local News
3:05 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Kunselman Wins In Ann Arbor's Third Ward

Incumbent Ann Arbor City Council member Stephen Kunselman has defeated a challenge from a former campaign volunteer.  Kunselman received 70 percent of the vote yesterday, with Sam DeVarti of the Mixed Use Party claiming 28 percent. 

Kunselman says the results of all of the council races show voters still want a greater priority placed on core services.   He says council will continue to focus on making stronger neighborhoods.  Kunselman says it will be nice to have more allies on council as he looks to run for mayor next year.

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Government
10:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Issues With Ann Arbor Streetlights Remain Unresolved

Credit Lumecon LLC

The future of streetlights in downtown Ann Arbor is up in the air after City Council this week voted down a proposal to replace half of them.  

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the streetlights issue is part of ongoing funding issues between city council and the Downtown Development Authority. 

Ongoing dispute between Ann Arbor City Council and the Downtown Development Authority is now impacting the ability to replace old streetlights in need of replacement.

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Taxes
12:36 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Still No Agreement Between Ann Arbor and Downtown Development Authority

Ann Arbor City Council has, once again, delayed an ordinance amendment that would limit the tax increment financing revenue the Downtown Development Authority may collect.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley Reports, the  council also took another vote on a controversial appointment to the DDA board.

Andrew Cluley Reports

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Politics
10:33 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Ann Arbor 3rd Ward City Council Candidates Forum

The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area hosted candidate forums for those running in contested races for Ann Arbor City Council. In the 3rd Ward,  Stephen Kunselman is facing a challenge from someone who helped get him elected four years ago.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, Sam Devarti is challenging the Incumbent for the seat, but the forum revealed that the candidates are in agreement on many of the issues.

3rd Ward Candidate Forum for Ann Arbor City Council

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Local News
12:11 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Kunselman Wins Ann Arbor 3rd Ward City Council Primary

Stephen Kunselman and his wife celebrate winning Ann Arbor's 3rd Ward Democratic City Council Primary.
Credit Andrew Cluley

Incumbent City Council member Stephen Kunselman claimed about 52 percent of the vote in Ann Arbor's Third Ward Democratic City Council Primary.  Kunselman defeated challenger Julie Grand, the chair of the city's Park Advisory Commission.

Kunselman says his victory is a sign that residents want more attention paid to Ann Arbor's neighborhoods and not so much of a focus on the downtown area.

No candidates have filed to run against Kunselman in the November general election.  If he wins that race it will be his fourth term on City Council.

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Elections
7:15 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council 3rd Ward Primary Election Preview

Tuesday is primary election day, and while the ballot is rather light, Voters in Ann Arbor's 3rd ward  will be among those going to the polls. 

Residents there will choose between incumbent City Councilman Stephen Kunselman and challenger Julie Grand. WEMU's Andrew Cluley

Preview of Tuesday's Democratic Primary election in Ann Arbor's 3rd Ward.

Government
9:33 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council Incumbents Meet Challengers in Candidates Forum

Third ward candidates Julie Grand (l) and incumbent Stephen Kunselman.
Credit Bob Eccles

Two Democratic Ann Arbor City Council members face primary election challenges on August 6th. In the 3rd Ward, Incumbent Stephen Kunselman is being challenged by Julie Grand. In the 4th Ward, John Eaton seeks to unseat Marcia Higgins, and advance to the November General Election. The candidates met Wednesday night  in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area. WEMU's Bob Eccles was there and has this report.

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Arts
10:42 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Ann Arbor's Percent For Art Program is Replaced

Credit a2gov.org

  The Public Art Ordinance in Ann Arbor has been revised, and the result is elimination of the "Percent for Art"  mechanism of arts funding. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, Ann Arbor City Council Monday night approved amendments to the ordinance that favors consideration of public art projects on a case-by-case basis in Capitol Projects.   

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