Ypsilanti City Council

City of Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti City Council is back to full strength. 


body cameras
Throwawaysixtynine / Wikimedia Commons

Ypsilanti City Council has approved spending about $55,000 to buy 15 body-worn cameras for the police department.  The money will also pay for an upgrade to the department's in-car video system.


Body CAmera
Wikimedia Commons

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night will consider paying for body-worn cameras for the police department.

 

Chief Tony DiGiusti is asking for $54,634 to not only pay for 15 body-worn cameras, but to upgrade the department's in-car video system. 

City Council will also consider transferring ownership of two parcels of land to the Ypsilanti Housing Commission to be used in part as offices where low-income residents can have access to the Internet and Family Empowerment Program counselors.

Three File For Ward Two Appointment

Dec 1, 2014
Bob Eccles

Three people filed paperwork by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline to be considered for appointment to Ypsilanti's vacant Ward two City Council seat.

 

Council member Susan Moeller resigned to spend more time with elderly family members. 

Beth Bashert, Gail Wolkoff and Anne Brown will now be interviewed by City Council at a special meeting on December 9. 

A New Resource For Renters Unhappy With Landlords

Nov 18, 2014
Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti renters having trouble with landlords have a new ally.  The Ypsilanti Tenants' Rights Association recently formed to advocate for renters having trouble with issues like harassment, neglect, or landlords who won't perform maintenance requests.

Alex Upham is a member of the Association, which was to introduce itself at Tuesday night's Ypsilanti City Council meeting. 

He says they're asking council to do what it can to help.

Bob Eccles

If you live in Ypsilanti's second ward and think you might like to serve in city government, now's your chance.  City Council is taking applications from people interested in filling the vacancy created by Susan Moeller's resignation.

Robb, Brown Elected To Ypsilanti City Council

Nov 5, 2014
Bob Eccles

Incumbent Brian Robb will continue to represent Ypsilanti's third ward on City Council.

 

Robb beat challenger Tyler Weston Tuesday, garnering 59 percent of the vote to Weston's 41 percent.

Nicole Brown will represent the first ward. 

She beat Sigrid Melvin in the race for the seat left open by incumbent Ricky Jefferson's decision not to seek re-election. 

Jefferson ran an unsuccessful campaign for Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.

Edmonds Declares Victory In Ypsilanti Mayor Race

Nov 4, 2014
amandaformayor.com

Amanda Edmonds has given a victory speech to supporters at the Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery.

The founder and Executive Director of Growing Hope is leading write-in challenger Steven Taylor by a wide margin in early un-official results. 

Edmonds says she told supporters she's looking forward to moving Ypsilanti forward.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti voters will decide a total of 10 proposed amendments to the city charter on November 4th, and outgoing Mayor Paul Schreiber hopes they'll reject two of them.

   
Proposal I would give city council the power to remove appointees to board and commissions with a two-thirds majority vote. 

Mayor Schreiber says those decisions are best left to the Mayor.

pixabay.com

Ypsilanti City Council will soon consider the issue of smoking in some city parks.  The city's Parks and Recreation Commission is recommending that the city's three "tot lot" parks be declared smoke-free.

 

Bob Krzewinski serves on the commission.  He's hopeful council will sign off on the idea.

Bob Eccles

By the end of next week the conversion of some 1,675 old sodium-vapor and mercury-vapor street lights in Ypsilanti to LED's should be complete.  Not only will the conversion make city streets brighter and safer, it will also save the city about $120,000 a year.

That's according to City Manager Ralph Lange, who says DTE Energy has 119 post-top lights left to convert. 

Lange says the conversion project cost less than $600,000.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti's recent re-working of its Master Plan was only half of the process of developing a blueprint for future development.  The city's zoning ordinance puts those changes into law, and that document is now up for public review.

Ypsilanti Preparing For Trash Collection Switch

Sep 11, 2014
republicservices.com

The city of Ypsilanti is gearing up for the switch to a new waste hauling contractor, but residents may not even notice the difference.

 

The city switches from Waste Management to Republic Services on September 22nd.  Republic's Municipal Services Manager Scott Cabauatan says there won't be any major changes.

Bob Eccles

A family housing project proposed for the Water Street re-development area would bring with it roads and other infrastructure improvements that could lead to mroe development.  But Water Street Flats is still about a million-and-a-half dollars short of the state funding it needs to break ground.

Future Uncertain For Water Street Flats Project

Aug 29, 2014
Bob Eccles

The future of the Water Street Flats affordable housing project is very much in doubt.  It has received a little over half of the state funding needed to make it happen.  On Tuesday, developer Herman & Kittle will ask city council for more time to secure the additional funding.

 

Edmonds Wins Ypsilanti Mayoral Primary

Aug 5, 2014
Bob Eccles

Amanda Edmonds' victory over Ypsilanti city council member Pete Murdock and community activist Tyrone Bridges in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary election means she will almost certainly replace Paul Schreiber as Mayor after the November general election.

Edmonds has no declared opponent in the fall, and outside the Sidetrack Lounge in Depot Town Tuesday evening she said she looks forward to bringing the tone of the community and the voice of the people to council.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council recently closed on a deal to sell a parcel of Water Street property for a Family Dollar Store, and there's no time to relax before the next proposal lands on council's plate.

A purchase agreement for Washtenaw County's proposed east side rec center is on council's Tuesday night agenda. 

City Planner Teresa Gillotti.

"There will be a public hearing on it," Gillotti says, "and probably a vote on it from city council to potentially accept the offer."

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange's proposed 2014-15 and 2015-16 budgets include $3 million for the fire department.

Some of that money would be used to repair and department's leaky roof.  The plan is to install solar panels on the roof as the repairs are completed.  It's estimated the panels could save the city $20-thousand a year in electricity costs. 

Grants and other funding will be sought to replace aging extrication gear and buy a new fire truck.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night signed off on a handful of budget amendements that direct funds toward non-motorized plan projects, renovation work at the Freighthouse, and future traffic calming projects.

Council member Pete Murdock says the $220,000 for the Freighthouse will go toward upgrading mechanical systems. 

Other amendments include spending $100,000 over the next two budget years on non-motorized projects like the Border-to-Border Trail and a mid-block pedestrian crossing on Michigan Avenue near Water Street. 

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange wants to bolster the city's police and fire ranks, and dedicate more of his time to economic development.

Those needs are reflected in the two-year city budget Lange has presented to City Council which, having concluded a pair of budget sessions, will now fine-tune the spending plan. 

Lange wants to give his assistant some of his duties - along with a $10,000 pay raise - and spend $55,000 to hire another city planner so that he and planner Teresa Gillotti can focus on economic development. 

Smooth Sailing On Ypsilanti Budget Front Thus Far

May 14, 2014
Bob Eccles

The process of approving the city of Ypsilanti's next budget has been sailing along more smoothly than anyone can remember.

That's according to Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson, who says city department heads are aware of the city's financial situation, and have crafted their budgets accordingly. 

She says the city may not be where it wants to be, but Ypsilanti is generally doing well. 

City Council has another budget session scheduled for May 22nd, but since the process has been moving along so smoothly, that session may not be needed.

twitter.com

Ypsilanti businessman Steve Pierce has withdrawn from the race to represent Ward One on Ypsilanti city council.

Pierce says he filed essentially just to make sure there was a name on the ballot.  Incumbent council member Ricky Jefferson announced he wasn't running again just days before the filing deadline. 

Pierce withdrew to clear the way for the other person who filed on time - Nicole Brown - to run.

"I think she's going to do a fabulous job in representing Ward One," Pierce says, "so I'm looking forward to having her as my next  city council member."

Bob Eccles

This year's Ypsilanti Heritage Festival will look as bit different than in past years, as new attractions are added and others decide to strike out on their own.

Among the elements that won't be part of the festival this year is Chautauqua at the Riverside, which is moving to October this year. 

David Nickerson is chair of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival board.

"With that being primarily presented at Riverside Arts, especially this last year we noticed that people weren't necessarily flowing up out of the park and to that event and to the venue," Nickerson says.

City of Ypsilanti

The Ypsilanti Mayoral race has become a little more crowded.  

Bob Eccles

The last two Ypsilanti City Council members whose terms expire in November have submitted petition signatures to run for re-election.

City Clerk Frances McMullen says Brian Robb and Daniel Vogt submitted signatures.  Robb represents Ypsilanti's 2nd ward, while Vogt represents Ward 3. 

McMullen says a couple of people have also taken out petitions to try and get on the ballot to run for Ricky Jefferson's seat on council.  The Ward One representative announced last week he won't seek re-election when his term expires in November. 

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