Local Government

Courtesy hvote4higgins.com

Long-time Ann Arbor City Council member Marcia Higgins said goodbye to the board last night at her final meeting.  Higgins never imagined she would serve so long when she was first elected in 1999.  

Higgins says she's most proud of something not very glamorous, work to clean up contradictions in the city's zoning language, adding that there is now more transparency in the city's budget and the labor contracts are better than they used to be.

Higgins says she was blessed to work with many great city council members, and it's important for council to listen to each other and work together.  She explained that she was initially sad when she lost in the August primary but is now excited to have time to do things she's put off for years.


Voters in Ann Arbor's Second Ward have re-elected Jane Lumm to City Council.  Lumm claimed 56 percent of the vote yesterday, while Democrat Kirk Westphal received 42 percent and Conrad Brown of the Mixed Use Party got two percent. 

Lumm says her victory is another sign Ann Arbor voters want a focus on core services.  Lumm says she's pleased that overall city council continues to gain independent voices that will encourage greater debate. 

Westphal says he hopes to continue to serve on the planning commission and other boards but is concerned city council will pass on opportunities to enhance Ann Arbor's future.

Voters in Ann Arbor's first ward have given Sabra Briere a fourth term on city council.  Briere claimed 66 percent of the vote to 32 percent for challenger Jeff Hayner yesterday. 

Briere says she thinks voters have appreciated her efforts to respond to their concerns.  Briere says she hopes voters also considered her communication efforts. 

Hayner says he believes just by running some of the issues he's been concerned about are getting discussed by city council.

Kunselman Wins In Ann Arbor's Third Ward

Nov 6, 2013

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.

Write-In Candidates Can't Stop Eaton, Anglin

Nov 6, 2013

Democrat Jack Eaton claimed nearly 90 percent of the vote for Ann Arbor's fourth ward City Council race, and incumbent Mike Anglin won in the fifth ward with about 68 percent. 

Eaton and Anglin were the only names on the ballot in their respective wards, but both candidates also faced write-in campaigns in the last few weeks before the election. 

Eaton says the write-in efforts came without participation in debates and other campaigning so voters couldn't get a clear picture of these candidates.

Eaton's challenger was William Lockwood, while Anglin faced write-in campaigns from Thomas Partridge who announced his campaign months ago and Chip Smith who registered as a write-in candidate less than a month ago.
Eaton also faced a tongue-in-check write in campaign from a 20 pound carp that was pulled from a pond in West Park a year ago.

Local Election Results (Un-official)

Nov 5, 2013

Un-official election results have Saline Township voters saying "yes" to a road maintenance millage renewal.  The one-mil issue generates revenue to take care of the township's gravel non-primary roads. 

School district voters appeared generous with their support Tuesday, approving an operational millage renewal for Saline Area Schools.  Ann Arbor schools voters also approved a sinking fund millage renewal.

Ann Arbor will look to sell the former YMCA lot to Dennis Dahlmann who made a $5.25 million offer for the property. 

City Council will consider a resolution Thursday to have the city administrator negotiate with the owner of the Campus Inn and Bell Tower Hotel.  Dahlmann's proposal for the site includes a development that wouldn't maximize what's possible for D-1 zoning. 

One Ann Arbor city council member says it's time to change the law so that the city can crack down on smoking in public areas legally designated as no-smoking zones. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story:


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. 


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.


Facebook/TheRide

Ann Arbor City Council on Monday night postponed a vote on amending the articles of incorporation of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority to include Ypsilanti Township.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, council voted eight to three last night to delay a decision until the second meeting in November.


Deadline for Ann Arbor 'Y' Lot Offers is Friday

Oct 14, 2013

The city of Ann Arbor hopes to sell the "Y" lot and avoid a big payment that would come due in December if it doesn't. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.


The city of Ann Arbor is hiring a consultant to assess the way it provides services to residents. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.


Ann Arbor City Council will likely vote again on a controversial appointment to the Downtown Development Authority board at their next meeting.  City Council took several actions connected to the appointment of Al McWilliams last night.  

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more:

Downtown Ann Arbor is expected to get some more artwork, this time on the outside of the grey metal traffic signal boxes that are often covered in graffiti.  

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more:


In the November Elections, there are three city council candidates on the in Ann Arbor's 1st ward. One has  already dropped out of the race.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the remaining two candidates shared their thoughts Wednesday night at a League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area forum.

In November, voters in Ann Arbor's fifth ward will be choosing between Incumbent councilman Mike Anglin and write-in candidate Tom Partridge.   The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area had both participate in a candidate forum last night.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley was there.


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.


TheRide / Ann Arbor Transportation Authority

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority is a step closer to adding another member community.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the AAATA Board last night voted unanimously to approve Ypsilanti Township's request to join the authority.

Ann Arbor City Council has unanimously approved a task force report with recommendations on what to do with the city's North Main Huron River Corridor.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more.
 


Ann Arbor City Council has now postponed action until their second meeting in October on proposed ordinance amendments to limit the amount of tax increment financing the Downtown Development Authority can collect.  

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more.

  


Ann Arbor Parking Rates Will Not Go Up this Year

Sep 10, 2013

Some good news for those who regularly park in downtown Ann Arbor. Parking rates are going to hold steady, for the time being. WEMU's Andrew Cluley attended last night's Ann Arbor City Council working session. At that meeting, the Downtown Development Authority  gave its annual update on the city's parking system. 


There may come a time when Ann Arbor residents team together and invest in communal solar energy projects. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, Ann Arbor officials are calling on the state to remove the barriers that prevent such projects from being developed.


Ann Arbor City Council has approved the sale of bonds to help maintain a pair of pump stations key to the city's drinking water system.  

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, council last night agreed to sell  up to $31. million in  bonds to pay for system upgrades.


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