Ann Arbor City Council Newsletter (July 4, 2023)

Jul 4, 2023 | Newsletter

Hello neighbors!

Welcome to my Ann Arbor City Council newsletter, where you can connect with primary sources to understand the work of your local government. My goal is to provide clear explanations of all the issues your elected representatives will be discussing at their next meeting and alert you to local policy and decisions that have been assigned to unelected Mayoral appointees.

As of today (Tuesday, July 4th), there is very little on the City Council agenda for the meeting this Thursday. However, agenda items are frequently added late, so it’s worth checking the agenda again on the day of the meeting. As of today, the regular agenda includes only second reading and final approval for two ordinances: new police policy regarding traffic stops and rules for leaving household items on the curb for donation/reuse.

The Consent Agenda typically includes a range of expenses (big and small) that add up to millions of dollars and this week is no exception. Four contracts are recommended from the City’s Office of Sustainability. These items will be paid for with money allocated in this year’s budget, which also added eight full-time staff to the Office of Sustainability and Innovation. In November 2022, Ann Arbor voters approved a millage for Climate Action that is expected to collect an additional $7 million a year.

The contracts below will spend over $700,000 on engagement and education efforts around reuse/recycling, plant-based diets, decarbonization at Bryant Community Center, and decarbonization of commercial entities; each multi-year contract includes authorization to extend the contracts administratively, without a vote of Council.

Members of Council submitted no questions to the agenda this week, but bullet point summaries from staff offer some insight into what these contracts will pay for:

$150,000 Professional Services contract with Live Zero Waste ($75,000 per year for two years) for “various efforts” to promote the circular economy. This item includes Council authorization for administrative one-year extension.

  • Support the returnable container (A2R3) program and help scale the program
  • Support and scale zero-waste challenges
  • Organize, coordinate, and conduct education on the circular economy
  • Support and host neighborhood swap days
  • On demand support to advance circular economy efforts
  • Weekly check-ins to align work and coordinate

$135,000 Professional Services contract with VegMichigan ($45,000 per year for 3 years) for “various efforts” to promote plant-forward diets. This item includes Council authorization for 2 one-year administrative extensions.

  • Design community educational materials
  • Host plant-based challenges
  • Conduct local business engagement
  • Provide plant-based policy support
  • On demand support to expand plant-based diets
  • Biweekly check-ins

$225,000 Professional Services contract with Community Action Network ($75,000 per year for three years) to “support and advance” the Bryant Neighborhood Decarbonization Project. This item includes Council authorization for 2 one-year administrative extensions.

  • Sustained community engagement education
  • Identification of strategies for scaling Bryant work to other neighborhoods
  • Support initiating decarbonization efforts in other neighborhoods
  • Storytelling support
  • On demand support to continue growing the work in Bryant and beyond

$225,000 Professional Services contract with 2030 District ($75,000 per year for three years) to develop programs to support commercial decarbonization. This item includes Council authorization for 2 one-year administrative extensions.

  • Energy benchmarking assistance
  • Commercial energy saving assistance
  • Conduct energy education and engagement with commercial entities
  • Reporting and accountability
  • On demand support related to commercial decarbonization

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Agenda

Below is my summary of issues on the City Council Agenda this week, with links to more information about each of them. If you have comments about any of these issues, you can email all of Council at

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting
Thursday July 6, 2023 7:00PM
Ann Arbor City Hall (2nd Floor)
301 E Huron St, Ann Arbor 48104

The full agenda (including a link to the latest published PDF agenda, and instructions for dialing into the meeting) is on the A2Gov Legistar website:

City Council meetings are broadcast live by CTN on Comcast (channel 16) and AT&T (channel 99) and online at
Meetings are also streamed live on the CTN YouTube channel:

How to reserve public comment

People that wish to comment at a City Council meeting must sign up with the City Clerk’s office in advance. Speakers are allotted 3 minutes, with the first 15 speakers allowed to speak in a 45 minute session near the beginning of the meeting. Remaining speakers will speak at the end of the Council meeting. Public comment can be made either in person or remotely via phone/Zoom audio.

To sign up for public comment, please go to or call the City Clerk’s Office at 734-794-6140 on the day of the meeting between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. At 4:00 PM, all speakers that have signed up are randomly ordered in “priority groups”. After 4:00 PM, speakers are added to the end of the applicable priority group in the order received. No new speakers will be added to the list after 5:00 PM. For more information, visit the City Clerk’s webpage about electronic meetings, section “City Council Public Commentary Time”

Questions to the Agenda

In preparation for a Council meeting, Council members can ask questions of staff about scheduled agenda items. Questions must be submitted by noon on the Wednesday before a Council Meeting, and answers are returned the next day (Thursday) by 5pm.

AC-1 (23-1198) Agenda Response Memo and eComments
This agenda item has a PDF attachment with all questions raised by Council Members, and the answers provided by staff.

Note: This item was added to the agenda on the day of the Council meeting. No questions to the agenda were asked by Council members.

Communications from Council

CC-1 (23-1172) Resolution to Appoint Derek Mehraban to the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission
This appointment is from CM Ghazi Edwin (who serves on the Human Rights Commission), CM Harrison (who serves on the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission) and CM Song (who serves on both the Human Rights Commission and Independent Community Police Oversight Commission). This is being presented at this meeting, and will therefore be voted on at the next Council meeting.

  • Derek Mehraban – Independent Community Police Oversight Commission

Communications from the Mayor

MC-1 (23-1079) Appointments – Confirmations
This appointment from the Mayor was presented at the previous meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting.

  • Fang Zhang – Public Art Commission

MC-2 (23-1174) Nominations and Appointments for July 6, 2023
This appointment from the Mayor is being presented at this meeting, and will therefore be voted on at the next Council meeting.

  • James Booge IV – Public Market Advisory Committee

The following names were added to MC-2 after the publication of this newsletter

  • Vincent Cavataio – Parks Advisory Commission
  • Alexa Bush – Parks Advisory Commission

Consent Agenda

Below is the list of items included on the Consent Agenda. If no one on Council specifically requests that an item be pulled for discussion, the whole of this list will be approved in a single vote.

CA-1 (23-1133) Resolution to Close Streets for the Make Your Mark Event on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 from 6:00 AM through 7:00 AM on Wednesday, July 19, 2023

CA-2 (23-1068) Resolution to Increase Purchasing Authority to Presidio Networked Solutions Group, LLC to Upgrade the City’s Access Control System ($14,991.66)

CA-3 (23-1039) Resolution to Approve a Purchase Order with Cogsdale Corporation for Annual Software Maintenance and Support for FY 2024 ($140,009.66)

CA-4 (23-1066) Resolution to Approve the County Mental Health Millage Grant Agreement between the City of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Housing Commission, and the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation and To Appropriate Up To $177,618 from the County Mental Health Millage Fund Balance (8 Votes Required)

CA-5 (23-1067) Resolution to Approve the Marijuana Excise Tax Rebate Fund Grant Agreement Between the City of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Housing Commission, and the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation

CA-6 (23-1101) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Live Zero Waste, Inc. for Various Efforts to Advance the City’s Work on the Circular Economy ($150,000.00)

CA-7 (23-1104) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with VegMichigan for Various Efforts to Engage, Educate, and Work to Advance Sustainable and Plant-Forward Diets ($135,000.00)

CA-8 (23-1106) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Community Action Network to Support and Advance the Bryant Neighborhood Decarbonization Project ($225,000.00)

CA-9 (23-1107) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with 2030 Districts Network to Develop Programs, Outreach, Engagement, and New Initiatives to Support Commercial Decarbonization ($225,000.00)

CA-10 (23-1023) Resolution to Approve a Purchase Order for the Rental of Refuse Trucks from Premier Truck Sales & Rental Inc. (Sourcewell – NTE $230,100.00)

CA-11 (23-1028) Resolution to Amend Two Purchase Orders with Lunghamer Ford of Owosso LLC for City Vehicles ($48,531.00)

CA-12 (23-1034) Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of a 2025 E-One Custom Typhoon Class A Pumper Fire Apparatus from West Shore Fire Inc. (Sourcewell – $800,000.00)

CA-13 (23-1003) Resolution to Approve an As-Needed Purchase Order for Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) and Emulsion to Cadillac Asphalt, LLC. (Not to Exceed $242,825.00; ITB 4732)

CA-14 (23-0983) Resolution to Approve a Construction Contract with Cadillac Asphalt, LLC for the Earhart Road Improvements Project (RFP 23-25; $3,508,347.00) and to Appropriate $4,613,300.00 in Contributing Funds. (8 Votes Required)

CA-15 (23-1015) Resolution to Approve a Cost Sharing Agreement with the Downtown Development Authority for the Downtown Area Circulation Study ($209,674.00) and to Appropriate $19,334.00 from the General Fund Unobligated Fund Balance (8 Votes Required)

CA-16 (23-1016) Resolution to Approve Change Order No. 2 with Ajax Paving Industries, Inc. for the Geddes Avenue and Huron Parkway/Tuebingen Parkway Resurfacing Project; ($151,692.50 Increase, Total Contract Amount $4,779,986.04)

CA-17 (23-1014) Resolution to Accept and Appropriate Grant Award from the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the amount of $3,800,000 (with a $950,000.00 City Match, Total Estimated Project Cost $4,750,000.00) from the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program for Transportation Safety Initiatives and to Appropriate $95,000.00 in Contributing Funds (8 Votes Required)

CA-18 (23-0811) Resolution to Authorize Professional Services Agreements for General Civil Engineering Services with Tetra Tech of Michigan, PC (Not-to-Exceed $400,000.00) Hubbell, Roth, & Clark, Inc. (Not-to-Exceed $550,000.00) and OHM Advisors (Not-to-Exceed $550,000.00) for Three Years (RFP #23-16)

CA-19 (23-0835) Resolution to Direct the City Administrator to Negotiate the Terms for a Services Agreement with Recycle Ann Arbor for Operation of the Proposed New Ann Arbor Regional Drop-Off Station (DOS)

CA-20 (23-1141) Resolution to Approve the Oakland County Incident Management Team Interlocal Agreement between Oakland County and City of Ann Arbor

Public Hearings

Anyone wanting to comment on these issues may speak for 3 minutes, without having specifically reserved time. Issues subject to public hearing will also be up for a vote by Council later in the meeting.

PH-1/B-1 (23-1103) An Ordinance to Add Chapter 124 (Initiation of Traffic Stops) of Title IX (Police Regulations) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (ORD-23-20)
An ordinance amendment will specifically prohibit law enforcement from making traffic stops based solely on the following circumstances: 

  • Cracked/chipped windshield 
  • Loud exhaust 
  • Tinted windows 
  • Object hanging from rearview mirror (unless obstructing vision) 
  • Cracked tail lamp 
  • Registration plate violations (lighting, height, attachment) 
  • Registration sticker location or expiration within prior 60 days. 

Law enforcement may stop, detain, or issue a citation for the offenses above if: 

  • The motor vehicle has been lawfully stopped for another civil infraction or criminal offense. 
  • It is a commercial motor vehicle 
  • The driver or vehicle matches the description of a driver or vehicle involved in a criminal offense 
  • The officer is investigating a traffic crash. 

PH-2/B-2 (23-1110) An Ordinance to Amend Section 2:1 and Add Section 2:13 to Chapter 26 (Solid Waste Management) of Title II (Utilities and Services) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (ORD-23-21)
The City ordinance for Solid Waste management will add a category – “Household Items” – that may be placed on the curb (public right of way) for up to 48 hours for the purpose of donation or re-use. The ordinance cites examples of “Household Items” in good condition (suitable for re-use) that may be placed in the public right-of-way. Toxic, hazardous, construction, commercial, and demolition waste are specifically prohibited. The City reserves the right to remove any item that’s an interference to use or maintenance of the public right-of-way, a safety hazard, or otherwise not in compliance with the definitions for “Household Items.” In order to prevent illegal street parking or blockage of bike lanes, residents and property owners consent to the use of their driveways by anyone interested in viewing or taking an item. Within ten feet of a crosswalk or sidewalk/road intersection, household items may not exceed three feet in height.

Ordinances – Second Reading

In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances were approved at a previous Council meeting, and are also subject to a public hearing as listed above.

B-1 (23-1103) is the same as PH-1 above
B-2 (23-1110is the same as PH-2 above

Ordinances – First Reading

In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances are being introduced for “first reading”. If approved, the ordinance will be voted on at a subsequent Council meeting (“second reading”), where it will also be subject to a public hearing.

There are no Ordinance First Readings on the agenda

Motions and Resolutions

The following agenda items are motions and resolutions, which are approved or rejected in a single meeting. Agenda items marked “DC” are proposed by Council members, items marked “DB” are proposed by City boards and commissions, items marked “DS” are proposed by City staff.

There are no items in this category on the agenda

“Random high-rises block by block”

At their June 20, 2023 meeting, Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously to approve a developer’s request for rezoning of 721 S Forest. The City’s Planning department and Office of Sustainability recommended denial of the request, explaining that it did not provide enough public benefit to meet the standard for rezoning. In a split vote, six mayoral appointees to the City’s Planning commission reviewed the request for PUD Zoning and recommended approval.

Watch how this rezoning earned unanimous approval from Ann Arbor City Council:

Links from the YouTube video description:

Thank you for taking the time to be informed about our local government!
Elizabeth Nelson