City Council Posts

Below are essays I’ve written exploring Ann Arbor City Council issues in depth and providing more background on the decisions of your elected representatives.

Ann Arbor Budget: Council Cashing In

This week, City Council will consider the annual budget for Fiscal Year 2025, which will allocate public funds of $55,000 to subsidize travel for Council Members. A budget amendment proposes that the City spend $100,000 on mailers to promote current Council Members to City residents.

read more

Insider Democracy in Washtenaw County

Last week was the deadline for filing to run as a partisan candidate for local offices in Washtenaw County. Our County is now overwhelmingly “blue,” so democratic party primaries have become the decisive election that chooses who will fill these elected positions. Some of last week’s filings were surprising and some were expected.

read more

April Fools Day Gift To Developers: Office of Economic Development

Four resolutions on the April 1, 2024 agenda will direct the City Administrator to establish a “fully resourced and staffed” Office of Economic Development to accelerate and promote development in the City and adopt other policies to accelerate and promote development in the City. Lifting the “burden” of administrative process is framed as a time and cost savings to private developers that will eventually result in affordable housing. Open public meetings — including public hearings for the benefit of residents —are framed as “inefficiencies.”

read more

Advocacy and Facts: Fixing the Runnymede Path

At their meeting this week, City Council will consider an expenditure that will hopefully lead to the repair of a pedestrian and cycling path in Ward 4, connecting the end of Runnymede Boulevard to Pauline Boulevard. I proposed the same plan in 2022 and it met significant opposition from Ward 4 Council Member Jen Eyer.

read more

Staff Proposal to Eliminate Citizen Participation Meetings

A resolution asked the City Administrator to consult with City staff to “identify incentives that would support voluntary efforts by residents and businesses to increase emissions reductions.” Additionally, the resolution asked for strategies to achieve these goals through the development review process. 

read more

Runnymede Path on Capital Improvements Plan

In 2022, I worked with City staff on a plan for improvements to a path at the end of Runnymede. This path is a city connector used by residents accessing bus stops on Pauline as well as children attending Dicken School. My efforts faced strong opposition from a majority of Council, led most aggressively by Ward 4 Council Member Jen Eyer. This week, Ryan Stanton of Mlive reported on the status of this crumbling path at Runnymede.

read more

One Full Year of Unanimous Government

This week marks a full year since the installation of a City Council in which all elected members were approved and endorsed by Mayor Taylor. In the last twelve months, 97% of all agenda items have been approved unanimously, most notably on issues of controversy.

read more

Ann Arbor Budget: Council Cashing In

This week, City Council will consider the annual budget for Fiscal Year 2025, which will allocate public funds of $55,000 to subsidize travel for Council Members. A budget amendment proposes that the City spend $100,000 on mailers to promote current Council Members to City residents.

read more

Insider Democracy in Washtenaw County

Last week was the deadline for filing to run as a partisan candidate for local offices in Washtenaw County. Our County is now overwhelmingly “blue,” so democratic party primaries have become the decisive election that chooses who will fill these elected positions. Some of last week’s filings were surprising and some were expected.

read more

April Fools Day Gift To Developers: Office of Economic Development

Four resolutions on the April 1, 2024 agenda will direct the City Administrator to establish a “fully resourced and staffed” Office of Economic Development to accelerate and promote development in the City and adopt other policies to accelerate and promote development in the City. Lifting the “burden” of administrative process is framed as a time and cost savings to private developers that will eventually result in affordable housing. Open public meetings — including public hearings for the benefit of residents —are framed as “inefficiencies.”

read more

Advocacy and Facts: Fixing the Runnymede Path

At their meeting this week, City Council will consider an expenditure that will hopefully lead to the repair of a pedestrian and cycling path in Ward 4, connecting the end of Runnymede Boulevard to Pauline Boulevard. I proposed the same plan in 2022 and it met significant opposition from Ward 4 Council Member Jen Eyer.

read more

Staff Proposal to Eliminate Citizen Participation Meetings

A resolution asked the City Administrator to consult with City staff to “identify incentives that would support voluntary efforts by residents and businesses to increase emissions reductions.” Additionally, the resolution asked for strategies to achieve these goals through the development review process. 

read more

Runnymede Path on Capital Improvements Plan

In 2022, I worked with City staff on a plan for improvements to a path at the end of Runnymede. This path is a city connector used by residents accessing bus stops on Pauline as well as children attending Dicken School. My efforts faced strong opposition from a majority of Council, led most aggressively by Ward 4 Council Member Jen Eyer. This week, Ryan Stanton of Mlive reported on the status of this crumbling path at Runnymede.

read more

One Full Year of Unanimous Government

This week marks a full year since the installation of a City Council in which all elected members were approved and endorsed by Mayor Taylor. In the last twelve months, 97% of all agenda items have been approved unanimously, most notably on issues of controversy.

read more