One Full Year of Unanimous Government

Nov 18, 2023 | City Council

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. In just the last year, Council has unanimously approved:

Eliminating Council consideration of private claims against the City by disbanding the Insurance Board

Waiving a requirement for affordable housing units in order to award $5 million in brownfield tax breaks to a developer

Reducing Council review of brownfield tax breaks for future developments by disbanding the Brownfield Fund Review Committee

Re-zoning multiple properties as requested by developers, including a rezoning for the benefit of a campaign donor in order to add 64 full-time AirBnB units south of Burns Park (SouthTown)

Transferring over $6 million in affordable housing millage dollars back into the City’s General Fund so it could be used for other City initiatives

Allocating over $800,000 of the transferred affordable housing millage dollars toward the purchase of an election center from Oxford Companies, whose CEO is Taylor campaign donor, Jeff Hauptman.

Changing policy so that neighborhood traffic reconfigurations can happen even when over 50% of local residents oppose them

Directing the City Administrator to plan lane reductions on all multi-lane roads in Ann Arbor, while explicitly removing a requirement for traffic studies prior to implementation

Repealing affordable housing premiums downtown to facilitate larger developments without the provision of affordable housing units or payments in lieu to the affordable housing fund

Every one of the issues above prompted questions and concerns from Ann Arbor residents who care about transparency, accountability, and integrity in government, but there was not a single vote of dissent to speak to those values. By unanimous vote this past year, Council has consistently diminished its own responsibility, dismissed the value of data and resident input, and prioritized the desires of profit interests ahead of community interests.