Many events are coming up in the world of local politics, including meetings on several business developments in Ann Arbor and the possibility of a new Ann Arbor police commission. These are just a few of the topics discussed by WEMU's David Fair and the CivCity Initiative's Mary Morgan in this week's "Civic Matters."
Mary Morgan brings a wealth of experience to the airwaves. While heading up the CivCity Initiative now, Mary was previously co-founder and publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle. Prior to that, she served as a reporter and editor for the Ann Arbor News when it was a daily, print edition newspaper.
This Week's Topics:
- Several League of Women Voters events this week – including discussions by debate teams from Saline and Dexter high schools – focus on understanding three statewide ballot proposals. There are also several candidate forums this week moderated by the League. Check out the LWV calendar for details.
- The Ann Arbor City Council, at its Monday meeting, will consider two different proposals for creating a new police commission. Read the proposals here and here. One of the main differences is that the version sponsored by Council members Jack Eaton, Anne Bannister and Sumi Kailasapathy would give the commission subpoena power, while the resolution sponsored by Mayor Christopher Taylor does not. A task force has been working for months on developing an ordinance for an independent police oversight commission. Their version also includes subpoena power. The task force co-chairs, Lori Saginaw and Richard Friedman, issued a statement about that group's work. Read it here.
- City staff have prepared a detailed report outlining options for the city-owned site on William between Fourth and Fifth avenues, next to the Blake Transit Center. They've proposed three options: 1) develop the site for housing, 2) develop it for mixed-use, including housing, or 3) sell it as-is, with at least 50% of proceeds going to the city's affordable housing fund.
- Meanwhile, developers for The Standard at 425 S. Main Street – between William and Packard – have submitted preliminary plans for the city's Design Review Board. The plan for this six-story building includes first-floor retail space, underground parking and 235 apartments. Click here to see the preliminary designs.
- And, of course, the proposed development on the nearby Library Lot – called The Collective on 5th – is still in play. Developers are holding a public forum on Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 5-7 p.m. at Weber's Inn, 3050 Jackson Ave. to talk about that project. Voters will be asked on Nov. 6 to decide whether to designate that site as an urban park and community commons. Read about the ballot proposal here.
- Finally, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners take up several issues at their Wednesday, Oct. 3 meeting: 1) sending out a countywide mailer explaining that straight-ticket voting won't be allowed in the Nov. 6 election; 2) increasing the salary for commissioners; and 3) giving preliminary approval to the county's four-year budget.
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