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Civic Matters: Elected Bodies To Meet This Week, Tax Impacts And The Solar Faithful Program

Ann Arbor City Council and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meet this week and each will have discussions, and potentially take action, on the controversial Broadway development proposal.  That's just one of many topics covered by WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative in this week's edition of "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. 

Resources for this week's topics:

• In the wake of legislation overhauling the U.S. tax code, the UM Ford School is holding a panel discussion today (Monday 12/4) focused on federal tax reform.  It runs from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Ford School's Annenberg Auditorum and is moderated by UM President Mark Schlissel.  Other speakers are former U.S. Rep. Dave Camp and Michael Barr, the Ford School dean.  Click here for details.


• Later this week, the UM regents hold their monthly meeting on Thursday at the Michigan Union, starting at 3 p.m.  They don't post their agenda until noon today so we don't know details yet.  One thing to expect: More protests about plans to negotiate with white supremacist Richard Spencer, who wants to speak on campus.

• In other public meetings, items related to the controversial development on Broadway will be on the agendas for both the Ann Arbor City Council and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners this week.  The county board, which meets on Wednesday, will vote on a proposed brownfield plan for the project at 1140 Broadway, near the UM medical campus.  And at tonight's meeting, city council will also will be voting on the brownfield plan, as well as the site plan and rezoning. 

• If you don't know about the city of Ann Arbor's Solar Faithful program, you can get up to speed at an open house on Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Campus Chapel, 1236 Washtenaw Court.  The program, a partnership between the city and Michigan Interfaith Power & Light, helps places of worship in the Ann Arbor area become energy independent.  At the Dec. 10 event, you can learn how the Campus Chapel congregation offsets 100% of its electricity usage through solar energy.  The open house runs from 1:30-3 p.m.  Click here for details.  

• This week, you can give input on community needs in Washtenaw County via an online survey or a Dec. 6 public hearing. The county's Office of Community & Economic Development wants to know what non-housing services your neighborhood – or the broader community – needs.  It's part of their effort to develop a five-year plan with goals for investing funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), focused on low-income residents. Click here for details.
• The Michigan Community Financial Dashboard is a great online tool to look at the fiscal health of your community.  This site, maintained by the Michigan Dept. of Treasury, lets you find data about local your government, including revenue and expense trends.  Click here for more
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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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