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Civic Matters: Ann Arbor's Proposed Task Force On Police-Community Relations And More

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Transforming Justice Washtenaw-

There are plenty of ways to participate in local civics this week.  Tonight, Ann Arbor City Council is prepared to vote on formation of a task force to create an oversight board for the police department.  Join WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative, for a discussion on that and other important topics in this week's edition of "Civic Matters." 

Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative in Ann Arbor

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:

• If you see drivers speeding down icy, snow-covered streets, you can do something about it: Report it via the City of Ann Arbor's traffic complaint website.  According to the online form's intro, registering your traffic complaint "will help city staff to evaluate the issue, determine if the issue you raise is common with other respondents', and explore the best options towards a solution."  Examples of complaint categories include speeding, not stopping for a stop sign or red light, failing to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk and careless/reckless driving.

• The Ann Arbor City Council meets Monday night.  The agenda includes a resolution to create a task force that will lay the groundwork for a new advisory commission on police-community relations.  (FYI: Today is the deadline to apply to serve on that task force.)  Also on the agenda is an update on the city's deer management plan and a resolution to file an amicus brief supporting the Ann Arbor Public Schools, which is being sued by Michigan Gun Owners Inc.

• The Ann Arbor DDA board meets on Wednesday, and the agenda includes proposed multi-year rate parking rate increases.  Details are on pages 16-19 of the meeting packet.  The changes will be phased in starting on April 1, 2018 through 2022.  For example, hourly rates for regular on-street meters will increase from $1.60 now to $2.20 by 2020.  Permits for the Fourth & Washington structure will increase from $155/month to $200/month by 2022.

• Also related to the DDA, there's a vacancy opening on the board, following the recent resignation of Sava Farah.  Board members are nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the full City Council.  Click here for info on how to apply for vacancies on the city's boards and commissions.

• A couple of events this week relate to public art:

1) Starting Monday, the University of Michigan Museum of Art's new director, Christina Olsen, is holding a series of office hours in the UMMA Commons. Click here for dates/times. 2) The Ann Arbor Public Art Commission has its annual retreat on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the library's Westgate Branch. The session starts at 1 p.m. and focuses on a big-picture discussion of the commission's vision and goals for the coming years.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

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