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Elizabeth Nelson's City Council Blog

I write a City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council. Sign up to receive it first via email, or read it here later on this blog.

City Council Newsletter (June 4, 2022)

Hello neighbors!

Welcome to everyone who is new to this newsletter! Before every Council meeting, I write up my own summary of each agenda item and try to pull details that I think are most relevant to understanding them. My hope is that these summaries can help residents keep track of what City Council is doing. For issues that matter to you, I encourage you to follow links (next to each agenda item) to the City's Legistar website, where you can find all the background information.


We have an exceptionally long Consent Agenda this week, but our regular agenda is extremely short. A few Consent Agenda items are worth noticing:


Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund

Item CA-23 will allow the City to be a service partner for the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund, which distributes federal support (ARPA funds) for homeowners who have experienced financial hardship directly related to COVID. In order to qualify, residents must apply for funds related to their primary residence and have a household income of less than 150% of AMI (Area Median Income). When the City becomes a service partner for this program, qualifying Ann Arbor residents will be eligible to receive funding for delinquent utility bills and property taxes.


For more information about this program, see:

https://www.michigan.gov/mshda/homeownership/mihaf-homeowner-assistance


Annual Sidewalk Repairs

As described on this City's website, public sidewalks are repaired or replaced on a 5 year rotation, funded by the Street, Bridge, and Sidewalk Millage approved in 2016:

https://www.a2gov.org/departments/engineering/pages/sidewalk-and-ramp-repair-program.aspx


From that link, this year in Ward 4 sidewalk repair is planned for the Lawton neighborhood (area 2022-02). According to the City, it will begin in early July, estimated to be completed by middle of August.


Item CA-18 will fund the "2022 Sidewalk Repair Project," for repair and leveling of sidewalk slabs that have settled and hold water, have caused a displacement to adjacent slabs, or do not slope in the correct direction. The contract amount was increased from $93,600 to $191,600 after City staff determined that more slabs needed repair.


Item CA-19 will approve a change order to add funding for the "2021 Annual Sidewalk and Ramp Repair Project," continuing a plan for work that started in 2021. From the staff memo for this item: The number of repairs needed in the planned 2021 areas was greater than the estimated quantity, requiring this first and final change order ($139,399.27), which exceeds the contingency originally approved by Council ($60,000). This Change Order will bring the total contract amount to $720,962.42 and will allow for final payment to the contractor and subsequent closing out of the contract.

 

SUPPORT MY RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN

I am running for re-election to Council in 2022 and would really appreciate your generous support! I need your help to promote transparency, accountability, and serious representation for Ward 4. Our local democracy matters!


Volunteer

Endorse, Host a Party, Walk Doors, Phone Calls

https://www.a2elnel.com/volunteer


Yard Sign

No donation necessary - let me know if you want a yard sign!

https://www.a2elnel.com/yardsign


Donate

Any amount helps and shows your support!

https://www.a2elnel.com/donate


Coffee Hours

Sunday June 5th 3:00pm

I hold coffee hours Sunday afternoons before City Council meetings. This week my coffee hours are at Roos Roast at 1155 Rosewood, meeting outdoors on the lawn.


If you can, please bring a chair - RoosRoast has very limited outdoor seating for customers and they prefer that our meeting not occupy it.



City Council Regular Meeting

Monday June 6th 7:00pm

Council Meetings are in person at City Council chambers. Public commentary is available either in person or via phone/Zoom - see the Legistar link for details.

https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=914273&GUID=F7919665-C35F-481A-BB78-A033EB5CDCF9

 

Ward 4 People & Places You Should Know

If you read MLive, follow local boxing, or live on the eastern edge of Ward 4 off Packard, you may already know Jasmine Hampton. She spent her childhood in Ann Arbor, attending Eberwhite Elementary, Tappan Middle School, and Pioneer High School. She still lives on the same street with the Ward 4 neighbors who love her and watched her grow up. Jasmine is an amazing boxer who has accomplished a lot in the sport — she now qualifies for the 2024 Olympic trials!


You can read a recent MLive story about Jasmine here:

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2022/05/loss-of-family-members-fuels-ann-arbor-boxers-dream-of-making-olympics.html



I first heard about Jasmine a few months ago, when her neighbors were promoting a GoFundMe to help pay expenses for Jasmine to travel to a boxing tournament. I reached out to her then, to learn more about how our community could help. I met Jasmine for the first time in person last week, at a meet and greet. I do not know a thing about sports and so Jasmine’s athletic accomplishments are difficult for me to explain and describe. I was amazed, learning about how many hours Jasmine trains and how many competitions she has participated in and won over the years!


I learned last week: Jasmine’s accomplishments are much more than she will volunteer on her own, but her friends and neighbors jump in to remind her (and share with others!) just how remarkable she is and the many things she has achieved in her career. Ward 4 neighbors who know Jasmine are eager for everyone to learn about the local celebrity in our midst! Jasmine is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. (54 kg class) and is a 10X national boxing champion. You can see her ranking here:

https://www.teamusa.org/usa-boxing/rankings/usa-boxing-rankings-by-division/elite-women


Jasmine has qualified for the Olympic trials in two different weight classes, but I didn’t know quite what this meant until I had the chance to ask her about it. Jasmine placed first in her own weight class and then lost enough weight to compete and qualify in a lower weight class as well! Many boxers are afraid of Jasmine because she is so tough to beat.


The rest of this year, Jasmine is looking ahead to national tournaments in Detroit, Oklahoma, and Texas. This month, she’s also participating in a special tournament in Belfast, Northern Ireland. If you would like to support our own local Ann Arbor Olympic hopeful, I encourage you to visit the GoFundMe organized by her Ward 4 neighbors:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/send-jasmine-to-the-olympics


Jasmine is currently piecing together long term financial support to train for and reach the 2024 Olympics. If you know any local businesses or community leaders who would be interested in boosting and promoting our local boxing champion, please share this information related to sponsorship: (Link to sponsorship proposal)


Jasmine Hampton is someone you should know and she is someone we should all be cheering on!

 

A2ELNEL.com Website Updates

In addition to writing this newsletter, I post updates to my website with my perspectives on how issues were resolved at City Council and details on how Council voted at each meeting. I also post information about meetings and issues that affect Ward 4 residents, along with news that affects all city residents.

City Council Voting Chart for May 16, 2022

The voting chart I made for our most recent Council meeting.

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/city-council-voting-chart-for-may-16-2022


A2Council.com Update for May 16, 2022

My summary of agenda items of interest from our most recent Council meeting, along with articles I've written, articles published on MLive, links to Legistar, and CTN's YouTube video.

https://www.a2elnel.com/a2council-date/20220516


City Parks Open Space Survey Open Until June 5 2022

The City of Ann Arbor is updating the Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) Plan to identify goals, needs, trends and priorities for the next five years and beyond.

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/city-parks-open-space-survey-open-until-june-5-2022


Meetings on Proposed TC1 Rezoning of Stadium/Pauline June 9&14, 2022

Public engagement meetings are planned for June 9th (in-person) and June 14th (online) to share information and receive feedback about the rezoning of Stadium Boulevard and part of Pauline Boulevard to TC1 (Transit Corridor).

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/meetings-on-proposed-tc1-rezoning-of-stadium-pauline-june-9-14-2022


Survey on Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) open until June 30 2022

The Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations has created an online survey titled "Are you interested in advancing a Sustainable Energy Utility?"

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/survey-on-sustainable-energy-utility-seu-open-until-june-30-2022


Churchill Downs Park Stormwater Basin Update May 26 2022

Construction has started on the Churchill Downs Park stormwater basin.

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/churchill-downs-park-stormwater-basin-update-may-26-2022


South Main Street Bike Lane Construction Detour (May 2022 through Aug 2023)

Pedestrian traffic using the west side of South Main Street between West Madison and West Mosely will be bypassed into the southbound bicycle lane. Bicyclists choosing to use the pedestrian bypass are urged to dismount and walk their bicycles through the pedestrian bypass.

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/south-main-street-bike-lane-construction-may-2022-through-aug-2023

 

Council Meeting Agenda 6/6/22

Below is my summary of some issues on the City Council Agenda this week, with links to more information about each of them. If you have comments about any of these issues, feel free to email me at my official City email: ENelson@A2gov.org

The full agenda (including a link to the latest published PDF agenda) is on the A2Gov Legistar website:

https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=914273&GUID=F7919665-C35F-481A-BB78-A033EB5CDCF9


City Council meetings are broadcast live by CTN on Comcast (channel 16) and AT&T (channel 99). They are also streamed live on YouTube and Viebit: https://www.youtube.com/user/ctnannarbor

 

Questions to the Agenda

In preparation for a Council meeting, Council members can ask questions of staff about scheduled agenda items. Questions must be submitted by noon on the Wednesday before a Council Meeting, and answers are returned the next day (Thursday) by 5pm.

AC-1 (22-1016) Agenda Response Memo and eComments - June 6, 2022

This agenda item has a PDF attachment with all questions raised by Council Members, and the answers provided by staff.

 

Communications from the Mayor


MC-1 (22-0956) Nominations and Appointments for June 6, 2022

These mayoral nominations are being presented at this meeting, and will therefore be voted on at the next Council meeting.

  • Alex Zittleman - Energy Commission (Youth Member)

  • Kendall Koenen - Energy Commission (Youth Member)

  • Richard Wieland - Elizabeth Dean Fund

MC-2 (22-0955) Resolution to Appoint Non-registered Electors to Boards and Commissions (7 Votes Required)

These mayoral nominations are being presented at this meeting, and will therefore be voted on at the next Council meeting. 7 votes are required because the nominees are not registered electors of the City.

  • Knox Cameron - Energy Commission

  • Moksha Menghaney - Energy Commission

  • Roger Ahn - Main Street Business Improvement Zone

 

Consent Agenda

Below is the list of items included on the Consent Agenda. If no one on Council specifically requests that an item be pulled for discussion, the whole of this list will be approved in a single vote. I encourage you to look at this list and offer suggestions to me about anything you would like to see pulled for discussion.

CA-1 (22-0983) Resolution to Update Street Closings for the Ann Arbor Jaycee’s 4th of July Parade to Include North University from 8:00 AM Until 1:00 PM


CA-2 (22-0986) Resolution to Approve Street Closure of North University between Thayer and Fletcher for the University of Michigan Center for Campus Involvement’s Festifall Event on Thursday, September 1, 2022 from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM


CA-3 (22-0966) Resolution to Approve and Accept a 2022 Election Security Reimbursement Grant from the Michigan Department of State and Appropriate Funding ($79,500.00) (8 Votes Required)


CA-4 (22-0924) Resolution to Approve the Location and Hours of City Clerk Satellite Offices on the University of Michigan Campus for the November 8, 2022 General Election at the Museum of Art (UMMA) and the Duderstadt Center


CA-5 (22-0775) Resolution to Approve New Election Inspector Pay Scales


CA-6 (22-0943) Resolution to Approve Temporary Outdoor Sales, Service and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages during the 2022 Ann Arbor Art Fair


CA-7 (22-0743) Resolution Authorizing Water Capital Recovery Charges for 3055 Dover Pl. ($20,971.00)


CA-8 (22-0881) Resolution to Amend the FY22 Downtown Development Authority Parking Fund Budget (8 Votes Required)


CA-9 (22-0804) Resolution to Approve a Contract with Washtenaw County Allowing the Use of a County Owned Communications Tower located at 3616 Bemis Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 for Emergency Responder Rescue Training


CA-10 (22-0844) Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of a 2022 Pierce Custom Enforcer Class A Pumper Fire Apparatus from Halt Fire Inc. (Sourcewell - $662,453.00)


CA-11 (22-0791) Resolution to Approve a Construction Contract with A.Z. Shmina, Inc. for the Fire Station #1 Renovation Project (RFP# 22-16) ($1,297,000.00)


CA-12 (22-0788) Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of One Mini-Excavator from Alta Construction Equipment LLC (ITB# 4713 - $135,900.00)


CA-13 (22-0829) Resolution to Authorize a Sole Source Purchase Order to Cummins Sales and Service of New Hudson, Michigan, for Fleet Parts and Service (Not to Exceed $120,000.00 Annually)


CA-14 (22-0838) Resolution to Authorize Sole Source Purchase Orders with Jack Doheny Companies Inc. for the Purchase of Parts and Service for Water, Sanitary and Storm Sewer Equipment (Not to Exceed $170,000.00 Annually)


CA-15 (22-0826) Resolution to Award a Sole Source Purchase Order to SUEZ Treatment Solutions, Inc. ($781,900.00, total purchase $853,900.00)


CA-16 (22-0792) Resolution to Authorize Professional Services Agreements with Wade Trim Associates, Inc. and Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc. for Project Management and Civil Engineering Services (Estimated $1,500,000 Annual Total Average)


CA-17 (22-0749) Resolution to Appropriate $103,000.00 from the Wheeler Service Center Fund Balance to Amend the Wheeler Service Center Budget for the Resurfacing of Parking Areas and Access Driveways (8 Votes Required)


CA-18 (22-0825) Resolution to Approve Change Order No. 1 with CLI Concrete Leveling Inc. (Bid No. 4676) for the 2022 Sidewalk Repair Project ($98,000.00, Total Contract $191,600.00)


CA-19 (22-0827) Resolution to Approve Change Order No. 1 with Doan Construction Co. for the 2021 Annual Sidewalk and Ramp Repair Project ($139,399.27, Total Contract Amount $720,962.42; ITB 4677)


CA-20 (22-0553) Resolution to Approve a Contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation for the Newport Sidewalk Project ($932,365.00)


CA-21 (22-0692) Resolution to Approve Revised Bylaws of the Transportation Commission


CA-22 (22-0774) Resolution to Approve a Purchase Order to Aclara Technologies LLC for the Purchase of Meter Transmission Units ($200,000.00)


CA-23 (22-0942) Resolution to Become a Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund Service Partner and Execute the Provider Participation Agreement


CA-24 (22-0880) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Rivenoak Law Group, P.C. for Legal Services Relative to Sustainability Initiatives ($85,000.00)


CA-25 (22-0945) Resolution to Approve a Contract with Homeland Builders of Michigan LLC d/b/a Homeland Solar for the Purchase and Installation of Solar Systems at Nine (9) City Sites, Energy Storage and Battery Systems at Two (2) City Sites and the Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure at Five (5) City Sites ($3,050,000.00) (8 Votes Required)


CA-26 (22-0979) Resolution to Approve Amendment Number 1 to the Professional Services Agreement with Rosati, Schultz, Joppich, & Amtsbuechler P.C., for Legal Services


CA-27 (22-0947) Resolution to Approve Amendment Two to Professional Services Agreement with Management Partners, Inc. d/b/a Mgmt Partners for Interim Human Resources and Labor Relations Director ($125,000.00)


CA-28 (22-0885) Resolution to Approve a Contract with Public Sector Consultants, Inc. for Community Engagement Services ($99,918.00)


CA-29 (22-0980) Resolution to Approve the Community Development Services Contract with Washtenaw County ($165,000 FY23; $165,000 FY24; $165,000 FY25; $165,000 FY26)


CA-30 (22-0982) Resolution Approving a Contract with the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for the 2021 - 2022 Winter Emergency Shelter and Warming Center ($72,000.00)

 

Public Hearings

Anyone wanting to comment on these issues may speak for 3 minutes, without having specifically reserved time. Issues subject to public hearing will also be up for a vote by Council later in the meeting.

There are no public hearings scheduled for this meeting.

 

Ordinances - Second Reading

In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances were approved at a previous Council meeting, and are also subject to a public hearing as listed above.

There are no ordinance second readings on the agenda.

 

Ordinances - First Reading

In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances are being introduced for "first reading". If approved, the ordinance will be voted on at a subsequent Council meeting ("second reading"), where it will also be subject to a public hearing.


C-1 (22-0760) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Zoning of 1.49 Acres from TWP (Township District) to R1A (Single-Family Dwelling District), 3090 Geddes Road (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays)

A Township island at 3090 Geddes Road has been annexed into the City to allow access to City utilities. This parcel will be zoned R1A (Single-family), which is consistent with the adjacent zoning, the surrounding land uses, and the City's Comprehensive Plan.

 

Motions and Resolutions

The following agenda items are motions and resolutions, which are approved or rejected in a single meeting. Agenda items marked "DC" are proposed by Council members, items marked "DB" are proposed by City boards and commissions, items marked "DS" are proposed by City staff.


DC-1 (22-0889) Resolution to Recommend Approval of Issuance of New Full-Year Class C Quota Liquor Licenses in the City of Ann Arbor

Eight businesses are recommended to receive new full-year Class C liquor licenses from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission:

  • A2WINEMAN (512 S. Main)

  • Chela’s (693 S. Maple)

  • Jibarito (309 S. Main)

  • Lowertown Proper (1031 Broadway)

  • Majek (407 N. Fifth Ave.)

  • Spiedo (307 S. Fifth St.)

  • The Upkeep Games (2121 W. Stadium Blvd.)

  • Up From The Skies (210 S. Main)

 

Additional thoughts…


I am spending more and more time out and about talking to people— I cannot reach everyone, so I am especially grateful when residents tell me “My neighbor told me about you!” Or “A friend told me about you!” If you support me and would be willing to host a yard sign, just let me know!


In this campaign season, I am often asked to explain my point of view and record as a Council Member in just a few minutes. This morning, I gave a short comment at the monthly meeting of the Washtenaw County Dems. Below are the three minutes that I planned to say (before learning that I only had TWO minutes!).


My name is Elizabeth Nelson and I have served on Ann Arbor City Council, representing Ward 4 since 2018. I grew up outside of Chicago, but I have lived in Ward 4 since 2004. Twenty some years ago, I trained as a lawyer but more recently, I became a certified teacher. I currently teach at a local preschool. My biggest non-political accomplishment is that I have taught preschool in-person since September 2020— this was more challenging and rewarding that I could have ever imagined!


I am deeply committed to the idea that our local democracy is stronger when we deal in facts. At higher levels of government, our democracy is in danger when a lack of information and aggressive misinformation dominate our political discussions. As democrats, I believe that we WIN when the public understands what is actually going on and what elected leaders actually stand for.


In 2018, residents told me that that they wanted better access to information about the work of Council. I observed then that a lot of conversation about local leaders and local policy was simply talking points and generalizations that were not particularly rooted in facts. Since my election, I have worked hard to help our community engage with the work of Ann Arbor City Council. I publish a newsletter to alert residents about the agenda that Council is about to vote on and I publish voting charts so our community can see how everyone voted.


I am passionate about how local democracy can work in a City like Ann Arbor: full of residents with expertise and advocates who push us toward progressive goals. As an elected leader, I look for opportunities to collaborate with residents to solve problems in our community. Expertise and advocacy from residents led me to sponsor progressive policies to expand our supply of affordable housing, protect housing supply in neighborhoods, clean up pollution in our community, increase funding for pedestrian infrastructure, protect tenants from predatory leasing practices, and develop more sustainable options for municipal power under local control.


I believe that we make better decisions around issues of controversy when our community can wrestle with the facts and consequences of policy. A core principle for me is that the connection between residents and elected leaders should be strongest at this local level. The work of your elected leaders should be most transparent at this local level, where discussion and policy debate happens in public meetings that residents can attend, not in online forums or backrooms at City Hall. Our community deserves thoughtful and serious policy debate and to achieve that we must recognize how our democracy is supposed to work.


I look forward to continuing to serve Ward 4! To learn about the work that I have done as a Council Member, please visit my website at A2ELNEL.com



Thank you for helping me represent Ward 4!

Elizabeth Nelson


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