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Posted on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 : 1:42 a.m.

Ann Arbor City Council hard to follow

By Edward Vielmetti

The Ann Arbor City Council can be a hard organization to follow, even if you prepare for the meetings up until the last minute, and even if you stay until the very end.

Council added two items to the agenda of last night's meeting at the last moment: a professional services agreement with JJR, LLC for the Fuller Intermodal Transportation System, sponsored by Council Members Leigh Greden and Marcia Higgins, and passed to the tune of $213,984 in FY 2010 city funds without competitive bids; and a resolution to place a charter amendment on the November ballot regarding the publication of official notices in newspapers.

Neither of these items were on the agenda I reviewed at 4:30 p.m., the day of the meeting. And even though the JJR proposal to the city was dated Aug. 5, it didn't make it to council's attention at caucus, which our erstwhile colleagues at the Ann Arbor Chronicle characterized as pedestrian.

I arrived after the meeting started, and stayed until the end; council members went into closed session after the last round of public comment to speak on matters with their attorney and to discuss land acquisition. I was unable to get comments from Fourth Ward representatives Margie Teall and Higgins on the East Stadium Bridges project status after the meeting because curiously, council announced its intention to adjourn by having the mayor call out the adjournment vote while council was still seated in its closed office, leaving members of council to exit through a back door.

Edward Vielmetti is the blogging leader for He plans to have a copy of "Roger & Me" reserved for him soon at the Ann Arbor District Library. Contact him at



Sun, Aug 30, 2009 : 12:51 p.m.

Yor bet have your tried the website for the city it doesnt work All I am saying is that city council should not approve a CVS on state st IM paul jensen what do you think?

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Aug 23, 2009 : 5:40 a.m.

"I was unable to get comments from Fourth Ward representatives Margie Teall and Higgins on the East Stadium Bridges project status after the meeting..." Marcia Higgins...the invisible, unreachable, I-answer-to-no-one Council member for life from my 4th Ward. Of course she wouldn't answer questions about the Stadium Bridges, via emai, on the phone, or at a meeting. She's been in office ten years, the screw up happened on her watch and she's counting on apathy to be reelected. The 4th Ward deserves better. I appreciate your attempt to ask her questions Ed. Thank you.

Matt Van Auker

Wed, Aug 19, 2009 : 3:42 p.m.

Myeh, whatever. They don't want to communicate with us, they don't have to. They're only our representatives.


Tue, Aug 18, 2009 : 4:18 p.m.

So long as this crowd is there, they love to slip in their agenda, their vision, and now that Leigh Greden got caught, and bounced off the stage, they'll do things on the sly. This is a crowd that should not be trusted handling the public's money. They have governed through the financial credit heyday and they are not a fiscally responsible or even realistic crowd. Real estate's value for them just goes up, up and up,despite the grim reality on the ground. Imagine funding a $55 million dollar parking structure,downtown, expecting to bring and support new business, with a real estate market that is still collapsing, a market that has over 6 acres- at the Georgetown Mall- for sale, for years now, with no real takers and nobody even on the horizon. The disconnect is absurd. They can go into hiding, they can put off the vote on the city income tax, they can now wear a different hat of fiscal frugality, but I for one do not believe they have seen the light, nor will I support any of these people in the future.