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Posted on Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

Council appoints Susan Baskett to AATA Board of Directors

By Chelsea Hoedl

Avid public transit user Susan Baskett was appointed by the The Ann Arbor City Council to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board of directors on May 20.

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Susan Baskett was appointed to the AATA board of directors on May 20.

Baskett, who also has been a trustee on the Ann Arbor Board of Education since 2003, will takeover Jesse Bernstein's seat on the seven-person board. Her term will run from May 20, 2013 through May 5, 2018.

Baskett, who said she is a frequent user of public transit, said she is very interested in it and believes Ann Arbor is in need of a better mass transit system.

While she does not have any specific proposals on how to improve the system yet, Baskett said she hopes her voice will bring a new perspective to the board.

"I just want to share my point of view," she said. "It is my hope that I will bring something different to the table as a user of transit and as a school board member, especially as we are facing budget cuts. I bring a different perspective."

On the board of education, Baskett has been involved in transportation matters as well. She is one of two trustees who said they would be willing to entirely eliminate transportation for all grades K-12 in favor of ending the district's "cut-a-little every year" approach.

Baskett said being in favor of cutting bussing for students is difficult because she knows what it is like to rely on public transportation, but making small cuts every year is not effective.

"If we have to cut transportation, why not do it all at once?" Baskett said. "If it's a choice of creeping along or cutting all together, let's just do it."

Baskett said her experience dealing with transportation for K-12 will add to the knowledge she brings to the AATA board.

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at



Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

All the Hieftje's appointees are whack-jobs of one variety or another, as is the Hieftje himself. This one is just one more in a long line, distinguished only by their kookiness, and their subservience to King John. Just look at that crazy Parker character who used to be the head public art commissar - what a scary mess to give the keys to the cash box to. They're all a bunch of thieving communists.


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:56 a.m.

AATA has really messed up putting her on their board. This woman is crazy. Everything she gets involved in she causes havoc. A bus rider? Every time I see her she is driving in her own car. She goes from tearing up a family, slandering the parents of the A2 3 to solicit money, now this. AATA board better hold on cause she about to take them for a heck of a ride.


Mon, Jun 17, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

Curious about the slandering the parents of the A2 3. I thought she was a supporter? I agree with your post though.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

The revolving door of cronyism is well oiled. Next stop - DDA.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

Another Hieftje shill?! What a surprise! You've gotta cut-off the head of the snake to get rid of the poison... help us out come election day, people.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

I lobbied against this appointment heavily, with my first ward rep Ms. Briere, but once again the fix was in. As with so many appointments coming from the mayor and his voting block, this was decided a long time ago, for reasons that I can only speculate upon, but you can guess it has to do with shifting the burden of paying for AAPS transportation from the BOE to the taxpayers of Ann Arbor. Of course, we already pay for the AAPS transportation in cooperation with the state via taxes. But somehow getting it off one set of books and on to the other is important. Note- this was a 1:30 a.m. appointment, just like the wee hours raises Ms. Baskett voted for the Super and her staff. Coincidence, the way business gets done in Ann Arbor, or a sign of things to come in her 5 year appointment? Her point of view? Who cares if kids have to walk or parents miss work to take them to school, filling the already overcrowded drop off lanes and increasing car use? Cut bussing all at once, families be damned!


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

Ms. Briere, I know both Ken and James Jefferson, not by their commenter names, but personally, and I can tell you there is no revising going on. The only revising I know of is the revision that is given to your remarks before council, when they are reported by and rewritten by the Ann Arbor Chronicle. Saying you didn't hear from a single constituent in the time between her nomination and her appointment is simply not true, and strains credibility for someone like yourself who claims to be so very accessible to her constituents. I spoke to you about it before her nomination, when I first became aware that you were considering her for the appointment, and urged you not to bring it forward; I also spoke to you the very night you voted in support of the nomination, in council chambers. Of course, the political season is upon us, so you are forced to defend yourself from these accusations of cronyism in that most reprehensible of environments, online. Everyone please take note, your online remarks do not count to Ms. Briere.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

thanks for the insight, and responding! I hope this appointment works out for all good day

Sabra C Briere

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

Dear B2Pilot, I also read Ms Baskett's remarks with . . . surprise. But I've been guilty, more than once, of an inelegant response. As to why I voted in favor of Ms Baskett's appointment, I had a couple of solid reasons as well as some personal impressions. Two years ago the School Board approved a budget that eliminated elementary school busing for all students living less than 1.5 miles from school. The school system did nothing to prepare for this change, and in August, 2012, parents were notified that their children would be required to walk - or be driven - to school. This might not be a hardship in some locations, but I began fielding calls from constituents - who didn't understand that City Council has nothing to do with AAPS - about eliminating the buses. These constituents lived across busy roads with no sidewalks and no crosswalks; they lived in areas where there was inadequate safety lighting. And while it might be perfectly OK in July to take a walk across a busy street, through a park to get to school, the children would be walking that route in winter - and the City didn't plow the park walks in winter. Absolutely no coordination (in my view) with the City and no understanding of the impact of this decision. Susan Baskett came to each meeting on the issue, and faced the parents. Only one other School Board trustee did that. A second solid reason is that Ms Baskett then worked to get transportation and safe routes addressed - working with the City and AATA to find solutions. So it wasn't just a case of backtracking an unpopular decision, it was learning how to best solve a real (and significant) financial problem. (One thing to keep in mind - transportation to schools is NOT mandated. It's one of the 'low hanging fruit' budget solutions, even if poorly considered.) Susan has continued to focus on the best and safest ways to get students to school. I am impressed with that.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

Sabra I give you credit for at least responding on this blog, I think most of us only learned of this after reading about. I'm curious as I'm sure others are after reading the quotes from Ms. Baskett; what qualifies Ms. Baskett for this position? what are we not seeing or reading? were others considered? was this a political appointment? Just curious and again thank you for responding.

Sabra C Briere

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:26 a.m.

I am not much of a fan of revisionist history. No one lobbied me about this appointment prior to the vote. After the vote to nominate, writers calling themselves "Ken" and "James Jefferson" - each of whom might or might not be DJBudSonic - wrote to the Chronicle about the appointment. I hold regular (like, once a week) office hours, publish my home phone, and answer most emails - that is, the ones that aren't bulk email - and I didn't hear from a single constituent during the weeks between the nomination and the final appointment of Ms Baskett. Not one - unless writing to a blog or on-line news paper counts (which it doesn't, at least to me). Not that I want to be voting on anything in the early morning; I agree that no one can consistently be awake and paying attention. But don't invent a contact never made. And for those of you who feel that all appointments include a 'fix' - talk with me or any other member of Council. I'd love to see you involved on a board or commission.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

No experience, no ideas, has been on the school board for 10 years and now the schools are going under. Perfect choice for a government job. Good grief


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:46 a.m.

So an AAPS board member who wants to eliminate school busing is now also on the AATA board, who would no doubt pick up some of the $lack for said elimination?


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

While she does not have any specific proposals on how to improve the system yet, Baskett said she hopes her voice will bring a new perspective to the board. I guess that makes her over qualified.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:18 a.m.

does susan baskett have kids in the school system? how can you completley remove the bus system from k-12? how does this comment qualify her for a position at the AATA ? no proposal, or does she just need a job?how often does she ride the city bus? how much will her perspective cost the tax payers?


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

She has no children in the school system. I guess she needs a job, maybe Lowes not paying enough. Or she might need the extra money for the house she been building since 1993 that is still not done. She never rides the bus she has a car.

Angry Moderate

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

She doesn't have any proposals, but she wants to share her point of view? What?


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

An "avid" bus rider? That definitely would be a different perspective.

Stephen Landes

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

Thank you for the substitute for "The Far Side".

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

"If we have to cut transportation, why not do it all at once?" Baskett said. "If it's a choice of creeping along or cutting all together, let's just do it." What planet is she on? Her logic suggests we should fire all the teachers - to do it all at once. Rather than creeping along.. Etc.