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Posted on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Video surveillance ordinance falls short at Ann Arbor City Council meeting

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials assure they have no plans to conduct video surveillance of citizens anytime soon, but that's not enough for a group pushing for local privacy protections.

The effort to create a video privacy ordinance in Ann Arbor stalled at Monday night's meeting of the City Council as it failed to get the six votes needed to advance to second reading.

The defeated proposal backed by 5th Ward Council Members Mike Anglin and Chuck Warpehoski won't get a public hearing now — unless council decides to resurrect it somehow.


William Leaf, who was a University of Michigan junior and leader of a group called Students Against Surveillance when he began pushing for a video privacy ordinance in Ann Arbor in 2010, addressed the council Monday night. He urged council members to take preemptive action and institute regulations now to prevent future abuses of surveillance technology by police.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Following an hour-long discussion, the council actually voted 5-4 in favor of advancing the ordinance to second reading — with support from Anglin, Warpehoski, Mayor John Hieftje, Christopher Taylor and Sabra Briere.

But it went nowhere after four council members cast "no" votes to stop it — Marcia Higgins, Sumi Kailasapathy, Stephen Kunselman and Jane Lumm.

Sally Hart Petersen and Margie Teall were absent.

Not all of the council members who voted "yes" were in support of the ordinance — Briere particularly made known she was against it — but they were in favor of at least having more discussion and a public hearing.

Some council members who opposed the ordinance argued imposing limitations on video surveillance could tie the hands of the Ann Arbor Police Department and hinder its ability to fight crime.

"I can't imagine a scenario where I would support this short of Chief Seto's complete and unequivocal support, and obviously we don't have that, and that is a significant concern," Lumm said.

Police Chief John Seto read a prepared statement Monday night, laying out some of his hesitations and uncertainties about what was proposed.

The ordinance, which had been in the making for a few years, would have limited the circumstances and locations where the police could place unstaffed video surveillance cameras.

"The main concern I have is that I do not know what impacts this proposed ordinance may have," Seto said. "I do not disagree with the intent to have provisions in place for neighborhood settings. My concerns are in the areas of large crowds and specific, short-term, criminal-related investigations."

Seto said he doesn't know the security concerns or the policing needs of the future, so there could be unintended consequences if the ordinance was passed.

The ordinance would not have limited the practice of having video cameras record events from police cars with officers present. But it would have required any video cameras in a residential area to be located so they could not see into someone's home, and it would have prevented city police from secretly conducting long-term video surveillance in a residential area.

Currently the police department does not conduct unstaffed video surveillance. Briere said her concern was that the ordinance would provide a means for allowing it — albeit with restrictions.

"I don't really believe a surveillance ordinance should be created, because to me it gives permission for surveillance," she said.

Warpehoski said privacy proponents just want to make sure there are protections so cameras are not placed in neighborhoods against residents' wishes — as happened in Lansing.

"I don't want that in my community," Warpehoski said. "I want neighbors to have a voice in what happens in their neighborhood.

"What this ordinance attempts to do is create a regulatory framework that finds a balance between privacy concerns, property owner rights and law enforcement concerns," Warpehoski added.


Chuck Warpehoski

"This ordinance actually wouldn't prohibit a camera that had a home in its visual range. It just says that if you've got somebody's front door or window in the visual range, you have to get their permission."

The ordinance would have allowed surveillance in residential areas for up to six months if the city administrator obtained written permission from two-thirds of residents in the area.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asked the city of Lansing last August to remove all government surveillance cameras installed in residential neighborhoods since 2008, arguing they had detrimental effects on privacy and were ineffective and costly.

The ACLU estimated it cost the city at least $2.3 million to install and maintain the cameras and the laptops allowing police to view streaming video of neighborhoods in their patrol cars.

William Leaf, who was a University of Michigan junior and leader of a group called Students Against Surveillance when he began pushing for a video privacy ordinance in Ann Arbor in 2010, addressed the council Monday night. He urged council members to take preemptive action and institute regulations now to prevent future abuses of surveillance technology by police.

He cited what he considered examples of abuses in other communities and noted the New York Police Department is being sued over its surveillance of Muslims, which included cameras mounted outside mosques. Leaf was joined by several supporters who applauded him after speaking.

"What we should do is put privacy protections in place that would say cameras should be for specific reasons, there should be rules about the storage of recordings so they're not improperly disclosed, they should be public so they can have a deterring effect and so people will know about it when they are in place, and that's what this video privacy ordinance would do," he said.

Leslie Stambaugh of the city's Human Rights Commission agreed with Leaf and said it makes sense to put regulations in place before police video surveillance hits Ann Arbor.

"The use of video surveillance by municipalities in this country has exploded in recent years. Frankly, we're afraid there's going to be a lot of pressure to adopt it here in Ann Arbor," she said. "It seems modern, it seems easy, it seems effective. We don't believe it is any of those things."

Seto said he reviewed many versions of the proposed ordinance and there were some revisions that addressed law enforcement concerns, but there still were some outstanding issues.


Lansing Police Department surveillance cameras are shown on a pole.

Photo courtesy of William Leaf

He stressed multiple times the kinds of video surveillance the ordinance contemplated limiting are not occurring in Ann Arbor. He also said he would never deploy technology or institute a policing practice that would have negative ramifications in terms of community relations.

But he said it's possible there could be specific circumstances in the future where use of video cameras might be beneficial in solving or preventing crimes. He noted there are heightened security risks that police must address when dealing with large crowds and special events.

"In light of what occurred in Boston and the added precautions I had considered in our own Ann Arbor Marathon, I cannot support an ordinance that would prohibit me from potentially utilizing security measures where large crowds are present," he said. "There are several locations within the proposed ordinance that would prohibit the use of cameras for situations such as these."

Seto said he also thought the notification requirements, including posting of signs identifying the short-term use of cameras, could hinder investigations into specific criminal activity.

The proposed ordinance also would have prohibited live monitoring of surveillance cameras except in temporary emergencies when there was good reason to believe there was an imminent risk of injury or death. Seto said live monitoring of cameras could help officers prevent crime and make arrests, so that's another example of how the ordinance might have been limiting.

Kunselman argued surveillance cameras like the ones installed in the West Willow neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township have proven they can help deter crime.

Rather than imposing strict regulations on surveillance cameras through city ordinance, which he called "a solution looking for a problem," he suggested council should provide policy direction to the police department to guide future use of surveillance cameras based on community values.

Hieftje shared the same concerns about potentially tying the hands of law enforcement and said he liked the idea of a city policy instead of creating a regulatory framework.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

"Not all of the council members who voted "yes" were in support of the ordinance" .........................Did I read this correctly? I'm surprised Ann Arborites would not want to be surveiled. With all of the rules and regulations we have how are we supposed to make sure everyone is following them?

Xeoma Surveillance Software

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 9:37 a.m.

Two sides to every story. The police are hesitant to accept the new policy because it'd "tie their hands" which in case of large public events is true and unwanted. Also, getting permission from citizens to get a camera installed will yield zero results. Getting permission equals to cameras being prohibited at all. No one would say "Sure, go ahead, install a camera facing my house's windows, why not". The police anticipates that. Why would they be up to it? The people's point of view is also understandable. Everyone wants to be safe without having to sacrifice anything personally. The ordinance need to be revised as to become beneficial for both "parties", regulating the use of video surveillance according to the privacy concerns but allowing for live monitoring in cases of large public events. Much like the Bay Area's ongoing discussion on video surveillance


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

Teall is so pathetic. How she still holds a seat is beyond me.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Though I'm glad discussion happened at all, this meeting was a shame. Lumm and Kunselman spent most of the time talking about how much they trusted Chief Seto to not implement any sort of draconian surveillance, and thus no regulation was needed. At one point, I believe Kunselman said something to the effect of "If Chief Seto wants to point a camera at someone's house, by gum, let him do it!". Kunselman's and Lumm's unwavering support of Seto is fascinating, but it's unrealistic to expect everyone to be that enthusiastic about leaving such a blank check in the hands of even a trustworthy person. Regulations on the police serve to protect people from abuses. If the police had no intention of crossing that line even without regulation, then all the better. But not drawing a line simply because you can't fathom it being broken is naive and shortsighted. Another interesting argument raised by Lumm was that once, her car window was broken in a parking garage, and despite there being a surveillance camera in the area, it was not working at the time, so the suspect was not caught. Somehow, this anecdote of a camera that failed to deter crime or catch a suspect was meant to explain the importance of cameras in deterring crime and catching suspects.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Listen to Santa Claus and be forewarned: "He sees us when we're sleeping, He knows when we're awake, He knows if we've been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake." Otherwise, you'll be hearing the Miranda clause: "Anything you say (or do) can and will be used against you."

G. Orwell

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

Every day we are moving closer and closer to "1984" and most politician don't realize they are leading us in this direction. They have no idea they are working against their's and their family's own interests. Everything we do electronically is being recorded and with surveillance cameras, what we do physically will be recorded and stored. All this is not for "terrorists." They are for us.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

As Ryan noted at 8:43 am, the Boston Marathon case was solved by surveillance and personal camera video, but also the recent murder involving pro football player Aaron Hernandez was also solved, and tracked in fact, by several video recordings. I am glad the citizens in those areas do not have this attitude that video recording is so horrible.


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

Uhh what? The surveillance for the Boston marathon was a temporary security measure for the event, and the cameras tracking Hernandez were at a gas station. If you can't see the difference between those situations and this, you probably shouldn't be commenting.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

"The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asked the city of Lansing last August to remove all government surveillance cameras installed in residential neighborhoods since 2008, arguing they had detrimental effects on privacy. . ." More like detrimental effects on hiding deviancy. Cameras are everywhere. Have been for years. The sky. The streets. Stores. Google trucks at your front door. Public buildings. Private buildings. Schools. Banks. Stadiums. Your 4-yr-old's cell phone. Hidden, or in someone's hand and in your face. Shoot a video, upload it instantly. Shoot a jpeg, upload it instantly. From my camera to the world. From your camera to the world. The remedy? Act as if you are being filmed for viewing by the world. . . Because you are. Everywhere. 24/7. Who cares? Usually, someone that wants to hide something. Stop doing what you want to hide. Pretend there are cameras everywhere. Strike a good pose. Then you won't care about cameras. Do something positive. Then, you might even be caught doing a good deed. And the world could be a better place.


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 1:48 a.m.

If not*


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

So would you be ok with the placement of cameras in your home? If so, why not? Afterall, you could just "strike a good pose."


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

The problem with "stop doing what you want to hide" is that if you watch anyone long enough, eventually they will do something they would want to hide. Follow an arbitrary citizen around with a network of cameras for a day, and you might see them jaywalk, accidentally drop a tissue on the ground, or throw away a plastic bottle instead of recycling it. You might see cameras as a great way to stop these types of behavior, but not only is it not cost-effective, it creates the appearance of an overwhelming amount of crime, which the police are then able to cherry pick who to go after. It wouldn't be possible to fine everyone who dropped trash, so who gets to decide which 5% caught on camera should get fines? Maybe the police officer that reviews the tape will pick all the people he knows to be republicans, or all the people of a certain race, or maybe the neighbor he has a bone to pick with. Eventually, the police have enough evidence to pick any arbitrary citizen, and find all the minor infractions they have committed over the years, and throw the book at them. Have a drug dealing suspect, but don't have quite enough evidence to convict them? Maybe just start giving them a fine every day until they lash out in frustration. In any case, this ordinance was not attempting to ban all cameras. It was trying to give relevant (i.e. proximate) citizens the power to approve or disprove of cameras placed in their neighborhood. Instead, we give the police this power unequivocally, with no bounds or regulation.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

I live close to downtown Ann Arbor, bought my house here about 10 years ago. Seemed like a great neighborhood at the time - I even visited and asked around with existing residents before closing on the house. Since then, I've had to call 911 easily over 200 times. In my experience the police here are already incredibly restricted in what they can do, leaning so far to the side of protecting suspects rights that most of the time there is very little they can do to protect the victims. Do I want Big Brother watching me in my living room or back yard? Of course not. I'm not really that worried about it though, as I don't see a point in our city's future where they would have the motive or resources to do so. It's a red herring, a solution in search of a problem. What I also don't want to do however is even further tie the hands of our law enforcement to prevent them from helping the citizens when they want or need assistance. I'm paying for police protection, and I already feel that all they can do most of the time is take reports, as doing anything more than putting a pencil to paper is inevitably violating someone's rights. Yes, power and control of government needs to be kept in check. Over-regulation however, can be just as bad when it prevents government from helping those who want and need it. There has to be a balance here that can prevent over-intrusiveness and abuse of power, while still not leaving police and government powerless to do their job effectively when good citizens would benefit from it. I say that if you're anywhere that could be framed in a Google Street-View shot then you should have no legitimate expectation of privacy, and the police should not be so restricted as to not be able to watch what any passerby can clearly see from their car window.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

You've called 911 over 200 times? That is more than once a month. You are extremely vigilant and should receive a citizen's award from AA.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Government surveillance through stationary cameras and/or drones and/or satellites violates our First Amendment rights to free practice of religion, freedom of speech, the right of the people to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. When this surveillance is able to see into windows or doors or has heat monitoring equipment to follow the movements of persons within their homes, it violates the Fourth Amendment right of people to be secure in their persons, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure. Even Google Earth violates this. The view from Google Earth to one of my friend's apartment permits public viewing of persons going into the building and movement of cars in the parking lot. It would also permit the view of a person standing next to his window. Next time a fly lands on your window, consider the mini drones that are out there.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

You are also absolutely incorrect with your first sentence. Govt surveillance in no way violates your constitutional rights at all. I am wonder how you could come to that conclusion. In your reference to the 4th amendment you make the mistake very commonly made by people even thought you use the word from the Constitution, "unreasonable." As long as such surveillance is deemed reasonable by law or court decision, not your opinion, it is reasonable. Google Earth is a private entity and thus does not have the restrictions placed on govt actions.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

Gramma, I think you're a bit off here. There are no heat sensing cameras or fly sized drones in question here - even if the city wanted to do that, they don't have the money, and it would still require a warrant. As to the Google Earth 'surveillance', where do I start? You understand there's a difference between satellite stills being captured every few years and a live satellite surveillance feed, right? Go on to Google Earth sometime and watch street traffic for a while. I don't think it works quite how you think it does.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Can we install cameras in the potholes?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

Cameras within would never show the mayor, as he's never looked into one. So, no.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

indeed this is solution looking for a problem. in addition, perhaps some of the commentators here haven't been reading the other articles but crime, violent crime, is in Ann Arbor and cameras have been proven as a very strong investigative tool and might be beneficial.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

Burglaries, auto theft, people who go door to door to commit frauds, often against senior citizens, malicious destruction of property would all be exempt from the use of recorded evidence under this element of violent crime only.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

And one does not know if it is a violent crime until after the fact.

Stan Hyne

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Violent crime is the key word


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

All large retail establishments (Target, Meijer, Kroger, Briarwood mall, etc) already use extensive surveillance in their stores and parking lots. And many smaller private businesses use camera inside and outside their buildings. Get used to it. AA should institute a policy to "guide future use of surveillance cameras based on community values" as Kunselman stated. The use of cameras will expand to public areas, and a policy in place will assist in that technology. As far as AA is concerned, CCTV would be useful in public places such as Liberty Plaza, Main St, Liberty, State, S Univ, and other downtown commercial areas. Also under bridges to deter vandalism. AA doesn't have bad crime areas in residential neighborhoods at this point, so focus on commercial and high traffic areas and areas with known problems (Liberty Plaza).


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Police surveillance is more intrusive than private surveillance, because the police have the ability to put people in jail. If the owner of a private camera wants to cooperate with the police, then she can, but the police depend on cooperation with citizens. Having one central authority with a network of secret cameras is completely different. Private cameras should be limited to the private property of the owner, but the lack of regulation in that respect doesn't mean we shouldn't make the progress that we can. Kunselman's resolution would be bad for two reasons: First, he wants the police to be able to install secret cameras looking at a home. He said "By golly let him" when that specific situation was raised. Second, he wants a non-binding policy, so that if police officers did disclose information improperly, there would not be any penalty. Fining police officers for deliberately breaking a law is not "tying the hands of the police."


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Since the technology is always evolving, it makes sense to use the more-easily-amended tool of policy than to try to anticipate all problems that might arise in the future with a very specific piece of legislation. Councilmember Kunselman hit the nail on the head, I think, when he characterized this proposal as a "solution looking for a problem". Specific ordinances at this early stage would very likely prove ineffective, since potential problems can always be designed to circumvent the existing solution. At the very least, let the development of, and tinkering with, a policy on use of surveillance technology serve as a learning period before drafting specific regulations.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

Thanks to the Council for having a thorough discussion of this issue.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Look at the photo above, can you imagine that utility pole with a camera installed on your lawn extension? If that home owner ever wanted to sell their house, how many potential buyers would not consider purchasing that property just for the eyesore that it is. That includes the surrounding properties, too.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

I would feel that my home and family would be safer, that criminals who see the cameras would go elsewhere, maybe your neighborhood, eh?

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

A couple other arguments were made Monday night … Briere argued the cameras that helped to identify the Boston bombing suspects were private cameras or private surveillance systems — not police surveillance. "Finding a balance between giving the police permission to perform surveillance without just cause and the ability of the police to perform surveillance in order to achieve a discreet goal, there's got to be a middle ground there," she said, questioning whether that middle ground had been found. Higgins raised the issue of police surveillance during University of Michigan football games in Ann Arbor. "We know that we have camera monitoring going on during those games and that these cameras are directed into the neighborhoods," she said. Seto said the proposed ordinance wouldn't have stopped U-M from having those cameras — it would have applied only to city police. But as part of working football details, he said, city police do use those cameras in the course of their work, so that would have been an issue that needed to be addressed.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

So, Stan if one of your cameras captured the license plate of a burglar's vehicle leaving a driveway it could not be used?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

What difference does it make if surveillance is done by a police-owned camera, or private cameras that the police have free access to?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

Stan, Once cameras are installed and monitored, there is no way to control or limit their use.

Stan Hyne

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

If surveillance cameras were installed maybe restrictions should be in place to only use them for crimes of violence.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

"We know that we have camera monitoring going on during those games and that these cameras are directed into the neighborhoods," Glad that Ms. Higgins is looking out for our interests. I will expect her to communicate with the university about their unwelcome surveillance of our city.

Charles Curtis

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

How about they just pass an ordinance that would make video surveillance the same as phone taps. Make the police have to go to a judge and justify the need whether it be short term or long term. Put a 6 month limit on any surveillance approval. As far as private surveillance laws, again just define video surveillance the same as live eyes. If one were to aim at a window that wasn't their own, it would be a peeping tom violation. Then just enforce the current laws. There is no need to create a bunch of new laws. I personally would like to see the city counsel actually think about the crap they pass before doing so. We don't need another pedestrian crossing mess again.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

The Federal Patriot Act passed immediately after 9-11 virtually removed that protection about phone taps. All e-mail is open to surveillance. Who would be arrested under the "Peeping Tom" laws if this were government surveillance by camera were under that?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

No. Period. Frankly, getting real tired of Big Brother watching over us. Those funds could be put to good use by bringing the AAFD and AAPD staff up to standard, fixing our roads - has anyone driven on Jackson/Huron recently and a number of others. Then there is the sewer problem. Oh my.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

What are people doing that makes them so scared to be caught on camera?

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

JRW, Target and Meijer are also private property owned by corporations who have the right to have surveillance on their own properties. They're not a city proposing to put cameras out on the streets.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1 p.m.

If you are tired of surveillance, then I guess you never go inside a Target or Meijer store. They are loaded with cameras.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

1. Leslie Stambaugh of the city's Human Rights Commission - is someone I've known for a very long time. I'd recommend that we listen to what she has to say on this topic. 2. "Following an hour-long discussion, the council actually voted 5-4 in favor of advancing the ordinance to second reading — with support from Anglin, Warpehoski, Mayor John Hieftje..." Like all proponents of government control and monitoring of citizens, Hieftje likes this idea. It might be just coincidence (ha) but this guy also joined NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control cadre recently - but that's been kept quiet, of course.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

I don't follow your logic TruBlu. Hieftje supports a proposal to ban, or severely limit video cameras, and you say "like all proponents of governmental control and monitoring of citizens, [he] likes this idea" . What are you trying to say?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Ridiculous! The average person makes an appearance several times a day on a video camera. Think of it as your moment to shine!


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

Email you city council representatives and tell them that you DON'T want cameras in your neighborhood.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

I guess it depends on whether you want it safer or easier to do illegal activity.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

You must live in a pretty nice neighborhood. I actually would welcome cameras in mine.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

"I can't imagine a scenario where I would support [a video privacy ordinance] short of Chief Seto's complete and unequivocal support, and obviously we don't have that, and that is a significant concern," Lumm said. The concept of a "police state" comes to mind when I read something like this. Police are like the military: There are never enough soldiers, guns, ships, planes, bombs or tanks. There are never enough policemen, patrol cars, equipment, surveillance tactics, etc. Police need to work within the bounds we as a society set for them. We provide them with the rules and with the expectations, and set them to work. When police set their own rules (either unilaterally or through mouthpieces with questionable spinal integrity such as Ms. Lumm), we as a people do not benefit, we lose. Remember: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."


Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 10:39 a.m.

That quote came from a man(Ben Franklin) who was conveniently in Paris while the Revolutionary War was going on. Why is it those with the greatest security screech the loudest about threats to civil liberty?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

GoNavy, what makes you say that about Jane Lumm?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

Ms. Lumm obviously doesn't understand our political system and constitution provide for civilian control of police and military actions. She obviously is not a leader and should not be in office if she has no ability to make decisions based upon actual knowledge of our government. The police chief works for the citizens we don't work for the police chief.

Tex Treeder

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

Agreed. This is not why I voted for Ms Lumm. The police are there to serve us, not the other way around.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

"Leslie Stambaugh of the city's Human Rights Commission agreed ... " Ann Arbor has a Human Rights Commission? I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the sheer pretentiousness of that. What bucket do they get the funding for that from?


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

@ SonnyDog09 and Tex Treeder: It's easy to get the wrong impression. In this case, a member of the city's Human Rights Commission is acting as a watchdog over potential and actual violations BY the city. As for Ms. Stambaugh, her resume includes organizing major corporations and U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. I know the Navy kept having her back to work on several of their carriers. They musta liked something about her abilities. :-) And Tex; like I said, surface appearances can be misleading. She's one smart cookie and knows how to get things done. And remember who we've got for mayor: Mister Citizen Control.

Tex Treeder

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

This was news to me as well. As for Ms Stambaugh, I've dealt with her on other issues and I'm not impressed. Sort of the feel-good, do-nothing job I'd expect her to have.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 10:28 a.m.

Ann Arbor isn't a particulary large city, nor is it a crime-ridden city. Video surveillance isn't needed here, unless you want jaywalkers and graffiti "artists" to be watched by the eye in the sky.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Graffiti vandals are criminals, not artists. And yes, if CCTV would catch more of the perps who damage property around the city with ugly spray paint, then yes, install CCTV in public areas.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 10:23 a.m.

Yikes. I think I would feel less safe in a neighborhood with police cameras like those in Lansing.

John of Saline

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

Mainly because, if they're there, there's a reason for it. Like neighborhood watch signs.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 10:16 a.m.

"Margie Teall were absent." If I only had a dollar for every time the dot com printed Teall or Higgins was absent from a Council meeting, I could almost afford to pay my City Property tax bill that came in the mail this week. We're still anxiously awaiting the promised story on Council attendance stats too.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

How long have they held these positions? How many times has each been re-elected?