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Posted on Sun, Jun 19, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority fails to gather a quorum prior to discussion on absenteeism

By Tom Perkins

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority was set to discuss its absenteeism issues at its June meeting on Thursday morning. But not enough people showed up for a quorum.

Only after a few calls were made and a board member was able to make it an hour late did the meeting proceed.

The board has 13 voting members and needs seven for a quorum. Darryl Daniels, Sandee French, Rene Greff, Jim Karnopp, Karen Maurer and Bonnie Penet were all absent from the meeting. It was Penet and Karnopp’s last meeting before their terms expire.

It was the fifth meeting that Greff and Daniels missed over the last fiscal year. However, the new fiscal year begins July 1, at which time the attendance records reset.

Director Tim Colbeck said once the meeting commenced, the DDA's attorney was able to explain what the board is required to do in the event that a DDA member misses more than three meetings in a fiscal year.

Colbeck, as the executive director, must give board chair Dave Wheeler the names of people who have missed more meetings than are allowed. Wheeler then contacts those members, and they are to provide the board with a written response explaining their situation.

The letter is to be included in the DDA packet, and the board would discuss the issue at their next monthly meeting. The board then votes whether or not to recommend city council remove the member in question.

If they vote to recommend removal, council must also vote. If the DDA board votes against removal, no more action is required.

DDA members previously stated that it was their opinion that Greff and Daniels made up for their absenteeism with other work they do.

“I think we’re exactly where we should be for addressing the issue now and I don’t think moving forward will be a problem,” Colbeck said.



Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

This smells of politics to me. Does someone not like the Mayoral appointments? If you don't like his appointments, get a new Mayor, leave the volunteers alone. It seems Ypsi is pretty short on people to volunteer on anything. Lets not chase people who are trying to make a difference away.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

Adam, Clearly you're not living in Ypsilanti. Ypsi is a volunteer driven community. Google ypsilanti volunteer and research before throwing out random innacuracies...


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

This might explain why Ypsi doesn't have much of a downtown.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

A comment was removed because of name-calling.

Steve Pepple

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

A misspelling word has been corrected in the headline. Thanks to the reader who pointed it out.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

"shall cause" Shouldn't it be SHOW CAUSE" ?


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

Not to be picky, but I believe that "quorum" is misspelled in 24 point type in your headline.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

I love it when the comments are more informative than the article.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 5:23 a.m.

Be careful what you wish for ! In the balance between meddling and apathy, I tend to come down on the side of apathy, especially given the shenanigans that the DDA folk of other townships have gotten up to, so ponder that if they can't act, nor can they stick it to the township, and that's something worth consideration.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

This all started when the last DDA chair stopped coming to meetings after his coffee shop closed. Schreiber was forced to call and ask for his resignation after the rest of the DDA board said they would take public action if Schreiber didn't call. It was Greff, Daniels, Schreiber and others that all pushed for mandatory attendance and toughened the rules. The shall clause has really made a mess of things as now two favorite board members who are both significant campaign contributors to the Mayor have run afoul of those very same rules. Several DDA board members are not wanting to go on the record to remove a board member and have asked if they can vote by secret ballot. The Open Meetings act requires all votes be public and recorded. No one wants to be on record for having voted to remove a fellow board member, hence why the DDA has dragged out taking action. Instead of having a vote, the new plan hatched by the Mayor and some DDA board members is to simply change the DDA by-laws. Some on the board are advocating removing the mandatory attendance clause entirely. The Mayor has said he wants to wants to keep mandatory attendance rules but remove the "shall" clause and change it to 'may". That way the DDA board can still get rid of someone for violating the rules but aren't forced to have a meeting or public vote if the board member is a favorite son or daughter or well connected political operative. So much for accountability and transparency.

joe golder

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

A man Isn't poor if he can still laugh!


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 2:22 a.m.

The reporter is also wrong when he says the City Council "must also vote" if a recommendation for removal is put forward by the DDA Board. The Council can take action if they want, but are not required. Under State Law, the Mayor and Council may also take action to remove a DDA board for cause even if the DDA board does not forward a recommendation for removal. DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (EXCERPT) Act 197 of 1975 125.1654 Board; appointment, terms, and qualifications of members; vacancy; compensation and expenses; election of chairperson; oath; conducting business at public meeting; public notice; special meetings; removal of members; review; expense items and financial records; availability of writings to public; single board governing all authorities; member as resident or having interest in property; planning commission serving as board in certain municipalities; modification by interlocal agreement. Sec. 4. (4) Pursuant to notice and after having been given an opportunity to be heard, a member of the board may be removed for cause by the governing body. Removal of a member is subject to review by the circuit court. The governing body is the Mayor and Council, not the DDA board.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

The reporting on this is wrong. Here is the specific DDA by-laws adopted by the full board in 2009 Section 6. Attendance: All Board members are required to attend no less than 75% of all regularly scheduled meetings, including the mandatory annual meeting, and no less than 75% of all regularly scheduled committee meetings within any given fiscal year. The number of missed meetings will be tracked by the Executive Director, and upon reaching the noted threshold, the Chairperson will be notified and removal proceedings shall commence. Section 7. Removal: Pursuant to proper notice, written explanation of rationale, and an opportunity to be heard, a Board member may be removed from office for neglect of duty including noncompliant attendance record (see Section 6), misconduct, malfeasance, or any other good cause. Following a majority vote of the Board to remove, a letter of recommendation shall be submitted to the City Council of the City of Ypsilanti. Upon a majority vote of the City Council to remove, the Board member shall be officially relinquished of their duties. If you note, the DDA board is required to take action where the bylaws say "removal proceedings shall commence" The DDA chair has not been willing to bring this action to the table despite the bylaws that require it. The DDA boards and committees meet on average no fewer than 10 hours and often times 20 hours every month when you include all the sub-committees. In the last 11 months, there have been over 150 hours of DDA meetings. Stunning. Each meeting is staffed by one or two DDA employees, plus all the minutes, recording, required postings, agendas, room scheduling and more. The DDA has more meetings and spends more hours in meetings than the EMU Regents and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners combined, in fact more than any other board or commission in the county. A great deal of the time is spent each week by DDA staff simply trying to find a time when everyone can meet.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

DDA board meetings last 2 hours, committee meetings typically last 90 minutes. With a Board meeting and probably two committee meetings per month, many Board members spend more like 5 to 8 hours PER MONTH in their mayor-appointed position. This doesn't include subtracting time for those who come late or leave early. Only a few committed Board members spend more than 10 hours. The staff does work hard but then they get paid to do so.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

It was Greff and Daniels that pushed so hard for the changes to the DDA by-laws which were approved Aug 20, 2009 to include the three strikes and you are out clause. This sadly only gets worse. At a recent DDA meeting, two board members got into a shouting match telling each other to shut-up and quit interrupting. Both Greff and Sandee French said they would resign but Mayor Schreiber called them later and asked them to stay on.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Upon further reflection, this needs to get submitted to Jay Leno for his "headlines" piece!


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

The headline says it all! Responsibility has become an option.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

Really disappointing. Confused as to what is going on but seems like game playing to me. I am concerned if the city has any forward thinking going on. Anyone who misses 5 meetings needs to be replaced with someone who really cares about the city and can at least attend meetings. I also agree with lynel, the headline could have been worded better; I am sure there were other things on the agenda other than absenteeism. It appears as a "stab" to Ypsi by FaithInYpsi is losing faith all the way around!


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 12:18 a.m.

One would be hard-pressed to find anything that Gref and Daniels actually do except show up for some occassional meetings. They are not involved AT ALL in any of the Ypsilanti DDA downtown districts. Most don't know who either of them are. For them to be allowed to stay on the DDA would be a joke and it would further erode any reputation that the Ypsilanti DDA may have left. Yes, the headline was quite funny but it was even more sad. Ypsilanti is well positioned to grow but the DDA, well one must wonder whether or not even having a DDA is worthwhile with people like this on it.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

If I lived in Ypsi, I'd put this on Fail Blog, but I don't like to make fun of other people's towns. My own city gives me enough fuel.


Sun, Jun 19, 2011 : 10:26 p.m.

The headline is the funniest thing I have read all day!!