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Dharma's Council Newsletter, July 3rd, 2023

Neighbors, Happy 4th of July! I hope that you are enjoying it with family and/or friends and that the recent improvement to our air quality continues. Due to the holiday, City offices are closed on Tuesday, July 4th and our Council meeting will take place on Thursday, July 6th. In addition, curbside trash, recycling and compost pickup services will be delayed by one day. Tuesday pickups will instead occur on Wednesday, and the rest of the collections will occur one day later throughout the week. The normal Friday routes will be serviced Saturday, July 8.

Before I get to a preview of our agenda, here are some updates about things going on around Ann Arbor.


Summer Parkside Constituent Hours I'm going to hold my monthly constituent hours at a variety of parks over the summer. Please bring a blanket or chair (I will try to secure whatever picnic table is available) and your choice of beverage and join me to talk about City Council and what matters to you (in case of rain, we will move to York on Packard)

  • Saturday, July 15th 10am-11am at Mushroom Park

  • Saturday, August 19th 10am-11am at Allmendinger Park

  • Sunday, September 17th 10am-11am at Esch Park

Ward 4 Resident Qualifies for Olympic Trials!

Over the weekend, Lucy Mehraban--Ward 4 resident, Pioneer High School graduate ('23), and campaign volunteer--qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 50-meter freestyle swim! The Olympic Trials will take place next summer; in the meantime, please join me in congratulating Lucy on her amazing achievement!



Volunteer Days with Natural Area Preservation

Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) has several stewardship workdays coming up where you can volunteer to help. To learn more and pre-register, visit the NAP Volunteer Hub.


City Council Meeting, Thursday, July 6th at 7pm

Please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts on any of the agenda items. Email: DAkmon@A2gov.org | Phone/text: 734-492-5866

  • There were no Councilmember questions submitted for a memo.

There are a few ways to share your thoughts on agenda:

  • Email City Council: CityCouncil@a2gov.org

  • Comment at the meeting (remote or in person): Call the City Clerk's office at 734-794-6140 beginning at 8 a.m. on the day of the meeting to reserve a public speaking time. NOTE: you do not need to reserve time to speak during a "public hearing" item.

Here are a few items of note from our agenda.

Consent Agenda

  • CA-4 Mental Health Millage Grant Agreement with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission and the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation. Due to an unanticipated increase in admissions of homeless households into the AAHC’s housing programs during Fiscal Year 2023, the total amount of funding needed exceeds the Fiscal Year 2024 revenue. Therefore, AAHC requests appropriation of the anticipated fund balance of $177,618. This resolution also proposes a change to the administration of the County Mental Health Millage Fund, which would result in a grant agreement with AAHC to reduce duplicative processes.

  • CA-15 Cost Share with DDA for Downtown Circulation Study. This planned downtown circulation study came up last week as Council considered a resolution directing our City Administrator to work with the Federal Government on the redevelopment of the downtown federal plaza. The demands on and needs of our downtown public rights-of-way are changing. The Downtown Area Circulation Study (DAC) is a tool to understand downtown transportation operations, guide future projects in a coordinated manner, and help both the DDA and the City prioritize projects that best align with adopted values. The study would include:

    • Active transportation prioritization plan (remaining bike connections into and through downtown)

    • Transit street prioritization plan

    • Fifth & Division two-way traffic feasibility study

    • Event streets feasibility study (e.g., shared street, pedestrian mall)

    • Multimodal operational model (to inform the feasibility, benefits, and trade-offs of the collective street changes)

  • CA-17 Accept and Appropriate Grant Award from the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the amount of $3,800,000 from the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. The City of Ann Arbor applied to a new federal discretionary grant program known as Safe Streets and Roads for All in late 2022 (https://tinyurl.com/tz8xa5ct). The City's grant was chosen to receive a partial award in the amount of $3,800,000.00 which requires a local match of $950,000.00. The "supplemental action plan" grant award will fund speed management, quick builds, and near-miss evaluation to advance the City's Vision Zero transportation safety initiatives. Upon execution of the agreement, the City will have four years to implement the programs funded with the grant. Transportation Commission recommended approval of this grant agreement, which will support Ann Arbor's Vision Zero transportation safety initiatives.

  • CA-17 Negotiate Regional Drop Off Station Services Agreement with Recycle Ann Arbor. This directs the City Administrator and staff to commence negotiations on the terms for a services agreement with Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) for operation of the proposed new regional drop off station (construction expected in 2024). This would replace the existing structurally unstable drop off station and locate it on a larger parcel, enabling expanded materials drop-off options, improved customer service and traffic flow.

Public Hearings/Ordinance at Second Reading

  • PH-1 Driving Equity Ordinance (Harrison, Eyer, Ghazi Edwin, Song, Cornell). Approval of this ordinance would prohibit Ann Arbor Police from conducting traffic stops for the following equipment-related infractions: Cracked or chipped windshield; loud exhaust; tinted windows; object hanging from rearview mirror, unless the officer has a good faith belief that the object creates an unsafe vision obstruction; cracked tail lamp; registration plate lighting violations; registration plate violations regarding plate height or attachment, location of registration sticker; location of temporary or paper registration plate, so long as it remains clearly visible from the rear of the vehicle; and registration expired less than 60 days prior to the date the officer observes the vehicle.

  • PH-2 Amendment to ORD CH 26 to Allow Curbside Items. This ordinance would allow residents to leave items (within certain specified parameters) on the curb for up to 48 hours for others to take. I was not aware that this was illegal until someone raised it to the attention of Council after being ticketed.

How Council Voted

The Ann Arbor Voting Charts Project is a community-maintained record of voting history for City Council. Check out the June 20th, 2023 Voting Chart.

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