Ann Arbor Area Community News
City Council: Monday, August 17 at 7:00 pm.
A lawsuit was filed yesterday against the City of Ann Arbor alleging that e-mail exchanges during the February 17, 2009 Council meeting violated the Open Meetings Act. It claims that the City did not provide all the e-mails on request, and made unauthorized deletions, violating the Freedom of Information Act. The focus of the suit is the proposed underground parking structure and City Council’s deliberations about it.
The plaintiffs are Herb David Guitar Studio; Kiki Properties, LLC; Jerusalem Garden; and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. The defendant is the City of Ann Arbor. This is a Washtenaw County Circuit Court Suit. Case number is 09-945 CZ. It was assigned to Judge Archie Brown.
The suit alleges that the construction of the parking structure will be a nuisance, damaging the nearby business owners. It also alleges that the vibrations, noise and dust of construction will be a trespass on their properties. It is also claimed that the construction of the parking structure violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act.
The suit asks the Court to declare that the City approved the project in violation of the Open Meetings Act and that the nondisclosure of documents violated the Open Meetings Act. It also asks the Court to enjoin Council members from engaging in any further private e-mail discussions during public meetings regarding the project or its funding.
The suit asks for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the City from constructing the project until a comprehensive study of its environmental impacts and possible alternatives is made.
Our thanks to Dave Cahill for contributing this synopsis.
Thanks to The Ann Arbor Chronicle and Vivienne Armentrout for sending us this document
City Council: Thursday, August 6 at 7:00 pm.
As of 10:11pm, Larry Kestenbaum reports the following complete results:
3rd Ward: Kunselman 511, Greden 505, Bullington 379.
5th Ward: Anglin 1301, Rosencrans 694.-----------------------------
With 9 precincts of 18 counted as of 09:28:46:
City Council: Monday, July 20 at 7:00 pm.
This year’s primary is coming up on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. The Washtenaw County Clerk’s website lists exactly two primary races on this ballot, in Ann Arbor’s 3rd and 5th Wards. As is traditional, ArborUpdate will be submitting a set of questions to the candidates and posting their answers.
The races and candidates (all links to ArborWiki) are:
3rd Ward City Council, City of Ann Arbor – Democratic Party Primary:
5th Ward City Council, City of Ann Arbor – Democratic Party Primary:
City Council: Monday, July 6 at 7:00 pm.
A recent FOIA by the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center of City Council emails has revealed that many Council Members engage in back and forth email exchanges during Council meetings.
The content of some of these emails has been called “Childish” by some and merely “Chit-Chatting” by some on the City Council. There are also concerns that some of the emails represent a violation of the Open-Meetings Act since some of them discuss items being voted on at Council Meetings.
So what’s your verdict?
The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center may file suit against the City of Ann Arbor to stop construction of the proposed underground parking structure on South Fifth Ave. A letter from Prof. Noah Hall, Ann Arbor resident and executive director of the Center, identifies potential grounds for a challenge:
Additional information is available via the Ann Arbor News and Ann Arbor Chronicle. The Chronicle additionally has the full text of Hall’s letter (pdf), from which I’ve excerpted above, and notes that Hall has loaned them ~1,000 pages of documents produced in the FOIA requests, which the Chronicle hopes to have scanned and posted soon.
Some discussion has been provided on AU already, on the 2009 City Council Elections thread. On the Chronicle article, AU reader (and attorney) David Cahill provides the opinion that Hall’s letter “is not marred by the citation of any legal cases supporting his claim,” as well as opining that such a suit would be “frivolous”, and lead to a slippery slope allowing any construction whatsoever to be blocked by similar arguments.
The Ann Arbor News reports that all incumbents are running for re-election. The list of incumbents (with possible challengers from the News article in parentheses) is:
The general elections are November 3rd, but in recent years the Democratic nominees have always won, so the August 4th primaries will probably decide.
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