Who 11 Makes Decisions?

Ann Arbor City Council members vote on developments, transportation issues, and oversee the staff who manage projects that affect the common health, safety, and welfare of the citizens who elect them. Within two weeks, Council will be faced with making a rare decision to fill the Ward 1 seat that will be vacated by long-term Council Sabra Briere, who has decided to move to California to be with family. Her appointed successor will complete the term through December 2017.

Seven candidates for the Ward 1 Council seat have submitted their letters of application and resumes. Council will interview the candidates on Monday, November 28, at 7 pm, in City Hall Chambers. The issue of a new train station is included among the questions (1) to be discussed by the candidates. We encourage you to attend the meeting, or watch on CTN TV Channel 16 or by streaming video. You will also be able to watch the meeting later, via cable or Video on Demand (Look for: City Council Meeting 11/28/16).

We have long been told that the public will have a vote on the decision about the Ann Arbor Amtrak Station, ever since the project title was changed from “Fuller Road Station” to “Ann Arbor Station”. To date, we have not been informed of the exact question to be presented to the public. City Council members will ultimately decide what will be presented for a vote of the public. Our inquiring minds, with the interest of the best outcome for Ann Arbor citizens, want to know!

We continue to support Depot Street as the best the location of the Ann Arbor Amtrak Station. We also continue to wait for more information on the train station location that is slated to be presented to the public as part of the Ann Arbor Station Environmental Assessment.

In the meantime, a view into how the current and potential Council members approach the issue of the Ann Arbor Station, will be informative, and may provide insight into how a question may be crafted for the vote of the public. Please join us in following the appointment process for the new Ward 1 City Council member.

======edited 11/2/8/16, 11:25 am, added text of questions for candidates=======

Footnote source: http://a2gov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2893491&GUID=433968F9-0FAD- 48C3-87B6-FD1F56300B00

(1) Text of questions prepared for Ward 1 Ann Arbor City Council candidate interviewees: Title

Public Interview of Applicants for Anticipated Vacant First Ward Council Seat


November 28 – Vacant First Ward Council Seat Interview Questions


1. How long have you lived in Ann Arbor, and what have you done during that time to help your community solve problems? Have you served in a voluntary leadership role for a non-profit, school, County, or City organization? If so, what did you do?

2. Are you affiliated with any organizations or political parties that might take a position on City policies and projects? If so, have you found that you regularly agree with those positions? If not, why not?

3. Many decisions facing Council are divisive – particularly those that affect quality of life for Ann Arbor’s residents. Some residents will urge a particular vote; others will urge the opposite. City staff may indicate that a specific decision is more in keeping with approved planning documents or with state law. How will you balance all of this information and come to an informed decision?

  1. What would you like to get accomplished in your first year on Council?

  2. We do not seek a commitment to vote one way or the other on any matter, but please tell us how you think through some of the more specific issues that are relevant to First Ward voters such as development of the DTE property and Lowertown; a new Train Station; or the deer management program. Are there other First Ward issues that you would like to address?


[Originally posted November 28, 2016]