Opinion: Why the Ann Arbor city council should override the mayoral veto of a referendum on non-partisan elections

Earlier this month, the Ann Arbor city council achieved the 7-vote majority on the 11-member body that's required to place a charter question in front of voters: Should the city replace its partisan city elections with a non-partisan system? The council had voted without success on the question four times in the last four years … Continue reading Opinion: Why the Ann Arbor city council should override the mayoral veto of a referendum on non-partisan elections

Opinion: Tools you can use when MLive won’t tell you why city councilmembers voted the way they did

In a recent piece, I presented a statistical analysis of some Ann Arbor's city council voting patterns. It was apparently received by some readers as an unwelcome challenge to what I think is a lazy world view. On that view, the Ann Arbor City Council is composed of two unanalyzable factions. Maybe the analysis done … Continue reading Opinion: Tools you can use when MLive won’t tell you why city councilmembers voted the way they did

Analysis: Breaking down the two-faction framing of Ann Arbor’s city council politics

Not many Ann Arbor residents pay attention to the workings of local government. For many of those who do, a kind of popular wisdom frames their thinking: Ann Arbor's 11-member city council is made up of two opposing factions. A look at some voting data shows that the popular two-faction framing is too simplistic. Background … Continue reading Analysis: Breaking down the two-faction framing of Ann Arbor’s city council politics

Opinion: Michigan Daily’s reporting on councilmember’s remarks at a meeting doesn’t do the job the paper defined for itself

The Michigan Daily published a piece by Ben Rosenfeld early last week related to the arrest three months ago and subsequent conviction of sitting Ann Arbor councilmember Zachary Ackerman. He was charged initially for violating Michigan's so-called "super drunk driving" law, and was convicted of a reduced charge of operating while impaired. Here's a link to … Continue reading Opinion: Michigan Daily’s reporting on councilmember’s remarks at a meeting doesn’t do the job the paper defined for itself

Opinion: Ann Arbor ordinance misrepresents city charter

Members of city councils in Michigan are elected to office. So voters can toss an incumbent who stands for re-election, if they're dissatisfied with the representation they're getting from the councilmember. Or for any reason they like. Last year, Ann Arbor's city council enacted a new local ordinance that describes the procedure to be used … Continue reading Opinion: Ann Arbor ordinance misrepresents city charter

Opinion: Prepping for Hash Bash 2019, Ann Arbor’s suspension of sidewalk permits isn’t supported by city code

The city of Ann Arbor is making plans for the Hash Bash, to be held on April 6. Advance preparations include clearing sidewalks of vendors, by suspending (for one day) some already-issued sidewalk occupancy permits. The one-day suspension appears to be unsupported by the specific local laws that the city administrator has cited to justify … Continue reading Opinion: Prepping for Hash Bash 2019, Ann Arbor’s suspension of sidewalk permits isn’t supported by city code