Public Health: Gelman Dioxane Plume
We have failed to protect our citizens against a major environmental hazard in our own back yard.
The EPA says the Gelman Dioxane plume in Ann Arbor is eligible for further consideration of a federal Superfund cleanup. This is the only action that would compel the current owner, the Danaher Corporation, to clean it up and pay for it. This will cost us nothing. Scio Township, Ann Arbor Township and the Sierra Club Huron Valley Group took the lead and filed a petition with the EPA. My opponent will not agree to take this simple step.
This situation has been going on for decades. Council majority had the votes to make this happen under the Obama administration; this is one thing we can’t blame on Trump. It’s the right thing to do, even now.
Downtown is the place for density, not our neighborhoods.
The character of a neighborhood is a key factor in the decision of buying a home. The neighborhood where both my opponent and I live -- Burns Park -- will never have to face this issue, but there are many neighborhoods in the 3d ward that will.
People understand vacant land will be developed, but expect it will be according to zoning and within the character of the neighborhood. They have accepted “up-zoning” to allow for greater density, with buildings that are still cohesive with existing structures.
Residents are working with developers to increase housing opportunities, while maintaining the integrity of their neighborhoods. I will represent residents, not developers.
Council says affordable housing is a priority, yet has not made a sincere effort to fund it.
We have a target for adding needed units of affordable housing. We are not meeting this goal because we have not established a source of funding. Now Council is relying on the sale of the Library Lot. When and if the sale goes through, we will have $5Million for affordable housing. What is the plan if it takes years for the sale to happen, or if the sale falls through? We don’t have a Plan B.
This is not how to fund a priority. We have the need, and the Council Majority has had the opportunity to build the fund. Our current budget includes $2 Million for public art. How much does it include for affordable housing?
Downtown and the DDA.
We need to take care of all our neighborhoods.
Downtown Development Authorities were established, in part, over concern that downtowns would decline due to shopping malls. The DDA is an unelected body. Funding comes from tax dollars diverted from the city’s main budget to their own.
The DDA is currently funding a $520,000 consulting project to design potential “streetscapes” for Huron Avenue, the 3d such contract awarded to SmithGroupJJR. They study includes a 5 block area, between Ashley and South Division. That’s over $100,000/block… just for the study, which will look at “Design Elements” such as on-street parking and landscaped medians, street furniture “approach and types” and “opportunities for special amenities such as art, community markers, etc.” Read the proposal for a Huron Project Design Team and the project scope.
The DDA can incur tax-payer financed debt to fund capital improvements. Current proposals include: $17 Million for downtown “streetscapes”, and $18 Million for parking garage expansion. Our DDA has succeeded in their mission of ensuring a vibrant and active downtown. It is now time to reappraise their role, and think about other areas of our city and other projects that need this kind of support.