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by P.D. Lesko The Downtown Area Citizens Advisory Council (CAC). Sounds official, right? It is supposed to be a group of no more than 15 mayoral appointees who, by Council resolution, live within the downtown area and “advise the DDA and City Council with regard to implementation of the Downtown Development Plan and Tax Increment [...]
by P.D. Lesko There are five solid votes on City Council to bring to heel the members of the Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors. Those are the votes of Sumi Kailsapathy, Jane Lumm, Sally Hart-Petersen, Stephen Kunselman and Mike Anglin. The resolution needs six votes to pass, however. The DDA Board, comprised of a bushel [...]
Under former city administrator Roger Fraser, the amounts paid out in tax dollars for cell phone allowances increased almost 95 percent between 2009 and 2012. By 2012, 196 of the city’s 693 full-time employees had been given cell phone allowances. Likewise, between 2009 and 2012, according to information from city officials released in response to [...]
In Ann Arbor, despite repeated cuts to services, cuts to police and fire, and hikes in fees for parking, parking fines, water, sewer, solid waste and city programs, cell phone allowances for city staffers, many of whom have desk jobs, continue to be paid out like clockwork. In fact, between 2009 and 2012, the amount paid annually for cell phone allowances almost doubled.
by P.D. Lesko If the down-sizing and attrition continue apace at AnnArbor.com, Laurel Champion, former publisher of the Ann Arbor News, will be left to head the organization as Executive Vice President in Charge of, Well, Everything. Steve Pepple (pictured below, right), former Print Director for AnnArbor.com, has decamped to the Detroit Free Press. You didn’t hear? [...]
by P.D. Lesko The history of the telescope is fascinating. This piece is not about that. However, it is about The Ann magazine’s futile and ultimately disappointing attempt to give readers insight into AnnArbor.com using what amounts to a journalistic telescope. Don’t get me wrong. Writing about AnnArbor.com and getting the Big Brush Off from [...]
by P.D. Lesko When I taught college, one writing assignment I most enjoyed was having my students compose letters to their elected officials. One woman chose to write a letter to the President. A couple of weeks later, she found her husband at their kitchen table, staring at an envelope. Why, he wanted to know, [...]
by P.D. Lesko A2P Notes: This is filed under Scoops & Scores because you read it here first! Fibbing about one’s academic credentials can have dire consequences. Scott Thompson, the former CEO of Yahoo was brought down in May 2012 by making false claims that he had earned a degree in Computer Science from a [...]
by P.D. Lesko A2P Notes: This is filed under “Scoops & Scores” because you read it here first! First Ward Council candidate Eric Sturgis often tells voters his political resume includes involvement in politics since the age of 18. It’s an impressive story. However, a closer look reveals disturbing patterns, and a young man who, [...]
by P.D. Lesko “John Hieftje has the strongest environmental record of any Mayor in the Midwest. He’s championed the city’s Greenbelt, the clean energy initiative, commuter rail, bicycling and our terrific parks system. These programs set Ann Arbor apart. John’s leadership has set the standard for progressive mayors everywhere.” —Mike Garfield, Environmental Activist So why [...]