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Police, Fire, Parks, Millage Funds & Pools Soaked By City’s IT Fund For Millions of Dollars In Assessments


by P.D. Lesko Dan Rainey, the City of Ann Arbor’s IT Director, raked in a six-figure salary as one of the highest paid employees in the city. Now, he’s off to work for former Ann Arbor Director of Public Services, Sue McCormick. Shortly after former City Administrator Roger Fraser took his pension and decamped for […]

March 19th, 2013 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Best of A2P,City Council,City Services,Econ,Featured,Investigations,Money,Politics,Taxes | Read More »

While Fire & Police Cut, Taxpayers Paid Over $1.5M Dollars For City Employee Cell Phones


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.

January 24th, 2013 | Posted in Best of A2P,Econ,Featured,Interviews,Money,Scoops & Scores!!,Taxes | Read More »

High Overhead & Debt Load Push DDA Parking Revenues 98 Percent Below National Average


by P.D. Lesko “Hieftje gives out seats on city boards and commissions at parties, like they were candy,” says a political insider. John Hieftje’s propensity to populate the city’s boards and commissions with yes men (and women) and unqualified political cronies has long irked political insiders and haunted city residents, whose input and feedback Hieftje’s […]

January 4th, 2013 | Posted in DDA,Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

So, How Much Did AATA Spend on Its Failed Regional Transit Scheme? It’ll Cost Ya $1,538 to Find Out.

Derailed train

by P.D. Lesko Freedom of Information Act requests are governed by the notion that public government has the obligation to err on the side of transparency. It is also governed by the principle that if public records released would benefit the public, then those records should be released. In other words, when a FOIA request […]

November 27th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Econ,Featured,Money,Politics,Taxes,Transportation | Read More »

Library Tax Proposal Goes Down In Flames—And the Political Firmament Trembles


by P.D. Lesko On November 6, 2012 the firmament trembled in Ann Arbor—the political landscape opened up and swallowed local politicos and their monied donors whole, casting the owner of Main Street Ventures, members of the Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors, and local political bigwigs down to Dante’s 4th Ring of Hell, where the avaricious […]

November 7th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

AADL Executive Director’s Fuzzy Math and Alleged Violations of Patrons’ Privacy Raises Red Flags


by P.D. Lesko Librarians are all about the numbers—exact numbers: Dewey decimals, due dates, number of copies, and call numbers. The Executive Director of the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) is all about numbers, too. However, her numbers are far from precise; in fact, one could argue that Ann Arbor District Library Executive Director Josie […]

October 31st, 2012 | Posted in Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

Almost ALL Washtenaw County Townships/Cities Opt OUT of $500M Dollar Regional Transit Plan


by P.D. Lesko Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje doesn’t have a good track record of getting other politicos to jump on board his transit schemes. The WALLY commuter train was supposed to run between Washtenaw and Livingston counties and be funded by local, state and federal money. Livingston County politicos gave Hieftje the brush off, refusing […]

October 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Econ,Featured,Politics,Taxes,Transportation | Read More »

Was Council Aware of the Successful Class Action Lawsuit Against Seattle’s Percent For Art Program Before Approving Ann Arbor’s Art Ordinance?


By P.D. Lesko In 2007, Ann Arbor City Council passed the Public Art Ordinance that sets aside one percent of funds from all public construction budgets for art projects — to a maximum of $250,000 per project. On the City of Ann Arbor web site, it says that John Hieftje “championed the Percentage for Art Program to […]

August 22nd, 2012 | Posted in Art,Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

Still Stealing You Blind: Ann Arbor SPARK Spends $7.7M & Creates 79 Jobs


by Rob Smith The 1 percent here in Ann Arbor are just different than us. They look at out-of-work folks and hungry children, homeless men and women tossed out of Camp Take Notice, struggling small businesses and cash-strapped school districts, and then light their clove cigarettes with other people’s $100 dollar bills. They feel good […]

June 26th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Taxes | Read More »

House Calls: Rep. Jeff Irwin — “Snake Oil Salesman” Republicans Have Slowed Michigan’s Recovery


Representative Jeff Irwin, a Democrat, served for a decade as a Washtenaw County Commissioner. In January 2011, he began his first term in the Michigan House of Representatives. In his regular column, House Calls, A2Politico will pose a single question to Representative Irwin and he will answer it. The questions will focus on his work in […]

April 11th, 2012 | Posted in Econ,Economic Development,Featured,House Calls,Michigan politics,Politics,Taxes | Read More »

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