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AATA Board Members “Retiring” In Face of County-Wide Transit Debacle


by P.D. Lesko Long-time Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Board members Jesse Bernstein and David Nacht will be “retiring.” The public story is that the two have served their terms and are happily busing off into the sunset. The truth, however, is that the “retirement” of Bernstein and Nacht comes at the insistence of several City […]

February 14th, 2013 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Featured,Politics,Transportation | 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 »

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 »

East Lansing Amtrak Station on MSU Property Gets $6 Million Federal Grant For Expansion

East Lansing Amtrak

P.D. Lesko This is not satire. Those who support alternative transportation and expanded transit should read it and weep. Elected officials in East Lansing, Michigan—along with officials at Michigan State University—recently showed how real Democrats do transit expansion. First, you reuse the city’s current station. Then, you apply and win a multi-million dollar federal grant and […]

July 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Featured,Politics,Transportation | Read More »

How Much “Fire, Ready, Aim” Leadership Cost Taxpayers This Time


by P.D. Lesko The University of Michigan picked up its marbles and is going home. Officials there are now looking to build the U.’s next parking garage anywhere but on a 10 acre parcel of riverside parkland on Fuller Road. While the U walks away having shelled out relatively little money, Ann Arbor taxpayers are […]

February 13th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,City Council,Econ,Featured,Money,Politics,Taxes,Transportation | Read More »

Residents Say “No Go” to Mayor’s Plan To Pay For County-Wide & Regional Transit With City Millage

Derailed train

by P.D. Lesko The public speaker, an older woman who rides the bus regularly, recounted a conversation with a friend who lives outside of Ann Arbor: “My friend said to me that she wished the AATA buses would run near her house so she could take them. I said to her, ‘Well then, you should […]

January 24th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Featured,Politics,Transportation | Read More »

Council Members in Open Revolt: Challenge Mayor & Insist Transit Proposal Is Seriously Flawed


by P.D. Lesko Third Ward Council member Stephen Kunselman has been a pain in John Hieftje’s butter dish ever since Kunselman knocked off Leigh Greden in the 2009 stunner of a primary election. While Kunselman won by a 6 vote margin, Greden lost big overall in a three-way race that saw the 3-term incumbent manage […]

January 22nd, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Featured,Politics,Transportation | Read More »

Head of AATA Admits in Email That “Many Folks” Prefer That Millage Money Fund Existing City-Wide Transit, Not Proposed County-Wide Plan


by P.D. Lesko In September 2011, former Ann Arbor News reporter Tom Gantert did what he does best: published the truth. In point of fact, writing for Michigan Capitol Confidential, Gantert published information about the pay of staffers at the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. Gantert published his piece after the Board of the AATA had […]

January 18th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Featured,Politics,Transportation | Read More »

Via Email Blast Local Politicos Urge Public To Rise Up & Stop Mayor’s Anti-Democratic Scheming


by P.D. Lesko In 2004, the Ann Arbor News Editorial Board published an endorsement of Hieftje’s mayoral opponent that included this zinger, preserved for posterity by Google: “Hieftje’s largest failure is not one of vision, but leadership. Few are willing to publicly criticize Hieftje because they expect quick retaliation and there is good reason for […]

January 16th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Featured,Politics,Transportation | Read More »

Ann Arbor Crosswalk Ordinance Mess Gets National Attention


by P.D. Lesko On The Atlantic’s web site, writer Micki Maynard quotes David Askins of The AnnArborChronicle.com explaining how the pedestrian crosswalk ordinance mess has gotten so out of hand. Askins, with a straight face one presumes, sums up the political pile up thusly: “The basic idea that ‘I’m smarter than you’ is one that I […]

December 2nd, 2011 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,City Council,Featured,Politics,Safety,Transportation | Read More »

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