Downtown Business Forum — November 2, 2006

November 7, 2006 by  
Filed under News hosted the first of what we hope will be a number of forums and action committees to foster growth in downtown Ypsilanti. This meeting was held on a very cold November night at EMU’s College of Business and was attended by almost 100 citizens.

Watch Video of Downtown Forum, November 2, 2006
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Appeals Court dissolves receivership of Thompson Building

November 6, 2006 by  
Filed under News

(November 6, 2006) In a major turn of events for the City of Ypsilanti, the receivership of the much maligned Thompson Building in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town has been ordered removed. In a ruling handed down on November 2, 2006, by the Michigan State Court of Appeals, a three judge panel has ordered the receivership to be terminated.

The Court affirms that ownership of the building transfered to Barnes and Barnes in 2005 so no further receivership exists. It is unclear as to who has current ownership of the building. The City Assessor still lists David Kircher as the owner, however the building was sold on April 28, 2005 to Barnes. Stewart Beal has filed paper work with the City for tax credits under the state’s obsolete property rehabilitation act (OPRA). Neither Barnes or Beal have disclosed the terms of their deal or who has current ownership of the property.

The court has also ordered that Judge Shelton account for expenses for the remediation for state fire code violations and the city building code violations under separate accounts and return any money not spent on remediating these two nuisances to Kircher.

Judge Shelton also came under fire from the Appeals Court for not properly supervising the expenditure of funds and for delaying action on the previous remand to Judge Shelton’s court. The Appeals Court also found that the amount of the lien for the Sheriff’s sale was not correct. However, the court did not invalidate the sale of the property to Barnes.

While it is unlikely the building will be returned to Kircher, Kircher has indicated that he has several other appeals are in process so final ownership is still in question. The biggest loser under this recent decision may be Stewart Beal as he had been spending money over the past year as the current receiver. The Appeals Court stated that no such receivership exists because of the sale to Barnes in April 2005, so Beal is not entitled to any money or a lien on the property.

[Editors Note: The city has responded to this posting by giving their own legal review of the Appeals Court decision.]

Second Ypsilanti Marine killed in Iraq

November 6, 2006 by  
Filed under News

(November 6, 2006) The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Ypsilantian, Maj. Gerald A. Bloomfield was killed in Iraq’s Ramadi province when his helicopter was shot down. Also killed in the incident were Bloomfield’s co-pilot, Capt. Michael Martino, 32, of Fairfax, Va., and an as yet unidentified American lieutenant who died when a bomb exploded as he rushed to the crash site.

This was Maj. Bloomfield’s third tour of duty. Bloomfield was a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. He is survived by his wife Julie and 13-year-old son Ryan.

Maj. Bloomfield is the second Ypsilantian to die in combat operations in the past week. Cpl. Gary A. Koehler, 21, of Ypsilanti, died Wednesday during combat in Anbar province. While funeral arrangements for Cpl. Koehler are still pending, services for Cpl. Koehler will be held in the First United Methodist Church at Washington and Washtenaw in Ypsilanti, said his father-in-law Gary Moss. Cpl. Koehler married Hillary Moss, his high school sweetheart, in the same church earlier this year.

City Council hires new City Clerk

November 6, 2006 by  
Filed under News

(October 31, 2006) On a night when most people were home with their kids, City Council guaranteed a low citizen turn out by holding a special meeting on a chilly Halloween evening to interview the remaining three of six finalists for City Clerk.

While the interviews themselves were somewhat boring and one candidate droned for far too long, it was interesting to hear the questions asked by council as you get a sense of the some of the issues that council has had with the last two clerks.

The most interesting part of the meeting is the discussion by council regarding the six candidates which begins at hour 2:12. Twenty six minutes later, the decision had been made to select the first candidate they interviewed the Friday before, Ohioan Lisa Johnson. No word yet on how much council will offer in a salary package but you can expect it to be over $65,000.

One interesting point came up during the interview when the council outlined the reduction of staffing in the clerks office from four employees to two, the clerk and assistant clerk. Readers may remember that the current Mayor was very critical of Mayoral Candidate Steve Pierce for his suggestion that partnering with the county for clerk services would save over $25,000 year. It appears Mr. Pierce under estimated the savings. By eliminating two positions and partnering with the county for some services, the city will save over $50,000 a year in the clerk’s office. missed the first 25 minutes of the meeting because we had the wrong time, the error was ours.

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