20/20 committee meets to plan vision for Ypsilanti

(June 26, 2007) Despite a rocky start, the Ypsilanti 20/20 committee got off the ground last night at City Hall. Billed as an organizational meeting, the meeting stretched for almost two hours and was full of interesting ideas and a passion that hasn’t been seen at City Hall for some time. There was only one audience member, Brain Robb (Dem, Ward 3), who quietly sat in the back and watched.

Watch the Ypsilanti 20/20 Committee meeting — June 25, 2007

This was was a really fun meeting. If you want to see what is good about Ypsilanti, we highly recommend you watch the video. It was great to see people excited about baseball in Ypsilanti which has been an idea in the works for some time. There were many other great ideas from independent retailers, sustainable agriculture, and green cities.

Yeah we know, the original promise was for the 20/20 to meet and come up with recommendations in the first 100 days of the new administration. It was 230 days from the election before the first meeting so they are a little slow getting started. And we know the meeting was likely a violation of the Open Meetings Act because the meeting was never properly posted at City Hall. But that wasn’t the fault of the committee members, rather city staff should shoulder the blame because staff should know the rules. It was also a little disconcerting when Gary Clark, interim Chair, called YpsiNews thirty minutes before the meeting and told us that that there was nothing going on at tonights meeting and said we didn’t need to attend.

We are glad we didn’t listen. The meeting was full of energy, great ideas, diverse backgrounds, and you could see that folks were anxious to get to work. Mayor Paul Schreiber should be complemented for the group he has put together. Lets hope that the politics and divisiveness too often seen inside City Hall, leaves these folks alone and lets them do their job of shaping a vision for our community. If the committee can focus on the vision and idea generation, and not become a rubber stamp for things like an Income Tax or Water Street, then this committee has great promise. Mr. Mayor, nice job.

Comments

3 Comments on "20/20 committee meets to plan vision for Ypsilanti"

  1. Cousins Vinyl on Tue, 26th Jun 2007 12:07 pm 

    I am so excited about the minor league baseball idea. I think a lot of people are. Please keep us posted so we know how this is progressing. Any other details? How far along/realistic is this? Would Water Street project area be big enough?

    I like the Liberators name, but I also heard that the Bombers would be a possibilty, which I like even more due to the history and close proximity to the old Bomber Plant.

    Even thinking about the possibilty is exciting. Good work 2020!

  2. Steve Pierce on Tue, 26th Jun 2007 2:42 pm 

    Water Street is one location and yes that site is plenty big enough. It would still leave room for a great park along the river and room for other development.

    The problem is getting over the naysayers. The former mayor at the last the Water Street meeting in February said “We don’t want a baseball park in Ypsilanti.” She never said why this was bad, it was simply a proclamation.

    I don’t know how you overcome the fixed in the mud ideas that got us into this mess in the first place. But we need to scrap those old ideas that got us into this mess and start looking at new ideas.

    The former Mayor suggested the Co-op to move to Water Street. Cool idea, however moving a business from one location to another in the city doesn’t really do anything for economic growth or improving our tax base. Moving a non-profit from one area of the city to another doesn’t help in paying the bonds back either.

    Hey, it would be great if the Co-Op would locate in Water Street, but according to the City, they need $55 million of vertical construction by December 2008 or the city will have to start drawing money from the General Fund to pay the Water Street Debt.

    We have to be open to all ideas and until we are, ideas like a Baseball park and a host of other ideas we should be talking about will continue to flounder.

    There are some very serious folks talking about Baseball in Ypsilanti. Instead of just saying, “We don’t want a baseball park,” perhaps we ought to hear them out and see what they are thinking. It could be very cool.

    Cheers!

    – Steve

  3. jibjab on Tue, 3rd Jul 2007 2:29 pm 

    I’d support any productive use of the land. Baseball, parking – anything to help generate revenue for the city. Otherwise this empty plot of land is going to take Ypsi down the drain….

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