(May 27, 2008) Ypsilanti City Manager Ed Koryzno in his budget presentation that was presented to the City Council at a May 8th special meeting told council the City property millage will go up by additional 1.02 mills.
This millage increase is above the general operating millage, which is capped by state law, thus this increase is not subject to a voter approval. The City’s portion of the millage rate will increase from 29.6 to 30.6. Ypsilanti has the highest property taxes in the County.
(May 20, 2008) The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and Target Corporation present Ypsi Pops: A Tribute to the Americas, a free concert by the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 24th at 2:00 pm. The concert will be held at Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park Pavilion with parking available in the Depot Town parking lots. This will be the YSO’s first ever outdoor concert at Riverside Park. Depot Town businesses will be offering food and beverages for sale during the event. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating. In case of rain, the concert will be rescheduled for Sunday, May 25th at 2:00 pm.
The Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 9th season, under the baton of founding Music Director Adam C. Riccinto. The YSO is primarily a volunteer adult orchestra comprised of musicians from Ypsilanti and the surrounding communities. The YSO performs four regular season concerts from September through April, generally at Towsley Auditorium on the campus of WCC.
For more information, call 971-6355 ext. 203, or visit www.ypsilantisymphony.org.
(May 16, 2008) The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) announced the Ypsilanti Food Co-op has received a grant of $35,980 for two solar energy projects. The grant is to install solar photo-voltaic panels on the Co-op as well as on City Hall.
The grants are part of the MPSC’s Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund, which provides energy bill assistance for low-income customers and promotes the efficient use of energy by all customer classes.
(May 15, 2008) Two people filed petitions on Monday and Tuesday to run for Ypsilanti City Council. That brings to seven the total number of folks running for three seats in the August 5th primary. The deadline to file was 4pm on Tuesday.
In Ward 2, John Gawlas (Dem, Ward 2) filed his paper work on Monday. Gawlas is running against Mike Bodary who had already filed last week.
In Ward 1 Lois Richardson (Dem, Ward 1) is joined by newcomer Megan Turf. Turf filed her petitions on Thursday, May 8th. On Tuesday afternoon, just a couple of hours before the filing deadline, Tyrone Bridges also filed in Ward 1. Bridges ran against Richardson in 2000.
In Ward 3, former Mayor Pete Murdock is running against planning commissioner Rod Johnson. Current Ward 3 representative Brian Filipiak said he will not seek re-election.
Update1 May 16, 2008 Megan Turf submitted her petition on Thursday, May 8, 2008. The error was made in reporting.
(May 9, 2008) The Ypsilanti City Clerk’s office was busy this afternoon as four people submitted petitions to run for City Council as the deadline for filing is fast approaching. Deputy City Clerk Ed Golembiewski said all four had turned in valid petitions and each had enough signatures to insure they are on the August ballot.
Ward 3 is expected to have a heated race in the Democratic primary as former Ypsilanti Mayor Pete Murdock and Planning Commissioner Rod Johnson both submitted their petitions to get on the August ballot. Murdock and Johnson are seeking the seat vacated by Brian Filipiak (Dem, Ward 3) who decided to not run for re-election.
Murdock was a three term mayor of Ypsilanti as well as a former City Council member. Johnson is Chair of the Planning Commission and chair of CoPAC.
Johnson ran for City Council two years ago against Brian Robb (Dem, Ward 3) for an open seat. Johnson lost that race by just 12 votes.
Ted Windish already filed his paperwork to run as in independent from Ward 3 back in February. As an independent, Windish will skip the August primary and his name will appear on the November ballot.
Ward 3 covers the east side of the City essentially from east of the Water Tower and north of Michigan Avenue.
In Ward 1, incumbent Lois Richardson (Dem) also filed petitions on Friday. Richardson is seeking her third term on City Council. No other petitions have been filed in Ward 1.
Megan Turf filed a petition last week for Ward 1, but it was rejected by the City Clerk because of a problem with her form. Turf said she is recollecting signatures and expects to meet the Tuesday deadline.
Ward 1 is south of Michigan avenue and includes a small part of Summit and Recreation Park to the north.
Mike Bodary (pronounced Bo-dree) filed petitions on Friday as well. Bodary, a Democrat, is running for City Council in Ward 2. Bodary is a lifelong resident of Ypsilanti and his father was a long time police officer in the City.
John Gawlas (Dem, Ward 2) has yet to file petitions. Gawlas told YpsiNews last week that he plans to run for his fourth term. He said had pulled the filing paperwork but had not yet submitted it to the City Clerk.
Ward 2 is west of the Water Tower and North of Michigan Avenue.
The August primary is Tuesday, August 5th.
(May 8, 2008) Ypsilanti City Council voted down the controversial Truancy ordinance. Council at their meeting on April 15th tabled the issue after numerous residents voiced concerns about how it would be applied to students that did not attend Ypsilanti Public Schools.
Police Chief Matt Harshberger said that after further research by the attorney’s office, they learned the truancy ordinance was not needed. Harshberger said the Juvenile Court diverts all truancy cases to social services. Therefore, the truancy ordinance would be of no use.
Without further discussion, the truancy ordinance was defeated unanimously by City Council.
It was left unsaid why a similar ordinance, that had already been passed by Ypsilanti Township, was ever approved and why no one from the School district knew how Truancy cases were handled by the county court system.
(May 7, 2008) Brian Filipaik (Dem, Ward 3) has decided to not seek election for a second term. Filipiak who is one of two city council members to represent the northeast part of Ypsilanti in Ward 3. Brian Robb is the other member of council but his terms doesn’t expire for two more years.
Filipiak said that his decision not to run is not a reflection on any specific issue or difficulty at the Council, but rather his desire to finish his Masters at Eastern Michigan University. He says he has just three more classes before he completes his degree in Educational Technologies.
Filipiak said that the experience as a council member was very rewarding. He said he very much enjoyed getting to know other members on council and it has been an incredible education in both local and state government.
Filipiak said that he couldn’t point to any specific highlight, but that he was was most happy when Council could work together to bring a new business to town. He also said that he was especially moved by the hundreds of people that would come together to work on an issue. He said, “Blueprints was especially uplififting to see all that came out. That is very encouraging for the success of Ypsilanti.”
(May 5, 2008) According to a recent study by the Michigan Department of Treasury, Ypsilanti is not on a watch list of troubled communities.
Far from it. Ypsilanti scores very well, garnering a 2 out of 10. A lower number indicates lower risk. A score of 0 reflects the presence of neutral fiscal health and a score of 8 or above reflects a local unit experiencing fiscal stress.
That is a good news for the City as it prepares for a new budget this month.
According to the state, Ypsilanti was above average in fiscal stability scoring a 2.
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(May 5, 2008) We put together this video as our contribution to help promote Water Street at this weeks 2008 Detroit Brownfield Conference. Enjoy!
Water Street is a city owned 38 acre property in Downtown Ypsilanti Michigan that is available for redevelopment. With 1,500ft of frontage on Michigan Ave./US 12 and over one-half mile of frontage on the Huron River, the site is perfect for mixed use, sports, retail, hotel, residential, and office space. To learn more about this opportunity, please visit the City of Ypsilanti website at CityofYpsilanti.com.