Video: Ypsilanti DDA, October 16, 2008 (Update 1)

October 23, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

Meeting notes from the Ypsilanti DDA.

YpsiNews brought up during audience participation that the DDA violated the Open Meetings Act on October 3 and that no one from the DDA including the DDA director has not responded to our inquiries or admitted there was a problem.

DDA Director Brian Vosburg passed out, during a public meeting no less, the minutes from the closed session held on October 3, 2008. After the minutes were approved, he quickly collected them back up.

Tree lighting. The DDA has $3,000 budgeted for lights. Director Brian Vosberg will call a contractor to get a quote to install new lights and see if DPW is putting up the lights and garland.

0h:11m David Curtis is continuing to work on the locks for the dumpsters. A discussion on the dumpsters then ensued. Mayor Paul Schreiber said the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti meeting on Wednesday discussed the continue problems with dumpster. When Brian Vosburg was hired in the June 2006 he was directed by the DDA board to make the dumpsters a top priority. Two years later the dumpsters continue to be a problem and the DDA does not have a clear plan to fix the current problems with dumpster divers, and overflowing containers. One concern brought up was tenants would not remember the code. Though no one mentioned it, that is easy to solve. The landlords could but a small sign on the inside of their building by the door most people use to take out their trash with the current dumpster code.

0h:22m Director’s contractor should be completed.

0h:23m “To Downtown” Ypsilanti Update. Installation of the back racks is remaining project. Ron Rupert, HDC board member is installing the bike racks.

0h:24m:10s Discussion of recording secretary’s bill for additional services. Vosburg initially said he had no recommendation. Daryl Daniels pressed Vosburg and Vosburg flipped saying he recommended paying the invoice. The board approved the invoice with Kent Baumkel with Jim Nelson voting no. Nelson admonished the director saying this shouldn’t have come before the board and should have been handled administratively.

0h:32m Maintreet Program. Vosburg said he will attend more meetings. Vosburg said the RAC Off-Center is a bad place for meetings because of acoustics. It is unclear why meetings can’t be held in the gallery space at RAC or one of the local businesses. David Curtis had said in the past that Club Devine was available most days for meetings and was very quiet.

Schreiber said that he couldn’t find where the Blueprints plan had been adopted by the DDA and said the DDA should have a strong statement of endorsement. A resolution to endorse the Blueprints was made and approved with no discussion. Vosburg announced the Blueprints public meeting next Tuesday.

0h:36m Schreiber correctly pointed out that the DDA had never adopted the Blueprints plan. Neither has the City Council. So the DDA passed a resolution to support Blueprints. The DDA paid $25,000 for the Blueprints plan, it would be hard to imagine they wouldn’t agree withe the results. City Council adopted Blueprints on Tuesday.

0h:37m Facade Grants. Only one of the four applicants has agreed to to move forward with their complete plan for the facade work now that the state has cut funding. That is the Corner Health, a non-profit tax exempt building on North Huron. A second building the Riverside Arts Center Off-Center, will go forward with a partial facade renovation. More discussion ensued on how to property owners would submit costs for reimbursement by the state.

0h:42m EMU Wayfinding. EMU is willing to pay for the design and coordination of wayfinding signs in the City. The board at first seemed reluctant to accept the help. Then realized that EMU was actually inviting the board to participate and they accepted. The DDA board asked Vosburg if they could be notified about upcoming meetings

0h:55m WATS plan brochure. Washtenaw Area Transportation Authority is working on a brochure to encourage regional transportation. This is the start of a concerted effort by a number of parties including WATS, AATA, County, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor to push for a Regional transportation millage expected to be on the ballot in August 2009. Schreiber encouraged the YDDA to be involved. You can see Schreiber is building the consortium of all the folks to advocate for a higher millage to pay for regional transportation. If passed, the City would no longer

0:h:59m Parking signs. The DDA reported reported that the VGKids designed signs did not go over well at the DAY meeting the night before. They want simple parking signs.

1h:04h:33s Vosburg said in his professional opinion banner signs for parking are not a wise decision. He would would not say exactly why his profession and training said this was a bad idea except to say they were expensive and only temporary. DDA board member David Curtis pointed out that Wyandotte has banner parking signs. YpsiNews notes that so does Grand Rapids and Lansing use banners signs to indicate where parking.

Vosburg seems to be angling for VGKids to be paid for their work they did in designing parking signs. Vosburg said their was a verbal understanding to pay VGKids. However the DDA never approved that expenditure nor was the work offered to any other design studios including several others that are located in Ypsilanti.

Vosberg met with VGKids and he authorized VGKids to proceed. It isn’t clear that the DDA baord understands that Vosburg may have obligated the DDA to pay for any work done by VGKids without getting that approval prior ro work beginning.

The DDA board approved spending up to $600 for parking banner signs. Vosburg then indicated that VGKids was going to still work on fancy parking signs.

1h:13m Discussion about emails being deliberative and Daryl Daniels said he was concerned about certain emails being circulated amongst DDA members. The attorney said they don’t want to be holding meetings via email. Schreiber asked if you can share opinions via email with less than a quorum. Attorney Tischler nodded in agreement and then said “right.”

Tiscler is sadly wrong. What Schreiber was outlining was a process called round robining where you poll mmembers one at a time to buod a consensus or make a desicions and then claim there was no meeting becasue of a lack of a quorum. Round Robinning by email or phone is not allowed under the open meetings act and Attorneys General opinions.

1h:16m Board elections are in November and Peter Rhinehart said the board should expect a full slate to be elected.

1h:28m RAC/DTE real estate easement. Concerns were brought up by DTE’s requirement that they could ask for the elevator be removed if RAC is sold bothered some on the board.

1h:36m RAC and Oktoberfest. RAC is having the fundraiser outside downtown which has irked some downtown businesses. Nelson said the RAC board passed a resolution asking for suggestions from downtown business for other fundraisers. YpsiNews polled businesses downtown if they had heard that RAC passed a resolution for suggestions for fundraisers. They said they had not

1h:39m Meeting adjourned

Update 1 : (Oct 24, 2008) It was earlier reported that the RAC was not on the tax rolls. While correct the RAC is on not on the tax rolls, it is a city owned building, it t is the RAC Off-Center that is undergoing the facade improvement and will receive MSHDA grant funding. The RAC Off-Center is leased from DTE for one dollar per year and is on the tax rolls. The error was in reporting.

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