AATA Board meeting on-line

May 24, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(May 24, 2007) In another first for Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County, YpsiNews.com has posted video of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) Board meeting on the Internet. This is the first time an AATA meetings has been available to the public. The meeting was held Wednesday night in Ann Arbor. AATA is very important for Ypsilanti and the surrounding area especially as the City of Ypsilanti has proposed cuts to AATA funding beginning in 2008. YpsiNews is going to do our best to record as many meetings as possible.

Watch AATA Board Meeting — May 23, 2007

We hope to be able in the future to work with the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living and the University of Michigan to be able to provide closed captioning for all meetings.

We have also been asked if we can provide videos for the Community Access Channel. Yes! We don’t know if they are interested in our videos, but we have a call into their office and we will let you know what we find out.

As this was our first meeting, we have a lot to learn about AATA. One of the board members came up to us and said they visit the YpsiNews.com website all the time, which is pretty cool. I hope recording their meetings doesn’t scare them away. There was hushed discussion at the table before the meeting, and you could over hear one staff member tell the board that the public can video tape a meeting.

The meeting got started about 10 minutes late as they were waiting for one board member. There was an extended discussion, mostly by Ted Annis, Secretary of Board, and Chris White from AATA about moving forward on a Park and Ride. In Washington D.C. they call them Kiss and Rides. Without AATA owning land and no specific developments or sites identified as possible partners, it seems like it will take a while before the Park and Rides will get off the ground.

There was an announcement about the free service on all AATA fixed routes this Friday, May 25th.

Being this was our first meeting, it was interesting to see the process. One feature that was very positive was Audience participation was right at the very beginning of the meeting. As long time readers know, Ypsilanti has been pushing and pushing the audience participation part of their meeting later and later in the meeting.

In Ypsilanti, even when the meeting starts on time, which doesn’t happen too often, audience participation is often an hour or more later. AATA has audience participation right at the beginning and that is very good.

AATA also had an executive session (closed meeting) at the end of the meeting to talk about real estate and labor issues. It appears that the AATA Board violated the Open Meetings Act. They didn’t state the part of the act as reason for the closed session, nor did they take a roll call vote as required under the act.

It was our first time at an AATA Board meeting, so no need to get started on the wrong foot. It may have simply been that the Chair didn’t know the rules governing the Open Meetings Act. However, it is important to make sure that every public board is conducting their business in view of the public and following state law. We will continue to be vigilant and push for more open government.

We plan to be at the AATA board meeting in June. If you would like to volunteer to help record these and other meetings, we need volunteers. The equipment is very easy to use, it take less than 5 minutes to train someone, so if you are interested, call or email YpsiNews.com.


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