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Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B

I, too, have misgivings about this proposal, and here are some of my

1. There was no public process.
The Mayor lied about this in the forum held at the State Theater. He said
that there had been public input at an A2 Planning Commission meeting.
There was not, ever, such a meeting. There was a public input session held
*after* the State Theater forum, in which the planning commission and the
public could give their opinion on the topic, but to what purpose? the
ballot initiative was pushed through hurriedly by Council in August, a
month when people usually travel before school starts. One must wonder why
this was! was it because no one wanted the idea 'diluted' by public
process? wouldn't it have been better to discuss it for a year, gain more
information & studies as well as more public buy-in, and then vote on it?

2. There is no support for affordable housing.
I don't expect this one vote to solve this recurring problem, but am
disturbed that the Mayor on the one hand says he is 'for' affordable
housing, and on the other coordinates an end run around the Planning
Commission & the affordable housing committees (which COUNCIL created) to
halt discussions about accessory dwelling units before that public process
even got off the ground. The issue  of ADUs was viewed by many affordable
housing advocates as the smallest, easiest step to take toward more
affordable housing, and it went down in flames. Does the Council and Mayor
really have the political will to tackle affordable housing? I don't think

3. There is little support for higher densities within the City.
The most recent planning iniative of the city, the NE Area plan,
recommended moderate increases in density. Over and over again, any
increase in density was met with STRONG opposition, both from citizens and
the Council. Again, no political will to do what needs to be done.

4. Little coordination with the surrounding townships.
We *might* have one townshp willing to put their money where their mouth
is, i.e. Ann Arbor Township. Only two others - Pittsfield and Scio - have
even talked about putting money towards this plan. What about the other
townships further out that are affected by this plan? NO coordination was
made with them, they didn't hear about this plan until it was in the news.
Is this good regional planning?

5. No input from professional planners.
Why, when we have a wealth of professionals who deal with planning issues
like this every day for their jobs, in the form of City planning staff and
professors at UM and EMU, were none of them consulted about this ballot?
I'm not saying that they have all the answers, but it seems awfully wrong
to have the City planning staff first hear about this from reading the
newspaper, as I have heard!

My own personal take on this issue...
- I am against using A2 money outside our boundaries if the townships do
not also put money towards the purchase.
- I would only use this money to buy land that is contiguous to existing
parks to make a connected greenbest and/or for land that is significant to
the Huron Watershed, our source of water. I am not for buying "open space"
simply because it is open.
- I really hope that the city will use a clear, unbiased method in
choosing properties, and not simply to stop development in politically hot
areas (witness Dickins Woods).

Am I voting for this proposal? I honestly don't know; I go back and forth
on the issue. Time is running out of course, and I fully expect I'll go to
the voting polls on Tuesday with questions still in my mind.


-K. Gibbs

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
        - Mahatma Gandhi

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