knowing where to begin

Not sure of what motivated Ypsilanti voters to approve a new Charter Commission. As I had publicly indicated, my recommendation was to vote no on a general revision to the charter. Yet here we are with a newly elected Charter Commission comprised of Cheryl Farmer, Jim Hawkins, Karen Valvo, Bill Fennel, Peter Fletcher, Jim Fink, Bob Doyle, Kim Porter-Hoppe and myself.

A reading of state law (MCL 117.20) would seem to indicate that the commission must hold its first meeting on the second Tuesday following the election…November 16, 2010.

A thorough review of the current charter is an exercise that will enlighten many on how the charter shapes our self-government. I would encourage our community to learn more about what is outlined in and defined by the current form of the charter. Perhaps that should be the first step of the process this commission embarks upon.


keeping the charter

There are two local issues on the November 2nd ballot in Ypsilanti.   One of them will provide for dedicated transit funding here in the city which I view as critically important.  The other relates to the requirement that voters get to decide every 16 years whether or not to call for the establishment of a Charter Commission to write a general revision of the Ypsilanti City Charter.  It is to this second ballot proposal that I will share my thoughts especially as that I appear on the ballot as a candidate for the Charter Commission.

I advocate a NO vote on the general revision question.  The current City Charter was key in ushering  in a period of competent, accountable and responsive governance for the City of Ypsilanti.

A careful reading of the charter will reveal its focus on ethical principles and the standard of public office as a public trust.  It was drafted by a bipartisan Charter Commission of 1994 that included Peter Fletcher, Ann Cleary Kettles, Norm Kennedy, Jerome Strong, Esther Williams, Cheryl Farmer, Robert Kilpatrick, Suzanne Shaw and Joan Kennedy Hughes.  This group was politically, ethnically and culturally diverse – truly representative of our community overall.

Vote John Gawlas for Charter Commission
Yes my name appears on the November ballot to serve on a Charter Commission.  Yet I urge all voters in Ypsilanti to join me in voting NO to the GENERAL REVISION proposal to the City Charter.  It is mainly as a contingency that I offer myself as a candidate in the unlikely event this proposal were to be passed by voters.  In that event, it is important that we have individuals guiding that process who have broad perspective, knowledge of the structure of government and a commitment to fairness.  I offer myself as someone who has a long tenure as a public representative with a thorough understanding of defining both the limits and expectations of local government.

Please vote YES on the Charter Amendment for Public Transit.  Please vote NO to establish a Charter Commission to write a general revision of the Ypsilanti City Charter.

technical difficulties

There have been some issues with the migration of the website to the new WP johng4ypsi blog site.  So we are hoping that the support folk at microsoft or WP can help restore the previous content.

UPDATE:  Andrew from WP has resolved the migration thing.  I guess the happiness engineers are pretty much what they’re labeled.

We must move forward

I watched a most amazing program on PBS the other night.  Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City examined how Detroit, a symbol of America’s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and (seeming lack of) progress in America.  It firmly jivved with my belief that we cannot escape the fact that our future is in being the regional entity of southeastern Michigan.  Most successful and growing communities owe their fortunes to the notion of being regional collectives that embrace greater resources because of their cooperative approach.
The program video is available on the PBS website:

Domain Squatting at its Finest


Here’s a little look behind the scenes…




    <TITLE>YpsiTucky LLC</TITLE>

<META name="description" content="Ypsilanti Michigan YpsiTucky Music and Video Studio" />

<META name="keywords" content="Jamboree, bluegrass, music, ypsitucky, Ypsilanti, Ypsi, Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan, EMU, U-M, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti Township, City of Ypsilanti, A2, Michigan Newspaper, Ann Arbor News, Ypsilanti News, Ypsilanti Newspaper" />




<BODY bgcolor="Black" text="White" link="White" vlink="White" alink="White">




<font face="Arial,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif" size="6" color="White">

          <h1>YpsiTucky, LLC <br>Adult Movie Studio Complex</h1>



<font face="Arial,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif" size="2" color="White">


<h2>Ypsilanti, Michigan</h2>


<h2>Home of the Brick Dick</h2>


<img src=""&gt;








Whois info for,
96 Mowat Ave
Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
Domain name: YPSITUCKY.COM
Administrative Contact:,
    96 Mowat Ave
    Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
Technical Contact:,
    96 Mowat Ave
    Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
Registration Service Provider:
Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 01-Apr-2009.
Record expires on 22-Jun-2009.
Record created on 22-Jun-2008.
Registrar Domain Name Help Center:
Domain servers in listed order:
(Thanks to Candace for this special insight.  Now who is making all this ruckus about the "Ypsitucky" name not being appropriate?)

A man’s got to believe in something and I believe I’ll have another drink

YPSILANTI – City Council member requests a cocktail during meeting while calling for funding cuts to municpal bus service.
Does anyone remember the sheer audacity behind this campaign statement?  Remember how voting no to revenue increases was the way to safeguard bus service?  Well, while Robb requests that they make him a cocktail, he apparently is out to prove that maybe voting no to revenue increases was not the way to safeguard bus funding.
Well, at least he is consistent.  He campaigned against raising revenues (which apparently will force reductions in bus funding).  He argued at the council table that we not budget for the cost of the bus service agreement.  Now he again returns to his mantra of cut funding for bus service.  I am going to guess that Brian Robb never got around to signing the Keep Ypsi Rollin’ petition a few years back.  So what should we discern from Robb’s proposal?  That bus service is not critical to residents?  Or that we should count on the largesse of AATA?  Maybe it’s the idea that if Ypsilanti cuts its own funding to public transportation, it will spur the county voters to approve a transit millage for commuter rail AND enhanced bus service?
Wait, aren’t we all solidly behind the Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter rail service and want desperately for there to be a stop in Ypsilanti?  Don’t think bus service and commuter rail aren’t mutually complementary?  Well, they are and deconstructing one doesn’t improve the chances for the other.
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  • Bring out your dregs

    April 20 – 24, 2009
    Double Trash Week

    The City of Ypsilanti provides two "double trash limit" removal periods each calendar year. This year our "double trash limit" removal will take place the weeks of April 20, 2009 and August 17, 2009 for all City curbside eligible properties. Each residential unit is permitted during this week to set out two times the normal trash volume on their regular trash day. This means that a single family home may set out six, 32 gallon containers and two large items. Two unit apartments may set out twelve, 32 gallon containers and four large items.  Three units or larger may set out eighteen, 32 gallon containers and six large items.

    For additional information please contact the Public Services office at (734) 483-1421.