As reported by the Ann Arbor News, "The council first voted in April to fund the service in full. But Council Member Bill Nickels, D-2nd Ward, was absent for that vote and asked the council Tuesday to reconsider its decision. He called it improper to cut other services to balance the city’s budget while sparing the bus service.The council approved the resolution to keep bus service in full in a 4-1 vote, with Robb voting against it.
Gawlas said many people in the city depend on the bus for transportation, and reducing the service would impact more people than cuts in other services – especially at a time when the price of gas continues to rise. "It’s important for us to maintain the bus service," he said.
From the minutes of Thursday, 08 may 2008, of the Ypsilanti City Council Meeting:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Ypsilanti commits to safeguard this minimum service level and City Council hereby directs the City Manager to identify potential additional funding options including, but not limited to, further contribution from the general fund for the fiscal year ending 2009; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council, both collectively and individually, undertake the task of advancing public understanding of the tentative nature of public transportation as it exists and call for a coalition of municipalities, institutions and private businesses to advocate a regional transportation model that better serves the needs of the County of Washtenaw.
OFFERED BY: Council Member Gawlas SUPPORTED BY: Mayor Pro-Tem Swanson Council Member
On roll call, the vote to approve the resolution was as follows:
Council Member Filipiak Yes
Council Member Robb No
Council Member Gawlas YES
Mayor Pro-Tem Swanson Yes
Council Member Nickels Absent
Mayor Schreiber Yes
Council Member Richardson Yes
Finally, again on 27 May 2008, the City Council again considered the support of bus service provided by AATA and approved the following resolution:
From the minutes of Thursday, 27 may 2008, of the Ypsilanti City Council Meeting:
WHEREAS the City of Ypsilanti has committed to safeguard current service levels provided by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) and anticipates entering into a Purchase of Service Agreement (POSA) that maintains those levels, and
WHEREAS, the Ypsilanti City Council has previously given direction to the City Manager through Resolution 2008-088 to identify potential additional funding options including, but not limited to, further contribution from the general fund for the fiscal year ending 2009, and Council Budget Session May 27, 2008 4
WHEREAS, the City Council was provided a memorandum from the Assistant City Manager dated 16 May 2008 outlining three options by which the City can contribute in the event other outside funding such as partnerships are unable to be secured,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council rejects any option that directs the City Manager to eliminate more personnel as a funding strategy for the Purchase of Service Agreement (POSA), and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council hereby accepts the recommendation of staff and directs the City Manager to allocate the necessary balance of funding from the projected excess revenues for the fiscal year ending 2009.
OFFERED BY: Council Member Gawlas SUPPORTED BY: Council Member Nickels
The roll call vote was as follows:
Council Member Filipiak – Yes
Council Member Robb – No
Council Member Gawlas – YES
Mayor Pro-Tem Swanson – Absent
Council Member Nickels – Yes
Mayor Schreiber – Yes
Council Member Richardson – Absent
Political hyperbole aside (which I understandably expect during the normal political), Mr. Obermeyer’s misrepresentation of the facts is incompetence at best and at worst represents a willful effort to engage in deceitful actions in the advocacy of his chosen candidate. Ypsilanti deserves better than this and I call Mr. Obermeyer out on his fabrication.