Monday, July 2, 2007

City Council's Broken Pledge

Doug Cowherd, chair of the Sierra Club's Huron Valley Group, comments on City Council's broken pledge

Last year Ann Arbor's City Council put a tax increase to provide additional funds for parks on the November 2006 ballot. Council unanimously passed a resolution stating that if the increased millage passed, then other funding for the parks would not be reduced if the City's general fund revenue increased.

Believing that the Council resolution meant that City Council would not play a game of budgetary "bait and switch" after the election, voters narrowly approved the tax increase for parks.

But only seven months later, eight Council members voted to break their promise to the voters. Despite an increase in general fund revenue for the coming year, Mayor Hieftje, and Council members Easthope, Greden, Higgins, Lowenstein, Rapundalo, Teall, and Woods all voted to reduce the amount of money in the general fund budget for parks. Arguing that Council could not honorably break their commitment, Council members Johnson, Suarez, and Kunselman voted to uphold Council's promise.

Click here for the full meeting with additional citizen comment.

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