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After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier in the month.
Each of the six appointments were approved individually, as a motion to divide the question was made by Councilmember Peter Mudock, D-Ward 3, and passed by City Council. Every re-appointment except Rod Johnson, to the Ypsilanti Planning Commission, was approved unanimously.
Murdock and Councilmember Michael Bodary, D-Ward 2, both voted against Johnson.
Both Johnson and John Bailey, to the Ypsilanti Zoning Board of Appeals, were on the agenda earlier in the month to have their re-appoints approved by City Council. However, the decision was postponed at that meeting until after the August primary election, when City Council voted to remove the item from the agenda and extend the terms of those individuals.
At the June 1 meeting, when councilmembers Brian Robb, D-Ward 3; Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1; Murdock, and Bodary voted in favor of removing the item from the agenda, Bodary explained the the appointees will work closely with the future mayor and the decision would be better made after seeing primary election results and, in turn, who will likely be Ypsilanti's new mayor.
“Those two positions will be working closely with the mayor, whoever that will be, for a long period of time,” Bodary said.
Mayor Paul Schreiber is running against Murdock in the Democratic mayoral primary. No Republicans are running in the election.
Appointments, which are made by the mayor and then approved or denied by City Council, range from two to five-year terms, depending on the position. Both Bailey and Johnson were to be considered for terms expiring on May 1, 2013, before the issue was tabled.
Murdock moved to table the motion, now with four other re-appointments, as soon as the matter came up for discussion. His motion was seconded by Bodary.
“I would like to see the people here appointed,” Schreiber said after the motion to table was made.
He said the people he presented for re-appointment were “hard-working” individuals with a “proven track record.
“I see no reason not to re-appoint them,” Schreiber said. “It moves the process along.
Murdock said the hold-up with these re-appointments were tied to other re-appointments considered earlier in the year, specifically with the Ypsilanti Housing Commission.
City Council had discussions with two re-appointments to the YHC, related to getting new individuals on the commission and with one re-appointment of an individual who no longer lives in the city. The city attorney later opined that it was not a requirement to have every commissioner live within the city limits.
Murdock said he suggested a candidate to Schreiber, but the individual was never considered. He said putting that person on the list of candidates would garner enough support from City Council to approve the other appointments.
“Otherwise we will delay them,” Murdock said.
“You can play the politics with them if you want. You can be the obstructionist if you want,” he said. “It's your choice.”
Bodary and Richardson said they had both made recommendations for the YHC that Schreiber never considered as well.
Mayor Pro Tem Trudy Swanson-Winston, D-Ward 1, then pointed out that none of the re-appointments were for the YHC. Other appointments were for the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority and the Ypsilanti Recreation Commission.
“I don't think we should table these appointments tonight,” she said.
By time a vote was taken on the motion to table, Murdock had withdrawn his support. Only Robb and Bodary voted to table. However, Murdock then motioned to divide the question and consider each of the six appointments individually.
Bodary supported Murdock's motion. The 4-3 vote left Schreiber, Winston and Councilmember Bill Nickels, D-Ward 2, dissenting.
When each name was called up for a vote, Schreiber gave a brief summary of each candidate's qualifications and experience on the board. Linda French, Sandee French and John Coleman were up for re-appointment for the DDA and Bob Krzewinski was up for the Recreation Commission.
After the meeting, Coleman addressed City Council during audience participation. He called the entire process a “slap in the face” to the people who volunteer their time to sit on an Ypsilanti board or committee.
“And you wonder why Ypsilanti is so dysfunctional,” Coleman said. “It's absolutely ridiculous.”
Council postpones two re-appointments