Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

City won’t cover mayor pro-tem's legal fees

Mayor Paul Schreiber, left, and Mayor Pro Tem Trudy Swanson, D-Ward 1; right, at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Council voted to table a measure to cover legal fees Swanson accrued during a 2007 investigation. Also pictured, City Clerk Frances McMullan. Photo by Dan DuChene

Mayor Paul Schreiber, left, and Mayor Pro Tem Trudy Swanson, D-Ward 1; right, at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Council voted to table a measure to cover legal fees Swanson accrued during a 2007 investigation. Also pictured, City Clerk Frances McMullan.

No discussion on matter as Council votes to table

By Dan DuChene
Feb. 4, 2009    ·    1:00 a.m.

--Updated Feb. 4, 2009 - 11:08 a.m.--

A request to cover the legal fees Mayor Pro Tem Trudy Swanson, D-Ward 1, accrued during a city investigation was tabled by Council Tuesday.

In a 6-1 vote, with Swanson voting against, the matter was decided without any discussion after Councilmember Peter Murdock, D-Ward 3, made the motion. It was seconded by Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3.

Murdock said had made the motion because there is no discussion allowed when City Council is considering to table an agenda item.

“(The original incident) was two years ago,” he said. “It shouldn’t be our place to cover the cost.”

The motion can not be brought up for consideration again unless a member who had voted in favor moves to reconsider and Council votes in favor.

After the meeting, Councilmember Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1, pointed out she can move to reconsider the matter as she had voted in favor of motion.

Swanson retained the attorney, Detroit-based Gad L. Holland, in 2007, when the city launched an investigation into a harassment complaint filed by Jill Kulhanek, a city police officer, in April 2007. Her fees totaled $3,280.

Kulhanek had filed the complaint with Ypsilanti Police Chief Matt Harshberger and City Attorney John Barr, alleging Swanson had made derogatory comments about her sexuality during a party at Club Divine to celebrate former Fire Chief John Robert’s retirement.

Barr hired investigator David Kempner to look into the matter. In his report, issued the following June, Kempner interviewed Swanson, Kulhanek and other witnesses. The investigation cost the city $5,824.

City Council had voted to hold a hearing on the matter in July, which would have called witnesses to testify to Council. This measure was approved 4-3, with Swanson, Richardson and Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, voting against.

At its next meeting, however, Council decided not to hold the hearing in a 5-2 vote. Mayor Paul Schreiber said he had voted to abandon the hearing due to what he considered the report’s inconclusive results. Swanson and Richardson were the dissenting votes.

“I think this is a very bad move,” Swanson said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I would rather you had talked about it and voted it down.

“Just put your feelings out,” she said.

In response to Swanson’s comments, Schreiber said her bill had been submitted to City Council’s insurance company, but the claim had been turned down because Swanson wasn’t acting as a councilmember when the event occurred, and thus wasn’t covered.

“We’re not covered when we’re not at the council table,” he said. “I feel this fee is a private expense.”

Richardson agreed with Schreiber, but noted both Swanson and Kulhanek were off duty at the time.

“Actually it was a private affair,” she said. “It was between two private citizens, and it should have been handled that way.”

Swanson had asked if Kulhanek had hired a lawyer for the matter. She requested staff to look in to the matter. She also wanted to know how the fees were paid if one had been obtained, whether personally, through the city or her union.
Editor's note: The original story was changed to more accurately reflect the decisions made by City Council in 2007 stemming from the investigation.


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