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

DDA names front-runner for director's position

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority has named Highland Twp. DDA Director Tim Colbeck the top candidate for its open director position. He will be interviewed in the next few weeks before a final decision by the board, which is expected in May. Photo by courtesy of Tim Colbeck

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority has named Highland Twp. DDA Director Tim Colbeck the top candidate for its open director position. He will be interviewed in the next few weeks before a final decision by the board, which is expected in May.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Authority members to meet candidate, expect vote in May

By Mark Tower
Apr. 15, 2010    ·    2:27 p.m.

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority is one step closer to having a full-time director, owing to a decision Thursday to openly consider Tim Colbeck, currently Highland Township's DDA director, for the position.

Ypsilanti's DDA has not yet offered Colbeck the job, waiting instead until its May meeting, which authority members not on the search committee said would give them the chance to meet the candidate and ask him questions about the job, his goals and his qualifications.

“I'd like to be able to ask him some questions,” authority member Darryl Daniels said. “I thought the recommended candidate would be brought in front of full board to do that.”

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber, who also sits on the DDA, agreed with Daniels, saying it is important that they take their time in such a crucial decision.

“This is the most important thing we do as a board, so we shouldn't be rushing into it,” Schreiber said. “I think we need to take as much time as we need to make each board member comfortable with the decision.”

Colbeck was the search committee's second choice in the initial search for a director, behind Teresa Gillotti, who accepted a planner position with the city in February. Authority member Rene Greff said the original search committee was split on which candidate was the first and second choice since both were very high-quality candidates.

Though Ypsilanti is a larger community than Highland, where Colbeck has served as DDA director for a year and a half, he said his experience working for a community development corporation in midtown Detroit would serve him well working in the more urban setting of downtown Ypsilanti.

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Colbeck said he would enjoy coming back after several years, and would enjoy the challenge of working with tight budget constraints and setting short and long-term goals to improve development of the city's downtown area.

“It's an exciting opportunity for me,” Colbeck said. “The initial excitement would be getting in there, settling in, shaking hands; that's the fun part.”

Greff said Colbeck's reference checks came back positively and said the salary for the new DDA director would be $55,280 plus benefits.

The director's position was first posted last year, after former director Brian Vosberg resigned last May, and the job posting gained responses from 57 applicants. The DDA's search committee had previously discussed re-posting the position after Gillotti took the city planner job, but the executive committee decided instead at a meeting Tuesday to consider Colbeck, the second choice in the original interview process.

The DDA previously had Jennifer Coe, an associate with Carlisle/Wortman Associates, Inc., as it's interim director, but decided to terminate that contract in February because of the high cost of Coe's $75 per hour salary. Since then, part-time DDA intern Jessica deBlacam was named interim director and has been overseeing operations alongside part-time intern Tracy Lewis.

The authority plans to meet publicly before the next regularly scheduled board meeting so those who have not yet had a face-to-face with Colbeck can sit down and ask him questions. Assuming this meeting takes place as planned, the DDA will again consider officially offering Colbeck the job at its 8 a.m. board meeting on May 20 at the Riverside Arts Center.

When a meeting is scheduled to meet the DDA director candidate, it will be posted to the DDA's Web site at www.ypsilantidda.org in advance. All DDA meetings are open to the public, and are usually scheduled on the third Thursday of each month at SPARK East, 215 W. Michigan Avenue, in downtown Ypsilanti.

Related article:
Ypsilanti DDA to decide on second choice for director spot

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