Ypsilanti Citizen News ]]>

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

Police look into quota accusation

Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Chief says minimum set as part of larger evaluation process

By Dan DuChene
Apr. 22, 2009    ·    12:48 a.m.

The Ypsilanti Police Department is having labor attorneys look into a policy adopted in October that sets a minimum standard of tickets issued by officers.

The move was made after a letter was issued by the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the bargaining unit for Ypsilanti police officers, calling attention to the matter.

The letter was written and signed by Douglas Gutscher, assistant general counsel for POAM, on April 7. On Monday Gutscher confirmed he had sent the letter.

Ypsilanti Police Chief Matt Harshberger said the department started expecting its officers to issue at least 30 tickets every month. He said the department had been issuing an average of 100 tickets a month before that, a figure he called “a dismal, lackluster effort.

“We feel we’re taking a just action,” Harshberger said. “We have a responsibility for traffic enforcement.”

In his letter, Gutscher said, “Your policy puts (officers) in the unenviable position of potentially violating a citizen’s right in order to insure their own employment.”

The letter points to a section of the Michigan Vehicle Code that prohibits the use of citation minimums as a sole means of evaluating police performance.

Ypsilanti resident Lee Tooson addressed the issue during the public comment section of the City Council meeting Tuesday.

“For sometime now I’ve watched the police officers writing a lot of tickets,” Tooson said. “We’ve got too many things for these police officers to do than to go out filing quotas.”

Tooson called the police administration “corrupt” and condemned issuing tickets for violations such as items hanging from rearview mirrors and tinted windows.

After Tooson’s comments, Mayor Paul Schreiber said he didn’t believe the department was using quotas. City Manager Ed Koryzno confirmed Schreiber’s statement.

“I have not had any inclining of any corruption in the police department,” Schreiber said.

Harshberger said the ticket minimum is a part of the entire evaluation process, and there are other factors used to determine an officer’s performance.

“Officers are required to use common sense,” Harshberger said. “There are more than enough hazardous offenses to enforce.”

He said the minimum was set to enforce violations such as speeding and other traffic control laws. He said it was not intended for “minor offenses.”

The letter issued by POAM states, “We have not been made aware of any proposed change in the performance evaluation system for our members.”

The letter goes on to say, “If the city intends to incorporate such policy into a performance evaluation plan, POAM demands bargaining over the issue.”

However, the letter calls the minimum a “stand alone policy” and “contrary to state law.”

Harshberger said the policy is being reviewed by Detroit-based law firm Keller Thoma, and he is preparing a packet of information to present to the attorneys for review.


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