Redistricting: A Discussion with Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum

Lawrence KestenbaumLawrence Kestenbaum

Following the US Census every ten years, new lines are drawn for congressional and legislative districts, county commission districts, and city council wards. We recently sat down with Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum, one of five members of the County Apportionment Commission to discuss the process of re-drawing the lines and the final plan that reduces the number of County Commission seats from 11 to 9. In this wide-ranging discussion Mr. Kestenbaum discusses the history of redistricting and politics in the county and the state as well as the likely scenarios for candidates in the newly combined commissioner districts. As many of you know, Mr. Kestenbaum also hosts one of the best (and funniest) political junkie websites out there, The Political Graveyard.

On Thursday, June 16th, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room, the AADL will host a panel discussion, Redistricting: It Matters to All of Us that will include include Mr. Kestenbaum, Jacqueline Beaudry, Ann Arbor City Clerk; Rep. Jeff Irwin, State Representative, 53rd District and Rep. Mark Ouimet, State Representative, 52nd District.

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Memorial Weekend Reminders from City Hall

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There will be no trash, recycling or compost collection services in Ann Arbor on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. The Monday pickups will occur on Tuesday and the rest of the collections will occur one day later throughout the week. The normal Friday routes will be serviced on Saturday, June 4, 2011. City Hall offices and 15th District Court at 301 E. Huron, the Drop-Off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth, and the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Compost Center at 4150 Platt Road will be closed on the Memorial Day Monday as well.

On the upside, parking is free downtown on Memorial Day so strolling Main Street and lingering over an iced mocha at your favorite coffeehouse are in order as WeatherUnderground is predicting a sunny, yes sunny, Monday with a high of 85 degrees. Want a little more exercise than a stroll? Head to one of the 157 City parks -- the list of just-do-its is endless. A rundown of more Memorial weekend events is available at Arborweb.

Tour the New Ann Arbor Justice Center Saturday, April 16th

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You've watched it going up, now tour the new Justice Center at a public open house, Saturday, April 16, 10:00 a.m. ~ 12 noon. The Police Services and 15th District Court will be polished up, guided tours available and there will even be light refreshments.

Plenty of speakers including Police Chief Barnett Jones (who's great with the kids BTW.) The Justice Center is located at 301 E. Huron Street, the corner of 5th and Huron.

City Budget Focus of Town Hall Meeting

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Join City of Ann Arbor officials and staff on Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m. ~ 9 p.m. at Community Television Network studios for a presentation of the fiscal years 2012 and 2013 budgets. Free onsite parking is available. The meeting will be taped and rebroadcast on CTN Channel 16 and available online 24 hours after the meeting.

City Clerk's Office on the Move (Again)

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The City Clerk's Office will be closed on Wednesday, March 16 as it is relocated back to City Hall following the completion of 2nd floor renovations to the Larcom Building. Other changes in the location of city government meetings will continue indefinitely.

Be a Part of the Budget Process in A2

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Each year the City of Ann Arbor presents a budget to cover services provided to the citizens of Ann Arbor. This year the City wants all of us to be active participants in shaping the budget and they've developed a great web site, the Ann Arbor City Budget Guide to explain the process and the many components of the budget.

Most importantly, they want your feedback. Once you've reviewed the site, send email to the Finance Department at klancaster@a2gov.org offering your suggestions and comments.

"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." — Thomas Jefferson

City Clerk's Office is on the Move

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On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, the City of Ann Arbor Clerk’s Office will be closed to the public as it relocates to the first floor at the City Center building, which is located diagonally across the street from City Hall at 220 East Huron. The City Clerk’s Office will operate from the City Center building from Jan. 5 until March 1 while City Hall second floor renovations are completed.

The renovations will also affect public meetings of the City Council, Boards and Commissions. City Council regular meetings will be held at the County Administration Building, 220 N. Main Street, County Board of Commissioners Public Meeting Room. Work Sessions will be held at CTN, 2805 S. Industrial, Suite 200.

Check out the City's Meeting and Events page for up-to-the-minute info on locations of public meetings.

Get Those Sofas Movin'

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'Move 'em on, throw 'em out, cowhide! And every other fabric, shape and size of upholstered furniture at the city-sponsored Free Sofa Collection, Friday noon, Oct. 22 ~ Sunday, Oct. 24 . The round-up will take place at the corner of East University and Oakland. Why a sofa roundup? The City of Ann Arbor passed an ordinance banning upholstered furniture on porches that took effect Oct. 2. The free drop-off is open to all Ann Arbor residents and property managers.

Last Call for Carts

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July 30, 2010 is the deadline for ordering a compost cart at the one-time only fee of $25. But wait there's more! The carts will be home-delivered starting in September. And ordering couldn't be easier. You can order online, by phone at 734.994.7336 ext 0 or in person at 220 E. Huron -- the Customer Service Center. So quit dragging those paper yard waste bags and starting rolling with the flow -- the recycle flow.

City Hall Closed Monday, July 5th

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In observance of the Independence Day holiday, all City Hall offices will be closed on Monday, July 5th. Trash, recycling and compost service will NOT be affected so put your stuff out on your regularly-scheduled trash day. And remember, July 5th is the start of the Single-stream Recycling Program. More stuff into the recycle bin, less stuff in the landfills. Yeah!

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