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Kathy Finger and Bill O’Reilly were unanimously reappointed to the Chelsea Downtown Development Authority board at the Chelsea City Council‘s Dec. 18 regular meeting.

Both members were reappointed to serve until Dec. 31, 2021. (There are still several seats open on this board. Please go to the city’s website to learn more about what the DDA does and if interested, please fill out an application with your interest in serving.)

In addition, the City Council unanimously approved revisions to the city’s general code making official the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, which will consist of seven members approved by a majority of the City Council. One member shall be a City Council member, five shall be residents of Chelsea and one shall represent Chelsea Community Education and Recreation.

These are volunteer appointments that will be approved by the City Council. Among the duties will be to “prepare, update and maintain the City of Chelsea’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan,” which is updated every five years and will be part of the city’s Master Plan.

The City Council also agreed to create two new working committees, one that will look into sustainability and green alternatives and another that will look at housing in the city. Details of the scope and purpose of these committees are expected to be discussed in January.

In addition, the Human Rights Commission‘s two surveys (one for individuals and one for community groups) as well as the commission’s plan, were approved 5-1 with Mayor Melissa Johnson voting no as she had questions and concerns about the survey and its scope, noting among other things that there was not a survey for businesses.

Council Member Jane Pacheco asked why age was included in the survey, and there were questions about whether the survey was for Chelsea residents as well as non-residents or just for residents. HRC members said the survey was just for residents although the commission does plan to distribute it in the district schools, which are comprised of students and teachers from outside the city limits.

Johnson said she’d like to see some revisions to the surveys, but the City Council approved it by a majority vote.

Among the duties included in the ordinance that was adopted by the City Council to form the HRC, was to “research and formulate programs of community education with the objective of discouraging and eliminating racial tensions, and prejudice or discrimination against any groups of persons.”

HRC members hope that this survey will assist them in this goal.

The City Council also set a work session date and time to discuss the city’s proposed Master Plan, which was approved by the Planning Commission on Nov. 21. It is expected that this work session will take place before the regular council meeting at 6 p.m. on Jan. 8.

Chelsea Police Chief Ed Toth reported that the Chelsea Police Department responded to 297 calls for service in November as well as 28 accidents. There were 45 traffic stops and 22 traffic citations written.

He also cautioned residents about a rash of new phone scams, a recent one involving the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and it was stated that although the City of Chelsea does make collection calls for overdue bills, no one from the city would take payment information over the phone. Residents are asked to report any phone calls they receive from someone saying they represent the city who asks for payment information over the phone. 

The City Council also held a work session prior to its regular meeting during which they discussed city official’s representation on the city’s boards and commissions. It is expected that those appointments will be made in January.

If you’d like to watch and hear the meeting, the video is available here.

(Publisher’s note: I apologize for the lateness of this story but I’m still recovering from surgery and find it very uncomfortable to sit for any length of time.)


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