News Flash

City of Ypsilanti

Posted on: December 21, 2018

PUBLIC NOTICE: Mayor's Newsletter December 21st

December 21st, 2018

Breaking News

Congratulations to Rutherford Pool

 The city of Ypsilanti is being recommended by the Department of Natural Resources to receive a grant for $300,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for renovations at the Rutherford Pool. While the city needs to wait for the National Parks Service to approve the grant, we were among the top scoring applications.

New Year Wishes:

If your household celebrates a holiday this month, I wish you and yours the best of the season.

For everyone!!!! My hope is that your New Year will be filled with Peace, Joy, and Success in whatever you do.

Next week there will be no This Week With the Mayor due to holidays and City Hall Closure.

Increased Community Awareness of People Experiencing Homelessness

Reports, calls, and requests for discussion concerning homelessness have been increasing in the past few months in our little town. This is a reflection of the open-heartedness of our community, something we all are proud of. We care when we see people suffering or in need. As a community, we also take action. (cont’d)

I have been trying to assess how much this need is changing or growing in Ypsilanti. Anecdotal reports provide some information, but are not always the most helpful. The pattern of increased reports is real, however.

I always feel most able to take action when I have a concrete idea of just what the problem is; how big, how prevalent, how impactful, etc. To that end, I am going to take part in an annual count of homeless people in January.

Every year, the various agencies who provide services to this population take a ‘census’ if you will (my word, not theirs). In a coordinated, joint effort, the entire county is covered in one night. (so I will be pretty tired on the following Monday). FYI, this is a national effort coordinated by HUD. These agencies know this population well, know where they’re most likely to be living, have years of comparable data for comparison, and have experiencing working with this group.

Obviously, I will be working with a team focused on Ypsilanti. I am excited to have my personal knowledge about this issue and these folks enhanced by my participation in the count. With this information, I am looking forward to helping both agencies and our community to be more able to help effectively.

White Paper on Recreational Marijuana

The environment and legal structures around medical and recreational marijuana have been changing very quickly, to say the least. In the last year, the state has changed licensing procedures. In November, the voters made recreational marijuana legal. However, clarity on what that means is elusive.

To help us, the Michigan Municipal League (MML) has written a white paper on the subject. MML is a great organization that supplies training, information, hiring support, networking, and other services to municipalities. (cont’d)

While the environment in changing quickly, this is a snapshot of what we know at this time, the questions that are left unanswered, and conflicts between the medical and recreational laws. If this is an area that is of interest to you, check out this link for the white paper. Marihuana white paper - final 11-29-18.pdf

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Town Hall on Train Stop

January 15, Location TBD

Event Highlights of the Week:


Beatles Sing Along! 

Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 3:30 PM – 5 PM

Ypsilanti District Library (YDL-Michigan)

229 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Come on… Who doesn’t like singing Beatles songs!


Wobbly Breakfast! 

Saturday, December 22 10 AM to 1 PM

The Gathering Space, Riverside Arts Center

Join us for our monthly free breakfast with other members of the community. There will be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. All are welcome!

Wobbly Breakfast is a free volunteer-run breakfast that supports members of our community and brings relief to food insecure individuals & families. We are filling a gap in food availability (there is a shortage of free meals in the area on Saturday mornings in Ypsi), and providing space for building relationships. 
Donate here: 


The Magic of Christmas

Each year Guitarist John E. Lawrence gathers some of the finest talent from Ann Arbor to Detroit to put on a Holiday concert he calls The Magic of Christmas. The show begins at 7:00 p.m., at Grace Fellowship Church, (Supt. Willie & Lady Geraldine Powell) 1301 S. Harris Rd. Ypsilanti MI 48198. Phone number 734-480-0077, website General Admission is $25.

“I call it the Magic of Christmas because, people are friendlier, and more caring at this time of the year,” says John E. Lawrence. “This year’s concert will have some very special guests drop in to spread their own brand of Christmas cheer. Charles and Gwen Scales, saxophonist Yancyy, and trumpeter Rayse Biggs to name a few. One of the highlights will be a musical tribute to the Charlie Brown Christmas Special by Charles Scales and his trio.”

This year’s show is dedicated to the Memory of vocalist Robert Evans (Mr. Entertainment), a native of Ypsilanti who was a mainstay in the Magic of Christmas Concert series. “His vocal stylings and stage presence made him a show favorite,” says John.

The show is also a fundraiser. Grace Fellowship Church is privileged to host a number of Community Events throughout the year such as: Free Groceries every 1st and 2nd Saturdays of the month, Enrichment Program and Free Meals for Elementary and Middle School Children every Wednesday at 6:30pm, Free Summer Camp for Children 6-11; Free Computer Lab for Adults and Reading Tutors for Adults in our Community Center.

Tickets can be purchased at the church’s website.
or call 734-635-5446

For more information about John visit

Updates on City Business:

Parks Upkeep and Maintenance

Our work session with the Parks and Rec Commission went well on December 11. In general, we came up with some consistent needs that we can work on in the coming fiscal year starting on July 1.

  1. Bathrooms: It seems like having the Port-a-Johns in each park has helped with the immediate needs expressed so strongly last year. The cost of repairing, opening, and maintaining our existing/closed bathroom structures is high. (roughly $657K) We may consider repairing and opening one or two and see how that goes. If we consider spending that much money on a bathroom (which is not the highest priority our City has), we will likely do that at one of our most-used parks such as Riverside or Parkridge. Until then, we seem to have found a useable solution.
  2. General items most of our parks need: New weed barriers and mulch under play structures, new or more park benches and picnic tables, repaired or replaced grills, weed management along edges of parks for visibility and safety. Many if not all of these can be addressed by our own DPS or relatively easily.
  3. Larger needs: Improved/updated play equipment, repairing basketball and tennis courts, ADA play structures in more locations.

Council, Staff, and the Parks and Rec Commission will continue to work on this. I look forward to using having nicer parks and long-term work to make them even better for our community.

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