Long story short, in a 4:2 vote, the Northfield Township Board of Trustees approved contributing $2,000.00 to the Lepkowski farm preservation effort.

Trustee Dockett objected and voted NO for a new reason, calling the $2,000.00 "payola."  The meaning of his reference to 1950s era music industry graft was lost on other Boardmembers. It was lost on me. It was probably lost on anyone watching the livestream.

Trustee Otto's stated reasons for voting NO:

  • See David Gordon's report.  

Tonight's heroine: Trustee Janet Chick. She resists great pressure with an open mind.



On the February 12th regular Township Board meeting Agenda was the proposal that the Township contribute a symbolic $2,000 pittance toward the almost $500,000 cost of preserving 75 acres of rural land. Ann Arbor would have borne the lion's share of the local contribution but the Ann Arbor City Council voted against bringing this particular farm into their greenbelt. Their stated objection centered on the lack of any interest or contribution by Northfield Township. In years past, Northfield Township has gloatingly, publiclly taken some fairly provincial and churlish positions about Land Preservation and Ann Arbor's Greenbelt project. Former Supervisor Deb Mozurkowich infamously talked the Board into publishing a smug, self-satisfied, sneering public resolution laughing off Ann Arbor's extended hand.

The February 12th meeting was cancelled by the Supervisor. Four Trustees notified Supervisor Chockley that they would not attend. Thus there would be no quorum, no way to convene the meeting or to vote. Rumor had it that the reason they were ducking the meeting was the problematic land preservation agenda item, the $2,000.00 Lepkowski farm contribution.

Also on February 12th meeting agenda was the required monthly approval to pay the Township's bills, in this case over $105,000.00.

In other words, by not meeting Trustees had shut down local government - a proud moment mirroring the childish behavior of players in D.C..  People should be embarrassed.

For those of you capable of elementary math, obtaining almost half a million of rural land conservation for an investment of $2,000 is an approximately 250:1 leverage of township tax dollars.

Do the Trustees who shut down Northfield Township government have a better tax dollar return in mind?



Map of the Ann Arbor Greenbelt in pdf form.  The map shows Greenbelt boundaries, properties, and other properties protected by conservation easements.  That this is in a native pdf form means you can zoom in.  The last planning commission meeting discussed this issue, specifically with regard to our Planner's use of poor quality jpgs to document his work.

Ann Arbor Greenbelt Home page.

Click to download the Greenbelt 2018 Annual Report



Below is the resolution adopted by the Ann Arbor City Council before approval of the 2003 Greenbelt millage renewal.








Whereas, Uncoordinated development in the areas around Ann Arbor has adversely affected the quality of life in Ann Arbor leading to:

  • Fragmented open space and wildlife habitat

  • Loss of productive farmland and forestland

  • Destruction of rural beauty which is part of the character of Ann Arbor

  • Decline in water quality due to an increase in polluted runoff in the Huron River watershed, and the loss of wetlands

  • Increased auto dependency, fuel consumption, and air pollution

  • Relocation of jobs to peripheral areas

  • Increased traffic congestion, commuting times and costs

  • Overcrowded schools

  • Excessive public costs for school construction, roads and utility extensions to dispersed development


Whereas, On August 18, 2003, the Ann Arbor City Council by resolution determined that a need existed for a Parks and Greenbelt Open Space Program for the acquisition and management of land and land rights in and around the Ann Arbor community through taxes pledged to the Program;


Whereas, The Ann Arbor City Council has adopted the necessary resolution to place amendment of Section 8.23 of the City Charter on the November 4, 2003 ballot to authorize a one-half mill tax for 30 years to replace the existing Land Acquisition Millage of one-half mil that expires in 2004; and

Whereas, The Ann Arbor City Council desires to publicly state its intention to establish standards for procedural guidelines for a parks and greenbelt open space program if approved by the voters of Ann Arbor on November 4, 2003, consistent with the following:


  1. Millage revenues shall be used to purchase land and conservation easements both within the City limits and inside a greenbelt boundary line outside of the City for the preservation of open space. The proposed greenbelt boundary lines are identified on the attached map and more specifically described as: bordered on the north by a line beginning at the intersection of Zeeb Road and North Territorial Road, extending eastward to Five Mile and Curtis Road; then south to Prospect Street and Clark Road; then west along Clark Road to Golfside Drive; then south to the intersection of Munger and Morgan Road; then west to the intersection of Zeeb Road and Pleasant Lake Road; then north along Zeeb Road to the intersection of Zeeb Road and North Territorial Road.


  2. Millage revenues will continue to be used for the acquisition of parkland as previously approved under the existing millage. It is expected that approximately one-third of the millage revenues will be used for purchases within the City and approximately two-thirds for purchases in the Greenbelt area.


  3. Millage revenues may be used to make bond payments for bonds issued for any land or land right acquisitions in connection with the Program to allow timely acquisition/preservation of greenbelt properties.


  4. Recommendation to City Council concerning the acquisition of land, land rights and conservation easements within the City shall be requested from Parks Advisory Commission (PAC).


  5. Recommendation to City Council concerning the acquisition of land, land rights and conservation easements for the preservation of open space outside the City shall be requested from a Greenbelt Advisory Commission (GAC) to be created by City Council consisting of nine members, appointed by City Council. The members of the Commission shall include individuals with the following expertise or affiliation: environmental/conservation organization representative (2 members), agricultural land owner/agricultural business operator (1 member), real estate development professional (1 member), plant or animal biologist (1 member), public-at-large (3 members), Ann Arbor City Council member. A minimum of six members shall be residents of the City of Ann Arbor, and shall serve without pay. The organization and procedures of the Commission shall be consistent with Chapter 8 of the Ann Arbor City Code.


  6. Purchases of land, land rights and conservation easements outside the City for the preservation of open space will whenever possible or practicable be made using all available funding sources, such as joint purchase agreements with property owners, townships, cities, Washtenaw County; grant funds available from the State of Michigan and the federal government; conservancy and land trusts. For transactions outside the city, purchases will be favored in which the City of Ann Arbor's share of the cost is no more than one-third of the land's appraised value. Acquisitions in which a township or city provides funds will be favored. The principal acquisition method is anticipated to be conservation easements.


  7. Purchases of land under the Program will become part of the City park system or will be maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the acquisition agreement between the seller and purchasers, which may be solely the City or jointly with other governmental entities, nonprofit public or private organizations (i.e., conservation organizations, land trusts ) or individuals and any other applicable agreements (i.e., grants). Whenever the City is not to be the sole owner of the property, a conservation easement or other appropriate agreement will be executed defining the rights and responsibilities of the parties.


  8. When created, the function of the Greenbelt Advisory Committee will be to recommend property that is located within the defined greenbelt area and has been voluntarily proposed for acquisition by application of the property owner(s). Other factors which may be considered as part of the recommendation process include the proximity to the City limits; characteristics of the property (species diversity, age of trees, presence of streams or wetlands etc.) size, proximity to other protected land; current or projected future use of adjacent property.


RESOLVED, That City Council endorses the establishment of procedural guidelines for a parks and greenbelt open space program if approved by the voters of Ann Arbor on November 4, 2003 consistent with the standards contained in this Resolution.


Sponsored: Mayor Hieftje and Council member Johnson Date: September 2, 2003




September 2, 2003