Platform Regarding City of Ann Arbor Policies and the FY 2020/2021 Budget

Accountability of Ann Arbor city officials dictates the city’s revenue from the Mental Health & Public Safety Millage should be used for mental health and public safety services.  A poll of a random sample of registered voters in Ann Arbor taken after the election showed 77 percent expected the revenues allocated to the City would be devoted to mental health and public safety services.  While the City Council passed a resolution prior to the election indicating 40 percent of the revenue would go to climate change action, the resolution was not well publicized, and most citizens were not aware of it.  A subsequent scientific survey by the City found improved mental health services was the most favored use of the Millage funds, that is, 1st in a list of eight options; climate change action was 7th out of the eight.

 

The Ann Arbor City Council has the opportunity in FY 2021 to expand the services supported by the County Mental Health Millage and to maintain the housing and human services supported by the General Fund.  After taking account of allocating $0.5 million to the end-of-year balance for cash flow requirements, Council Members will have about $4.9 million to continue and expand these services.  This is primarily due to an accumulation of $1.5 million in the end-of-year balance for FY 2020 in the Millage Fund and secondarily to a 1.2% projected increase in General Fund revenues.  (See the Appendix below for details.)

 

CMHPS supports a continuation in the FY 2021 Budget of the following services.  We include funding levels as an indication of the relative priority we place on programs.  We recognize the discussions in the budget process will raise issues we have not anticipated and will lead to adjustments in funding levels.

I.  Community Development Service Unit (Agency 002)

 

     A.  Human Services/Homeless Prevention a.k.a. Washtenaw Coordinated Funding (Activity 2310): $1,400,000

               [Is $1,326,329 in FY 2020]

 

      B.  Affordable Housing including Supportive Services (Activities 2034 and 3112): $1,300,000

               [Is $1,180,000 in FY 2020]

 

II.  Engineering Service Unit (Agency 040)

 

        Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety (Multiple Activity Codes): $800,000

                [Is $440,000 in FY 2020; large increase reflects the projected figure for FY 2021 in the Adopted FY 2020 Budget]

 

III.  Police Services Services Unit (Agency 031)

 

          Community Mental Health (Activity 3112) — Crisis Intervention and Youth Outreach & Engagement:  $50,000

                   [Is $49,800 in FY 2020]

CMHPS supports a new approach to the appropriation of funds from the County Mental Health Millage focused on climate change actions in FY 2020.  CMHPS supports appropriating funds for structures and services that serve both those living with mental health issues and those desiring actions to reduce climate change.  For example, the funds could be used to install solar arrays dedicated to the electrical needs of affordable housing for those requiring supportive services — thus reducing the operating cost of this housing. This approach is consistent with, and possibly demanded by, the City's commitment to give a high priority to equity in its A2 Zero initiative; see slide 3 on the central role of equity and slide 7 that explicitly says "Equity {means} everyone gets the support they need" in the description of the A2 Zero policy.

     IV.  Dual mental health services and climate change actions: $950,000

                   [In FY 2020 $880,000 is allocated to the Sustainability & Innovations Office (Agency 029)]

CMHPS supports two new initiatives that require primarily leadership in changing culture and only small appropriations for associated expenses.  The City Administrator should be charged with:

 

      V.  Emphasize all City employees should conduct all facets of City business with attention and concern for those living with mental

            health issues: $25,000

For example, training of employees of the Parks and Recreation Department should create awareness of mental health issues and provide insights on how best to address situations that may include elements with roots in mental health issues.

For another example, the work of the Center of the City Task Force, including its process as well as its product, should be inclusive of people who are homeless or living with mental health issues or both.  The following sources are illustrative of the prior work the Task Force can draw upon:

 

Many other examples could be cited.

      VI.  Formulate and implement a plan to demonstrate Ann Arbor is an enthusiastic partner in the county-led effort to make

             Washtenaw County a stigma free community with respect to mental health status: $25,000

CMHPS supports the City becoming a partner in planning and funding a place, perhaps called an “assessment center”, which will accept juveniles picked up by Ann Arbor Police Officers when the juvenile should not be returned to his or her home and is not so violent he or she should be taken to Juvenile Detention.  Many of these juveniles have symptoms of mental health issues that can be eased with treatment or exacerbated by stress in the juvenile justice system.  Diversion must be partnered with appropriate followup care and mentoring.  The City should support a program such as the

 

We emphasize the City of Ann Arbor should contribute to the establishment and operation of an assessment center that serves the entire county, that is, we do not favor Ann Arbor establishing a separate assessment center.  Our community recognizes the importance of diversion and is taking significant steps with respect to adults.  There is serious discussion of similar advances for our youth but resources are lacking.  All jurisdictions with law enforcement responsibilities, including Ann Arbor, should partner in this effort.

 

       VII.  In partnership with County officials and other jurisdictions with law enforcement responsibilities, a) plan and implement a

               place in Washtenaw County for juveniles that allows diversion, sometimes called “deflection”, into appropriate crisis

               management and assessment outside of the juvenile justice system when juveniles are picked up by AAPD Officers and

               b) assume financial responsibility for a portion of a followup program because Ann Arbor youth are among those needing such

               followup: $350,000

 

Total Requested Appropriation: $4.9 million

                                                                                             Appendix

                          Available Resources Based on Information in the FY 2019/2020 Approved Budget

General Fund

  • Appropriations in FY 2019/2020

        -  Human Services/Homeless Prevention a.k.a. Washtenaw Coordinated Funding: $1,326,329

        -  Support Services for residents of affordable housing: $300,000

        -  Police Services — crisis management and youth outreach & engagement: $49,800

        -  Sum: $1,676,129

  • Adjustment for Revenue Growth — ratio of projected revenue in FY 2021 to estimated revenue in FY 2020 is $112.3 mil to $111.0 mil equals 1.0117

  • Available for FY 2021 equals 1.0117 times $1,676,129 = $1,695,740

County Mental Health Millage

  • Ending fund balance as of June 30, 2020                       $1,505,000

  • Projected revenue in FY 2020/2021                                  $2,200,000

  • Total available funds in FY 2020/2021                             $3,705,000

  • Less allowance for cash flow requirements                     - $500,000

  • Prudent available funds in FY 2020/2021                        $3,205,000

 

Sum of General Fund and County Mental Health Millage    $4,900,740

  • Round to $4.9 million for planning purposes

Paid for with regulated funds by Citizens for Mental Health & Public Safety

PO Box 4055, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-4055

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