The Council shall provide by ordinance for the establishment of a public utility to be governed by the Ann Arbor Municipal Electric Board described in Section 15.1(c), but an ordinance providing for a newly owned and operated utility shall be enacted only after such hearings and procedure as required by law.
- In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Charter, there is hereby created the Ann Arbor Municipal Electric Board (“Board”). Except as otherwise specified in the Charter, the Board shall have jurisdiction, control, and management of any municipal electric utility established by the City and all its operations and facilities. The Board shall have all the powers and duties possessed by the City to construct, acquire, expand, operate, and maintain the utility system and to do any and all acts or things that are necessary, convenient, or desirable in order to preserve or promote an orderly, economic, and businesslike administration of the utility, including but not limited to making all contracts pertaining to utility business, settling litigation involving the utility, and acquiring property and interests in property in the name of the city for utility purposes. Rates and charges shall be set by the Board and approved by Council according to the provisions of Chapter 15 of this Charter. The Board shall operate as a separate department of City government, which may sue or be sued in the name of the Ann Arbor Municipal Electric Board. All damage claims arising from the operations of the Board and the utility shall be the responsibility of and be liquidated by the Board from the appropriate funds of the utility.
- The Board’s annual budget shall be adopted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8 of the Charter.
- The Board shall recommend and the Council shall authorize the borrowing of money for the utility in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8 of the Charter.
- The Board shall consist of nine members, five of whom shall be elected and four of whom shall be nominated by the Mayor and appointed by the City Council. The elected members shall be elected from each Ann Arbor City Ward pursuant to the procedures of this Charter.
Board members shall be elected at the first general election following adoption of these charter amendments. The Board members from Wards 1, 3 and 5 shall be elected for an initial term of four (4) years, and thereafter for terms of four (4) years. The board members from Wards 2 and 4 shall be elected for an initial term of two (2) years, and thereafter for terms of four (4) years. The four appointed members (Board positions six through nine) shall be appointed by Council in the month following the month of the general election of the five elected members. Board positions six and seven shall serve initial terms of three (3) years, and thereafter shall be appointed for terms of four (4) years. Board positions eight and nine shall serve initial terms of two (2) years, and thereafter shall be appointed for terms of four (4) years.
- The members of the Board shall serve without compensation.
- The Board shall organize at its first meeting on the last Thursday of the month following the month of the general election selecting its initial five elected members, by electing one of its members chairperson and shall meet at regular intervals on a schedule determined by the Board.
- The goal of the municipal electric utility shall be to provide service to all city residences, businesses and institutions.
- The Board shall adopt policies and procedures to enable a just transition for workers, and ensure that worker compensation and training be considered core components in any decision relating to operation of the utility.
- Clean Energy: Climate change, driven in part by the combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity, is a significant factor leading to the creation of the Board. The Board will draft and adopt a decarbonization plan, based on the best available science and on principles of global equity, to quickly end reliance on fossil fuels, find sustainable alternatives, promote energy efficiency, and seek new opportunities for producing renewable energy.
- Ratepayer Equity: The Board will direct its efforts to promote ratepayer equity in all aspects of its operations. Rates charged by the utility will be designed to create a fair and equitable distribution among all users of the costs, replacement, maintenance, expansion, operations of facilities, energy, and energy conservation programs for the safe and efficient delivery of electric power to city residents and other customers. The municipal electric utility will consider the effects of its programs, policies, and rates in the development of programs for low-income customers.