Ypsilanti DDA Director forced out of office

This afternoon, Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority (YDDA) Director Brian Vosburg offered his resignation. According to board chair Peter Rinehart, Vosburg did so prior to a job evaluation that was to be conducted during a closed-door session of the board. While it may be true that no formal performance evaluation was conducted, it appears as though Vosburg was subjected to several hours of closed-door assault. At least that’s the sense that I get, having received a few letters like the following:

Today Brian Vosburg was asked to resign from the Ypsilanti DDA Board. There was a closed board meeting, after which Brian was asked to resign or be terminated. The only reason given was an error he had made regarding a façade grant that was received 10 minutes late and therefore disqualified. The board said there were other reasons as well but chose not to share them with Brian.

Members of the Depot Town DDA Board were not part of the discussion regarding his termination, even though he acts as their Director too. The YDDA’s actions have put us in a position where we will probably loose a streetscape grant that Brian had been working on. I believe if he didn’t do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical he should not have been terminated on the spot. He has a young family and the economy is such that he will have a very hard time.

I question if this doesn’t have something to do with YpsiTucky. He was on leave when the CDC Board chose the name but I believe he could be the sacrificial lamb. There have been two very negative, mean spirited, letters that went out from individuals that were not happy after the HRC meeting last week. Last night, DAY sent a resolution asking that the name be changed as they opposed it. Today at the YDDA meeting, my understanding is they are suggesting to Council that they take the parks back from the CDC.

I can’t believe this has gone so far and I am upset by the direction the YDDA Board went. Brian had resigned his position from the CDC Board and no longer had an active participation role.

I personally don’t think that it had to do with the decision of the Depot Town Community Development Corporation (CDC) to use the name Ypsitucky. I suppose it could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I think this had a lot more to do with the fact that the members of the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti (DAY) have had it in for Brian for years. I don’t know the history there, but it wasn’t a secret that the people behind DAY had been angling for Brian’s head for some time.

[Sorry about the alphabet soup in this post. The important thing to take away is that Brian served on the downtown’s YDDA board, the Depot Town DDA board, and the Depot Town CDC. And, now that he’s been let go by the YDDA, the Depot Town DDA also finds themselves without a director.]

Eventually word will come out, but my guess is that today’s action of the YDDA was initiated by the two members of the YDDA board who also serve on the DAY board. Brian’s fate was probably sealed a few weeks ago, when, due to the size of the document that he was sending by email, he missed a big grant deadline by ten minutes.

Maybe that, in and of itself, is a fireable offense. My fear is that by letting him go, though, the City may be shooting themselves in the foot (yet again). As the anonymous letter above states, the Depot Town DDA has a State grant in progress to repair Cross Street, and it’s not clear that the money can be secured without Brian. Furthermore, I believe that Downtown has some money for parking lot repairs that has to be spent before July 1. And, again, without Brian I don’t know that this can happen.

In the Ann Arbor News story linked to above, YDDA board chair Peter Rinehart says they will begin searching for a new Director immediately. Furthermore, he says, “The (intent) is to keep the momentum going that we have in Ypsilanti”… Not to be a prick about it, but if there’s really momentum, I don’t understand why we’d be changing horses midstream. At any rate, the time it will take to find a new Director is time that will be lost. And, even though the market is terrible at the moment, and there are plenty of job seekers around, I have my concerns about the kind of candidate that would willfully enter such an environment.

I should mention that I hardly know Brian. I don’t even think we’re Facebook friends. But, I’ve liked the direction that the City has taken in the two years since he’s been in charge of the DDAs, and I’d hate to see that momentum stop now. And, yes, I’m sure there’s more to the story than I’ve been told, but if it’s true that that the board, when asked, could only point to the fact that he was 10 minutes late with a grant application (which I’m sure wasn’t just his fault), then I have to call “bullshit.”

Here, for those of you who are interested, are the names of the YDDA board members: Stewart Beal, John Coleman, David Curtis, Darryl Daniels, Scotty James, Karen Maurer, Jim Nelson, Peter Rinehart, Paul Schreiber. I suppose, if you felt inclined, you could write letters.

I suppose it’s possible that the YDDA could choose not to accept his resignation. I suspect that’s unlikely, though…. Assuming he really is gone, I’d like to thank Brian for his efforts here in Ypsi. I know it must have been an incredibly difficult environment to work in, and I appreciate what he did to help move us forward as a community. And, I hope that he and his young family weather this storm successfully.

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  1. dirtgrain
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Confederacy of dunces.

  2. EpicFail
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe that anyone is at all shocked that Mr. Vosburg has been asked to resign. He epically botched a grant which he had more than enough time to complete, thus ensuring that Ypsilanti did not qualify for the facade improvement funds. In doing this he proved himself wholly ineffectual and incompetent. I don’t know about you, but if I cost the company I work for hundreds of thousands of dollars there would be little question as to whether or not I still had a job.

    Moreover, as pointed out in the trackback article above, this is not the first time Mr. Vosburg had botched a grant application at the expense of both the businesses and the citizens of Ypsilanti. So please, lay to rest the assertion that he was asked to resign because of ‘one little mistake’.

    If Mr. Vosburg was at all concerned about the security of his job, than he should have been doing the best job possible. Similarly, if Mr. Vosburg’s performance over the last several months is an example of him doing the best job he is capable of, then he was unqualified for the position he was given.

    I think Mr. Vosburg’s resignation is a positive step forward for both boards. As Mark mentioned, it is a tough economy out there, so I hope the caliber of applicant for Mr. Vosburg’s position will be impressive. Maybe this time we can fill the position with someone who is qualified, motivated and effectual.

  3. Daniel
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Ship of Fools…

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Why is it people like do well before arriving here and, by all reports, do well after leaving here? What’s wrong these people that they can thrive everywhere except in Ypsilanti?

  5. galan
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Seems like a lot of rumor and hearsay is sparking a debate by people who do not know all the facts yet. Why not wait until you know more about what the facts are before trying to stir things up? One thing is certain. His error in submitting the grant took $900,000.00 for facade restoration in downtown and depot town off the table. I know also that when he was co-director of the two DDA’s he was really stretched. He had a family and did not live here so he did alot of driving back and forth.. I am not making excuses for Brian, or the YDDA, but why not wait until we can hear the whole story?

  6. Scrumptious
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Ypsilanti was lucky to have someone as hard-working, thoughtful, organized, honest, and as tough as Brian promoting its downtown for the last 2.5 years.

    Kudos to the YDDA for showing the public that it hasn’t lost any of its dysfunctional might.

  7. rodneyn
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    “At any rate, the time it will take to find a new Director is time that will be lost. And, even though the market is terrible at the moment, and there are plenty of job seekers around, I have my concerns about the kind of candidate that would willfully enter such an environment.”

    The Michigan Downtown Association was recently looking for a new Director. Because of budget limitations, the “job” will actually be a part-time, contract position without benefits. According to the Chair of the MDA Board, they received 65 applications, a remarkable number. Applicants ranged from young professionals recently graduated (as Mr. Vosburg was when hired by the Ypsilanti DDA) to “old hands” in downtown revitalization and economic development seeking new challenges.

    The MDA Board truly can select the “pick of the litter” for their new Director. I suspect that Ypsilanti will have a similar experience if they carefully consider the DDA/DTDDA’s staffing needs and design their request for applications correctly.

  8. Citizen Blogger
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I’m confused about this grant thing. galen says his error “took $900,000.00 for facade restoration in downtown and depot town off the table”. But the Citizen article linked says the grant was capped at $100,000, and the rest of the money was business owners working on their own buildings? So, didn’t this just turn a 900 thousand dollar project into an 800 thousand dollar project? The rest of the money is still there for the businesses to spend on their own buildings, right?

  9. Posted May 22, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Taking $100,000 out of the profit/loss equation for a capital improvement project is very likely to turn a profitable project into an unsustainable project for which the numbers simply don’t add up. Remember, these were private business investments that would be “helped out” by grant funding, not government projects funded by endless “stimulus” funds from Washington D.C.

  10. Burt Reynolds
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    In all seriousness, wasn’t he like 12?

  11. Tom
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I am sure glad that’s over with.

  12. Posted May 24, 2009 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Every well run company whether it be a small 3 person shoe repair shop or a large international corporation are transparent with their employees. If any performance deficiency exists, the employee is given a certain amount of time to correct the problem before termination. This should have been part of the process before the terminating a man with 3 small children in a horrible job market.

    We don’t have all the facts surrounding Brian’s firing but Brian and the community deserves to know.

    Bill French

  13. rodneyn
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Bill, I have no doubt that , as a professional, Brian was aware of his “performance deficiencies” as well as his strengths. We all have them, and as working adults we generally understand what they are. I’m sure that this action did not come as a surprise to him – if it did, then he did not have the experience/know how to be in the job in the first place.

    As for the rest, the City is not a make-work entity. If the main criteria for city government employment is a family and a tough job market, then lets all get down to City Hall tomorrow morning!

    It is up to Brian and his wife to plan appropriately for down times, as we all have to do. If he’s not fulfilling his responsibilities (and it is the DDA Board that makes that determination), then he needed to move on.

  14. Posted May 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Rodneyn, you may not have any doubt about Brian being aware of his performance deficiencies, but I do. I am not aware of any company who gives the responsibility of employee ‘performance deficiencies’ to the employee. Why not have the employee evaluation, time to correct the problem, and if the problems are not resolved, then termination?

  15. Posted May 24, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Don’t misrepresent what I wrote, Bill, just because you may disagree. When I’ve had to discuss job performance with an employee, I’ve not had a conversation yet where I truly surprised the person with a concern. They know what they’ve done and haven’t done, and the best ones also knew what they were doing/going to do to correct any issues.

    There have been issues with Mr. Vosburg’s performance for a year or more – and the ones I’m speaking of are those that became public (made the news). Besides, as a person employed in a very visible, public role, it is enough that he endangered or killed $900,000 worth of renovation projects through as pedestrian a mistake as missing a deadline by 10 minutes.

  16. erma
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I believe, as someone state earlier, that Brian was . . . well . . . about 12.

    Is that the best we can attract?

    The only folks I’ve ever heard say anything positive about Vosburg’s performance have been folks associated with the DT-CDC. Hmmmmm . . . wonder what that means.

    And I’m pretty sure Brian was aware that people were displeased that he missed a major grant deadline a year ago. He couldn’t have been surprised that a repeat performance this year would garner him a less-than-glowing review. (Unless he really IS 12.)

  17. Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Missing a deadline by ten minutes because of the size of an email does not seem to be grounds for firing someone, even if said mistake was very costly. If I were a highly qualified person for the job he vacated, I would be hesitant to apply for it knowing that I would likely be fired if I made a mistake which I would inevitably make since I am human and make mistakes. Like it or not, that is a cost the city must now bear. Granted, in this down economy that particular effect will likely be minimized. Still, it is something to consider in the future.

    I know that I don’t know the whole story. Maybe he wasnt doing a good job in general and this incident was part of a larger pattern. But if it wasnt, I hope we can look at how people in that position are treated. Was he overwhelmed? Will the next person be similarly overwhelmed? If so, that needs to be addressed or else we are setting up this guy’s replacement for failure and I dont think anyone wants that.

  18. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Thirty erma, when he started, not 12. Not everyone ages at twice the normal rate, like you.

    Just to clarify, my original comment was meant to be sarcastic. Brian, did well before here. Hopefully, he’ll do well after. You know those sports franchises where the management is so fucked up that they sign and cut future hall of famers again and again?

    Welcome to downtown Ypsilanti, sports fans.

    Suggesting, it’s the ancient idiots playing power games downtown who are the perpetual failures, not the decent folks caught in their hire blame and fire cycle.

    I wish I’d bought real estate here for nothing twenty or thirty years ago. That’s apparently all it takes to make decisions in this town.

    At least that’s my speculation.

    Ya’ll some crazy motherfuckers, I’ll give you that.

    If I was Vosburg, I’d cut you on the face.

  19. Tom
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 1:24 am | Permalink


  20. Curt Waugh
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    1) It was 100% Mr. Vosburg’s fault that the grant deadline was missed. Let’s not beat around the bush about that. It’s unfortunate, but no less true. That grant should have been mailed in so far ahead of time that this simply couldn’t happen. That it did speaks volumes. Is this a firing offense? Maybe. I’m sure plenty upset that we missed out on this money, but I don’t know Mr. Vosburg nor his overall performance. $100k lost in the midst of perhaps millions in value gained elsewhere wouldn’t seem so bad. But no one can reasonably defend this huge failure. Even if you want to defend Mr. Vosburg, your argument will get more traction if you start from this position.

    2) Clearly, there is more to this story than meets the eye. That “[t]he board said there were other reasons as well but chose not to share them with Brian,” is frightening. Not sharing reasons for firing? If this is true, then THIS is the story, not the firing itself. Let me be perfectly clear here: Withholding information from this gentleman that pertains to his ability to feed his family is offensive to the point of criminality. You shame us all with such juvenile antics. Please prove that this is not true.

    3) DR, apparently you haven’t worked at the same hell-holes in which the rest of us have worked in the past. You blow a lot smoke up your own ass about what a great boss you are – congrats and all – but the fact remains that I and millions of other perfectly normal employees have been blind-sided by more than one review in our working lives. You conveniently forget that most bosses really aren’t that good at management and attempt to make up for it by playing power games with high performers. Management, like anything, is a skill that requires a combination of natural ability, years of study and a lifetime of practice. I suspect that those folks who fired Mr. Vosburg do not suffer from these traits.

  21. Posted May 25, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I think there’s some merit to what OEC says. It does seem as though, time after time, we give our people all the tools they need to fail. Maybe it’s time we take a long, hard look at ourselves and consider that the problem might not be them, but us.

    And, as for Vosburg, all I’m hearing from any of you so far as to why he deserved to be canned is 1) he submitted a huge file 10 minutes late, and 2) he looks young. Surely people have more reason than that to want to see the man fired… And, if not, I think the we should brace ourselves for a lawsuit of some kind.

  22. former grantwriter
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    For those of you who think all Mr Vosberg had to do was mail in the grant so far in advance it was guaranteed to be on time – you’ve probably never had to go through a complex grant process.

    Though I certainly don’t know the particulars of Vosberg’s situation, most grants require a lot of time, a lot input and information from other people (who rarely respond in a timely fashion in my experience) as well as official signatures and endorsements from a host of involved parties. It’s rarely a case of just filling out some forms and turning them in. To suggest otherwise is to demonstrate ignorance of the process.

    Again, I can’t speak to this specific case but as someone whose family is intimately involved with grant writing in various fields I can tell you it is a long slog with endless revisions and input. My wife is currently working to turn in a grant that has taken 9 months to prepare and she had to clear her schedule for the two weeks of almost all her work duties to get it done. She has also been gone evenings and weekends. Amount of the grant? $1 million.

    I’ve seen grants rejected for too much white space on the application, inproper font size, improper line breaks, dates that were spelled out instead of written in roman numerals, missing signatures, etc.

    So, before you make assumptions about professional incompetence you really should know the circumstances and demands on Vosberg with regard to this process. I’m ot saying he’s innocent of making a costly blunder, I’m just saying the situation is rarely as simple as some people think.

    It is entirely reasonable to imagine a scenario where an overworked individual would make such a last minute mistake. Is that a fireable action? I guess it would depend on the person’s track record, how much the community can afford to lose the person and whether that same standard applies to the orgranization as a whole.

    In my limited exposure to Vosberg he struck me as a diligent, creative and enthusiastic director. But maybe there are other and past issues that made this decision the right one. Until the DDA’s grievances with Mr. Vosberg are spelled out, we have only the organization’s track record and secondhand reports to rely on. Neither seems worthy of damning the man.

  23. E. G. Penet
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    All I’m hearing here is that: 1) no facts have been presented, 2) the complete story is not public knowledge, 3) no one involved cares to blog about it, 3) and, besides, it’s more fun to second-guess, drink beer and be silly.

  24. Mark H.
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I know little about the forced resignation of Brian V. and won’t comment on that situation directly, but I will offer a general observation.

    Two public entities that are dear and near to my heart — EMU and the municipal government of the city of Ypsilanti — have both suffered from clinging too long to, being too reluctant to dismiss, top level managerial personnel whose actual job performances were demonstrably sub-standard. Both EMU and the city government are small enough that officials in both are well known around campus and around town; they cultivate friends; they are liked because of their friends, and their social ties and family situations often become important factors in how they are evaluated. Sometimes those unofficial ties of officials can unduly insulate officials from poor performance. It’s not what you know or what you can do, it’s who you know and who owes you. Sub-standard performance continues, and often they are evaluated by sub-standard supervisors. Such situations are an affront to good government and a waste of the taxpayers’ money. No public position of employment, and especially not jobs with such titles as director or Vice President and the like, should be held by anyone who cannot fulfill rigorous performance standards. Ypsi and my university have both needlessly suffered due to long habits of tolerance of poor decision-makers being retained in decision making positions. For EMU, there’s that illegally built house, and much worse (it took EMU to dismiss a VP who failed to inform the parents of a murdered student that her death was being investigated as a murder, and he perpetuated that lie for months); and for the city of Ypsilanti there’s that $20 million debt incurred to acquire a vacant lot of 38 acres, the disaster called Water Street (which was a disaster that a bunch of very nice people who engaged in years of wishful thinking but no hard-headed realistic analysis created for the city. The wishful thinker in chief who lead Ypsi into the Water Street disaster is of course still the City Manager).

    So I am in favor of hard-headed decision makers making the painful choices that protect the public interest. I am in favor of rigorous performance reviews, and in favor of on going informal assessments of performance by supervising boards. I am against keeping anyone on a public payroll whose performance fails to meet rigorous standards. Consequently, sometimes managerial personnel have to be let go. That should actually happen far more often than it does. Being on the public payroll is not a sinecure, or at least it isn’t when the public entity is well managed. And the people who get those management salaries? They know their job is not a “right” nor a possession – it’s dependent on good performance. And their jobs are complex, and never easy, and thus they are paid well and afford more possibility of upward mobility than most jobs.

    Sadly, most American workers can be dismissed by their employers for any reason whatsoever: a union contract or discriminatory intent by the employer as a motivation for firing someone are among the very few restrictions on dismissing a worker. Writing grant applications is no doubt complex; but failure to do so in a timely and effective way is not an unprecedented basis for dismissal, to say the least. Grant writers do lose jobs for failure to win grants – and failure to meet a deadline has at least one predictable consequence: Failure to get the grant.

  25. Posted May 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Just curious… Has anyone FOIA’d Brian’s performance evaluations?

    It’s times like this that an active, engaged local press with resources would come in handy.

  26. E. G. Penet
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    FOIA!!!!! Do you own a phone, call someone of the DDA. Do you have email? Get off your butt and just ask. Drink coffee or eat scones? Drop in at Bombadill’s and talk. The DDA are your local business people and neighbors, for God’s sake! What a load of crap this circle jerk is! Mountains out of mole hills! Nuts!!

  27. Posted May 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if I scared you with that, Ed. I didn’t mean to. I only meant to suggest that someone should get to the bottom of it. All that I’ve heard on the record is that he missed a grant deadline by 10 minutes. Then, when I ask, people, like you, encourage me to meet in private to discuss it. I’m happy to do that, but I think that someone should have the balls to come out and say something publicly. And I’m not sure that I’d agree that removing our DDA director at a critical time in the City’s history, is a mole hill, Ed. I’m not suggesting that there wasn’t cause to fire Vosburg. What I am saying, though, is this was handled sloppily, and those of us in the community deserve a better answer than, “He missed a grant deadline by ten minutes.”

  28. Dirtgrain
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Isn’t likely that with such a resignation, both sides have agreed to remain silent on the “firing?”

  29. BrianR
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    This was done in closed session under the Open Meetings Act 15.268, Section 8(a).

  30. Stephanie
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    So Brian requested the closed session then?

  31. Posted May 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Mark, this post is more fucked up dysfunction in Ypsilanti. You see conspiracy wherever you look. So what is this going to be, DDAGate?

    Your anonymous source for the letter was Bill and Sandee French.

    The post by BillFrench; posted by you. You forgot to remove the link to your own website when you changed the name before you posted it.

    Bill said he doesn’t really get all this blog stuff he just sends shit to you and you post it.

    You made it sound like Vosburg was water tortured for hours on end.

    The closed session meeting had two topics, pending litigation, no fucking idea what this was about, and a director eval. Total time, less than an hour.

    The DDA planned for the director review in public so it was transparent. Vosburg asked for the closed session as is his right. No one tried to hide anything except Vosburg, he didn’t want it public.

    Once the DDA went into closed session, any thing discussed must remain secret. We will never know what was discussed the DDA cannot talk about it. If they do, the DDA member that leaks the info will get a big ass fine and could get jail time.

    Vosburg asked for the closed session. You have his personal email and Vosburg used to read the blog. Ask him what was discussed. No one that was actually in the meeting can say what was said because the law says they can’t.

    The black helicopter stuff never ends around here.

    As far as 10 minutes late this is more of your fucked up bullshit. It wasn’t 10 minutes late, it was 10 minutes late and then Vosburg not telling either DDA board that he fucked it up for nearly two weeks and even lying saying the app was in when he knew it wasn’t.

    OK, technically the app was in, so he didn’t lie, it was lying by omission by not saying the application was rejected when asked the status.

    Go ahead, submit a fucking FOIA, you won’t get shit because the meeting was secret.

    Vosburg wasn’t fired, he resigned. This blog is going to make it impossible for Vosburg to ever get another job because people on this blog keep saying he was fired.

    The next employer will find this blog and see all this bullshit. So how is that helping him?

    You say you feel bad for Vosburg and want to help him, keep fanning the flames and calling for investigations and implying cover-up. The poor kid will never get a job again.

  32. Posted May 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I dont think asking for transparency from government is finding “conspiracy wherever you look.” I also don’t recall anyone even suggesting that there was a conspiracy here. It is just a discussion about the “resignation” (wink wink) of a public employee.

    As for him not getting a job because of this discussion, that might be possible. But it isnt because people are saying he was fired. It is pretty well understood that when someone “resigns effective immediately” it means that they were fired. People who actually resign usually give notice or have an obvious job lined up. The thing is, any employer who would hold this conversation against the guy isn’t worth working for. A lot of people are saying that they thought he was doing a good job and shouldnt have been fired for this one thing. Others are suggesting that he was set up to fail. A few think it was the right decision but none of those people are, afaik, in a position to really evaluate his performance.

  33. Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Uhhh, where to start…. OK, I’ll just start at the beginning and take these one by one, SB.

    1) I never said there was a conspiracy afoot. Go back and read what I said. What I said is that he may very well have been fired for good cause, but it was handled poorly by the YDDA. I stand by that.

    2) As for your “gate” comment, referring to the Shovelgate thing this past winter, I’m not sure why you bring it up. As everyone in town knows, I was proven right about that, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at by invoking it here. Are you suggesting that, as in that case, we’ll find bad stuff if we keep digging?

    3) I have no clue what you mean about me switching names on posts and the like. You sound like one hell of a detective, though. And, as for me printing anything Bill French sends me, that’s a laugh. I’ve met the guy once in my whole life. Sure, if he sends me something I think is interesting, I’ll put it up, just like I did with that letter that Gary Clark sent out, but to suggest that I do what he tells me is laughably stupid. And, no offense to Bill, but if he told you that, he’s delusional.

    4) Again, I’m not sure what you mean when you suggest that I’m looking for a conspiracy. All I know is that the guy was asked to resign, and that when I ask why, all I’m told is that he submitted a grant proposal 10 minutes late. That has me wondering what’s up. I didn’t say anything about a conspiracy. I just said this was handled poorly and that I wish we had a real local press that could ask questions.

    5) And, I hate to break it to you, but the more you rant, “this was a secret meeting,” the more you have people wondering what really went on in that room.

    6) As for Vosburg and his chances of finding a new job, I don’t expect this post will hurt him. What it’ll demonstrate more than anything, I think, is that we live in a completely dysfunctional town. If my guess is right, people will read this and be amazed that he made it almost three years.

    I hope this clarified things a bit for you.

  34. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Someone pointed out to me that everyone might not realize that my reference to “cut them on the face” is an expression meaning to “publicly expose.”

    To paraphrase my great aunt, “Good fer her. ‘Bout time somebody cut that preacher on the face after what he said to them kids.”

    Secret cabals seem to be in bloom. We need a little “cutting on the face.”

    Sadly, for all sb’s seemingly insider knowledge. There was no cutting. Nothing of substance. Just bizarre accusation and a blathering grasp at saving face.

    BrianR. We could draw a hundred conclusions from your post. Did you intend for us to draw any?

  35. dragon
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Go back and read what I said. What I said is that he may very well have been fired for good cause, but it was handled poorly by the YDDA. I stand by that.
    Not exactly what you said. Your very first sentence says..

    “This afternoon, Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority (YDDA) Director Brian Vosburg offered his resignation.”

    Then the first sentence of an anonymous letter says…

    “Today Brian Vosburg was asked to resign from the Ypsilanti DDA Board.”

    And a paragraph later in same letter…

    “I believe if he didn’t do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical he should not have been terminated on the spot.”

    So, you can see why some readers might be confused when Mr. Vosburg goes from resigning to being asked to resign to being terminated on the spot within a matter of a few paragraphs.

    If that wasn’t enough, in your rebuttal you do it again…

    “1) I never said there was a conspiracy afoot. Go back and read what I said. What I said is that he may very well have been fired for good cause, ”

    Several points later…

    “4) Again, I’m not sure what you mean when you suggest that I’m looking for a conspiracy. All I know is that the guy was asked to resign,


  36. Posted May 27, 2009 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    It’s early in the morning, and I’m having a problem comprehending your point, Mr. Dragon. Are you upset that I included a letter from a reader of this site? Or are you upset that, having heard as much from a number of people in the community, I mentioned that Vosburg was asked for his resignation? I don’t think that I’ve violated any journalistic standards by doing either. (Certainly not blogging standards.) And I’m still not sure where you’re getting the conspiracy stuff… I’ll repeat myself one more time, in hopes that it gets through to you… “There very well might have been a good reason to ask Vosburg for his resignation. I just don’t feel as though the YDDA has done a good job of articulating it. All I’ve heard to date is that he missed a grant deadline.” That, to me, doesn’t sound like the ranting of a conspiracy theorist. It just sounds like someone who wants to know why a change in City leadership was made at this point in time. I want to understand the dynamics of the YDDA and their vision for the future of Ypsi. As a citizen and a taxpayer I think I deserve as much.

  37. Scott K
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree with OEC’s comments on his multiple posts….Ypsi(tucky) politics never end to amuse. As the Joker once said, “This town needs an enema!”

    Unless you are the owner who answers to no one but yourself, you are always at risk of being asked to resign, terminated, pink slipped, etc. Often times without cause. We don’t know the reasons why and we shouldn’t dig for such personal information. It’s between employee and employer. If, however, the resignation had criminal actions behind it then it is public knowledge as in any police blotter.

    Good Luck to Mr. Vosburg. I’ve been there many times over the last several years until I have finally landed where I belong. “Perceived failure is oftentimes success trying to be born in a bigger way.”….i.e. sometimes it’s good to get away from the poison.

  38. Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


    Take a look outside to see if you aren’t the one riding in the black helicopter.

    “Bill said he doesn’t really get all this blog stuff he just sends shit to you and you post it.” Is a flat out fabrication. But why?

    Mark ….. I am not delusional; I am still trying to hitch a ride with SB

  39. Observation
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Once again, it looks like our Mayor was politically outmaneuvered.

  40. Scott K
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    When is re-election and any news of candidates?

  41. Posted May 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Well, he resigned – because someone forced him out. I think it was Paul Schreiber – secretly doing it from his vacation in California. How evil! Or Peter Reinhart? More likely it was a coup from Ann Arbor? Perhaps it was Peter and Paul – where’s Mary in all of this anyway? When Mary finds out she will have a cow – or at least a lamb – a little lamb.

    Well, that is too bad it turned out like it did – but if so many people were ‘gunning’ for him – perhaps it was just to much? Let’s wish him well and move on. Or, we could do the typical Ypsilanti thing – talk the talk and crawl the walk – dwell on it for years and decades – compare ourselves to Ann Arbor…

  42. dragon
    Posted May 30, 2009 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    I have a single post in this thread and nowhere in it do I mention the word conspiracy. The point I was trying to make (and agreeing with sb on) was that Mr. Vosburg probably had good reason for wanting it known that he resigned. And you can repeat it as many times as you feel necessary…

    —“I’ll repeat myself one more time, in hopes that it gets through to you… There very well might have been a good reason to ask Vosburg for his resignation.”

    but it doesn’t take away from your statment…

    —“he may very well have been fired for good cause”

    And the posted letter stating….

    —“I believe if he didn’t do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical he should not have been terminated on the spot.”

  43. Curt Waugh
    Posted May 30, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Scott K says:
    “We don’t know the reasons why and we shouldn’t dig for such personal information. It’s between employee and employer.”

    Last time I looked, WE are his employer as these entities are supported by tax revenue. So yeah, I do wanna know what everybody is doing with our money and this is definitely our business. If Mr. Vosburg should sue the city, we will pay, again making this our business. Since our city leaders are chronically unable to manage the thing very well, we are forced to get involved on a regular basis. So don’t tell me about “personal information”. This mess is a matter of public record.

  44. onlyinCommieMidwest
    Posted May 31, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    sb wrote:
    >>The black helicopter stuff never ends around here.

    and then to my growing disbelief continued to write:

    >>Go ahead, submit a fucking FOIA, you won’t get shit because the meeting was secret.

    I guess that “black helicopter stuff” is based on … fact… then.

    Let me state that I feel that any “secret” (“shit …on the FIOA we are SECRET mind you” ) meetings held in small towns here in the inbred and willfully ignorant midwest should be punishable by your particularly sad ass being tied up and dropped beneath the Michigan Ave bridge (on the Township side, no less).

    Just as Ann Arbor is demonstrably driven by a small number of very wealthy Conservatives who like to smoke marijuana, this little 4.5 sq mile town (2.8 sq. miles of taxable residents) is driven by an even smaller number of individuals, and I look forward to your ass being public property courtesy of the apparent inability to regulate commerce under said bridge.

    Oh and in case you missed it, and phrased in terms you apparently value:

    FUCK you for not giving a shit about the fate of a public employee being decided at the will of a secret society. There is NO precedence for those types of decisions being poor, is there?

    God grant that you feel the consequences of your actions, is one (politer) way I have heard my sentiments phrased. But stated with similar vehemence.

2 Trackbacks

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