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December 04, 1987 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-12-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Friday, December 4, 1987

After long process, city
code nears completion

4

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DEC. 4th

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(continued from Page 1)
help to eliminate ambiguity. Under
the current code, he said, inspectors
have different interpretations of what
violates the code and what does not.
"There were certain areas where
the code was silent with no set
requirements, and therefore people
tried to apply standards that weren't
spelled out," Donaldson said.
"Others would apply a different set
of standards to the same issue, and
the question of whether it was a
violation or not was different in each
case.
In the new code, for example,
under "Minimum Standards for Light
and Ventilation," the ventilating
system in a bathroom "must move
sufficient air to support a piece of
toilet tissue on the fan's grate when
the fan is in operation."
This way, said committee
member and tennant advocate Larry
Fox, tenants can check the standards
of inspection for themselves. "We
weren't always successful with
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simplicity, but we tried to make it
simpler even if it's longer," he
added.
The length of the revision seems
to be a dividing point among council
members.
Councilmember Terry Martin (R-
Second Ward) said the code may need
more extensive revisions before
council members vote to pass it.
"The city attorney has already cut
down on a lot of redundancy," she
said, "but more work can be done on
it."
City attorney Bruce Laidlaw, who
has made recommendations on the
language and length of the code to
the committee, said the current
proposal is "redundant and wordy.
We should produce a code that is 13
pages, not 52."
But council member Jeff Epton
(D-Third Ward), chair of the
council's housing board of review,
said he thinks the code will pass
with little change. "You need to
specifically spell out certain issues
like enforcement and basis of
exceptions," which make the code so
long, he said.
Epton added that revising the code
to eliminate these specificities would
"defeat the purpose. There will be
some changes in it, but the spirit of
the code will remain the same. It
will be closer to 52 pages than to
13."
Council member Kathy Edgren
(D- Fifth Ward), one of the original
members of the writing committee,
said Laidlaw's recommendations
would disrupt the new code's
intentions. "The committee
appreciates (Laidlaw's) support for
reform. but we cannot makes

changes that would effect the entire
content of the code."
The committee is scheduled to
submit the code to council for a vote
with or without Laidlaw's approval.
Mayor Gerald Jernigan, who sat
on the initial committee for a few
months, said the code will probably
pass "in some form," and that he
would not veto it. "I don't have a
problem with it," he said.
Jernigan said he left the writing
committee out of frustration. "We
hoped it would be a shorter process,
but because there were opposing
points of view, it was extremely
difficult to agree on certain
subjects." It took one month alone
to agree on the process of
discussion, he added, and about a
year till the members "started to get
along."
"Once we got over preconceived
notions like landlords equal
slumlords and Student Legal
Services people are two steps this
side of communism, we discovered
that our goals were the same,"
Apartment Association head Jim
Morris said.
Morris, Edgren, and Fox are
joined on the committee by attorney
Gary Rothberger, and property owner
Tom Earthwaite.

Edgren said the long process of
revising the code was due to the
original document's length and
detail. "We had to discuss all details
in every single section." There were
also "many areas where there was a
lot of disagreement," she added.'
Fox said the interests of both
tenants and landlords were considered
in writing the new code.

U

TV helps solve murder
ANN ARBOR (AP) - A jury Caslman had fled to rural Penn
yesterday convicted an elderly man of sylvania shortly after killing Elean
second-degree murder in*the 1970 Farver, and he was traced ther
shotgun slaying of his estranged through ties obtained after the tel
girlfriend, Washtenaw County Pros- vision broadcast, Delhey said.
ecutor William Delhey said. Delhey stressed, however, tha
The 12-member jury deliberated Caslman always was the prime sus
about a day before convicting Wil- pect in the slaying.
ford Caslman in a case featured in a
May broadcast of "Unsolved "It was solved. We knew who

I
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,or
.re
[e-
at
-
it

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Mysteries" on NBC-TV,
said.

Delhey was," fe said. "We had a warrant out
the next day."

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