Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor's first day of spring: Council races begin

16. March 2008 • Murph
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It appears to be that time of the year again, when local candidates start lining up for the August joust.

According to the Ann Arbor News, three candidates have signed up to run for Mayor Pro Tem Chris Easthope’s Council seat, as he seeks a district court position:

Council seats currently held by Ron Suarez (D-1st), Joan Lowenstein (D-2nd), Stephen Kunselman (D-3rd), and Margie Teall (D-4th) are also up for election this year.

Mayor John Hieftje (see also previous campaign site) will be challenged in the August Democratic primary by last cycle’s write-in candidate Tom Wall, who appears to be the first candidate with a campaign site for the year. The winner will be challenged by Eric Plourde, a sophomore PoliSci student at Michigan running as a Libertarian.

The news notes that all eleven Washtenaw County Commission seats are up for election this year, but I don’t know of any competitions yet. Three Ypsilanti City Council seats are up for election, also without any competition yet. The Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s race, however, already has four potential candidates, including incumbent Supervisor Ruth Ann Jamnick, Washtenaw County Commission Karen Lovejoy Roe, Township Clerk Brenda Stumbo, and Township Trustee Dave Ostrowski.

The deadline to file for the August primary election is May 13, still two months away.



  1. Vivienne Armentrout also has a web site: http://viviennearmentroutforcouncil.blogspot.com/.


       —Juliew    Mar. 17 '08 - 12:36AM    #
  2. I support Vivienne Armentrout. She has shown a great range of knowledge regarding land development issues while on the Board of Commissioners and has also proven to be even-handed and responsive to residents.


       —Kaptain Krunch    Mar. 17 '08 - 04:21PM    #
  3. Let’s start a movement to draft Dr. Catherine Wilkerson for City Council. She has been caring and responsive for the needs of the poor and politically involved in important issues such as the dangers of nuclear war and human rights violations; she also showed courage as the only defendant to fight the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office in their political prosecution of Raymond Tanter protestors.We need someone like her on City Council and plus – she needs a job!


       — Roadman    Mar. 17 '08 - 09:26PM    #
  4. I’m writing in Blaine.


       —Thomas Cook    Mar. 18 '08 - 09:49PM    #
  5. Thomas,

    No, I won’t run for City Council.

    Not unless you find me a campaign committee that will go to every home in Ann Arbor, demanding that City Council do these 4 things:

    ===========================

    1. Tell Congress to immediately stop spending $1 trillion on killing Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. This City Council should very loudly boycott all products from the Apartheid State of “Israel”. Racism must be killed.

    2. Tell Congress to immediately spend that $1 trillion to build a world-class public educational, public medical, and public transportation system in every U.S. inner-city.

    3. Tell Congress that every man and woman hired, to build that system, must be Black. When U.S. Black unemployment falls to 0%, any remaining jobs will be filled from Africa, and no visas will be required. Racism must be killed.

    4. Tell Congress that every Black senior in high school must be admitted to the public university of their choice, upon graduation. The University of Michigan would quickly lead the way, or else the City would slap the University with the highest taxes allowed by law.

    400 years of violently-enforced white privilege must end.

    ===========================

    That’s the only platform I can imagine standing on.

    Your comments?


       —Blaine Coleman    Mar. 18 '08 - 11:24PM    #
  6. The 40th anniversary of the issuance of the Kerner Commission Report recently passed on February 29th and went virtually unnoticed; that commission was convened at the behest of President Johnson following the 1967 riots and found that America was divided into two societies,one black and one white, “separate and unequal” as weel as finding that white America tolerated these ghettoes. Forty years later, inner city blacks live in an environment with substandard housing ,education, and teeming with drugs and violence. One in every five inner city black youths is afflicted with mental illness. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been squandered by our federal government on military adventurism while homeless people freeze to death. The City of Detroit is a good example of outrageously bad leadership that further victimizes inner city residents. We need federal and local municipal leaders that will make commitments to give all inner city citizens basic human dignity and an opportunity to receive a quality education and basic public services on par with the rest of Americans. On April 4th the anniversary of the murder of America’s greatest civil rights leader will be remembered and America still finds itself with its inner cities having living conditions approaching that of the Third World. The U.S. has failed miserably in its commitment to the poor and to its black, Hispanic and Indian minorities.


       —Mark Michael Koroi    Mar. 24 '08 - 04:13AM    #
  7. Who is planning to run for the seats being vacated by Councilpersons Easthope and Lowenstein?


       —I.G. Farben    Mar. 29 '08 - 07:54PM    #
  8. So far we have:

    2nd Ward (Lowenstein’s current seat)
    Tony Derezinski
    Stewart Nelson

    5th Ward (Easthope’s current seat) Vivienne Armentrout Carsten Hohnke Roger Kerson
       —HD    Mar. 29 '08 - 09:04PM    #
  9. Oh, Karen do not even attempt to run as you will be in for it. Stay where you are unless you do not win that seat.


       —ann roberts    Apr. 12 '08 - 02:25PM    #
  10. I am curious as to why there are no black city council members. Who is addressing the achievement gap in AA schools?


       —Janis Dory    Apr. 15 '08 - 07:31PM    #
  11. Hi Janis,

    To answer your second question, that would be the School Board’s bailiwick.

    As for your first question, referring to them disparagingly as potted plants, the “progressives” of Ann Arbor ran off the last two black city council members with pitchforks.


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Apr. 15 '08 - 07:55PM    #
  12. I hope that you are not saying that no black candidates exist, to raise concern about the schools’ achievement gap for minority students. Are any candidates campaigning on that issue?


       —Janis Dory    Apr. 15 '08 - 09:29PM    #
  13. Janis,

    To expand on Parking Stucture Dude!‘s comment: that would be the School Board’s bailiwick as opposed to the City Council’s.

    But your question about achievement gap is a fair one for the School Board candidates who’ll be voted on 6 May: Helen Gates-Bryant and Adam Jacques Hollier. More info here


       —HD    Apr. 15 '08 - 10:44PM    #
  14. Thank you. But the City Council has made the Achievement Gap into City Council business. It approved an official City Council resolution on May 24, 1999, giving a very tiny bit of money to close the Achievement Gap.

    The resolution says:

    “Whereas, The City Council recognizes that it benefits our community to ensure that all children are well prepared to fulfill their role as contributing members of our society;

    “Whereas, Because of a shortage of funds and many other pressing needs, no funding was recommended for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Achievement Initiative After School and Summer Enrichment Program, but a small contribution of $5,000 would
    demonstrate to our youth that the whole community supports their pursuit for increased achievement”

    Will the City Council vote to give more than $5000 to close the Achievement Gap?


       —Janis Dory    Apr. 16 '08 - 03:57PM    #
  15. I have just read that $47 million is being spent to give judges private elevators, and a more comfortable courthouse. But that $47 million would pay for 783 four-year scholarships for black students here in Washtenaw County. That would cover each student’s tuition, room, and board for four years. It would set an example for every other city in the nation, a real incentive to close that Achievement Gap.


       —Janis Dory    Apr. 16 '08 - 06:04PM    #
  16. The News today has a piece on the two School Board candidates[link fixed--ed.]


       —HD    Apr. 17 '08 - 04:10PM    #
  17. Thank you. Your link didn’t work. Try this one:
    [linkified--ed.]

    The article shows a crying need for resources to be devoted to closing black students’ Achievement Gap. One candidate seems to have resigned herself to putting the schools on a diet. The other candidate advocates throwing more resources at the problem.

    I agree: Please do throw money at the problem! It works for everything else. The kids are worth it.
    There is nothing to prevent City Council from directing resources to the kids, if nobody else will.


       —Janis Dory    Apr. 17 '08 - 05:40PM    #
  18. I will agree with you, Mrs. Dory, that I would rather see money expended on educational opportunities for disadvantaged minorities children than see tens of millions of dollars blown on a luxurious police/court facility. Lets hope that Ask The Voters gets the needed number of signatures to force a voter referendum.


       —Kerry D.    Apr. 18 '08 - 01:53AM    #
  19. Is anybody running against Margie Teall?


       —Kerry D.    Jul. 17 '08 - 10:19PM    #
  20. No one is running against Margie Teall.


       —Leah Gunn    Jul. 18 '08 - 01:27AM    #
  21. Thanks,Leah, for the information. By the way, congrat ulations to you and the rest of the County Commission for the victory over Sheriff Minzey in Monroe County Circuit Court.


       —Kerry D.    Jul. 27 '08 - 09:10PM    #
  22. EXCUSE ME, but is not Karen, the PUBLIC OFFICAL, who tried to USE HER TOWNSHIP POSTION, to CORECE a police officer into NOT PERSUEING MURDER CHARGES,(OR GET THEM REDUCED), AGAINST HER BROTHER, and when she could not USE HER POLITICAL INFLUENCE,SHE THREW A FIT AND STARTED SPITTING ON THE OFFICER?
    I this the type of person you want in a PUBLIC POSITION? WE ALL HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF PUBLIC OFFICALS TRYING TO USE THEIR PUBLIC POSITION FOR PERSONAL REASONS/GAIN.
    WE NEED PUBLIC OFFICALS WHO’S AGENDA IS TENDING TO THE BUSINESS OF THE CITIZENS THEY ARE ELECTED TO REPRESENT. NOT THE AGENDA OF POLITICAL DONORS,OR FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL SELF SERVICE.


       —Green Farms Newsletter    Jul. 30 '08 - 12:30PM    #
  23. Thank you, KerryD, for the kind words about our victory over Minzey. Unfortunately, in order to defend ourselves against his suit (which was summarily dismissed on all counts), we had to pay out $238,000 in legal costs. It’s a sad day – we could have used that money to help people! We also had to spend over $1 million to defend ourselves against Ypsilanti Township – and their case was also summarily dismissed on all counts. Did you know that the citizens of Ann Arbor pay over $2.2 million annually in their county taxes to subsidize police services in the townships? In addition, of course, we pay for our own police department. We are NOT mandated to provide police patrols, by state statute, and anyone who says anything different needs to read the judge’s opinion, which was based on already existing statutes and cases.

    I am advocating that everyone vote for Jerry Clayton, an intelligent, articulate and talented gentleman, who will work with ALL of us to repair the damage done by the current Sheriff.


       —Leah Gunn    Jul. 30 '08 - 01:24PM    #