Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Help Create the Arbor Update Primary Voting Guide

22. June 2008 • Chuck Warpehoski
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What questions would you like to ask the candidates for the August 5 primary?

Help create the Arbor Update Primary Voting Guide. Here’s how it works:

1. You and the rest of the AU community suggest questions for the candidates below;
2. The AU contributors will pick 5 or so questions and ask the candidates to write responses;
3. We’ll post the candidate responses here for you to discuss.

Here are a few other points:
1. Please tell us which contest your question refers to. We plan to cover the races for judge, city council, and sheriff, and we might cover others if there’s interest and we have time. The county has a list or races on the August 5 ballot
2. Submit your questions by June 29 to be sure their considered.
3. We may de-polemicize the wording, so while there will probably be questions about the police-courts building, don’t expect one on “the big ugly cube.”



  1. I guess this would be for City Council…how will you work within the local foodshed to ensure food security (and availability and affordability) for our fine city?


       —TeacherPatti    Jun. 23 '08 - 12:37AM    #
  2. My 3 questions:

    1. COUNCIL: What will you do to ensure that Ann Arbor has sufficient affordable housing?

    2. COUNCIL: What will you do to ensure a healthy downtown where people can live, work, shop and play without depending on their car?

    3. SHERIFF: How will you repair relationships between the sheriff’s department, the county commission, and the townships?

    I will confess that I don’t know what questions to ask the candidates for judge…any suggestions?


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 23 '08 - 03:51PM    #
  3. When are the televised candidate debates for Judge?


       —Zolton    Jun. 23 '08 - 05:25PM    #
  4. Sheriff:
    What will you do to repair the relationship with the West Willow and African American communities after the incident involving the Sheriff’s Department which led to a death and severe injuries (and a subsequent law suit and settlement against the Sheriff’s Department)?
    Given that an unsuccessful lawsuit against Washtenaw County by the Sheriff’s office has cost the County an estimated $238,000 in legal fees, there was a more than substantial settlement against the Sheriff’s Department based on the conduct of sheriff’s deputies(which the County will have to pay), and ongoing ovetime costs, what will you do to improve the financial management of the Sheriff’s office and avoid these types of costs in the future when the County is facing a budget crisis?
    Judge:
    What do you think qualifies you to be a judge?
    What role can you as a judge play in the crisis we are facing with the number of people in this State who are incarcerated and the subsequent costs (it costs more to keep someone incarcerated than to send them to college, and we are spending more on prisons than higher education)?


       —Kathy Wyatt    Jun. 23 '08 - 07:22PM    #
  5. COUNCIL: Do you support the proposed court-policy facility, as currently planned?

    If not, will you not oppose it, now that it is underway?

    If not, what will you support/advocate to change the direction of the project?


       —Eric    Jun. 24 '08 - 10:07AM    #
  6. Corrected …

    COUNCIL: Do you support the proposed court-policy facility, as currently planned?

    If not, will you oppose it, now that it is underway?

    If not, what will you support/advocate to change the direction of the project?


       —Eric    Jun. 24 '08 - 10:08AM    #
  7. SITTING JUDGE: What recent decision have you made that upholds the rule of law in the face of contrary community sentiment? Why?

    ASPIRING JUDGE: What recent decision by a sitting judge have you admired that upholds the rule of law in the face of contrary community sentiment? Why?


       —Eric    Jun. 24 '08 - 10:13AM    #
  8. Sorry, corrected again …

    Corrected …

    COUNCIL: Do you support the proposed court-policy facility, as currently planned?

    If not, will you oppose it, now that it is underway?

    If yes, what will you support/advocate to change the direction of the project? Why do you think this is worth walking away from the expenditure of funds to date?


       —Eric    Jun. 24 '08 - 10:22AM    #
  9. Who will replace Ann Arbor Is Overrated? This loss of this venerable institution has caused pain in the hearts and minds of many city residents.


       —A Reader    Jun. 24 '08 - 01:21PM    #
  10. To the candidates for 15th District Court judge:(1) “It has been generally accepted that a substantial percentage of criminal charges in cases cognizable in the district court are the direct or indirect product of substance abuse, including alcohol consumption. How would you as judge tailor a sentence for an offender has a substance abuse problem that affects society and his or her self?”; (2) “Would you advocate a central role for alternative dispute resolution, such as case facilitation, for civil cases filed in the District Court?”;(3)“What background do you have in landlord-tenant and land contract forfeiture litigation that qualifies you to hear and decide such cases in the District Court?”;(4)“What background do you have in criminal law that qualifies you to hear and decide such cases in the District Court?”; (5) “Do you believe the decisions to charge and ultimately try Dr. Catherine Wilkerson for her alleged conduct at the Raymond Tanter presentation in November of 2006 constituted an appropriate and reasonable exercise of prosecutorial discretion? Explain.”


       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 27 '08 - 05:24PM    #
  11. Mark Koroi,

    As a layperson, I think (3) and (4), which ask about specifics of background, are probably consistent with Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct

    “B. Campaign Conduct:

    A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office … should not make pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office;”

    The others, I’m guessing, are less clearly in bounds.

    A couple of months ago, I thought it might be interesting to set up possible scenarios involving, say, violations of the chicken ordinance, or whatever else, and have candidates ‘rule’ on these hypothetical cases , but Chris Easthope pointed me to the Code and suggested what I had it mind just wouldn’t fly.


       —HD    Jun. 27 '08 - 06:35PM    #
  12. HD, Regarding your citations of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct, the policy considerations underlying that cited language has been construed by legal commentators to avoid situations where there is an expression of bias toward certain types of anticipated legal controversies before the court. For example, certain circuit courts in Michigan had “local sentencing policies” in which drug offenders received mandatory prison terms even though the Michigan Legislature adopted probation as a sentencing alternative for judges in such situations; the state supreme court struck these local policies down in 1973 as violative of legislative intent that a judge individualize a sentence to the specific characterics of the offense, the offender, and other legally permissible factors. The Code of Judicial Conduct section you cite sought to prevent judicial candidates from pandering to popular opinion by expressing prejudices as to how certain classes of offenders would be dealt with. As long as a judicial candidate recognizes and emphasizes the duty to individualize all sentences and other rulings to the facts at hand, I believe he or she falls within the “faithful and impartial performance duties of the office” allowance you quote. As to Question #1, a response that does not express bias, such as a mandatory sentencing commitment, but rather consideration of legally permissible alternatives I would view as OK; as to Question #2, this is a highly general question not relating to substantive rulings in potentially specific cases, but rather to general court administration of civil cases as a procedural matter, so the proscribed policy consideration underlying the Code of Judicial Conduct section you cite is not implicated. Question #5 addresses prosecutorial discretion as opposed to the actual legal sufficiency of the criminal case, so that would address a political as opposed to legal question and, hence, not run afoul of the same prohibited policy consideration. I would agree with Chris, however, that a judicial candidate’s publically disclosed opinions on hypothetical case scenarios would be questionable under the Code since actual litigants could conceivably come before the court on the same issues and perceive potential bias from statements made by a judicial candidate prior to his/her investiture as a judge. I would welcome any other members of the Bar to comment on the applicability of this Code section.


       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 27 '08 - 09:06PM    #
  13. Mark Koroi,

    I’ll repeat a previous request by another commenter: paragraph breaks, please. Just toss in a couple breaks to aid visual parsing for those of us whose eyes are a bit older.

    Without visual breaks, many AU readers will miss things like:

    (5) “Do you believe that the posting of Sheriff Minzey’s face on gasoline pumps has led to a decrease in petroleum theft and, if elected, would you continue this practice?”

    Now THAT’S a question. I can imagine Clayton responding, “Yes, it’s Minzey’s face that’s dissuaded many a would-be gasoline thief from driving off without paying, so I’m going to keep Dan’s face on the pumps even if I’m elected.” ;-)

    In all questions, I’d suggest swapping out the phrase ‘do you approve of the job performance of X’ with something like ‘give up to 3 specific, concrete examples illustrating either how you think X excelled on the job, or else failed to meet your expected standard’


       —HD    Jun. 28 '08 - 07:31PM    #
  14. That’s an awesome question! Although most pictures that I see have been defaced in some way (horns, mustaches, eyes gorged out), so I think that the question should be—“Would you continue this practice and would you ensure that his face would not be harmed?”


       —TeacherPatti    Jun. 30 '08 - 04:01AM    #
  15. Actually I think a picture of Minzey with horns would be more effective at deterring gasoline theft. The sheriff isn’t that scary, but the Prince of Darkness sure is.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jun. 30 '08 - 03:03PM    #
  16. Most of you would not last long in West Willow…...you would leave.

    I certainly do not condone what happened to Clifton Lee. But you all might need a dose of reality.There are a lot of bad people out there and to the cops it is a never ending job. I am curious why anyone other than lawyers care all that much about judgeships. To most of us our only contact will be for traffic violations. And it is my understanding that judges no longer take much under advisement so a traffic date in court is almost always to just show up and pay a fine.
       —ziggyselbin    Jun. 30 '08 - 06:32PM    #
  17. Most of you would not last long in West Willow…...you would leave.

    I went to a backyard party last Sunday afternoon in West Willow (a section of Ypsilanti Township, with streets named for car makes from the 1940s). It is nothing like a slum. The houses are well maintained and the streets are lined with trees.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jun. 30 '08 - 10:02PM    #
  18. Going to a party is hardly equal to living there or being a cop and having to deal with the endless bullshit.


       —ziggyselbin    Jul. 1 '08 - 12:11AM    #
  19. Ziggy, when I was in law school, I lived in central Detroit for three years, within sight of abandoned and burned-out buildings and garbage strewn in the street. There was a shooting a couple doors down when a couple guys were killed trying to rob a blind pig, and the neighbors were glad, because that was the end of the blind pig.

    West Willow doesn’t even remind me of Detroit. It looks like a typical suburban neighborhood where people take pride in their properties.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jul. 1 '08 - 11:49AM    #
  20. Still, it’s tough to be a cop in ANY neighborhood.


       —Librarian    Jul. 1 '08 - 02:30PM    #
  21. Yes, it is tough to be a police officer or a soldier. The least we can do is hand over direct control of the government to them. Many countries have tried that route. It would save time and paperwork, no need for judges or politicians. Of course, there’s a down side, but is anyone that worried about the loss of a few liberties?


       —Tough    Jul. 1 '08 - 03:44PM    #
  22. Three law schools were only a few miles of each other near Cass Corridor in the 1980s. Discarded syringes were commonplace on sidewalks and apartment stairwells. Who could forget the Masonic Temple, Seville Apartments,and Selden housing projects. Remember the homeless people, bag ladies, mentally ill, alcoholics, going through garbage with the hope of finding partially eaten food discarded by college students? At night you could hear the popping of gunshots and see rats scurrying near buildings. Some locals even committed crimes so they could be arrested and incarcerated and hence had a place to eat and sleep. Prostitution was there and so were drug sellers and users. Remember the huge abandoned buildings and nearby homeless shelters. The Seville had 154 units and by 1992 it was vacant. Cass Corridor is a reminder that the Third World exists in Michigan.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 1 '08 - 11:00PM    #
  23. I find the difficulty of a policeman’s job and the West Willow neighborhood to be inadequate explanations for why Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Eberle chased down Clifton Lee Jr., sprayed a chemical agent (mace?) in his face, and covered his airways, resulting in his death .

    After viewing the videotape of the incident, the County Board of Commissioners paid the victims’ family $4 million to avoid a jury trial. The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office continues to refuse to release the videotape to the public.

    This is an interesting phenomenon where a government entity uses taxpayer money to avoid exposure at trial for violating the civil rights of citizens. A similar situation occurred last Friday, with the announcement from the US Department of Justice that a settlement had been reached regarding the 2001 anthrax mail case. Steven Hatfill will receive $2.825 million up front and $150,000 a year for 20 years. That’s a lot of our money that was paid to make sure that we never find out what really happened.


       —Michael Schils    Jul. 1 '08 - 11:53PM    #
  24. Re Post #24: Good point. I am still awaiting an explanation from Democratic County Prosecutor Brian Mackie why no charges were ever filed by his office on the Lee incident after the State Police presented their investigation findings to him long ago. It took Bush appointee U.S. Atty. Stephen Murphy to seek a trial via a grand jury indictment on federal civil rights violation charges.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 2 '08 - 12:28AM    #
  25. How a neighborhood looks does not mean much. I believe if one were to look into the number of calls the police have to make in west willow it would be significantly higher than the washtenaw/collegewood area for example.

    What happened to Clifton Lee was wrong.It should not have happened. The problem I have here is the nature of the question (what to do to avoid another incident)seems to ignore the reality.And the reality is there are a lot of bad people that the cops have to deal with. So if you all are going to pretend that west willow is a typicsl suburban neighborhood fine; I’ll be here to challenge that. Just as an aside there are dozens of neighborhoods in Detroit very much like west willow.
       —ziggyselbin    Jul. 2 '08 - 06:06PM    #
  26. Ziggy, I didn’t say that West Willow didn’t have any problems. I was responding to your taunt that I would “not last long” there. I would just venture to guess that Detroit neighborhoods (where I lived for 3 years) have it a lot worse than any part of West Willow.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jul. 2 '08 - 09:08PM    #
  27. Asking a candidate for sheriff what they would do to prevent another incident like what happened to Clifton Lee, Jr. would be a good question to ask.

    Regarding the West Willow incident, Sheriff’s Cmdr. Dave Egeler is quoted in this A2 News article as saying, “An internal investigation into possible violations of departmental policies is still pending.” The article is dated nearly 2 years after the incident.

    So considering the incumbent sheriff’s delay in investigating the incident, the refusal to release the videotape, and the payoff of the victim’s family to avoid a jury trial — it would seem that the incumbent sheriff has already answered this question of what will be done to prevent another similar incident, and the answer is — nothing will be done.

    A similar pattern of inaction by the sheriff’s department occurred after an earlier incident also involving Deputy Joseph Eberle. From this A2 News article,

    In 2004, Eberle and Deputy Aaron Hendricks, who is expected to testify in the case against the three officers, were both sued in federal court, accused of roughing up a 16-year-old Romulus boy suspected of stealing a car in Superior Township.

    In the lawsuit, the teen acknowledged he initially resisted arrest by running and jumping over fences but said he was struck repeatedly after lying on the ground to surrender. The deputies also were accused of intimidating the boy and standing on his feet while waiting for medical treatment until he provided the name of an accomplice.

    The deputies denied the allegations, and the suit was settled nearly a year later, records show. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and it wasn’t clear whether the deputies were disciplined by the department.

    Regarding this 2004 lawsuit, the article goes on to explain that the victim’s attorneys argued to the court “that a lack of training and discipline within the department contributed to the incident”. But the actions taken by the sheriff’s dept. in the aftermath of this earlier incident seem to be the same as was taken after the West Willow incident — the (family of the) victim was quietly paid off and there was no further investigation regarding the conduct of officer Eberle.

    Ironically, at the time of both incidents, the article states that officer Eberle was part of a “unit designed to teach other officers about the proper use of force and review cases where deputies may have crossed the line”. It’s unclear whether Eberle shared with the rest of the unit, his technique of using Mace to help asphyxiate a “perp”.

    A new candidate for sheriff who shows a greater interest in preserving the protection of civil rights in ALL neighborhoods (including the perceived “bad” ones) could win some votes from those of us who care about that sort of thing.


       —Michael Schils    Jul. 3 '08 - 12:45PM    #
  28. Anyone got any more questions to ask?

    We’ll have more chances to argue about the answers….


       —Bruce Fields    Jul. 3 '08 - 04:04PM    #
  29. Re Post #29: I agree that the death of a citizen at the hands of law enforcement should call for a swift and thorough investigation; giving the deputies involved a paid suspension until the federal indictment came down does not cut it with me. The unexplained inaction at the Prosecutor’s office likewise can only be attributed to the “Old Boys’ Network” that county government in Washtenaw is well-known for.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 3 '08 - 05:30PM    #
  30. When will the Primary Voting Guide be posted? There are a bunch of active campaigns, and it would be good to get an article about the primary races up soon. I assume that’s what the Primary Voting Guide is intended to be.


       —David Cahill    Jul. 5 '08 - 09:52PM    #
  31. I am disapointed that the whole story regarding the Lee incident is not being shared here.

    http://www.ypsilanticourier.com/stories/060806/loc_20060608001.shtml

    http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2008/05/new_court_documents_detail_eve.html

    An observer that just happened upon this sight would be led to believe that the cops were totally at fault. What happened to Mr. Lee should not have happened. However there were extenuating circumstances.

    So I ask somewhat rhetorically, would any of you argue with a police officer? Would you approach an officer/ deputy that had stopped a family member? Some occupants of the car had outstanding warrants. Would that not raise concern especially when others are gathering around arguing with deputies? The newspaper accounts certainly don’t point to a cut and dried case of brutality.
       —ziggyselbin    Jul. 8 '08 - 01:18AM    #
  32. Re Post #32: There are many who argue with police officers or who confront officers who are also confronting friends or family members. In fact, there is probably no other municipal or county position more than the law enforcement officer who takes more abuse from emotional members of the public and that is one reason they deserve respect from all citizens. Further, they often find themselves in situations where they meet up with those with outstanding arrest warrants and in those matters they should rightfully exercise extreme care. The allegations by Geoffrey Fieger’s firm in the wrongful death suit and by the U.S. Attorney, however, allege certain types of misconduct. The deputies contest these facts and insist their innocence. Until we have a trial where the facts can be sifted through, we are not in a position to judge these officers. The fact that there can be a forum in federal court where these most serious allegations can be adjudicated is something that will advance the public good as citizens can feel more confident that members of law enforcement will be put to task in the event they engage in brutality. Prosecutor Brian Mackie’s office has been criticized in the past for not taking police brutality seriously and the Lee case is yet another example of inaction. At least in the 1967 Algiers Motel incident, and the Rodney King case, state court prosecutors made attempts to press homicide or assault charges before the U.S. Attorney’s office obtained civil rights indictments.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 8 '08 - 03:12AM    #
  33. The Algiers motel case was one of vicious, pre meditated, murder. Having read the Hersey account I would be inclined to believe the devil himself was present.

    I don’t argue with any of the concerns being voiced here. I do think those that read things here deserve to know the most information available. It seems, and I could be wrong that until I brought up some of the (perhaps) mitigating circumstances they went unmentioned.
       —ziggyselbin    Jul. 8 '08 - 10:23PM    #
  34. The jurors who view the video of the incident as captured by the dashboard cam of the patrol car will be in the best position to determine if there were mitigating factors that justified the killing.

    Through an Internet search, I found the CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF YPSILANTI MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 2, 2007 REGULAR MEETING’, which contains the following passage,

    Supervisor Jamnick stated she had given the Board a copy of a letter from Brian Mackie, Washtenaw County Prosecutor and two emails from Sheriff Minzey relating to the death investigation of Clifton Lee. She read the letter into the record that denied the request for a copy of the videos relating to Mr. Lee’s death because the matter was under investigation by the United States Attorney. The emails from Sheriff Minzey stated that he was under court order not to release the video recordings and the deputies were not given garity rights for writing their police reports.

    I’m skeptical there’s an actual court order that prevents Sheriff Minzey from releasing the tapes. But I could be wrong. This question of the existence of a court order can be resolved with two FOIA requests—one to the Board for the Mackie letter and for copies of the Minzey emails to see exactly what was stated—and depending on what was received to that request, the other FOIA request would probably be to the Washtenaw Sheriff’s Office for a copy of the court order. Of course, if the response is that no such document exists, then a third FOIA request could be made for a copy of the still-unseen-by-the-public videotape(s). Hmmm…


       —Michael Schils    Jul. 9 '08 - 05:11PM    #
  35. The claim of the existence of a court order barring disclosure of the video may be valid. There were two separate federal court cases in Detroit involving the Lee death:(1) the civil rights damages suit against the county brought by Geoffrey Fieger on behalf of the Lee estate, and (2)the federal grand jury investigation of the Lee death. Either the U.S. Attorney or attorneys for the county could have requested from the U.S. District Court Judge administering those respective proceedings a ruling placing those tapes under a protective order, probably under the argument that release of the tapes would result in media exposure that could conceivably taint a potential jury pool in either proceeding.“Garrity rights” refer to limited protections against self-incrimination police officers enjoy in responding to official inquries relating to police misconduct. The civil rights suit is now settled so any protective order issued in that case is unnecessary, but not so in the criminal case.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 9 '08 - 08:55PM    #
  36. We’ve just sent out the voter guides to city council, judge, and sheriff candidates.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jul. 9 '08 - 09:14PM    #
  37. Re Post #37: Can you disclose the questions that were posited to the respective candidates?


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 9 '08 - 09:23PM    #
  38. Do your think the marijuana proposal goes far enough


       —paul jensen    Jul. 10 '08 - 03:07PM    #
  39. At this wizened and grizzled stage of my adult life, I am rarely surprised by the ugliness of transactional politics but I am still capable of feeling disappointment. I was struck again by such an attack of remorse recently when I read the letter from Conan Smith in support of the candidacy of Carsten Hohnke over Ms. Armentrout. In spite of my disappointment, I have to say that I am entertained by the fluency of Mr. Smith’s double speak. I will cite just a few examples in which the text of Mr. Smith’s arguments lead in the exact opposite direction from his conclusions and yet he states his conclusions with so much certainty that we might well accept them without close examination. Mr. Smith states as follows: “…we came to the conclusion that we are more concerned by the divisions that are emerging between two factions than by the actual decisions that the council ultimately comes to [sic] (the final preposition is his not mine). We see a breakdown in productive relationships and a disregard for effective civic engagement dominating the process.” That is a stinging indictment of the current council. Assuming his premises to be true one would imagine that the solution would be to put new blood on the council, a new individual that is not party to old factions. We should elect someone that is free from pre-existing obligations to one side or the other who can fashion a third way, divergent from two ruts into which the current council has become mired. Surely that is what Mr. Smith intends to suggest and that is exactly where my disappointment manifests. Instead, Mr. Smith folds his thread of logic in upon itself and arrives at the opposite conclusion from that suggested by his premise.
    He states as follows: “…Carsten has the better chance to bridge that gap, due in part to his strong relationships with the ‘veteran majority’…” Surely, Mr. Smith does not mean to suggest, after such an eloquent preamble that more of the same will lead us to a different conclusion. Is this not the common definition of insanity? Mr. Smith touts Mr. Hohnke’s “…commitment to fully engage the variety of neighborhood voices that have been left out of the conversation in recent years.” Were this truly the case, a newer less familiar presence would be more likely to bring in the voices disregarded by past councils. Such double speak which advocates a new more inclusive approach while proposing a candidate with “…strong relationships with the ‘veteran majority’…” is the same code that politicians have been using for years. It is the basis of cronyism and deals and favors that have made politics so distasteful to the American public for so many years.
    Now is as good a time as any to introduce true logic to the process. Now is as good a time as any to actually put aside the sort of factionalism and cronyism and incompetent political machinations that cost this state an effective primary and risk costing this city an effective council. I beseech the citizens of Ann Arbor to reject Mr. Smith’s endorsement, to take a stand for a new era of politics in this city. Now is as good a time as any to support citizen initiated, true grass roots activism. Now is exactly the right time to wrest control of our political futures from the greedy grip of the few and the fortunate. Now is the time to vote for Vivienne Armentrout.

    Stephen E. Connor


       —Stephen E. Connor    Jul. 10 '08 - 07:44PM    #
  40. Let it be emphasized that besides Mrs. Armentrout, John Floyd is running as a Republican in the Fifth Ward (unopposed in the primary), and he was a declared supporter of the Ask Voters First organization just as Armentrout was. Further, AVF supporter Stewart Nelson is running for City Council and will undoubtedly face a tough fight against a candidate endorsed by the Mayor. The Mayor will face a primary challenge by Tom Wall, who was a vocal opponent of the $47 million police/court project; many have indicated they will vote for Wall as a protest against the Burgermeister’s lack of leadership as to the fight over that project. We’ll see on August 5th whether or not the leaders of fiscal conservatism will receive the support at the polls by Ann Arbor voters.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 10 '08 - 09:39PM    #
  41. Good grief, who woke up Blaine?


       —annarbor1us    Jul. 10 '08 - 11:20PM    #
  42. Since this has turned into an article discussing the candidates, I thought I might as well post the letter that Patricia Lesko, the write-in candidate for the Democratic nomination for City Council in the First Ward, is sending to people who request absentee ballots:

    On June 23, 2008 our City Council member, Ron Suarez, announced his withdrawal from our City Council race. Before he made his announcement he asked me if I would run as a “write in candidate” for his seat in the August 5 primary. He told me he wanted to leave the First Ward in the hands of someone who he could fully support and who he had absolute confidence would work for the people of the First Ward and represent their interests.

    • My family has lived in Michigan for almost 200 years. I have been a resident of Ann Arbor for 24 years and a First Ward resident since 1992.
    • I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.
    • I run a publishing business that serves higher education.
    • My partner of 16 years and I are proud parent of two sons, ages 8 and 11. Our children attend Ann Arbor public schools.
    • I helped triple the number of parents involved with Northside Elementary School’s PTO. I personally contacted over 200 parents.
    • I worked with the “Ask Voters First” signature drive. Voters told me they wanted a more citizen-focused city government, better transparency and greater fiscal responsibility from our city government.
    • I believe expenditures should be coupled to clearly identified revenue or savings sources that would offset any new debt.
    • I oppose the sale of parkland without asking voters first.
    • I believe programs which encourage environmentally friendly renovation and construction should include home owners and renters, as well as businesses.

    I am asking for your help and vote. To vote for me find the box that says COUNCILMEMBER WARD 1. Write my name on the empty line (Patricia Lesko) and darken the circle next to it.

    Our Ward needs a representative who will put its residents first. I want to be your First Ward representative on City Council.

    Yours truly,

    Patricia Lesko

    Paid for by the Patricia Lesko for City Council Committee, 817 Brookside, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

    Check out her website: www.Lesko4Council.com


       —David Cahill    Jul. 11 '08 - 02:40PM    #
  43. Here is an e-mail sent to Rebekah Warren by a long-time political activist in response to her and Conan Smith’s support statement mentioned in #40:

    Dear Rebekah,
    I was sent this today and I am stunned and deeply troubled by this statement.

    “...we are more concerned by the divisions that are emerging between two factions than by the actual decisions that the council ultimately comes to. “

    Your email is saying unless someone shuts up, sits down, and puts up with bad government meekly and quietly you will not endorse them.

    Your statement is deeply disturbing on many levels. Where would the women’s movement and women’s reproductive movement be if we followed that philosophy? I wonder what response you and Conan would have gotten if you had told Rosa Parks something like that? Wow! WOW!


       —David Cahill    Jul. 12 '08 - 11:59AM    #
  44. David:Who is “the long-time political activist” that authored that response?


       —Kerry D.    Jul. 14 '08 - 01:40AM    #
  45. The poster is someone who does not hold office and is not a candidate. I don’t think s/he has been on Arbor Update. The e-mail was sent to a long list of Dems, including me.

    Kerry D., if you post your real name here, I will ask this person if I can post his/her name.


       —David Cahill    Jul. 14 '08 - 01:52PM    #
  46. Look at the Mayor’s campaign website; it’s telling citizens to vote on November 7th (2006) and therefore has not been changed for a over one year and a half; another part of Hizzoner’s site is down for construction. Tom Wall’s campaign website, by comparison, has the correct primary election date and is very well organized and informative. It looks as though one of the mayoral candidates is taking the primary election seriously – at least fron an Internet perspective.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 14 '08 - 11:34PM    #
  47. We’ve apparently already missed the forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters broadcast on CTN Channel 19 on 28 June. But I’m sure there’ll be re-broadcasts.

    The schedule for the rest of the LWV candidate debates/conversations is here


       —HD    Jul. 15 '08 - 01:39AM    #
  48. David: You answered my question; I had wondered whether that quote was from a current council member. Rebekah Warren does not impress me(nor has she ever) with her attitude. I am also somewhat disturbed by HD’s post at #48 that the LWV forum relative to judicial candidates was finished several weeks ago yet nobody knew about it; at least my favorite “law and order” candidate Eric Gutenberg apparently did not appear anyway. I hope that it appears rebroadcast somwewhere.


       —Kerry D.    Jul. 15 '08 - 10:39PM    #
  49. Kerry, I’ve asked CTN if we or they can host the LWV voters. I’m still waiting on word back from Ralph Salmeron, CTN Manager.


       —Matt Hampel    Jul. 17 '08 - 03:27AM    #
  50. Sorry, that should read, I’ve asked CTN if we or they can host the recordings of the LWV forums.


       —Matt Hampel    Jul. 17 '08 - 03:28AM    #
  51. I, too , am curious as to which questions were chosen and sent out to the candidates


       —Michael Schils    Jul. 17 '08 - 06:53PM    #
  52. Sorry for the delay on this. Here are the Sheriff’s questions:

    1. What will you do to repair the relationship with the West Willow and African American communities after the incident involving the Sheriff’s Department which led to a death and severe injuries (and a subsequent law suit and settlement against the Sheriff’s Department)? (Question by Kathy Wyatt) 2. Given that an unsuccessful lawsuit against Washtenaw County by the Sheriff’s office has cost the County an estimated $238,000 in legal fees, there was a more than substantial settlement against the Sheriff’s Department based on the conduct of sheriff’s deputies (which the County will have to pay), and ongoing overtime costs, what will you do to improve the financial management of the Sheriff’s office and avoid these types of costs in the future when the County is facing a budget crisis? (Question by Kathy Wyatt) 3. How will you repair relationships between the sheriff’s department, the county commission, and the townships? (Question by Chuck Warpehoski) 4. What would you do as Sheriff of his county should do to prevent future occurrences like the death of Clifton Lee, Jr.? (Question by Mark Koroi) 5. Do you believe that the posting of Sheriff Minzey’s face on gasoline pumps has led to a decrease in petroleum theft and ,if elected, would you continue this practice? (Question by Mark Koroi)
       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jul. 18 '08 - 03:23PM    #
  53. And the Judge questions:
    1. What do you think qualifies you to be a judge? (Question by Kathy Wyatt)

    2. What role can you as a judge play in the crisis we are facing with the number of people in this State who are incarcerated and the subsequent costs? (Question by Kathy Wyatt)

    3. If you are a sitting judge, what recent decision have you made that upholds the rule of law in the face of contrary community sentiment? Why? If you are an aspiring judge, What recent decision by a sitting judge have you admired that upholds the rule of law in the face of contrary community sentiment? Why? (Question by Eric)


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jul. 18 '08 - 03:24PM    #
  54. And the Council questions

    1. Do you support the proposed court-policy facility, as currently
    planned? What role do you see for Council now that it is underway? (Edited version of question from Eric)

    2. What will you do to ensure that Ann Arbor has sufficient affordable
    housing? (Question from Chuck Warpehoski)

    3. What will you do to ensure a healthy community where people can
    live, work, shop and play without depending on their car? (Question from Chuck Warpehoski)

    4. How will you work within the local foodshed to ensure food security
    and affordability for our city? (Edited version of question from
    TeacherPatti)

    5. What is your opinion of the performance of the Mayor and City
    council over the past 2 years? (Edited version of question from Mark Koroi)


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jul. 18 '08 - 03:38PM    #
  55. Wow—thanks for including mine, Chuck :) I’m looking forward to hearing answers.

    :)


       —TeacherPatti    Jul. 21 '08 - 11:55PM    #
  56. Patricia Lesko was endorsed today for First Ward City Council by the Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group.

    According to the e-mail she received, this endorsement was voted on and approved by both the executive committees of both the Huron Valley Group of the Sierra Club, and also the Michigan Chapter (state level).


       —David Cahill    Jul. 22 '08 - 05:39PM    #
  57. The A2 News reports that Sheriff Dan Minzey missed another candidate forum on Monday.

    Sheriff Minzey apparently recognizes that his time is better spent putting his signs in yards and plastering his mug on gas pumps, as in his re-election campaign, Name Recognition is exceedingly more important than discussing the issues with a small group of citizens.

    Monday evening, I thought I saw Minzey driving a jeep through the neighborhoods with a stack of blue signs in the back…but maybe that was somebody else.


       —Michael Schils    Jul. 26 '08 - 05:36PM    #
  58. Vivienne Armentrout has also been endorsed by the Sierra Club – Huron Valley Group.

    Can anyone in Arbor Update tell us when the responses to our questions to the candidates will be posted?


       —David Cahill    Jul. 26 '08 - 07:48PM    #
  59. Judicial candidate Chris Easthope’s campaign website recently announced the welcome endorsement of the gay/lesbian advocacy group Triangle Foundation. Has anyone formed an opinion as to whether this will help him get more votes? Very few political candidates in this state have publically declared such an endorsement.


       —Mark Koroi    Jul. 28 '08 - 02:59PM    #
  60. Mr Koroi,
    This is Ann Arbor not Plymouth. Ann Arbor has a large gay and lesbian community and they vote!

    Being endorsed by the Triangle Foundation is a positive thing….


       —annarbor1us    Jul. 28 '08 - 04:14PM    #
  61. Definitely. In my campaigns for office, I have sought and received endorsements from GLBT organizations. Of course any such endorsement would be featured on my campaign web site.

    I very much appreciate the support I have received from gay and lesbian voters, both in Ingham County when I was a commissioner in the 1980s, and here in Washtenaw County.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jul. 28 '08 - 04:54PM    #
  62. Is ArborUpdate going to renew this thread format this year?


       —Kerry D.    Jul. 5 '09 - 11:59PM    #