We endorse Jane Lumm for mayor. Lumm, a Republican, spent five years on the City Council ending in 1998 and understands the complex issues facing Ann Arbor, especially ones tied to spending, revenue and taxation. She knows that the city’s financial problems are as much about spending as they are about lost revenue.
And, Lumm most notably differs from Hieftje in her willingness to be forthright. She would work tirelessly for the good of the city, and has a profound commitment to public participation by residents. She knows how to lead, in part, because she values input.
Hieftje’s largest failure is not one of vision, but leadership.
And it stems from a reflexive defensiveness that too often pushes any dissenting or questioning voices from the table. Instead of building lasting coalitions, Hieftje opts for short-term wins that are relatively easy to accumulate because Democrats hold such an overwhelming majority on the City Council.
Hieftje’s ongoing reluctance to an open, public process was evident during the successful campaign for the Greenbelt. Given the opportunity to pull all sides together, Hieftje instead cast a complex issue in the simplest of terms and treated opponents with legitimate and substantive questions as villains.