Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor News Endorses Lumm for Mayor

24. October 2004 • Brandon
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In today’s paper, The Ann Arbor News endorses Republican challenger Jane Lumm for Mayor:

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.



  1. Huh. I agree with an AANews editorial. Impressive.
       —Murph    Oct. 24 '04 - 05:32PM    #
  2. Brandon, you keep saying you’re leery of Lumm buying more parkland in the city—from the link to her campaign site above, it looks like she’s against park acquisitions and in favor of focusing more on maintainance/upgrading of the existing parks?

    Hieftje’s campaign site…as far as I can tell doesn’t exist. Googling is giving me links to this site, my site, AAIO, The Bunker, and Goodspeed Update, none of which are as flattering as the mayor would probably want—but I can’t find anything lookin’ like a campaign site.
       —Murph    Oct. 24 '04 - 08:56PM    #
  3. Well Murph, Lumm seems very much for using 1/3 of the Greenbelt funds for the acquisition of more city parkland, which I think is counterproductive, campaign promises or no. “Also, the two key one-third principles—that 1/3 of the millage proceeds would be used inside the City and that Ann Arbor tax dollars would not fund more than 1/3 of the price for any purchase outside the city—promised last Fall have not been incorporated in the Greenbelt Ordinance.” “As your mayor, I will keep those promises. I would propose changes to the Greenbelt ordinance to codify these key one-third principles and will PUT ANN ARBOR PARKS FIRST.”

    She seems strangely a bit worried about maintaining Greenbelt parcels… seeing as they are supposed to be mainly just purchases-of-development-rights, I’m not sure why the city would have any part in paying for their maintenance: “if we can’t afford to maintain our own city parks, will we fund any maintenance, restoration, or development costs for the Greenbelt parcels.” I think the landowners would be in charge of that, no?

    Parks, parks, parks. Why is this town so obsessed with parks? Parks seem to me like a peripheral issue, especially as we seem to have more of them than we know what to do with. They never even seem all that busy when I on occasion visit them… do Annarbourites just like the idea of “green space” in theory because it soothes their white liberal guilt?
       —Brandon    Oct. 24 '04 - 10:31PM    #
  4. Brandon, hit the “click here for more information on parks” link:

    “for non-greenbelt funds, we must immediately reassess the allocation of spending between maintenance and acquisition.  Also, approval of new acquisitions should be accompanied by a plan and clear understanding of how the maintenance—now and in the future—will be funded. There have been a few instances recently where park and open space acquisitions have been used as a tool to stop development, even though the parks experts (staff and PAC) had indicated the parcels did not include high quality natural features or were not suited for recreational parks. That isn’t sound planning.”

    Doesn’t sound to me like she’s planning to go on a mad NIMBY park-buying spree…
       —Murph    Oct. 25 '04 - 09:21AM    #
  5. Okay Murph, that sounds pretty good. But she’s still insistent on codifying that 1/3 of greenbelt funds be used for acqusition of land inside the city, despite her interest in putting maintenance first. It doesn’t seem to fit, because that’ll mean a lot of parks acquisition (on land that should probably be used for infill).
       —Brandon    Oct. 25 '04 - 09:30AM    #
  6. The original greenbelt funding proposal stated that 1/3 would be used for parks inside the city, didn’t it? I don’t think she’s trying to change anything with this demand—it reads to me as more of a statement that Hieftje needs to follow through on the promises he made.

    Now, I too would STRONGLY prefer that she hold Hieftje’s feet to the fire on the density issue rather than the spending-ratio issue, since he’s much more flagrently dropped the ball on density, but I kind of think that, in an election year where tens of thousands of fresh young voters are going to turn out with “Democrat good! Republican bad!” burned into their retinas, Lumm has to be as un-inflammatory as possible. Even still, I think she’s going to lose, both because of this city’s Democratic/Cowherd political machine and because of the current party-line polarity.
       —Murph    Oct. 25 '04 - 11:10AM    #
  7. I’m curious what the results will be… I have a feeling that uneducated students are gonna vote party-line no matter what, you’re right. Hell, most of them probably don’t even know who the mayor is. I like to stick-up for local government paying more attention the the rights/needs of students, but I’m disheartened with how apathetic/ignorant most (even MUP) students are when it comes to the local stuff, no matter how riled-up they get by Bush. I can’t even get most of them to register here… sigh. Unless oodles of News-reading “permanent” residents are swayed by the paper and general controversy of Hieftje’s last term, you’re probably correct that Lumm won’t win. Maybe it’ll at least be close so the Dems get scared, though.
       —Brandon    Oct. 25 '04 - 05:02PM    #
  8. Lummy—-scourge of Abu Ghraib.

    Baba au Lumm. Bacardi Lumm on the rocks.

    ...But what’s worse is that she doesn’t even like admitting her Repub identity, see
    http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-10/109619348671600.xml .
       —David Boyle    Oct. 25 '04 - 05:26PM    #
  9. Shrug… it makes sense for a moderate Republican not to promote her party status, I figure. Especially around here and at a time when Republican is becoming synonymous with “Right Wing” in many folks’ heads.
       —Brandon    Oct. 26 '04 - 12:31PM    #