I was elected to City Council in November 2013 and won re-election in 2015. In my two terms, I championed issues of transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and community values. I sponsored a resolution to disclose information about a planned train station that City staff had denied under FOIA. I serve on the Council’s rules committee and assisted in the drafting of ethics rules for Council members. I also sponsored a resolution to place the issue of the sale of the library lot on the ballot when petitions to do that fell short of the required signatures due to technicalities. Importantly, I helped draft and co-sponsored an ordinance prohibiting City employees from collecting immigrant status information.
I believe that residents should have full and easy access to information about City government business. Over the last few years, City staff has been communicating with the federal government about the potential site of a new train station. When a local news reporter was denied access to those communications, I sponsored a resolution to disclose the train station information that had been withheld under an exception in the Freedom of Information. See July 17, 2016 “Council votes 6-5 against releasing information about train station project”
I believe that members of Council are honest and ethical. Often, questions about ethical behavior arises because an individual does not understand what is expected of him or her. I serve on the Council’s rules committee and assisted in the drafting of ethics rules for Council members. Specifically, the Council rules now prohibit conflicts of interest, accepting gifts and misuse of City resources.
The Council Rules, including ethics rules, can be found here.
A Council member should be responsive to residents. When residents bring concerns to me, I try to find a response, resolution or course of action that will address their concerns. In 2016, residents came to me with concerns about the rejection of petitions to place the fate of the library lot on the ballot. They had collected more than 5,500 signatures, but the petitions were rejected as inadequate based on technicalities. I sponsored a resolution to place the question on the ballot, which is well within the authority of Council to do without regard to petitions. See August 5, 2016 “Ann Arbor council votes against putting downtown park proposal on ballot”
In my two terms in office, I have represented neighborhood interests on a variety of projects, including:
- The Packard Square development
- The Circle K gas station project
- The Lans Basin pedestrian bridge
- The 2250 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. project
Ann Arbor is a welcoming, diverse and tolerant city. We are home of the University of Michigan, which draws employees, instructors and students from around the world. It is important to me that all residents have confidence in their local government and its employees. I proudly sponsored an ordinance to limit the collection of immigrant status information in the routine conduct of City business.
It is important to me that every resident and visitor feel comfortable interacting with our police and staff. Our entire community must be able to trust our police officers and City staff, so a victim or witness of crime is willing to cooperate with local law enforcement.
I do not always agree with every member of Council but I pride myself on being civil and on being willing to compromise. Since November 2013, I have sponsored or co-sponsored more than 40 resolutions.
Most of these resolutions have passed. In other words, a majority of Council members voted in favor of those resolution.
I worked closely with Council colleagues for:
- Safety services
- Improved pedestrian safety
- Maintenance of our streets sewers and water mains
- Protection of neighborhood character
I have a positive vision of our town's future that includes protecting what is good and unique about our community. We must promote restoration over demolition. We should value financial responsibility over indebtedness. We need to aid our residents and local businesses over out of town developers and chain stores.
In matters of planning, we must advocate strong support for strict application of the zoning requirements. Where the zoning code fails to assist a neighborhood in protecting its character, the code must be changed to offer that protection (not changed to remove obstacles to developers). It is not NIMBYism to ask that the new development meet the recommendations of the master plan, adhere to the wetland restrictions and not negatively impact the existing neighbors. In fact, if developers knew that they would be held to the letter of the law, they would not spend their time and money trying to infiltrate the near downtown neighborhoods with projects that belong in downtown (D1 or D2) districts.
I have always emphasized common sense priorities. We must provide excellent services, including public safety services, and maintain our essential infrastructure before we embark on discretionary spending.
Please help me continue my work on City Council by casting your vote for me on August 8.