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September 05, 1974 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-09-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thursddy,,optember 5, 1974



Thursddy, September 5, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY f~age Seven

Major power shift in city politics
expected within few years

The political make-up of City
Colncil has not been dramatic-
ally altere4 by last April's
municipali election, but the re-
turns indicate that a major
pcwer shift can be expected
ovor the next several years.
In that contest the Democrats
won one seat each from the Re-
publican and Human Rights
Parties. Still, the GOP remains1
in cntrol of council with a six-
vote majority.
IOWEVER, t h e Republican
Majority has been built upon a
fou~ndationi of sand-not concrete
-and that base began to show
sign of erosion the last time it
ws' tested at the polls.
Most indicative of the Repub-
licns' flimsy hold on City lall
proved to be the passage of a
five ddll fine for the use and
sale of mArijuana as an Amend-
me:t to the City Charter.
The law is very similar to an
Ardiiance the GOP majority re-
pealed a year ago. Not surpris-
ingly,: the Republicans strongly
opposed the charter amendment
and h&ped the measure would
not only be defeated but driven
iftto thi ground.
TE USUALLY warring Dem-
ocratia and HRP supporters
coalesced behind the measure
as it gained approval by a mar-
gin that was enough to spell
trouble for the conservatives'
dreams of dominating local poli-
tics on a longterm basis.

T h e conservative elements
have been in the driver's seat
primarily because of a split in
the liberal-radical constituency
in Ann Arbor.
Clearly, the Republicans con-
stitute a minority of voters but
have prospered because of voter
apathy and disunity on the left.
IN LAST April's race, how-
ever, those conditions were less
apparent than during the previ-

importance of defeating Col-
The University speech profes-
sor, had he been re-elected,
would probably been the GOP
mayoral candidate next year.
He carefully developed a "mod-
erate" image that made him
the only top Republican withi a
decent chance of following in
the footsteps of current mayor
James Stephenson.
But with that loss, Colburn is

Democrat Colleen McGee who
defeated two other women. She
won a 200-vote victory over her
HRP rival -- a margin much
closer than expected.
In the walkto-wall student
Second Ward, Kathy Kozachen-
ko, the HRP entry, edged out
her Democratic opponent by a
mere 40 votes. Kozachenko, a
University student w h o ran
openly as a lesbian, defeated.
anther student. Many observers,

'Coming out of April's election, the longterm losers were obvi-
ously the Republicans. They have run city hall for the past year
as if they had an ironclad lease of the place. But a very plaus-
ible scenario can be drawn that will put the GOP, in a minority
status by this time next year.'
""S '"J: S'a SV v .".vr JJ, r ,pmrJ ter, Sv ,;vam :"X:4 S t m .:1 ,.SSVrm. P:' "

ous election when the GOP took
control of council.
The Republicans lost a crucial
council seat to the Democrats
in the city's Fourth Ward where
liberal James Kenworthy dump-
ed incumbent William Colburn,
in winning a surprisingly wide
In that ward-a microcosm of
the city-4he Dems and HRP
had, until this year, run head-
to-head thus splitting the vote
and aiding the Republican can-
HOWEVER, HRP ran a very
low-key campaign, sensing the
no longer a particularly viable

mayoral prospect -leaving the
Republicans high and dry.
In the city's four other wards,
the elections produced some
close races but no major upsets.
Third and Fifth Wards as pre-
dicted, in the persons of Roger
Bertoia and Louis Belcher re-
spectively. Both are relatively
conservative even among their
own party members. Bertoia, in
addition, is not a "GOP regu-
lar" but something of a ma-
The liberal First Ward, made
up of students and most of the
city's black population, went to

however, attribute her
to the weakness of her


Judge declares


THUS SEATED around the'
council table are six Republi-
cans, including the mayor whose
seat is up for grabs every other
year, four Democrats and a sin-
gle Human Rights Party mem-
For the next year, consequent-
ly, the Republicans will be able
to call the shots-meaning policy
will favor the police, fire, and
refuse collection departments
over social services; developers
over no-growth interests; and
"residents" over University stu-
However the Democrats have
emerged in a stronger position,
having doubled the number of
representatives they had on!
council over a year ago. The
party still lacks a dynamic lead-
er and spokesperson on council
and its efforts often seem in-
directed and undisciplined.
holds a considerably weaker po-
sition - having lost what the
Dems have gained. With only
one council member, as opposed
to the two it previously had,
the party must depend on a Re-
publican or Democrat to support

an HRP-initiated measure to
even bring the matter up for
But HRP members still view
the election as a success be-
cause many political insiders
had just about written the third
party off as dead. The Koza-
chenko victory, however, will
keep the organization afloat for
at least another two years.
Coming out of April's election,
the longterm losers were ob-
viously the Repblicans.
THEY HAVE run city hail,
for the past year, as if they had
an ironclad lease on the place.
But a very plausible scenario
can be drawn that will put the
GOP in a minority status by
this time next year.
Without a strong mayoral can-
didate, the Republicans should
lose that office, barring an
anathetic electorate, next April.
Also, if the -liberal-radical par-
ties follow the same plan they
did this year in the Fourth
Ward, they should be able to
unseat the remaining Republi-
can councilperson from that
The other wards should go as
they historically have-two to
the Republicans and two to the
liberal-radical constituency.
That would leave the GOP
with only five seats and a ma-
jority belonging to the Demo-
crats and HRP.
PREVIOUSLY, those two par-
ties, although philosophically
different on broad concepts,
have been able to work together
to pass progressive legislation
that directly effects city resi-
Nonetheless the bickering be-
tween the Democrats and HRP
members will likely continue for
some time. In the previous elec-
tion, the results show that neith-
er party has been able to carve
out areas of control that can be
confidently counted on in up-
coming races.
Neither side has been able to.
kill-off the other nor has any
truce been signed. But if the
two left-of-center parties cooper-
ate even minimally they should
be able to oust the GOP.

'And on your left i S-...
A flock of curious freshpeople take their first tour of the "Big U." Featured in the background
is the Natural History Museum which boasts a full-size mastadon skeleton.

-- everyone
wants to
and KNIT
Yarns, looms,

415 N. Fifth
Ann Arbor, Mich.

ijuana law invali

Ypsilanti's five dollar fine for
possession of marijuana, ap-
proved by voters last April, was
declared unconstitutional July
11 by a 14th District Court
"The gut of the ordinance is
invalid and therefore the whole
thing is invalid," Judge Thomas
Shea said, citing two points in
the odnance which conflict with
Mtate laws governing the drug:
-Ypsilanti law makes posses-
sion of marijuana with intent to
deliver a misdemeanor while
the state - controlled substance
statute calls it a felony;
--Local law directs court
clerks to accept a maximum $5
for violation. Shea said this pro-
vision "is in violation of the
state constitution in an attempt
to direct" court operations.
THE RULING came during
a preliminary examination of
David Gray, 19, whom police
claim was attempting to smug-
gle two joints concealed in a
pack of cigarettes to his step-
brother In Ypsilanti, City Jail
April 29.
After conferring with Washte-
new County Prosecuting Attor-
ney Lynwood Noah the Police
Department decided to chal-
lenge the new law by charging
Gray under state statutes with
possession of marijuana with in-
tent to deliver.
The city's marijuana ordi-
nance, like Ann Arbor's city
c h a r t e r amendment, makes
dVe possession punishable by
a ticket and $5 fine, while state
penalties include up to four
years imprisonment and a $2,000
THE ORDINANCE further di-
rects police officers to see only
the Ypsilanti City Attorney and
ite just local laws in marijuana
violation complaints.

"blatantly illegal" contending,
that "the police have an obli-I
gation to prosecute under the
state law," adding that "state
law takes precedence over city
In discussing his decision,
Shea claimed Ypsilanti "had no'
authority to require a court
clerk or judge to do anything"
and that under article seven,
section 22 of the state consti-
tution, it says that state law
akes precedence over city regu-
IN REFERENCE to the effect
of the decision on Ann Arbor's
$5 dope law, City Attorney Ed-
win Pear said that a ruling by
a 14th District judge "is not
binding on the 15th District" of
which Ann Arbor is a part.
However, Pear did add that
"state law superseding city law
is the principle' alluding to
pending cases which might re-
sult in declaring Ann Arbor's
marijuana charter amendment
In the past, the city has d s-'
puted a decision similar to
Shea's when in the fall of 1972,
15th District Court Judge San-
dorf Elden declared the Ann
Arbor's original $5 ordinance un-
THE RULING was appealed
to a higher court, but before a

final decision could be made,'
City Council repealed the law.
Gray promised to appeal his
case if given an unfavorable rul-
in gin Circuit Court where he!
is scheduled fer an Aug. 2
Likening himself to a "guinea
pig" Gray said he planned to
request a jury trial and vowed
to do "everything possible to
fight this case," adding that
"what the people voted in must
be kept.''
YPSILANTI City Manager Jo-
seph Warren, while promising
to "defend the city ordinance
to our best" said "I do not see
what we can do now."
Ypsilanti Mayor George Good-
man likened appealing the Snea
ruling to "whistling in the dark"
saying "the precedent has clear-
ly been establishied in the
past," referring to Elden's rul-
In discussing Shea's ruling
Ypsilanti Police Chief Herbert
Smith said ,"I think that is a
very good decision." Ypsilanti!
Councilman O. Shreve Walden-
meyer (R-Fifth Ward) approved
100 per cent whether or not
Shea is "right or wrong."
Ypsilanti Councilman Harold!
Baize (HRP-Third Ward) said,
"We were expecting this" and!
expressed plans to fight the
judge's ruling.

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In MayNoah charged
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