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January 20, 1974 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-01-20

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Sunday, January 20, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page give

Sunday, January 20, 1974THE MICHIGAN DAILY

. ". i .. . .

PERSPECTIVE

I v

On
citty

selIf-rule

in

the

of

Ed. Note: James Stephenson was
eleced Mayor of Ann Arbor as a
Republican last April over Demo-
crat Franz Mogdis and &ea Kaimo-
witz of the Human Rights Party.
By James Stephenson
TH'IERE IS plenty of evidence
to indicate that the Federal
Government has set the policies
that have determined the future
of American city life in the past
quarter century. Some of t h e
Federal programs that have had
this effect are the Federal mort-
gage insurance programs, t h e
subsidized housing programs, the
highway programs, urban renew-
al, etc. There are other n o n -
Federal factors that have had
direct impact on life in Ann
Arbor.
There is thus some logic to
the argument that for all their

efforts, local governments have
had little control over their city's
futures in the last quarter cen-
tury when the cities have grown
so dramatically. It is my pre-
diction, based on meetings with
other mayors, in conferences and
in committee work, that there is
a theme of commitment to self-
determination by cities that will
result in the cities having better
control over their own destinies
in the future. Seventy percent
of the people in the United States
reside in the cities. Thus, if the
cities can agree on some broad
program of direction, the cities
have the political power to ob-
tain a dominant voice in Federal
legislation. In addition, most may-
ors and city councilpeople have
been elected in the last ten years,
which is not the case with most
influential Congressmen and Sen-

Irbor
ators, so that they are in good
position to know what the peo-
ple want. Also, by virtue of be- -
ing at the level of government
that is closest to the people that
are being governed, local offic-
ials are always in a better posi-
tion to know what the cities
need. In coming years, 1 o c a 1
officials will have the determin-
ation to exercise and obtain the
legal authority needed to control
the destinies of their cities.
THE MOST important step that
has been taken in the last five
years that will give local officials
the authority to control the City's
future is the general revenue leg-
islation that was p a s s e d in
1971. This legislation returns to
cities from the Federal treasury
a lump sum of money which the
cities can use to solve their own.
problems according to their own
judgments and decisions. The
mayors and local officials have
had two lump sum payments
from the Federal Government un-
der the Federal revenue sharing
program.
In Ann Arbor we have received
about 2% million dollars. This
is money that the cities need and
are determined to keep coming.
This puts the mayors in the
unpredictable position of support-
ing the administration of Presi-
dent Nixon, since it is the Nixon
Administration that adopted the
Federal revenue sharing concept
as a part of its new Federalism
program to return control of the

country to local governments.
Prior to general revenue shar-
ing programs, all Federal money
that was given to the cities was
given for specific purposes de-
termined by the Congress. The
United States mayors much pre-
fer general revenue sharing
where the' Federal government
does not dictate the programs
on which the money should be
spent. Thus, the present oppon-
ent, as far as U.S. mayors are
concerned, is the Democratic
Congress, which is always threat-
ening to dictate to the cities the
needs that they must meet with
the money that is returned from
Washington to the cities. It is
my belief that the mayors will
win this battle with the Con-
gress and that general revenue
sharing will continue over the ob-
jections of some parts of Con-
gress.
GIVEN the right kind of fiian-
cial return from Washington
and the right kind of considera-
tion from Lansing, we can con-
trol our own destinies in A n n
Arbor. We do not have to ac-
cept a sewage plant that is bur-
dened over its capacity. We can
improve and expand our plant to
protect the environmental quality
of the Huron River.
We do not have to accept only
high density rental type housing
in Ann Arbor that would give us
the same kind of a faceless im-
age that some of the surrounding
cities have acquired. We don't
have to build only housing that
is subsidized by the F e d e r a l
government. We don't have to
build housing of a type dictated
by others. Fairfax County, Vir-
ginia, has declared a morator-
ium on all housing developments
pending the completion of ex-
panded sewage treatment plants.
Petaluma, California, allows only
500 new housing units to be built
each year.
Ann Arbor does not have to

allow its center city to deterior-
ate while urban sprawl develops
on the periphery. Other cities
have developed tax incentives
for encouraging inner city restor-
ation.
HOWEVER, in order to control
Ann Arbor's future, the city
needs to have the Federal gen-
eral revenue sharing programs
continued. In addition, we need
to effect a second legislative
breakthrough at the Lansing and
Washington levels that would pro-
vide for equitable reimbursement
to Ann Arbor for the real es-
tate taxes that are lost because
of the large tax-exempt state
and federal properties located
here. There is a new movement
beginning at both Lansing a n d
Washington that would bring
about this significant change for
Ann Arbor.
Policies have to be adopted at
the city hall level that will al-
low us to utilize the city's re-
sources so as to accomplish most
of the desirable objectives listed
above, within the revenue limita-

tions that would be with us even
with additional revenue sources.
These policy questions are com-
plex because the adoption of al-
most all new policies involves
second order effects that are dif-
ficult to foresee.
ANN ARBOR has an illustrious
past. It can have an exciting
future that will mean a better
life for all Ann Arbor citizens if
local government makes the real
judgments and decisions.
Flying Cloud, the restored 1929
schooner used by Mick Jagger,
The Doobie Brothers, and Log-
gins and Messina sank in the
Molokai Channel in Hawaii. The
Grateful Dead may do a benefit
for the captain, George Walker,
so he can get a new ship.
AMERICAN ARTS GUILD
INDIAN JEWELRY SALE
15% OFF
CAMPUS INN-HURON ROOM
Jan. 19 Daily Jan. 20
SAT. 10 a.m.-,8 p.m. SUN.

ll l

THRU THE

PROFESSIONAL THEATRE PROGRAM
presents
sh dancings
show in town -' '

N. Y. DAILY NEWS

F)

U

CHI PSI
FRATERNITY
Rush Week-Open House

A Broadway hit
since Feb. '72
- it still isl

Monday Jan. 21-Friday, Jan. 25
7:00-9:00 p.m.

I

Announcing the ist Annual
Gargoyle numor Contest
For humor articles of any type and length
using the theme of youth or rock culture
1st Prize $30 3rd Prize $10
2nd Prize$15 4th Prize$5,
All entries must be turned in by Feb.
7, 1974 at the Student Publications
Office, 420 Maynard St.
Questions-Call Joe Hayes, 764-6606
Winning articles will be published in the
April 1974 Michigan Gargoyle

FREE!!'

I

Saturday and Sunday
JANUARY 26-27
3:00 and 8:00
POWER CENTER
Advance Sales-Mendelssohn Theatre
764-0450
Power Center box office open t:00 p.m. Jon. 26-27--763-3333

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Sunday, Jan. 20
5:00-6:00 p.m.

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Every Monda
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