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January 12, 1973 - Image 10

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Michigan Daily, 1973-01-12

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Page Ten

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, January 12, 1973

Page Ten THE MICHIGAN DAiLY

E

RA ENDS: Flu blues to
Larcom reflects on city career strike big'U'

(Continued from Page 1)

(Continued from Page 1) I
picting his waterfront recreationalj
programs and proclaiming him as
"Guy King of the River Larcom."
Not all people involved with the
city, however, have joined in this
chorus of praise.
One of Larcom's major recent
critics is councilman Jerry De
Greick (HRP-First Ward).
Larcom, De Greick says, was a
man with too much power. "Coun-'
cils and mayors came and went,"
De Greick says, "but Larcom
always continued. He totally con-:
trolled the information flow to City
Council, and council was too will-
ing to take his word on every-
thing."
The fact that Larcom's office
was not elective, De Greick ar-
gues, constituted an "automatic
abuse of power. His priorities
dominate rather than the goals and
priorities of the elected represen-
tatives."
Larcom's priorities, De Greick
charges, were often "pro-develop-
er and pro-growth. He just want-
ed to build Ann Arbor up without

sweeping powers including the au-
thority to:
-"Direct, supervise and coor-
dinate" all city departments;
-"Assemble the budgets .
and present the same to the coun-
cil, with his recommendations;
-"Recommend to the council
. such measures as he deems
necessary or appropriate;" and
"Furnish the council with infor-
mation respecting the city's af-
fairs."
"When I first took the job, the
city was in a period of rapid
growth," Larcom recalls. "The
priority at the time, he says, was
to "get overall planning and con-

Larcom recalls spending weary
nights trying to mediate between
the demands of angry demonstra-
tors and uptight townspeople. "I
guess you have to be a certain
type of individual to deal with the
diverse interests which were in-
volved," he says.
Larcom did not emerge from
the period unscathed. In 1969 and
1970, riots and demonstrations
flared while Republican campaign
literature warned that hoards of
radicals were headed for the city.
Larcom's role as mediator fin-
ally broke down during a flap over
the beating of a black student by
a city policeman. Larcom investi-
gated the incident and his report
was angrily rejected as a white-
wash by many students and blacks
in the community.
Much of the protest and violence
of those days has now dissipated,
however and Larcom says the
most pressing problem of the last

few years has been in the area of
city finance.
Larcom concedes that he has
been "not wholly successful" in his
attempts to deal with the city's
fiscal woes, and points to the fail-
ure to convince city voters of the
necessity of enacting an income
tax as an example.
With the advent of federal reve-
nue sharing, however, Larcom
says the city is now on a sound
fiscal footing, with adequate phys-
ical and social services.
"Ann Arbor," he says," is at a
plateau point. Citizens and policy
makers now have to carve out
what sort of future they want for
the city. It's time for a new chap-
ter to be written."
For his part, Larcom will be re-
tiring from the city, probably to
join Ann Arbor Tomorrow - a
group working on problems of'
growth planning and development.
"I want to stay in the city," he
says, "I like it as a place to live."

Avoiding the disease may be
next to impossible.
Although the current flu virus
represents a new problem for pub-
lic health officials, they are not
without remedies for those unfor-
tunate enough to contract the di-
sease.
In the words of Prof. Maasab,
"Stay in bed, keep warm, and take
aspirin." Will the wonders of
medical science never cease?

The African elephant has the
largest ears of any mammal. A
large male elephant may have
ears three feet wide.
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THE TIME OF MAN

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Mu-

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looking at more human services." trol" and seek "cooperation with
At fault, according to De Greick, the developers."
is the system itself - the city ad- Among those developers was the1
ministrator is endowed with too city's largest economic force - the
much power. He says he would University.
prefer "a full-time city council "The University was in a period
and a full-time mayor with more of rapid expansion and growth,"
administrative responsibilities." Larcom says. "We had to develop,
De Greick says there should be a a cooperative approach to planning
full review of the city charter, and and sharing expenses."
promises that HRP will strongly After this period of growth and
support revision. prosperity came what Larcom de-
Larcom, however, says the be- scribed as the most difficult part
lief that the administrator is too of his career - the turbulent crisis
powerful comes from a misconcep- times of the late 60s and early 70s.
tion of the job. It was a time, Larcom recalls,
"My method of operating," he of "demonstrations by students
says, "was that the council's will blacks and street people." The
was my will." city, he says, "was trying to ad-
* * * just to them and not over-police or
Larcom came to Ann Arbor in under-police. We were trying to do
the spring of 1956 to be the first it with a minimum of violence. We
city administrator. A new city didn't want what happened in some
charter had created Larcom's communities to happen in Ann Ar-
job, and it endowed him with bor."

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