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September 10, 1981 - Image 63

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 10, 1981-Page 3-C

ANN ARBOR
CITY GOVERNMENT

STUDENTS SHOW LOW INTEREST
City halls are quiet

First Ward
This predominantly student ward, which includes
South and West quads, is represented by Demo-
cratic councilmembers Susan Greenberg and Low-
ell Peterson. Greenberg's term will expire this
April, but the newly-elected Peterson will not be
challenged until 1983.
second Ward
Encompassing part of the North Campus area
(thus, also heavily populated by students), this
traditionally Democratic ward is represented by
councilmembers Earl Greene and Leslie Morris,
both Democrats. Greene's term will expire in
1982, and Morris, re-elected for the third time last
April, will be up again in 1983.

,,,, _ J - __ - - --

thdrd Ward

This traditionally Republican ward is repre-
sented by Virginia Johansen and Clifford Shel-
don, both Republicans. Johansen's term will ex-
pire in 1983, and Sheldon's in 1982.

-

By DEBI DAVIS
The routine drama of Ann Arbor
politics is usually played out on an em-
pty stage.
While most students are preoccupied
with books and other collegiate distrac-
tions, and while many full-time local
residents seem oblivious to the affairs
of city government, the gears are tur-
ned by a limited but active group.
AT THE weekly meetings of Ann Ar-
bor's City Council, the most visible and
easily-accessible arena for citizen par-
ticipation, there are usually more em-
pty seats than full ones in the spectator
rows. In past years, some of the most
crowded nights have been those when
Communications 302 students made
their once-a-term visits to attempt lcoal
reporting.
OCCASIONALLY, when an issue of
particular campus interest is con-
sidered by Council, students will flock
into the chamber to make certain their
voices are heard. But the uproar dies
quickly, and as the issue fades, so does
the student voice.
It wasn't always this way. 'In the
early 1970's the student voice rang clear
in city politics with its newly-acquired
and hard-fought voting rights. In 1972 a
coalition of students, Vietnam war ac-
tivists, and former White Panthers
formed the Human Rights Party and
won two seats on Council.
The HRP victory ushered in an era of
liberalism in city politics. During that
period Council passed some radical
legislation, including the five dollar fine
for marijuana possession. In those

days, Council often debated, into the
wee hours of Tuesday morning, gaining
the reputation in some circles of a "cir-
cus."
AT ONE of those lengthy, late-night
debates in 1974, the City Council passed
a resolution to break its diplomatic ties
with the Soviet Union - which it did,
via telegram.
But that era has ended and Council
has returned to its more reserved, pre-
1970 mood. Last April the GOP main-
tained its six-year hold, with a 6-4
majority and the re-election of
Republican Mayor Louis Belcher, who
cornered more than 60 percent of the
vote.
Ann Arbor operates on the ward
system and consists of five nearly pie-
shaped wedges emanating from the
center of town. Two candidates are
elected to two-year terms from each
ward on an alternating basis.
EACH WARD has a distinct voting
pattern. Wards one and two, the down-
town, student-dominated wards, vote
Democratic, while wards three and
five, consisting primarily of affluent
homeowners, vote Republican.
Ward four is known as the city's
swing ward because of its past party
fluctuations. In recent years therregion
has been leaning toward the
Republicans. In last April's election the
Republican candidate won by a 2 to 1
margin, the largest GOP victory in that
region to date.
The City Council is a part-time body
with an annual councilmember salary
of $5,000. The mayor is also a part-time

I ourt h W ard
This area is known as the "swing ward" because
of its past fluctuation between parties. It is cur-
rently represented by councilmembers David Fish-
er and Ed Hood, both Republicans. Fisher's
term expires in 1982, and Hood's in 1983.
Like the Third Ward, this area is represented by
Joyce Chesbrough and Lou Velker, both Repub-
licans., Chesbrough's term ends in 1982, and Vel-
ker's in 1983.

employee, receiving $10,000 a year fol
his services. (These were salaries as of
last May).
MAYOR BELCHER is well-seasoned
in city politics, after three years as a
councilmember and three years as
mayor. He is the co-owner ari -vice
president of First Ann Arbor Corp., an
aeronautical management and cn-
sulting firm.
During his tenure, Mayor Belcher has
streamlined city government by cutting
employees from 1200 in 1970 to 826 last
spring. He has also enacted millage
rollbacks each year to stem rising
taxes.
Belcher's traditional Republican
ideology often pits him against the
Democra tic councilmembers from the
first and second wards. Leslie Morris,
(D-2nd ward), three term incumbent, is
frequently Belcher's most vocal op;
ponent. Soft-spoken Morris, well-known
for doing her homework, arms herself
with a multitude of statistics and facts
to fire at the Republicans, and has a
reputation as Council's liberal watch
dog.
MORRIS IS a staunch representative
of her student constituency, voting for
their interests against the majority.
This strategy has made her uri-
touchableat the polls, and she has been
re-elected twice by overwhelming
margins.
Her partner from the second ward;
Earl Greene - a native of Virginia who;
teaches music at Willow Run Elemen-;
tary School - is also known for his con
cern over student issues such a
housing, crime, and transportation. g
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Daily Photo by JACKIE BELL
City an
By DEBI DAVIS
The city of Ann Arbor has a profound
role to play in the life of University
students. The ties between the city and
University - at times turbulent, but
generally peaceful - have always been
close.
While students can venture off cam-
pus to enjoy the city's resources down-
town or in the suburbs, full-time
residents partake of the facilities
available on campus. The interaction is
valuable, mutually beneficial.
ECONOMICALLY, the University is
both a dependent and a supplier of local
We'alth. While tax dollars are spent on
the University - for police and fire
protection, and other services - its
presence here provides an economic
}boon for local merchants. It is no secret
that the students, faculty, and Univer-
sity tourists are largely responsible for
the full cash registers around town.
In addition, the University provides
-the cultural lifeblood of the city,
-presenting plays, concerts, lectures,

Ann Arbor's City Council is currently dominated by the Re-
publican Party, with Mayor Louis Belcher (left) at its head.

C-

d 'U' friendly neighbors

Some University students are even on
the city's payroll. In a program
established last year, the city employs
several graduate students of public
policy. By working at City Hall they ob-
tain on-hand experience in various
aspects of government. The paid inter-
nships are funded jointly by the City of
Ann Arbor and the University Work
Study Program.
STUDENT ACTIVITIES have also
spurred the city to establish new crime
prevention programs. Extensive lob-
bying by the Women's Safety Task For-
ce of the Public Interest Research
Group in Michigan edged the city closer
to a late night transportation service,
provided on a trial basis by independent
taxi companies through the Ann Arbor
Transportation Authority.
And last May the Ann Arbor Anti-
Rape Coalition was instrumental in the
City Council's appropriation of $3,600 to
the Ann Arbor Police Department's
Crime Prevention Unit. The money was
allocated to help raise community

secure state funding for the new
University Hospital, now under con-
struction.
The planning departments of the two
units meet regularly to coordinate their
activities. Last year's renovation of the
State Street business district was
designed to integrate city/University
architectural styles.
Students, of course, are not the only
members of the University community
to leave their mark on the city. The
faculty have played, and continue to
play, an important role in Ann Arbor.
Professor John Clark, of the
Engineering college, for instance,
chaired the Energy Steering Commit-
tee until it was dissolved last year,
coordinating efforts to seek alternative
energy sources to make the city more
self-sufficient and less dependent upon
outside sources.
Working diligently, the committee
gave City Council several recommen-
dations toward achieving this goal last
June.
Research data were obtained through
the cohesive working relationship of
University experts and community
volunteers, resulting in one of the most
comprehensive energy plans ever
proposed in any midwestern city.
Community involvement is just
another aspect of the many oppor-
tunities that are available to students
interested in gaining practical ex-
perience through application of ideas.
Both the city and the University have
pooled resources to attract light in-
dustry, particularly computer firms, to
the Ann Arbor area. The cooperative ef-

Mayor Louis Belcher, who has called Ann Arbor the
'Athens of the Midwest, 'says the city and the University
have 'grown up together.,'

and films of a caliber unheard of in
most cities of Ann Arbor's size. Artists
* from all over the world appreciate and
share in the cultural resources here.
The city's annual Art Fair, which
runs for a week every July, is a clear
example of the comfortable co-
existence of the University and city. A
copperative effort, the event draws
thousands of people and provides a
,.welcome diversion for local residents.
A Summer Festival, featuring
professional theater, dance, and music,
is . another example of successful
University-city cooperation.
MAYOR LOUIS Belcher, who has
called Ann Arbor the "Athens of the
-Midwest," says the city and University
r have "grown up together." The two are
-connected through myriad informal
-and formal relationships, ranging from
city-provided traffic control on football
Saturdays to University student and
faculty participation in city gover-
'-nment.
* rMany University professors, par-
ticularly economists and actuaries,
bring their expertise to city operations
by serving on citizen's committees. In
last spring's general city election,
School of Education student Toni Bur-
ton campaigned for a seat on city coun-
cil. Although she lost to the incumbent,
r she still holds her seat on the city's
Zoning Board of Appeals, which is the
final authority in city zoning disputes.
Daily staff writer Lou Fintor filed a
report for this story.
STAY ON TOP OF
THE NEWS...
4

awareness of rape. The Anti-Rape
Coalition is an umbrella group which
contains several student groups.
The planning process is one of the
most significant areas of city-
University relations. The joint lobbying
efforts of these two governments helped

r * *
- S~~MOKINN6 Op NON M lH
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See You At
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