The Michigan Daily-Sunday, April 5, 1981-Page 7
City Council candidates air their view,
CHERYLE BROWN GRIFFIN
Cheryle Griffin, a Democrat in Third
Ward "Republican turf," says she is a
dark horse candidate-and in more
ways than one. If she is elected, she will
be the first Third Ward Democrat to
win since ward redistricting in the
early 1970s, as well as the first black
woman to serve on Council.
But, she enthusiastically says; as a
management communications and
human resources consultant for a
Detroit firm, she has a lot to offer the
LIKE HER Republican opponent, she
says that tax assessment procedures, a
prime issue in the homeowner-
dominated ward, should be re-
Virginia Johansen, Republican can-
didate in the Third Ward, is focusing
her campaign on what she calls the
"basics," such as police, and fire
protection, road maintenance, and
parks and recreation.
She says that since the Third Ward
bears a very heavy tax burden, she is
primarily concerned with tax relief.
She says she supports city millage
rollback, but the problem of high taxes
must be addressed on the state level to
provide real relief for taxpayers.
SHE SAYS SHE would like to see
more details of the legislature's May 19
tax cut proposal, but would "approve
anything that can give some tax relief."
Democrat Lowell Peterson sees
planning, housing, social services and
prevention of assault as the major con-
cerns in the first ward.
Peterson, who is endorsed by the
Michigan Student Assembly and many
First Ward Democratic politicos, con-
tends that better planning, with more
citizen input, is crucial to maintain the
diversity of Ann Arbor.
HE SAYS HE CONSIDERS low- and
moderate-income housing to be a
development priority, and says he will
"seek every feasible means, including
*bonding and tax policy, to provide more
affordable housing in our city, and to
rehabilitate existing housing," if elec-
Peterson also favors "beefing up" the
Stephen Brownell, Republican can-
didate for the First Ward, says he
will focus his efforts on eliminating "a
regression in the mood and character of
the First Ward" if he is elected.
Brownell, who has lived in his First
Ward home all his life, says he has seen
the ward deteriorate with rising crime
and run-down housing.
HE ATTRIBUTES what he calls the
"growing pains" experienced by Ann
Arbor as it turns into a big city to
irresponsible leadership on Council.
"It's time to end the neglect of the
First Ward," he says.
According to Brownell, one of the
main reasons he is seeking a Council
seat is to "help assure that taxes are
reduced wherever possible, and that
government at all levels be required to
evaluated at the state level to make
assessments more equitable.
She contends that the city must not
indiscriminately give tax breaks to
corporations, unless they are producing
economic resources, such as jobs, for
the city. '
Griffin says Ann Arbor is a great city,
"But when you're great, it doesn't
mean you can't be greater." She says
the city is not immune from unem-
On the state level, Johansen says
there is a need to take a long hard look
at the assessment process. She says
that Ann Arbor is "somewhat vic-
timized" by state assessment
Johansen encourages expansion of
the city's tax base by recruiting light
industry to the city. And, she said that
relations with surrounding townships
should be cultivated.
Democrat Leslie Morris is seeking re-
election to a third term as Council
representative of the Second Ward.
Morris sees rental housing, crime,
and transportation as important issues
in the Second Ward.
MORRIS CITES THE Parkway
Meadows housing complex as the type
she is proud to help provide her ward.
She says she would support a 10-12 story
highrise (a scaled-down version of the
Stegeman plan) erected at South
University and Forest Streets. But she
says she realizes that a new housing at
this time would be very expensive and
probably would not help ease the
student housing crunch.
The 41-year-old Democrat who
classifies herself as a "housewife,"
Republican Toni Burton is making
her second bid for a council seat in.he
student-dominated Second Ward.
LSA senior, Burton admits that thieit
cumbent will be a "tough one to beat'
in the traditionally Democratic ward..
Burton says the major issues in her
ward are rising taxes, crime praei-
tion, parking and road repair, housing,-
and cooperation with the University.
SHE SAYS THESE issues are not new.
and blames her opponent for not being
able to work with Council, the mayor
and other city administrators to get ,
Burton desetibes the legislaftre V
May 19 tax proposal as a start in tie
2d Ward Candidates
housing inspection program, citing
overworked officers and lenient fines as
two problems in the present inspection
,The 22-year-old Democrat stresses
the government's responsibility to
provide protection for its citizens.
Peterson says he would give high
priority to all-night transportation and
beefed up foot patrol programs.
THE COUNCIL CANDIDATE said he
believes that the Reagan ad-
ministration budget cuts could spell
disaster for Ann Arbor social services
*unless, "we can organize an active
political opposition, beginning at the
Peterson, who would like to see the
Michigan legislature's tax-cut proposal
appear on the May 19 ballot, promised
to "show up monthly at MSA meetings
to provide reports on the city."
Peterson, a former administrative
assistant to state Rep. Perry Bullard
(D-Ann Arbor), is currently an office
worker for Neil Staebler, former
congressman. A Yale graduate, Peter-
son has lived in Ann Arbor two years.
But, he said, "It's not the length of
residency that counts, it's the depth.
I've been active (in politics) these en-
tire two years."
operate without automatic, unvoted tax
increases." The 38-year-old Republican
says he favors an equalization of
assessment programs to be initiated at
the state level. He says residents of his
ward have expressed concern about the
fact that their homes are assessed for
more than their market value. If elec-
ted, he promises to send a coalition of
city representatives to Lansing to re-
examine the tax assessment procedure.
BROWNELL SAYS HE believes that
the core of all the ward's problems lies
in the structure of the family. "Drugs,
stealing, child abuse - this all starts in
the family," he asserts. He advocates
sending social workers with police of-r
ficers to investigate reports of domestic
He says he would support a plan to
combine many independent University
and city services. "I'd like to see an
elimination of duplication," he ex-
The Republican candidate says he
would also like to see Council have a
stronger voice in the Ann Arbor public
Brownell is owner of the Arbor Valley
Building and Development Company,
and is active in School PTA, PTO and
ployment and crime, and must plan for
the future, particularly in the face of
looming budget cuts.
Griffin says the city needs con-
tingency plans to deal- with loss of
revenue - from the federal and state
levels. She supports mayoral candidate
Robert Faber's proposal to establish
emergency citizens committees to con-
sider budget priorities for the city.
Griffin, 30, has worked with the Nor-
theast Area Planning Review Commit-
tee, the Ann Arbor Alliance of Neigh-
borhoods, Clague Community Advisory
Council, and the Citizens Association of
Johansen says she considers the pres-
ent system of road maintenance and
repairs "a good one." As long as we
have Michigan winters we're going to
have a pothole problem," she says, ad-
ding that "we should continue to pay as,
She said that money for parks and
recreation should be applied to the
maintenance of existing facilities
rather than new construction. Johansen
also supports charging user fees for
Johansen, 47, is a homemaker, camp
director, and Republican party activist.
says she has made progress on Council
in the areas of housing inspections. "I
am particularly proud of my smoke
alarm ordinance which has made this
simple safety device mandatory in all
rental housing," she says.
Morris says she would work toward
enacting a mandatory retrofit of energy
inefficient buildings if re-elected. She
also said she would like to see rental
agencies required to offer students 8-
month lease options..
MORRIS, WHO SUPPORTS the
legislature's May 19 tax-cut ballot
proposal, contends she would favor
showing Ann Arbor voters which ser-
vices would be cut - then let them
decide whether they want a millage
"If you're not willing to pay taxes for
street (repairs), you'll have to have toll
roads," she says.
To deter crime, which Morris con-
siders to be a bigger issue this year
than in the past, Morris suggests mpore
street lights and night bus service
Morris, who says she works full time
at her Council duties, is a former
Democratic minority leader and a 12-
year resident of Ann Arbor.
TO A'LLEVIATE CRIME in the city
and the Second Ward, Burton recom-
mends increased lighting and more foot
patrols in the University and downtown
areas, and the initiation of nighttime
public transportation, similar to the
former Dial-A-Ride service.
Burton, 21, proposes downsizing of'
parking spaces in the city to ease the
parking crunch downtown. With more
people driving smaller cars, she ex-
plains, the city can create new parkirig
by making some existing spaces
She would also like to see more of the
city's road maintenance money go to
the Second Ward, particularly
While admitting there are rhany
Burton says she would like to see this
relationship developed further. She
said she will work toward establishing a
day care center in the North Campus
area as a joint city-University venture.
Burton, a substitute teacher, is a
senior education major at the Uxiver-
sity. She is also a member of the Zoning.
Board of Appeals.
Sheila Cumberworth, 33, is the
Democratic cartdidate -in the Fifth
Ward, which consists mainly of single-
family homeowners and has
traditionally been a Republican
But Cumberworth says she is op-
timistic about her Democratic can-
didacy because, she senses a "definite
liberal Renaissance" in the city.
She says the major issue in the Fifth
Ward is the Allen Creek Drain, the
oldest in the city, which is in need of
For the rest of the city, including her
Republican Lou Velker says taxes
are the big issue, both in the residential
Fifth Ward and the city as a whole.
Velker says he is happy with the way
the city is being run, and he commends
the Republican majority for doing a
good job. Fe says he hopes the city will
be able to reduce its millage for the
fourth consecutive year.
THE MAIN priorities in times of
budgetary constraints, says Velker, are
police, fire, sanitation, and street main-
tenance. And, if cutbacks are
necessary, he says all departments
should be cut by the same percentage.
Libertarian Glenn Mensching is the
only third party candidate running for
Council. He contends there is no real
difference between the Republicans
and the Democrats. With either party in
power, higher taxes, ispending and
more government will result, he says.
MENSCHING PROPOSES a
blueprint for limited government in
areas of taxes, crime, street rbpair,
solid waste management, and zoning
and building codes.
The answer to cutting taxes is to cut
government, according to Menshing, by
putting present city services into the
hands of private contractors,
establishing user charges, and
"thinking smarter," applying business-
like operations to public service.
Mensching says he "rejects the idea
that there can be a crime when there is
no victim." He would like to see the
police "waste" less time on victimless
crimes such as prostitution, gambling,
and drug abuse. Then they could deal
more effectively with rapes, burglaries
and similar crimes, he says.
MENSCHING SAYS street repair,
Mary Smith Burger, a lifelong
resident of Ann Arbor, agrees, that
taxes are an important issue in the
fourth ward, but emphasizes that
millage rollbacks do not necessarily
mean lower taxes.
"Any intelligent person can look at
his tax bill and see that the millage
rollback is insignificant compared to
the 40 percent increase in tax
assessments," she says.
SHE STRESSES STUDENT in-
volvement because students also pay
property taxes as part of their monthly
The 26-year-old Democrat says the
city must take a hard look at how it
spends its tax dollars. Burger would
like to see the city's resources chan-
neled into crime prevention, parks
maintenance and road repairs.
Burger advocates the proposed late
night Ann Arbor Transportation,
Authority's cab service and more
visible police protection, perhaps
through foot and bike patrols in high
crime campus and downtown areas.
SHE SAID THE CITY needs a long-
range road repair porgram to avoid the
"hit or miss patching" of potholes
Burger says park maintenance
should take precedence over future
acquisitions and that long-promised
projects like Stony Brook and Swift Run
Parks should have top priority.
On growth and development issues,
4th Ward Candidates
E. EDWARD HOOD
Fourth Ward Republican incumbent E.
Edward Hood is seeking a second term
on City Council. He says that the city
has been running smoothly, which is a
"tribute to Lou Belcher." Taxes and
development issues are of prime impor-
tance to the city now, according to
A leader in getting millage reductions
for the past three years, Hood hopes for
a fourth millage rollback this year. He
said that the city will be struggling to
balance its budget this year, so its em-
phasis should be on-providing basic city
services like police and fire protection,
AS FOR DEVELOPMENT, Hood
would like to see an emphasis on low
density development and preservation
of open space. He said there is a glut of
higher density housing on the market,
and with the University's intent to
downsize, the problem will get worse.
he is concerned with providing affor-
dable single-family housing, especially
for first-time homeowners.
Addressing the halfway house issue,
Hood, chairman of the Zoning Board of
Appeals (the body which considered the
1700 Broadway site proposal) said he
road repairs, and parks and sewer
TO HOLD THE LINE on city expen
ditures, Hood advocates cutting back
"maybe entirely," on salaries of coun-
cilmembers and the mayor. He also
supports the user fee concept, in which
those who use city facilities are the ones
who pay for them.
Disagreeing with some local
Democrats who hope-the city will take
up the slack in federal social service
programs, Hood says the city was "not
designed to be a welfare agency."
was "glad I had a chance to be there
and turn that one down."
Hood, 40, an attorney, is a member of
the city's Insurance Board, which, he
says "is an extra set of eyes and ears
for the city attorney's office." He said
his legal expertise is a great help to him
as a council member.
This page was compiled by City
Reporter Debi Davis and City
Editor Elaine Rideout.
ward, Cumberworth says the big issue
is property taxes. Referring to the
recent tax revolts, she says we need to
re-evaluate the tax equation.
CUMBERWORTH SAYS she would
like to see more city money spent on
human services, rather than "expen-
sive toys" like the "inadequate storm
siren systen." She claims the city has
Velker says he considers himself a
conservative Republican who cares
VELKER, 32, says he favors a city
planning policy that is "not anti-
growth, but anti-abuse."
A dedicated Christian, Velker says he
makes no apoligies for his religion. He
says he plans to "apply Christian prin-