Page 4-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 5, 1991
by David Rheingold
Daily Staff Reporter
December 18, 1990 was an im-
portant day for many people in Ann
Arbor. At the University of Michi-
gan, it marked the end of college life
- though a new beginning - for
graduating students. In the City of
An Arbor, it was also an impor-
tant beginning for then-City Coun-
cilmember Liz Brater, D-3rd Ward,
who on that day announced her can-
didacy for mayor.
Nearly four months later, Brater
opsted former Mayor Jerry Jerni-
gan, 10,349 to 9,206, in the April 1
city elections, becoming the first
female mayor of Ann Arbor.
In the interim, both candidates
faced harrowing campaigns, which
ultimately resulted in a newcomer
upsetting an incumbent mayor for
the second time in four years.
When asked how she became in-
terested in politics, .Brater says, "I
think it sort of came upon me gradu-
The newly-elected mayor grew
up in Philadelphia and Washington,
D.C. She graduated from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania and moved
to Ann Arbor in 1975 when her
husband, Enoch Brater, received-a job
in the University's English De-
MBrater first entered the realm of
Ann Arbor politics when she helped
organize a neighborhood effort to
save the Henry Carter Adams House
on Hill Street.
""That was subsequently de-
stroyed," she says, "but I got inter-
ested in the idea that you could make
changes more readily if you had
some political organization behind
Mayor Liz Brater basks in her victory celebration after the April 1 city elections. Cheering her on are Democratic councilmembers Larry Hunter, 1sto
Ward, Robert Eckstein, 5th Ward, and Nelson Meade, 3rd Ward. Brater became the first female mayor of Ann Arbor.
upon us to try to do a better job to
deliver quality, basic services."
Brater focused on providing basic
city services throughout her cam-
paign. In March, she hosted a tour of
the downtown to survey faults in
the city's infrastructure. One week
later, Jernigan hosted a similar tour
of his own.
But unlike 1990, when voters
were asked whether to raise Ann
Arbor's legendary $5 pot law and
legally exempt the city from any
anti-abortion laws that might be en-
acted in the future, this year's issues
did not touch most voters on as deep
of a level.
Nevertheless, the major issues
that were at stake in this year's elec-
tions split the council-along parti-
On one side was Brater, who had
three years of experience on council.
One of her major accomplishments
was the passage of an ordinance to
set up a mandatory citywide recy-
cling program by 1993.
Retaining the incumbency was
Jernigan, who had four years of ex-
After helping several friends'
'caampaigns and serving as a ward
chair, Brater was elected to the City
Council in 1988. Nearly halfway
through her second term, she decided
to run for mayor, she says, because
she wanted "to improve the effi-
ciency of city government."
"We saw a lot of deterioration
in the quality of services that we
were providing," Brater says. "We
were collecting a lot of money from
the tax-payers, and it's incumbent
perience. His intent to retain down-
town vitality made him a favorite
among many local merchants, some
of whom helped fund his more-than-
$40,000 campaign, a record in city
politics. His major advantage, he ar-
gued, was a broader perspective on
Also on the ballot was David
Raaflaub, representing the Libertar-
ian party. Although he eventually
garnered only 357 votes in the elec-
tion, he still managed to get sub-
stantial coverage in preceding de-
As April 1 neared, the competi-
tion between the mayoral candidates
grew particularly intense. In a pub-*
lic debate at Weber's Inn March 14,
Jernigan said he interpreted Brater's
call for a change in leadership as a'
personal attack which did not list
any "concrete ideas."
Several weeks later, in a tele-
vised debate sponsored by the
League of Women Voters, the two
squared off over campaign funding.
While responding to a question
about the cost of government,
Brater said, "The Ann Arbor Fire-
fighters' Association has endorsed
my campaign. They endorsed my op-
ponent in the past few years, but
have lost confidence in his ability to
run city government."
Jernigan replied: "The only
question that remains is, how much
money is Ms. Brater going to accept
from the Firefighters' Association?
Make no mistake. The mayor's of-
fice as it stands now supports lower
property taxes and controlled
spending at City Hall."
They both briefly discussed the
effect of Michigan Gov. John En-
gler's budget cuts on arts funding,
before returning to the previous ar-
"The Firefighters' Association
has not given me any money from
the PAC," Brater said. "In his pre-
vious campaign, Jerry Jernigan re-
ceived $1,000 from the Police Offi-
Libertarian candidate Raaflaub
suddenly interjected, "I just want
to clarify that I'm not getting any
money from anyone."
One unusual occurrence in this
year's election was the presence of
Gov. Engler at Jernigan's March 5
The $200-a-plate gathering, held
at an office building across from the
Briarwood Mall, drew a plethora of
local residents, including Univer-
sity President James J. Duderstadt.
Outside, however, a group of
protesters assembled to show their
dissatisfaction with Engler, whose
state budget cuts angered enough
Michigan residents to spawn a re-
When later asked if Engler's ap-
pearance may have negatively rubbed
off on his campaign, Jernigan said he
still would have hosted the gover-
Five days before the elections,
Brater held a similar fundraiser of
her own, in which she hosted U.S.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and
state Rep. Perry Bullard, D-Ann
Arbor. A campaign flier announcing
the event sarcastically stated:
"Oops! I couldn't get a governor."
The flier also said the attendance
would cost $2 per person, not $200
per.person. "You don't have to pay
$200 a person to be welcome in this
campaign," Brater told the crowd.
The outcome of the election was
unforeseeable even the weekend be-
fore. No scientific polls had been
conducted, and despite an informal
caller survey on a local radio station
which favored Brater over Jernigan,
both candidates said they were con-
fident of election in separate inter-
views two days prior to April 1.
As the results poured in, the out-
come looked more and more surpris-
ing. Not only did Brater upset an in-
cumbent, but Democrats won four
of the five council seats up for elec-
tion, seizing an 8-3 overal.l majority.
Brater, in the meantime, has al-
ready begun to explore some of the
outlets in her new position.
One plan she mentioned during
her campaign was examining prob-
lem solving in similar cities, a step
she plans to take by joining the U.S.
Conference of Mayors.
Brater says she would also like
to utilize educational resources at
the University to help find solu-
tions to city problems.
The next step in recycling, she
adds, is targeting the Ann Arbor's
commercial waste stream, which
some studies say constitute 67 per-
cent of all recyclables.
"It's great to win," Brater says,
"but then, of course, the next day
you wake up and realize that you've
got a lot of work to do."
new job as
by David Rheingold
Daily Staff Reporter
If you walked into City Hall
recently and asked for Douglas
Smith, the desk officer would prob-
ably tell you that he was in a meet-
ing, on the telephone, or otherwise
Smith, Ann Arbor's new police
chief, said his time is usually filled
by "non-stop listening and talking.
"I'm trying to meet as many
people as I can within the organ ia-
tion and within the city government
structure," said Smith, who began
his duties in May as the police de-
partment's chief executive.
The city council appointed Smith
on March 20 as successor to former
Chief William Corbett, who re-
signed in July, 1990.
"I think we're very lucky he
came to Ann Arbor," said Mayor
Liz Brater. "He has a lot of good
ideas, and I look forward to work-
ing with him."
Smith previously. worked atthe
Minneapolis Police Department for
22 years, where he worked in a vari-
ety of departments, including nar-
cotics and homicide-robbery. H
also served as the supervisor of the
tactical team and deputy chief of pa-
Prior to his retirement there,
Smith served as deputy chief of in-
ternal services. Under that title, he
was responsible for administrative
services, including computer sys-
tems analysis, records, and finances.
Taking charge of Ann Arbor's
203-member police department is
smaller task for Smith, who worke
with 825 sworn officers in Min-
"Anything over 50 really gets to
be major league," Smith said. "You
had the same rank structure as they
do in Ann Arbor, but there were
many more people at each position.
You just had more managers taking
care of the larger flock."
He said he thinks the main it
ference is that Ann Arbor has a
stronger sense of community.
"I think the differences are that
this (Ann Arbor) has a much greater
sense of community and neighbor-
hood," he said. "It's a town, where
what I'm used to is a huge sprawl of
seven counties and you can drive
from one end to the other and never
see farmland or cornfields."
Smith is a ife-long native o
Minnesota. He was born and raised
in a suburb of Minneapolis called
St. Louis Park.
"When I was born in '48, it was
the only house within shotgun
range," he said. "There was nothing
else around out there, but as the ur-
ban sprawl continued to push out
from Minneapolis, it became a very
very strong neighborhood."
Smith said he became interested
in police work through one of his
high school friends, who was older
than he and began working for the
Minneapolis Police Department.
"I rode along with him a couple
of times, and I was hooked," Smith
said. "Not only the sense of accom-
plishment in dealing with the pub-
lic - in both criminal matters and
non-criminal - the service-type
orientation had me hooked, and the
diversity of the job. No two calls
were the same."
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