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October 31, 1996 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Ann Arbor races
sti ks to
From Staff Reports
Elections in Ann Arbor are old hat
for state Rep. Liz Brater.
After serving as a member of the
Ann Arbor City Council, as mayor of
Ann Arbor and as a state representative
in the 53rd district, Brater is once again
running for re-election.
Brater, a Democrat, is running
against Republican Chris Schmitt on
much of the same platform she touted
in her past races.
"Education is foremost on people's
mind," Brater said.
Along with Gov. John Engler, the
state legislature wields the power in
determning Michigan's education pol-
icy. Brater has been an advocate of
increased funding for state universities.
"A lot of what I do is advocate for the
University at the state level," she said.
Brater has tied education to econom-
ics, and has repeatedly suggested the
state invest in higher education to cre-
ate a well-trained population attractive
to businesses.
"What kind of job market will there
be? What kind of economic future do
they have in store for them?
"The quality of our youth is one of
the major incentives of attracting busi-
ness to Michigan - somewhere we've
fallel.behind," Brater said this summer.
The state must watch its economy
carefully during the next few years,
because the current boom won't last
long, she said.
"The auto industry is in a boom. It's
not likely to sustain that growth,"
Brater said. "We need to plan ahead for
a rainy day:'
The environment has also been a pet
issue for Brater since she started her
first campaign for the Legislature.

Student vote cares
weight in mayoral race

Regent Candidates



By Will Woissert
Daily Staff Reporter
While many students know little about local Ann
Arbor politics, both mayoral candidates say capturing
the student vote is key to winning the mayor's chair.
"There will literally be 10,000 more voters than
in November 1994," said Republican incumbent
Ingrid Sheldon. "I have to assume alot of those new
voters will be students and they will have a tremen-
dous impact."
Democrat challenger Christopher Kolb said stu-
dents' voices should not be ignored by city govern-
"I think (students) are a very important con-
stituency and one that needs to be an active partici-
pant in city government," Kolb said. "I have tried to
reach out to students during my campaign, and I
used to be a student here myself -- I know how
important the student voice is."
Sheldon said that in general, students tend to vote
Democrat more than Republican, but that there was
more to the mayoral race than just party labels.
"I would be sad for people to just vote along
party lines without knowing what the candidates
stand for or what the issues are," said Sheldon, who
describes herself as a "moderate Republican."
Sheldon acknowledged that both she and Kolb
agree on a lot of issues, but said party affiliations

sometimes magnified philosophical differences
between the two.
"We are both in the center of the circle - he
leans to the left, I lean to the right," Sheldon said.
"But with his Democratic majority on council,
which often votes as a force, it is easier for him to
get things done - and means I always try to keep
myself open to new ideas."
Kolb said the difference between the candidates
is that he has consistently spearheaded leadership.
"I am a doer," Kolb said. "I make sure things get
done and that they get done as efficiently as possible"
Kolb said the city will have to work to find more
"in-kind" benefits, which the University could pro-
vide the city and its leaders.
"The University has the opportunity to make
many direct and indirect contributions to the city -
not just financially but through things like student
internships in city government and research capa-
bilities," Kolb said.
Sheldon said safety and the city's ongoing budget
struggles were the most important issues.
"Increasing safety, especially safety for women,
is a very, very important issue;" Sheldon said. "The
budget is also something we will have to concen-
trate very hard on - every year we seem to be des-
perate, desperate and not have enough money. We
need to make improvements.'

Recent 'U' grad challenges incumbent's seat

By Jennifer Harvey "I thought I'd be licking an envelope
Daily Staff Reporter and the next thing you know I've been
Chris Schmitt just graduated from given a forum to get my ideas out to the
the University in August with a bache- public and a chance at representing a
lor's degree in political science and eco- large group" he said.
nomics and already he's trying to pass Schmitt said his experience at the
another test. University has made him a very open-
The 24-year-old Republican Ann minded individual. He said that open-
Arbor resident is running for state mindedness will allow him to work
House against incumbent state Rep. Liz with Democrats, as well as with others
Brater (D-Ann Arbor). in his party
Schmitt said he's in a lot deeper than Schmitt said he thinks his ability to
he initially intended when he decided to cooperate is his strong suit.
get politically involved a few months "I just want to findthebest solution,"
ago. he said. "I don't care which side of the

aisle it comes from.
"I think we need to set goals and
bring all the involved groups together to
formulate a plan," he said. "I believe
that when you have a problem, you
bring people together, even those whom
you may disagree with?'
Education is the most important issue
to him, Schmitt said.
"(Education is) really the key;' he
said. "All the things we want to reduce
and all the things we want to increase
can be done through education:'
Schmitt is avery moderate Republican.
He is pro-choice, pro-affirmative action

and pro-environment.
He said he would like to seea change
in the way environmental issues are
dealt with, moving more to prevention
instead of disbursing punishment after
the fact.
Schmitt said he hasa number of ideas
for the economy as well. He said he
believes government spending must be
done more sensibly.
"In general I believe people can
spend their money better than the gov-
ernment," he said. "First, we must strive
for greater efficiency in government,
then we can offer tax cuts?'

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Continued from Page 88
Bishop said the hospitals are part of
what makes the University unique.
"It's a center of miracles. I shudder to
think we'd ever lose control of that
school," Bishop said.
Baker said the funding of the
Medical Center is the central long-term
issue for the board.
Although candidates run under party
labels and go through statewide nomi-
nating conventions, they all agree that
regents must be certain not to let their
political beliefs affect the decisions
they make as a regent.
At recent board meetings, Baker has
emphasized that board members occa-
sionally may have "differing philoso-
phies" but never direct political con-
"I don't think I've seen a political
action in the 24 years I've been on the
board," Baker said.
Taylor said political "pettiness" with-
in the board can pose a threat to the
University's future.
"I would go to that job with absolute-
ly no personal agenda," Taylor said.
"One is better off having a regent that
comes without a preconceived notion of
politics. ... We do not want this institu-
tion soiled by the pettiness of the board."
Maynard said regents need to work
with people who have different
approaches and views.
"There is a really good tradition here
of cooperation and coordination among
the regents here at the University,"
Maynard said. "Anyone who serves as a
regent has to learn to work with diverse
Although Bishop received the GOP
nomination for regent in part because
of his conservative beliefs, he said he
would be open to compromise and non-
partisanship as a board member.
"I thought it was very important that

you listen to all the students and the
faculty and the regents," Bishop said.
Considering the recent lawsuit levied
at the board for the process being used
to hire the next University president,
the regents' relationship with the Open
Meetings Act will likely come into play
during the tenure of the next board
"Clearly the law says if there's a
decision to be made by a public board,
it has to be done in public," Maynard
said. "When you attempt to bring in
quality candidates, you run the risk of
chasing off candidates who don't want
us to air their names?'
Baker frequently frames the rights of
the regents to select a president in pri-
vate within the context of the
University's role in the state constitu-
tion. "This is a pretty special place," he
said. "It's great because it's free. It's free
because it's autonomous."
Taylor said the state's lawmakers
should perhaps consider legislation to
make the University exempt from parts
of OMA - particularly when it comes
to finding the next president.
"The public's right to know has to be
balanced with the process of finding a
good candidate," Taylor said.
With Vam er's decision not to sock re-
election, it is inevitable that at least one
new regent will come on board. If Baker
is defeated and the Democrats seize two
new seats at the regents' table, the board
will have a 5-3 Democratic majority.
But it will also lose its two longest-
serving members in the same year and
have a less-experienced composition. If
Baker is not re-elected, none of the cur-
rent regents will have sat through a full,
eight-year term as regent.
Baker says he can pull through and be
elected to the board for a fourth time.
"Each time I've run, I've led the tick-
et in votes gathered by a very substan-
tial margin," Baker said. "I have a bet-
ter chance of being re-elected in a state

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