The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 1, 2005 - 3
Where they stand: City Council candidates
Four Democratic contenders face off in Tuesday's primary election for
seats on Ann Arbor City Council in the second and fourth city wards
If LSA senior Eugene Kang wins
the primary he will be one step closer
to becoming the first University student
elected to the City Council in 30 years.
The life-long Ann Arbor resident
said he has been dissatisfied with the
relationship he has seen between City
Council and students, and that "stu-
dents don't feel like they have a place
to be venting."
Kang said some Ann Arbor residents
think that because students are not like-
ly to live in the city after college, their
opinions are changing and they are not
rooted into the city. Kang said individ-
ual students may come and go, but their
"Student issues will stay even though
student names may change," Kang said.
Kang said that City Council needs
a progressive, proactive and bold
member, and while Rapundalo has
Stephen Rapundalo, an 18-year resi-
dent of Ann Arbor and research scientist
at Pfizer Inc. is seeking to represent the
Second Ward for Ann Arbor City Council
in Tuesday's primary election.
Rapundalo, a former GOP mayoral
candidate said he became aDemocrat this
year because he shares more views with
Democrats, especially on social issues.
Rapundalo said he agrees with most
Democrats on the City Council because
they are centrist and pragmatic like him.
Rapundalo enters the primary having
served on the Parks Advisory Commis-
sion and the Sanitary Sewer Overflow
Advisory Task Force.
These experiences may motivate
people to vote for him, Rapundalo said.
Rapundalo said that Kang, his opponent,
can be vague when addressing city issues,
and that his "naivet6" or lack of informa-
tion may explain this.
Rapundalo said "ideas have to be root-
the support of most of the council,
he is not necessarily the best option
for the city.
Kang said he believes that greater
downtown density is good, and in
order to address affordable housing
the city needs to focus elsewhere in
the city. He said that utilizing under-
developed properties or areas around
Ann Arbor is necessary. Kang also
opposes a city income tax.
Eric Lipson, an attorney and Ann
Arbor resident for three decades, is
seeking the Democratic nomination
against Higgins in the Fourth Ward.
Lipson has previous work experi-
ence in Student Legal Services and
currently serves on the City Planning
Lipson said he was motivated to run
for City Council after he and others on
his street contacted Higgins when they
wanted to have traffic calmed on Rose-
wood Street. He said Higgins was not
"She has not been a person who has
instituted a lot of change," Lipson said.
Lipson said he sympathizes with
students and feels that items pertain-
ing to them should not be introduced
or passed when most students are gone
during the summer.
While working for SLS, he fought
Marcia Higgins is running for a
fourth term in the Fourth Ward.
She is an administrative assistant
at Borders bookstore and a former
Republican candidate for mayor.
Higgins said that a lot of the
things that she has been working on
while serving City Council are just
coming to fruition and she would
like to see them through.
Higgins said she wants to improve
the city's "archaic" and prohibiting
While on the council, Higgins said
she has been proud of her contribu-
tions to the visioning for downtown,
and her deciding vote that approved
an Environmental Commission.
With the support of council mem-
bers, she switched to the Democrat-
ic Party after winning her third term
in the Fourth Ward. Higgins said
she made the switch because she
agaiist lanuiorus woo ne saiu were not
keeping promises made to tenants and
providing substandard housing.
Lipson said that he supports public
transportation and making the city more
Lipson said he wants simpler down-
town zoning to allow for mixed-use
developments and that he will approach
the idea of a city income tax with an
ed in some real-life experiences," and that
his opponent, Eugene Kang, "simply does
not have that experience."
Rapundalo said City Council has
"failed, in general, to reach out to its con-
stituents." He also said he sympathizes
with University students and wants to
encourage and strengthen communication
between students and City Council.
Rapundalo said he admires certain
council members, but does not identify
with any because he has always consid-
ered himself an independent thinker.
is very moderate and found herself
identifying more with Democrats on
Higgins said she recognizes that
students may not feel engaged in
city government, but it is frustrating
for City Council as well, because
they do not know how to get stu-
dents more active.
When students approach her with
their concerns and problems Hig-
gins said that she listens and works
with them to find solutions.
s Editor; EK, EL, MH Photos by Mike Hulsebus/Daily; SR File Photo
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