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July 31, 2006 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-07-31

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 31, 2006

JEREMY DAVIDSON
Editor in Chief

IMRAN SYED
Editorial Page Editor

JEFFREY BLOOMER
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIvERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890.
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
Editorial Board Members: Amanda Andrade, Emily Beam,
Jared Goldberg, Theresa Kennelly, Christopher Zbrozek
ANN ARBOR CITY COUNCIL
WARD 1

In the first ward, incumbent John Roberts,
who was appointed to council 10 months ago,
faces his first electoral challenge from Ron
Suarez in the primary. We admire Roberts's
willingness to engage in a dialogue with fel-
low council members and citizens and work
cooperatively toward adequate solutions.
Also worthy of note is his view that students
are citizens of the city and must be listened
to. Despite these qualities, though, we find
Roberts's stance inadequate to overcome the
elaborately planned, carefully considered
proposals Suarez presents.
Suarez is a proponent of building up
Ann Arbor's downtown and increasing

density as a way to curb urban sprawl. He
also has a unique understanding of what it
will take to reduce cars and traffic in Ann
Arbor. Everyone realizes that building up
the downtown would create traffic night-
mares unless a solution is proposed. But
Suarez is one of the few who sees the need
for not simply logistical measures such as
adding parking spaces, but for encourag-
ing long-term lifestyle changes that include
walking and riding bikes. He says that the
city can't force people to ride bikes or take
a bus, but it can facilitate it by the way it
designs future developments in downtown.
We couldn't agree more.

The Daily endorses: Ron Suarez
WARD 3

FROM THE EDITOR
This week, instead of our normal editorials, we offer the Daily editorial board's endorsements
for select local races to be decided by the primary election on August 8. The endorsements include
contested races for mayor of Ann Arbor, city council seats in wards 1, 3 and 5 and the 53rd district
seat in the state House of Representatives. (City council wards 2 and 4, as well as the 52nd dis-
trict seat in the state House, do not have contested primaries.) Given that there is no Republican
candidate running for city council or for mayor, voting in the August primary is vital for anyone
wishing to have a say in local government.
Our endorsements reflect both the Daily's commitment to serving the student body as well as uphold-
ing the ideals we have come to stand for over the decades. I invite you to join in a discussion of our
endorsements on our blog The Podium, which can be accessed by clicking on The Podium link at our
homepage (www.michigandaily.com) or by visiting bttp://apps.michigandaily.com/blogs/thepodium/.
As always, thank you for reading.
Imran Syed
Editorial Page Editor
MAYOR OF ANN ARBOR
In the race for mayor of Ann Arbor, at everything from using more renewable
incumbent John Hieftje faces a challenge energy to improving public transporta-
from Councilwoman Wendy Woods. Run- tion. While others may address these same
ning unopposed by any person last year for issues, his vision is much more defined and
her council seat from the fifth ward, Woods his accomplishments more clear. Hieftje's
famously declared that she was running "Mayor's Green Energy Challenge" will
against apathy. Though she overcame that lead the city to use 30 percent renewable
incessant specter last fall, she now faces energy by 2010 and significantly reduce
the far tougher challenge of unseating a greenhouse emissions. He has also opened
popular incumbent. Woods says she is run- discussion on a system of light rail to con-
ning because the time is right for her and nect southeast Michigan, a worthy objective
there is a pressing need for transparency in given that Detroit remains America's only
city government. We appreciate her enthu- major metropolitan area without a service-
siasm and willingness to take on pressing able system of public transportation.
issues such as affordable housing and the Hieftje recognizes the need to work with
involvement of citizens in local govern- regional and state leaders toward improving
ment, but her platform is underdeveloped the quality of life for Ann Arbor residents.
when compared to Hieftje's. His long record of accomplishments, clear-
First elected in 2000, Hieftje has estab- ly defined vision for the city's future and
lished himself as a champion for the envi- his passion for environmental issues make
ronment - spearheading initiatives aimed Hieftje Ann Arbor's ideal mayor.
The Daily endorses: John Hieftje
STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
53RD DISTRICT
No matter who wins the Democratic pri- in Lansing, including time as a staff mem-
mary for the 53rd district state representative ber for two legislators. Her work has given
seat, the party and Ann Arbor residents will her an understanding of the state budget as
be represented well. Both Councilman Leigh well as the opportunity to form relation-
Greden (D-Ward 3) and Rebekah Warren-- ships with legislators and their staffs. While
the two candidates vying to replace the term- she may not be able to boast of the service in
limited Chris Kolb -are capable, informed an elected office that Councilman Greden
citizens who care about Ann Arbor. can, it's clear that her time working with
In terms of policy positions, there's little the legislature gives her a better chance to
to differentiate the two candidates, who hit the ground running.
agree on nearly every major issue. Though It's also refreshing that Warren has made
both candidates are Democrats, each hopes an active effort to involve students in her
to work with colleagues across the aisle to campaign, encouraging them to vote absen-
create sound public policy. Voters, then, tee in the primary and building a network
should choose based on experience - and of student volunteers. Though it's a tough
in that light, Warren is the better choice. call for us to make, her efforts at engaging
She has spent more than a decade working students make Warren our choice.
The Daily endorses: Rebekah Warren
LIVE ON YOUR FEET JOHN OQUIST
THE LOCAL DEMOCRATIC THE DEADLOE TO REGISTER WAS I GUESSr LL JUST Go WATCH
PRARs t REeS . EO THREE WEEKS AG ? WHY THE tULPLANETHEN...
AND VOTE1
alm

The three Democrats vying for the vacant
seat in the third ward are Steven Kunselman,
Jeff Meyers and Alice Ralph. Of the three,
Meyers bringsthe right combination of enthu-
siasm and knowledge about local government
to the job. Though he's quick to point out that
he hasn't lived in Ann Arbor for 30 years like
some others on council, Meyers has swiftly
gathered the understanding of local affairs
necessary to be effective on council.
Meyers points to Portland, Ore., where
he once lived, as an example of a commu-
nity that's doing a better job of planning for
smart growth than Ann Arbor. He hopes
to encourage mixed-use developments to
increase density downtown and around the
University, and he has some innovative

ideas to increase student involvement with
city government that we haven't heard from
anyone else - in any race.
Kunselman, who served for years as the
administrator of Sumpter Township and
who currently serves on the city's planning
commission, would certainly be a competent
member of council. We remain unconvinced,
however, about how well his technocratic
and almost frightening grasp of the minu-
tiae of local government would translate to
the setting of city council. Finally, Ralph has
good intentions - running to bring more
transparency to council and include citizens
in the process - but her ideas seem vague
compared to Meyers's carefully honed and
comprehensive platform.

The Daily endorses: Jeff Meyers
WARD 5

In the fifth ward, incumbent Chris East-
hope faces Sonia Schmerl and Richard
Ankli. Easthope, first elected to the Coun-
cil in 2000, brings a balance of progress
and practicality to his position. Six years of
experience informs his approach to everyday
issues such as parks (maintain what we have
before creating new ones) and parking (build
new structures near the highways and bus
visitors downtown).
The issue ofthe growth and development of
Ann Arbor, especially the downtown, weighs
heavily on the minds of voters this year, and
it's on this issue that Easthope truly sets him-
self apart from his opponents. Ankli, though
good-natured and admirably willing to lis-

ten and dedicate time to finding solutions,
remains inadequately informed of the issues
themselves. Schmerl disapproves of many
things about the current council, including a
lack of transparency, but considers her elec-
tion as a solution in itself. We agree that more
dissent on council is beneficial, but we aren't
convinced she's the one to do it. Many of
her policies seem guided by specific neigh-
borhoods' interests - an approach that can
only encourage the small-scale balkaniza-
tion already derailing municipal progress.
Easthope, however, offers sound policy in
his belief that downtown density can counter
suburban sprawl and controlled development
will create affordable housing.

The Daily endorses: Chris Easthope

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