Monday, July 26, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Mayoral candidates spar over issues
Hieftje, Lesko remain
tense in close race to
By DYLAN CINTI
Marked by heated disagreements
and personal accusations, Ann Arbor's
upcoming mayoral democratic prima-
ry continues to see its two candidates
remain neck and neck in the race.
The city's two democratic candi-.
dates - current mayor John Hieftje
and former local political blogger
Patricia Lesko - are vying for the may-
oral spot in the forthcoming Aug. 3
state primary elections.
According to a Jun. 4 poll conducted
by AnnArbor.com, local voter support
for Hieftje and Lesko is split at 44 per-
cent for each candidate. As the may-
oral race continues to heat up, the two
candidates have also leveraged accusa-
tions against one another.
Lesko used a recent public debate
to accuse mayor Hieftje, who's served
as mayor of Ann Arbor since 2000,
of questionable backroom dealings,
according to a Jul. 10 article by AnnAr-
"Has there been backroom dealing?
Absolutely," Lesko said in the article.
A visibly annoyed Hieftje respond-
ed by dismissing Lesko's comments as
"conspiracy theories," the AnnArbor.
com article reported.
The heatednature of the debate may
have come as a surprise to some, but
current Ann Arbor city councilmem-
ber Mike Anglin (D-Ward 5) said it's
nothing new for Lesko.
"Pat's very sincere in what she's
talking about," Anglin said on Sunday
in an interview with The Michigan
Daily. "She's a humorous person. And
she can be argumentative."
That argumentative streak began
last August when Lesko began blog-
ging about city politics under the alias
"Sam Rosenthal." Her blog - a2po-
litico.com - criticized Hieftje for
what she considered his lack of fiscal
responsibility and disregard for key
In a Jan. 13 post, Lesko said, "By
2008, I would have voted for Satan if
he'd have run against our mayor."
Instead, she decided to start her
Lesko said her campaign centers on
what she calls a "return to the basics."
According to Lesko, this means focus-
ing more on core services the city pro-
vides - like police, firefighters and
"The city's infrastructure isn't being
tended to," Lesko said.
However, Hieftje's supporters argue
that he has a firm grasp on city infra-
structure and is doing the best work he
can inan economic downturn.
Current councilmember Chris-
topher Taylor (D-Ward 3), one of
Hieftje's vocal supporters, said he
thinks Lesko is unfairly using the long
420Md ynand Sn.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1327
ANDREW LAPIN BRAD WILEY
Editr irnChief Busines Maer~s
John Hieftje is the incumbent candidate.
economic recession against Hieftje.
"The city budget ... has experienced
substantial losses," Taylor said in an
interview with the Daily on Sunday.
"One must consider one's success based
on (available) opportunities. (Hieftje)
has led city council to cut expenses ...
without material impact on services."
Hieftje - who could not immedi-
ately be reached for comment - states
on his reelection website that he will
"ensure that our City continues to
invest in infrastructure" and "main-
tain focus on providing high-quality
core City services." According to
councilmember Taylor, nearly every
current councilmember is likely to
At the moment, Mike Anglin is the
sole councilmember publicly backing
Anglin said he's inspired by what
he considers her honesty and commit-
ment to direct communication.
CUURKTSY UF VUOTE LESKO.UORG
Patricia Lesko is the democratic challenger.
"She's honest in what she believes,"
Anglin said. "She puts herself out
Putting herself "out there" is a risk
Lesko said she's willing to take as part
of her goal to expand and encourage
"Have no fear - the A2Politico will
be inside city hall," Lesko said.
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The Michigan Dai (ISSN 0745967 is published
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MSU-based company first tenant of NCRC
specialized lab space,
recruits 'U' talent
By JOSEPH LICHTERMAN
Almost a year after the University
purchased the property, the research
space at the new North Campus
Research Complex no longer exists
BoroPharm - a chemical manu-
facturing company founded by two
Michigan State University faculty
members - is the first entity to occu-
py laboratory space in the 174-acre,
28-building former Pfizer complex,
as well as its first commercial tenant.
Founded in 2005 by Rob Malec-
zka and Mitch Smith, BoroPharm
develops and manufactures chemical
intermediates - specifically boron-
based compounds - for the pharma-
ceutical, agro-tech and fine chemical
industries. The intermediates are
more efficient and environmentally
friendly than other similar products.
Todd Zahn, president and CEO of
BoroPharm, said there are a number
of practical applications for the com-
pounds his company creates.
"(The compounds) are used in a
variety of different applications,"
Zahn said. "All the way down from
pharmaceuticals through to organic
lighting, electronics and things like
The company first moved into its
building on the NCRC campus last
March and will be fully operational
in the space in a matter of weeks,
The building was deliberately built
away from the rest of the structures
at the NCRC because its laborato-
ries handle high-pressure chemistry
reactions that have the potential to
explode, NCRC Executive Director
David Canter said during a media
tour of the complex last week.
Joan Keiser, the outgoing inter-
im NCRC executive director, said
BoroPharm contacted the Univer-
sity about renting the lab space even
before it had bought the NCRC from
Pfizer. Once the University owned
the property, it determined that it
had no need for the specialized labo-
ratories and decided to rent out the
space to BoroPharm.
"BoroPharm contacted the Uni-
versity of Michigan very early on
because these types of facilities are
not usual and BoroPharm was aware
that it was here (because) the chemi-
cal industry (as a whole) is aware that
we have a facility like this," Keiser
said. "They contacted the University
early to ask, 'Was there space? Was
there space?' They were very per-
sistent. I give them great credit for
The exceptional facilities were not
the only reason BoroPharm decided
to move to Ann Arbor. The resources
available to it because of its relation-
ship with the University were also
strong motivators for BoroPharm to
make the move, Zahn said.
"We were really interested in both
the facilities and the access to the tal-
ent that is at the University in terms
of faculty collaborations and training
students and bringing out new com-
mercial opportunities where students
can enhance their learning experi-
ence and educational experience at
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