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Mar 04

The Scarlet Letter

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

The sad thing about local politics is that no one cares. That statement is completely true and it’s also entirely false.

In my time here, I’ve only met one person who hates Ypsilanti. The City is filled with neighborhood associations and other groups committed to improving the community. We all want to help Ypsilanti prosper. And “I heart Ypsi” buttons flow like Huron River around town. On the other hand, City Council elections see poor voter turnout and no competition. In our fair city, elections are decided in the primaries. This past August in my Ward, there was one candidate for City Council. He was unopposed and took 86% of votes cast, but he received only 58% of total ballots cast. If that’s not bad enough, only 11% of eligible voters took the time to vote. To make matters worse, some crack-pot was able to stand outside in the sun for thirteen hours and get more than ten percent of the vote as a write-in candidate. Well, maybe that should give us a tiny glimpse of hope.

Unless you are on City Council or like to antagonize them, you don’t show up to meetings unless it’s your job to cover the meetings. If you do show up to express a concern or opinion, members of council call you theatrical and call the process of expressing your opinion crap. City Council is elected by the people to do their will. They can’t be interrupted by taking the time to listen to the opinions of others. If I show up to express an opinion, it’s deemed meaningless because there are 22,000 other residents who chose not to show up and speak on my behalf. I told City Council that I was concerned because they don’t enforce ordinances with due diligence, and I’m pissed that I have to live next to someone who unlawfully fills his porch up with rubbish. Big deal they say. Where were the rest of my neighbors who found this objectionable? Their silence must mean they approve of the trash.

This is disappointing, but it’s life in Ypsilanti. Now that I’ve been branded as the opposition, I have no choice but to slink back to my garbage-filled neighborhood and cheer on the Elders Council. They’ll let me know when I shouldn’t be satisfied with my quality of life. For this, I thank them.

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