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Apr 25

Meet The Candidates

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

When you run in the fast-paced world of local politics that I do, you often find yourself in the middle of an eclectic group of people. Such was the case tonight as I found myself having post-City Council meeting drinks with important local business owners, aspiring local politicians, local real estate moguls, local campaign king-makers, and a former Ypsilanti mayor. Suffices to say we had drinks at a local establishment.

Tonight’s City Council meeting was rather uneventful and uninformative.

Council voted to give the City Manager the authority to sell several properties including the Ypsilanti Historical Museum at 220 North Huron Street.

Council also voted to refinance $13.1M worth of bonds for the Water Street project and increase the debt ceiling by an additional $3.9M to $17M. This brings the City’s total debt responsibility to around $100M. That’s quite an impressive figure for such a small city.

Finally, Council voted to allow the City Manager to begin negotiations with Chicago-based developer Joseph Freed & Associates to do the Water Street project. Some of you may not be familiar with Joseph Freed, but they have done several developments in the area including Ashley Terrace and Glen Ann Place in Ann Arbor as well as Main North in Royal Oak. They are perhaps most famous for tearing down the Plymouth Hotel in Chicago—a building that was on the National Register of Historic Places—to build a Borders and some condominiums.

I wonder if they know the folks from Edwards Communities, but I digress.

The highlight for me, at least, was seeing two councilmembers try and discreetly discuss the happenings here in the 3rd Ward. Rather than speak directly to me, they chose to hold their hands over their mouths ever-so-delicately and try and sort matters out on their own.

Since I could not be the first to bring you the scoop on my candidacy, please allow me to scoop my opponent’s thunder.

Rod Johnson, chair of the Planning Commission and my neighbor, has decided to throw his hat into the ring and run against me for the Ward 3 seat being vacated by long-time council member Barry LaRue. Johnson is new to the politcal landscape and his views are as yet unknown, but there will finally be the long-awaited, first Democratic primary in Ward 3 since 1998. At last the issues can be openly discussed. Finally there will be some much-need dialog between candidates.

Johnson has yet to file his petitions, but he confirmed his interest in front of a group of local movers and shakers.

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