Voters in Ann Arbor's Second Ward have re-elected Jane Lumm to City Council. Lumm claimed 56 percent of the vote yesterday, while Democrat Kirk Westphal received 42 percent and Conrad Brown of the Mixed Use Party got two percent.
Lumm says her victory is another sign Ann Arbor voters want a focus on core services. Lumm says she's pleased that overall city council continues to gain independent voices that will encourage greater debate.
Westphal says he hopes to continue to serve on the planning commission and other boards but is concerned city council will pass on opportunities to enhance Ann Arbor's future.
Ann Arbor Public Schools will continue to have a dedicated source of funding for facility maintenance and upgrades.
Voters approved a five year continuation of the sinking fund millage yesterday. The one-mill tax was approved by over 80 percent of voters.
School Board Member Glenn Nelson says the sinking fund is an important piece of the overall budget. He says without the millage the shape of schools would have been reduced and instruction would have suffered as well. Nelson says the community has once again invested in education and the area's future. He says the sinking fund millage is an education tax that completely remains in the district.
Incumbent Ann Arbor City Council member Stephen Kunselman has defeated a challenge from a former campaign volunteer. Kunselman received 70 percent of the vote yesterday, with Sam DeVarti of the Mixed Use Party claiming 28 percent.
Kunselman says the results of all of the council races show voters still want a greater priority placed on core services. He says council will continue to focus on making stronger neighborhoods. Kunselman says it will be nice to have more allies on council as he looks to run for mayor next year.
Democrat Jack Eaton claimed nearly 90 percent of the vote for Ann Arbor's fourth ward City Council race, and incumbent Mike Anglin won in the fifth ward with about 68 percent.
Eaton and Anglin were the only names on the ballot in their respective wards, but both candidates also faced write-in campaigns in the last few weeks before the election.
Eaton says the write-in efforts came without participation in debates and other campaigning so voters couldn't get a clear picture of these candidates.
Eaton's challenger was William Lockwood, while Anglin faced write-in campaigns from Thomas Partridge who announced his campaign months ago and Chip Smith who registered as a write-in candidate less than a month ago. Eaton also faced a tongue-in-check write in campaign from a 20 pound carp that was pulled from a pond in West Park a year ago.
Un-official election results have Saline Township voters saying "yes" to a road maintenance millage renewal. The one-mil issue generates revenue to take care of the township's gravel non-primary roads.
School district voters appeared generous with their support Tuesday, approving an operational millage renewal for Saline Area Schools. Ann Arbor schools voters also approved a sinking fund millage renewal.
A local pedestrian safety advocate has launched an online petition drive to prompt state lawmakers to pass a Michigan crosswalk law.
Former Ann Arbor school board member Kathy Griswold says crosswalks in her city lack the proper infrastructure, such as good lighting, to be safe to use. She points to a new mid-block crossing on Huron east of State as an example where lighting has been an issue.
Griswold says a state crosswalk law would mean standardized, safe pedestrian crossings across Michigan.
Ann Arbor officials believe the city is pretty well prepared to handle a wide variety of disasters, but hope to win a one-million dollar grant to become even more resilient. Ann Arbor applied to the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities program.
Environmental Coordinator Matt Naud says many of the communities that applied are coastal communities facing rising water levels, hurricanes and other issues. He says Ann Arbor has a different story to tell and could serve as a good model community for across much of the US and the globe. Naud adds that with climate change the types of storms Ann Arbor does face are more extreme now than in the past.
He maintains that the resilient cities program can help strengthen neighborhoods to respond to disasters with less need for outside help.