Ann Arbor's 2nd Ward Voters To Elect New City Council Member
With Sally Hart Petersen running for Mayor Ann Arbor's northeast side will have a new representative on city council. voters choose between Nancy Kaplan and Kirk Westphal in next week's Second Ward Democratic Primary.
For 30 years Nancy Kaplan has lived in Ann Arbor and believes she has a good understanding of the community concerns. These include overly tall buildings encroaching on neighborhoods, infrastructure not being maintained well enough, and opposition to the footing drain disconnect program.
Kaplan wants to make sure her ward is part of the process as more developments are planned and come online, "Concern about the density and what it's going to do to that area, traffic-wise, some say culture-wise, and so I'm hoping that the community, that community, the northeast community, will be active, and will be speaking up and be very involved in what happens there."
Kirk Westphal has served on the planning commission for eight years and lost to Jane Lumm in the second ward council race last year. He thinks aggressive outreach is needed to ensure neighborhoods are part of the discussion when developments are planned, "Communicating proactively with residents about what they want for their neighborhoods, what they want for their community, and making sure we make the rules reflect that. Because if we have good rules we have good development, we have a better future."
He says the city needs to be prepared for future wants and needs, even if these aren't his top priorities at this time, "That's something that I think runs to the core of where we need to get our sights. Is making sure we're able to share our city with new people coming in and new types of workers that want to locate here."
Westphal also is interested in addressing concerns about the deer population in parts of the second ward and making sure any roadwork is completed properly so potholes don't quickly return.
A pair of ruined tires on both her car and her husband's has Kaplan looking at the roads as well, with concerns that delays have let small potholes grow to be big ones. Taking a look at options to reduce sewage back-ups other than the footing drain disconnect program is another issue Kaplan wants to tackle, "Which is a way to let developers develop and other people, the residents that are already here are helping the developers in that they have a sump pump in their basement if they have a basement, otherwise it can be in a family room or something."
The primary winner will likely take the seat on council since no Republicans or Independents are on the November ballot.