Comments on: Medical Marijuana Plan Amended, Delayed it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Steve Borgsdorf Steve Borgsdorf Mon, 10 Jan 2011 21:51:16 +0000 Dave, you have jammed 56 words into one sentence including the opinion-laden word “sophomoric.” Those are the facts. I suppose the readers will decide if the sentence is redundant, tendentious, or just plain too wordy.

By: junior junior Sat, 08 Jan 2011 20:57:57 +0000 The re-entry of Leigh Greden into the realm of Ann Arbor municipal government is indeed significant news. He joins his former fellow Miller Canfield colleague Marta Manildi on the Housing Commission.

Leigh Greden is a true political genius and visionary who shaped Ann Arbor city government during his tenure on City Council. His attempts at introducing a municipal incime tax would have had a profound impact on the city treasury. He was the guiding hand behind the creation of what one former First Ward City Council member termed the “Gang of Seven” and what Vivienne Armentrout later called the “Council Party”. The controversial police/court project was largely spearheaded by Greden.

What Leigh Greden may have lacked in charisma, he certainly had in political savvy. He attended homeowner’s association meetings and was readily accessible to his constituents. Some considered him the most powerful elected official in Ann Arbor – in large part due to his Council Party affiliation.

While he did take considerable heat over was has been jocosely referred to as E-mailgate, Greden initially shrugged it off as a manifestation of his mordant sense of humor. Mr. Askins characterization of the content of these e-mails was undoubtedly sophomoric and did cost him votes in the August of 2009 primary.

Perhaps he is attempting to rebuild his political persona, which took a beating after E-mailgate.

Greden will no doubt go down as one of the most controversial members of Ann Arbor City Council. The question is will he move forward and learn from his previous shortcomings?

By: Mark Koroi Mark Koroi Fri, 07 Jan 2011 23:36:22 +0000 Regarding the Rachel Corrie killing alluded to by Henry Herskovitz: her family’s wrongful death trial is proceeding in a Haifa court in Israel. Caterpillar Tractor has suspended sales of bulldozers to the Israeli military pending the outcome of the trial. In her hometown of Olympia, Washington, the Olympia Food Co-op has recently enforced a boycott of Israeli products by vote of the board of directors.

Regarding the Leigh Greden appointment to the Housing Commission: I am glad to see someone has mentioned the possible Michigan Campaign Finance Act violations in addition to the Open Meetings Act violations. What should have been emphasized also that voters reportedly voted against Greden for his support of a proposed city income tax at a time when many Ann Arborites were struggling due to the economic conditions. I wonder if Mr. Greden is considering challenging Steve Kunselman for his former Third Ward seat?

Leigh and his family have remained active in local campaigns, supporting the primary candidacy of Ned Staebler in 2010 for his State House run. He joins many former City Council members, including Jean Carlberg, Joan Lowenstein, and Wendy Woods who have received board and commission appointments after leaving City Council.

Greden earns over $133,000 per year in his EMU post, which had been formerly held by Freeman Hendrix.

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Fri, 07 Jan 2011 23:25:24 +0000 Re: [8] “In addition to being tendentious, the paragraph is redundant. How else does one get voted out of office in a primary but by voter dissatisfaction?”


There are myriad reasons why an incumbent might be voted out of office besides voter dissatisfaction. For example, one can contemplate a scenario in which some voters know nothing of an incumbent’s record, but are impressed enough with what they know of a challenger that they cast a vote for the challenger. One could imagine the possibility, for example, that LuAnne Bullington drew support from voters who may well have known nothing about Greden’s performance in office, or even been pleased with it, but who simply felt that they wanted someone on the council with a stronger voice for the disability community than Greden.

In the case of Greden’s defeat, however, based on conversations with several people who voted against Greden — not necessarily for either Kunselman or Bullington — it’s clear that he lost at least in part due to voter dissatisfaction, as opposed to a desire to see either Kunselman or Bullington sitting on the council.

So, even a much shorter sentence would have not been redundant: “… until he was voted out of office in the 2009 Democratic primary, due in part to voter dissatisfaction.”

That sentence, of course, would have prompted the obvious question: Voter dissatisfaction with what? And the answer to that question is provided with the explanation that the dissatisfaction was related to Greden’s use of email during council meetings.

I think this clearly refutes any contention that the sentence in question is redundant. An actual example of redundancy would be something along the lines of “Greden was voted out of office when he didn’t receive enough votes to win the election.”

Regarding “sophomoric humor,” it is a fair and accurate description of some of the subject matter in Greden’s emails, which included the kind of base material that is part of the semantics of “sophomoric” [e.g., Golden Vomit Award]. As such, it is a useful summary of the kind of content Greden’s emails included — which I think was a reasonable choice as an alternative to republishing the content of any of Greden’s emails as a part of this meeting report.

I also don’t agree with your coarse dismissal of Vivienne Armentrout’s suggestion that there was useful history in the summary in this meeting report.

As for your suggestion that linking to previous coverage would be helpful, that’s true. You may have noticed that some other readers include links in their comments — something you can also do when you’re feeling helpful — by just pasting the whole URL into the comment, which we then manually convert to an HTML link.

Here’s a link to an opinion column that probably provides a useful starting point for rummaging through Chronicle archives on the topic of council emails during meetings: “When’s An Open Meeting Open?

By: Steve Borgsdorf Steve Borgsdorf Fri, 07 Jan 2011 21:15:21 +0000 In addition to being tendentious, the paragraph is redundant. How else does one get voted out of office in a primary but by voter dissatisfaction? And “useful history” my eye. It would be more helpful to readers who haven’t heard of Leigh Greden (does the Chronicle have any such readers?) to hyperlink them to your thorough coverage of the council email flap. For a reporter to call something, anything, “sophmoric” is a statement of opinion. Just the facts, please.

By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Fri, 07 Jan 2011 16:44:58 +0000 Ugh, Greden is like a bad penny.

By: Alan Goldsmith Alan Goldsmith Fri, 07 Jan 2011 15:57:24 +0000 “Greden previously served on the city council, representing Ward 3, until he was voted out of office in the 2009 Democratic primary, due in part to voter dissatisfaction with his use of electronic mail during council meetings – for communications that ranged from sophomoric humor to possible violations of the Open Meetings Act and campaign finance laws.”

Welcome back. Lol.

By: Dave Cahill Dave Cahill Fri, 07 Jan 2011 14:45:22 +0000 The paragraph in question dramatically understates Greden’s role on Council and the benefits to the public upon his departure.

Greden was scripting a large proportion of what Council did, including writing speeches for other Council members. So the fix was in. Now that he is gone, the fix is no longer in. Council is turning into a real legislative body, not just a rubber stamp for Greden and the staff. Its behavior is impossible to predict.

This change in behavior is will illustrated by the controversy over medical marijuana. Three times Postema has proposed extremely repressive legislation – the moratorium, the zoning ordinance, and the licensing ordinance. Each time Council has removed most of “Postema’s Poison Pills” on the Council floor. More deletions may be on the way, particularly considering Mayor Hieftje’s comments on felonies.

By: Charme Gholson Charme Gholson Fri, 07 Jan 2011 02:38:28 +0000 Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful reporting.

The attorney I quoted is actually Matt Newburg.

Happy New Year!

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Fri, 07 Jan 2011 00:18:00 +0000 Re (1):Please stay just as you (DA) are. That second paragraph is full of useful history.