On the morning of May 3, 2011, Kirsten Ingrid Ault submitted nominating petitions to the Ann Arbor city clerk’s office as a candidate in the Democratic primary election for the Ward 3 city council seat in which Stephen Kunselman currently serves. Ault is the executive director of the nonprofit Think Local First – she goes by her middle name, Ingrid.
As of 10:30 a.m., the city clerk’s office had not had a chance to validate the signatures submitted by Ault – May 3 is election day, and staff in the clerk’s office are occupied with election-related tasks. [The one item on Ann Arbor ballots is a Washtenaw Intermediate School District millage to support special education. Polls are open until 8 p.m.] Candidates must submit at least 100 valid signatures from residents in the ward where they’re seeking election.
Kunselman, also a Democrat, submitted his nominating petitions on Dec. 7, 2010 and the clerk’s office confirmed 108 valid signatures on Jan. 5, 2011.
All other city councilmembers currently serving have also taken out petitions for reelection: Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2), Marcia Higgins (Ward 4), and Mike Anglin (Ward 5). Of those, only Stephen Rapundalo has submitted signatures – they have not yet been validated.
Two others have taken out petitions but not submitted signatures: Tim Hull in Ward 2 and Marwan Issa in Ward 3. Hull is an application programmer at the University of Michigan, and serves on the city’s taxicab board.
Issa is IT director for Global Educational Excellence. In 2009 Issa also took out petitions to run for the Ward 3 council seat, but did not choose to run. The June 23, 2009 edition of the now-defunct Ann Arbor News quotes Issa explaining his decision not to run two years ago: “I’m young and I decided it would be better to get involved on a committee or commission and then see what’s happening.”