In Ann Arbor city council races for the general election, Ward 2 and Ward 5 are the only two wards where more than one candidate is on offer to voters on Nov. 2. On the last Monday in September, the League of Women Voters hosted a combined forum for all candidates for Ann Arbor city council. The Ward 2 and Ward 5 forum took place at Community Television Network studios and was recorded – it is available online through CTN’s video-on-demand service.
City of Ann Arbor Ward 5 is the yellow wedge of the pie in this map on the west side of the city.
The respective incumbents in Wards 1, 3 and 4 – Sandi Smith, Christopher Taylor, Margie Teall, who are all Democrats – are unopposed.
This report includes just the Ward 5 candidate responses – independent Newcombe Clark, Republican John Floyd and Democratic incumbent Carsten Hohnke. Ward 2 candidate remarks are reported in a separate acccount.
As stipulated in the city charter, Ann Arbor wards divide the city into roughly pie-shaped wedges. Ward 5 is a wedge generally covering the area between the 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions on the “city pie.” Each ward is represented on the city council with two council seats, one of which is up for election each year for a two-year term. Mike Anglin serves in the Ward 5 seat that’s not up for election this year.
The four questions posed by the League were confined essentially to two topics: the budget and parks. Candidates uniformly identified the most important challenge facing the city as the budget, and that fit thematically with a specific question about the budget. The remaining two questions focused on specific parks: Huron Hills golf course, which is currently the subject of a request for proposals for private management; and Fuller Park, part of which is a proposed location for a new parking deck to be built primarily for the University of Michigan, and which has a possible future as a train station.
The report is organized chronologically by candidate response. After the candidate responses, we offer some background on a few of the candidates’ remarks, including: the closure of one of the city’s fire stations, a tax “loop hole” identified by Newcombe Clark [about which he has issued a written clarificational statement], short- versus long-term public service, and participation in candidate forums. [Full Story]