Town Hall: Four Mayoral Candidates

First mayoral forum comes before deadline for submitting signatures to qualify for the Aug. 5 primary ballot

Four candidates for the Democratic mayoral primary in Ann Arbor will appear on Wednesday, April 16 in a town hall format at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy to answer questions from students enrolled in Public Policy 456/756.

From top: Petersen, Briere, Kunselman, Taylor.

From top: Petersen, Briere, Kunselman, Taylor.

The class is taught by Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje, who announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election.

Hieftje and the students organized the town hall format event, which is scheduled from 1:10-2:30 p.m. in the Ford School’s Annenberg Auditorium at 735 S. State St.

The event is open to the public. The town hall will be moderated by students in the class. Questions from the audience will be considered as time allows.

Confirmed to appear at the event will be Sabra Briere, Stephen Kunselman, Christopher Taylor and Sally Petersen. All are Democrats and are currently serving on the Ann Arbor city council.

As of the morning of April 16, only Kunselman had submitted the required signatures from registered voters in each of the city’s five wards to qualify for the ballot. Signatures must be submitted to the city clerk by April 22. Although no one other than these four councilmembers has announced an intent to contest the mayoral primary race, it’s still technically possible to take out petitions and collect signatures in time to qualify for the ballot.

The forum is being co-sponsored by UM’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

The Chronicle has made arrangements to provide CART (Communication Across Real Time) text streaming services for the event. If all technical challenges have been met, text will start streaming after the jump around 1:10 p.m. on April 16.

Live Text Stream

The event is now over. Here’s a link to a lightly corrected transcript from the live stream. [.txt of live stream]

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  1. By Donna Estabrook
    April 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm | permalink

    There is something to be said for a verbatim (although “lightly corrected”) transcript. However I found that the formatting – or lack thereof – made it difficult to read. It was so uniform that when I scrolled down I would loose my place.

  2. By kittybkahn
    April 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm | permalink

    The Chronicle’s coverage was vastly superior to the live stream on the Michigan Daily website. At least ten times, the live stream was taken over by commercials for the U.S. Marines, cookies, cars, mayo and more. It was terrible. I was so happy to be able to read what the candidates were saying on the Chronicle so I didn’t miss anything. The Daily should be ashamed.

  3. April 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm | permalink

    Donna, your point about the lack of any formatting in the file we saved from the live stream is a fair one. So I’ve added carriage returns between speaking turns as a minor improvement, in case we’re never able to come back and present some type of post-forum coverage.

  4. April 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm | permalink

    I love the transcript!

    Also, as of noon today, Petersen and Briere had filed their petition signatures. Validation by the clerk will (hopefully) follow shortly.

  5. April 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm | permalink

    Re: [4] There’s also some speculation that a fifth candidate might take out petitions to run for mayor in an Easter Weekend surprise … @TwentyPoundCarp. As of now, however, I believe he is very much still on the fins about it.