Ward 1 Candidate Forum: CTN Broadcast

Incumbent Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams compete for Democratic Party nomination on Aug. 5. Forum start: Today 7 p.m.

The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area is hosting candidate forums for the Aug. 5, 2014 primary elections, as it does every year for local races.

Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams marched in Ann Arbor's Fourth of July parade.

Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams marched in Ann Arbor’s Fourth of July parade.

The Ward 1 city council Democratic primary forum features one-term incumbent Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams, who is seeking elected office for the first time. The scheduled broadcast start time on CTN is at 7 p.m. today (July 8) and can be viewed as a live video stream in the embedded player below.

CTN has pre-recorded some comments from candidates in all races. [link to CTN video-on-demand for council candidate comments ]

And the League of Women Voters provides written candidate profiles with responses to questions on its Vote411.org website. [Ward 1 Vote411.org profiles]

If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote or you’re not sure which ward you live in, Michigan’s Secretary of State website offers an easy way to check.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it to the polls on Aug. 5, an application to receive an absentee ballot can be downloaded from the city clerk’s website. [.pdf of absentee ballot application form] Completed applications can be mailed or hand delivered to the clerk’s office on the second floor of city hall, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. The applications can also be scanned and emailed to cityclerk@a2gov.org.

Watch the Ward 1 candidate forum below. The Ward 1 forum will be followed by Ward 2 and Ward 3 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.

Under the video player are two text boxes with identical content. They embed the file that The Chronicle plans to use to “voice write” the LWV candidate forums in real time. The top box forces the view to the bottom of the file, so that the forum can be viewed hands-free. The bottom box does not force the view to the bottom of the file.

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  1. By Luis Vazquez
    July 9, 2014 at 10:40 am | permalink

    Totally underwhelmed by Sumi Kailasapathy and her tenure on Council. As a first ward resident, I feel Ms Kailasapathy does not see the big picture in terms of the future of Ann Arbor. There are many citizens who want to see a new Amtrak and Connector station at the Fuller Rd site, Sumi apparently has not spoken with all voters to see that. Fuller Rd already has functioned as a parking lot for years, and would remain Public Land serving a public purpose if a new Amtrak station were to be built there. I would rather have that then see the University continue to build huge parking structures (such as the latest monstrosity on Wall St). Continually bashing the DDA and other economic drivers, and killing the Public Art program are not necessarily accomplishments either, in my opinion.

    Not everyone agrees that there should be a park on top of the underground parking lot downtown, and I am not sure what is meant by euphemisms such as “balanced development” and “organic growth”. Sumi, in a prior debate, could not say whether she supported the recent Transit Millage or not. I think she opposed it, but could not say so for fear she would lose her supporters. At least Mr Adams stated his support openly. He has my vote.

  2. By Libby Hunter
    July 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm | permalink

    Any city council member who works to return taxpayer dollars to municipal services, speaks out when those dollars go elsewhere, and believes strongly in transparency and being responsive to constituents has my endorsement. Sumi K. will support taxpayers over special interests/business interests every time. As a Ward 5 resident, I regret that I cannot vote for her, but am encouraging my Ward 1 friends to do so.

  3. July 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm | permalink

    A couple of notes. The live text stream has now been cleaned up. And anyone who watched through the roll of credits was treated to the best moment of any of the forums: [screen grab]

  4. By Jeff Hayner
    July 11, 2014 at 11:35 am | permalink

    @#1. If Sumi had openly opposed the transit millage, it would give me yet another reason to support her. Despite all the hype, only 9% of the electorate supported that tax increase.

    Balanced development is not a euphamism, it is a way of lookng at what is needed vs. what is wanted, with limited financial and natural resources available. The most limited resource we have in Ann Arbor is land, and precious little thought goes into its use, other than a calculation of how much income it will generate for the city, or how densely we can pack people on it, to furthur strain our resouurces in the name of “growth”.
    What value is placed on parkland and public land and open space? To balance development means to maintain a mix of land uses, in balance with our ability to support what uses exists, and what uses will be wanted in the future. Some would have us reach for maximum density in every instance- that is not a balanced approach. Others would have us place a complete moratorium on development. That is not balanced, either, although applying that philosophy would help to balance to our current policies of maximum growth, maximum development, clean air and clean water be damned.

    Some people seem to think that anything done with public dollars is for the public good, but that is just not so. Millions spent on art of questionable aesthetic and cultural value, millions more spent on planning and upgrades to perfectly serviceable sewer systems for a Fuller Road parking lot, while dozens of water main breaks- including another one today, clearly demonstrate the need to focus on critical infrasturcture maintenance. I imagine Mr. Adams will win a few anti-Sumi votes from those who don’t feel her policies are “progressive” enough, or do enough to raise our taxes for imaginary public goods like massive transit subsidies. But choosing someone to represent our ward at this critical time in our city’s history is a matter not be taken lightly; we need now, more than ever, to have thoughtful, experienced representation. To me, and many others, that means re-electing Sumi Kailasapathy.

  5. July 11, 2014 at 11:50 am | permalink

    CM Kailasapathy is one of the most ethical council members, as she stands for accountability, transparency and positive-ethical business/city/public practices. Although SPARK stated on their 990 tax forms that they would release their financial statements to the public, they weren’t following through on that – as they continually refused to release their audited financial statements. The public complained, Kailasapathy listened, and she acted on it – as SPARK released their financial statements. She fought for greater accountability and transparency at SPARK, and she won. She listened to the taxpayers, and she is an incredible advocate for the public and the proper use of tax money.

    Kailasapathy has taken her skills as a CPA and has extended them to city council, where she applies her skill-set at analyzing the numbers that are placed before her, and even questioning them when things “don’t add up”. She is able to see through ‘marketing’ and ask hard questions, as she searches for the ‘truth’ and not the ‘marketing’ behind inflated numbers.

    Some may argue that her actions with SPARK were anti-economic-development, and that argument is completely false, as she is fighting for good corporate governance and positive ethical business practices. Kailasapathy has provided both sides of any issue, an equal chance to explain their side – as she is willing to respectfully meet with people that have diverse ideas. However, sometimes the opposing side doesn’t show respect to elected officials or the public. For example, many council members have tried communicating with SPARK – and SPARK has ignored them, or has placed restrictions on how they can meet with SPARK (times, places, lawyers, no photocopying, etc). It has come to light now that SPARK’s job numbers are inflated, as they use projected job numbers and not actual job numbers. SPARK’s actual job numbers are listed in an official report to the state of Michigan. Once again, Kailasapathy is advocating for the public, as she is asking for an independent audit.

    CM Kailasapathy is a dedicated advocate for the public and for how the government uses taxpayer money. She fights for those of us who believe in transparency, positive business ethics, and accountability. Kailasapathy has not only stood on sound principles, but she has acted on them as well – as such I fully support her candidacy.

  6. July 11, 2014 at 11:58 am | permalink

    Organic growth is growth that will come naturally. In the train study, they talk about how Ann Arbor will have population growth of 1% each year. That is organic growth and is a reasonable estimate of how train traffic can increase.

    However, the train study then has a statement where they show how Ann Arbor will get 1.5 million people each year by train. If that happened, Ann Arbor would be the 5th largest station in the country. That is an example of inorganic growth and it is fueled by marketing and un-realistic expectations. When Kailasapathy looks at numbers, she is looking at reality (organic) versus marketing — and that’s proper business ethics/practices. If the train study is correct and 1.5 million will come to Ann Arbor, then expect to lose all the parks in the Fuller area, as they are devoured by development.

  7. By Alan Goldsmith
    July 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm | permalink

    Sumi Kailasapathy is, hands down, one of the most outstanding members of Council during the 40 years I’ve been in Ann Arbor. She does her homework, works hard to make sure every penny of our tax dollars are spent carefully, doesn’t jump on any bumper silcker slogan bandwagons and really understands there are only TWO things to focus on–the smooth delivery of City services AND making sure Ann Arbor is ready to transition into the future will all of our values intact. This is what we expect in our elected officials and Ms. Kailasapathy has done this then entire term on Council. She deserves to be reelected with our votes with the August Democrat Party Primary.

  8. By Peter Nagourney
    July 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm | permalink

    I agree with the previous comments that emphasize Sumi Kailasapathy’s integrity and diligence in bring expertise and critical thinking to City Council decisions that have long-term financial consequences for the city and its citizens. We deserve her input and she deserves our votes.

  9. By Cindy York
    July 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm | permalink

    I strongly endorse Sumi for re-election to City Council. I didn’t vote for her when she was first elected, but I have closely watched her in action over the last couple of years and she has completely won me over. Sumi has persistently pushed back against the status quo on line items in the budget that were questionable or wasteful; her expertise on financial matters is invaluable. She is tenacious in pressing the City for greater transparency and fiscal responsibility. More recently, she has worked side-by-side with my neighborhood to press for traffic-calming funding and solutions for our residential street, which is experiencing increasingly fast, cut-through traffic; when I e-mail her, she responds immediately; when I ask for her support and help, it comes without hesitation. This kind of responsiveness is icing on the cake for me. Over time, I have become absolutely convinced that Sumi is an essential voice at the City Council table for First Ward citizens.