Four Candidates File for AADL Board Race

Four candidates have filed to run for three seats on the Ann Arbor District Library board in the Nov. 4, 2014 general election: Karen Hart, Jim Leija, and incumbents Jan Barney Newman and Ed Surovell. The filing deadline was Aug. 12.

These are non-partisan positions, with four-year terms starting Jan. 1, 2015. The seats are currently held by Newman, Surovell and Barbara Murphy, who decided not to seek re-election. Voters will be able to choose up to three of the four candidates on the ballot.

Leija is director of education and community engagement at the University Musical Society, a position he’s held since 2011. He’s worked for UMS in various roles since 2008.

Hart served as planning manager for the city of Ann Arbor from 1992-2004, and later was planning and development director for the city of Ypsilanti from 2006-2008. Her tenure as Ann Arbor’s planning manager overlapped with Surovell’s service on the city’s planning commission. Surovell owned an eponymous real estate firm until it was acquired by Howard Hanna in 2012. He has served on the AADL board since 1996, when he was elected to the first board after the library system separated from the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Newman, who currently serves as board treasurer, is retired. Her professional background includes founding two Ann Arbor-based businesses: Aristoplay, an educational game company; and Learning Express, an educational toy store. She’s seeking her third term on the AADL board, having been elected for the first time in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

Positions on the seven-member AADL board are elected by voters in Ann Arbor and portions of seven townships that are covered by the library’s district – Pittsfield, Scio, Ann Arbor, Lodi, Webster, Salem and Superior. Those are the same boundaries served by the Ann Arbor Public Schools, with the exception of Northfield Township, which is partly within the AAPS district but has its own library system.