Stories indexed with the term ‘Chuck Warpehoski’

Bryson Won’t Campaign for Ward 5 Council

In a press release emailed on June 20, 2014, Leon Bryson has announced that he will no longer be a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the Ward 5 city council primary on Aug. 5, 2014. Bryson had submitted the necessary 100 signatures to qualify for the ballot alongside incumbent Democrat Chuck Warpehoski, who is nearing the completion of his first two-year term on the council.

In his press release, Bryson writes: “As much as I wanted to represent you and our city, I have learned that I am not yet ready to take on this position. As I campaigned for office, it became clear to me that I needed to know more about city issues and local politics in … [Full Story]

Council, Mayor Primary Election Lineups Set

The 4 p.m. deadline for filing petitions to appear on the ballot in Ann Arbor’s city primary elections passed today with no surprises, but a bit of suspense. All candidates who took out petitions and intended to file them did so and the clerk’s office was able to verify sufficient signatures for all candidates. The primary elections will be held on Aug. 5, 2014.

Samuel McMullen turned in supplemental signatures to qualify for the Ward 3 city council ballot. He'll be contesting the open Ward 3 seat with Julie Grand and possibly Bob Dascola.

Samuel McMullen turned in supplemental signatures to qualify for the Ward 3 city council ballot on April 22. He’ll be contesting the open Ward 3 seat with Julie Grand and possibly Bob Dascola.

Council candidates must collect 100 signatures from voters registered in the ward they seek to represent. Mayoral candidates need 50 signatures from each of the city’s five wards.

All candidates who filed petitions are Democrats. No Republicans took out petitions. Only one race is uncontested – in Ward 4.

Here’s a quick listing of candidates for city office. Mayor: Sabra Briere, Stephen Kunselman, Sally Petersen, Christopher Taylor. Ward 1: Sumi Kailasapathy, Don Adams, Jr. Ward 2: Nancy Kaplan, Kirk Westphal. Ward 3: Julie Grand, Samuel McMullen and possibly Bob Dascola. Ward 4: Graydon Krapohl. Ward 5: Chuck Warpehoski, Leon Bryson.

The minor suspense stemmed from the fact that McMullen had fallen eight signatures short with his initial filing. But he handed in 17 supplemental signatures on April 22, about a half hour before the deadline. Those signatures gave him more than the 100 total he needed.

One independent, Bryan Kelly, took out petitions in Ward 1 – but he’s been informed by the city clerk’s office that he does not meet the one-year residency and voter registration requirements in the city charter. Kelly might become eligible, depending on the outcome of a pending lawsuit that’s been filed against the city by a would-be Ward 3 candidate, Bob Dascola.

Dascola has submitted sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot, but has also been informed that he does not meet the charter requirements on one-year residency and voter registration. The U.S. District Court is handling the case on an expedited schedule, so the matter is likely be settled before ballots are finalized in June.

As an independent, Kelly would have until July 17 to file petitions to appear on the November ballot.

Brief snapshot descriptions of all candidates except for those in Ward 1, based largely on their own remarks or campaign website descriptions, are presented in this report. [Editor's note: We've elected instead to add Ward 1 candidate information to this article, instead of creating a separate file.] [Full Story]

Local Dems Pull 2014 Council Primary Petitions

According to city clerk records, two sitting Ann Arbor city councilmembers have now pulled petitions to seek re-election in 2014 – Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1) and Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5). They are both Democrats, first elected to the council in 2012.

Ann Arbor city councilmembers serve two-year terms on the 11-member body, which includes the mayor and two representatives from each of five wards.

Kailasapathy responded to a Chronicle query by saying she planned to file signatures by the end of the month. Candidates must submit at least 100 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. She took out the petitions today (Nov. 21, 2013).

The Chronicle asked Warpehoski if his action to take out petitions on Nov. 7 reflected a deliberate decision … [Full Story]

Hieftje Re-Elected; Warpehoski Wins Council

Only two races were contested on Nov. 6 for Ann Arbor mayor and city council – both for two-year terms. Incumbent Democrat John Hieftje defeated independent Albert Howard with 42,255 votes (84.11%), compared to 7,649 votes (15.23%) for Howard. Hieftje was first elected mayor in 2000, and will now start his seventh term in that office.

In Ward 5, Democrat Chuck Warpehoski was elected over Republican Stuart Berry, winning with 10,371 votes (81.49%) compared to 2,281 votes (17.92%) for Berry. The incumbent Democrat, Carsten Hohnke, did not run for re-election.

The four other city council races, also for two-year terms, were not contested. Democrat incumbents Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) and Margie Teall (Ward 4) were on the ballot, along with Democrats Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1) … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor City Council: Ward 5 Race

Aside from the mayor, only one Ann Arbor city council seat is contested in the Nov. 6 general election – in Ward 5. Candidates in four of the city’s five wards are unopposed.

Stuart Berry, Chuck Warpehoski, League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area, Ward 5, Ann Arbor City Council, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

From left: Republican Stuart Berry and Democrat Chuck Warpehoski are candidates for Ward 5 Ann Arbor city council. (Photos by the writer.)

The Ward 5 seat is currently held by Democrat Carsten Hohnke, who did not seek re-election for another two-year term. Vying for the opening are Democrat Chuck Warpehoski and Republican Stuart Berry. The two candidates answered questions about their background and vision for the community at an Oct. 10 forum organized by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area.

Berry stressed the importance of basic services, and advocated for giving power back to the people. In general, he indicated a belief that government at all levels has overstepped its bounds.

Citing his experience as executive director of the nonprofit Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice, Warpehoski emphasized his skills as a listener and in bringing together people with different perspectives. Warpehoski also provided written answers to a set of questions on the league’s website. The site indicated that Berry did not participate.

Both candidates highlighted the challenge of providing services at a time when budgets are tight.

The Oct. 10 candidate forum was held at the studios of Community Television Network in Ann Arbor, and is available online via CTN’s video-on-demand service. The forum also included candidates for Ann Arbor mayor – Albert Howard and John Hieftje. The mayoral portion of the forum is reported in a separate Chronicle write-up.

Information on local elections can be found on the Washtenaw County clerk’s elections division website. To see a sample ballot for your precinct, visit the Secretary of State’s website. [Full Story]

Ward 5 City Council: Studying, Listening

On July 22, 2012, a hot summer Sunday afternoon, more than 35 people gathered at the Peace Neighborhood Center to hear Ward 5 Democratic primary candidates for Ann Arbor city council respond to questions.

Vivienne Armentrout Chuck Warpehoski

Vivienne Armentrout and Chuck Warpehoski as seen through the viewfinder of a video camera that recorded the July 22, 2012 Ward 5 Democratic forum. (Photos by the writer.)

Chuck Warpehoski and Vivienne Armentrout are contesting the seat that will be open because sitting councilmember Democrat Carsten Hohnke is not seeking a third term. The winner of the Aug. 7 primary will face Republican Stuart Berry in November’s general election.

The format of the forum – hosted by the Ward 5 Democratic Party organization, and moderated by Gus Teschke – allowed Warpehoski and Armentrout to offer a clear contrast to prospective voters. They had four minutes to respond to each question, with an opportunity for a rebuttal and additional follow-up by the person who’d submitted the question.

Both Armentrout and Warpehoski were obviously knowledgeable about the range of topics they were asked to address by questioners.

The contrast emerged mainly in terms of the types of themes they emphasized, rather than differences in specific policy points – but some policy differences emerged as well. Throughout her remarks, Armentrout stressed her experience, knowledge and study of policy. For example, she introduced broad policy issues into the topic of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s administration of the city’s public parking system – in part by calling the parking system the “parking utility,” drawing a parallel between that and utilities like water or electric service. And she explained her thoughts on providing affordable housing and human services by appealing to her understanding of the history of federal grant funding to the city of Ann Arbor.

On that same topic, responding to a question from local activist Alan Haber, Warpehoski said he would spearhead – and is already spearheading – an effort to replace 100 units of affordable housing that were lost when the old YMCA building was condemned and demolished. His effort on that issue is a function of his day job as director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. He frequently appealed to the skills he uses in that job – the notion of listening, and working to bring people together for the common good. He described several times the kinds of conversations he’s been having with residents of the ward as he goes door-to-door canvassing, relating some of the specific stories from each neighborhood. He pointed to those kinds of conversations as the kind that he’d like to continue if he’s elected, as part of an effort to hear all the voices in the community.

Warpehoski fielded some pointed questions from attendees, including one about his endorsement by mayor John Hieftje. Did that mean he’d favor decision-making behind closed doors? Warpehoski told the audience he’d made clear to Hieftje that if elected, he’d push the mayor on two issues: public process and the independence of board and commission appointments. Responding to another audience question, Warpehoski also said he’d recuse himself from votes if it were appropriate to do that – due to his wife’s job as director of the getDowntown program.

Warpehoski was also challenged to account for his use of the phrase “transit opponents” in an op-ed piece he’d written about the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s effort to expand its governance and service area to a countywide region. He explained his use of that phrase by saying you have to look at people’s actions and whether those actions actually support transit – drawing an analogy to someone who says they are for “health” but who sits on the couch eating Kentucky Fried Chicken all day.

Support for a current countywide transit proposal was one clear policy difference between the two candidates. Warpehoski supports the framework embodied in a four-party agreement – between Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority – while Armentrout does not. At its Aug. 1 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners is expected to give final approval for that agreement, which the other three parties have already ratified.

After the jump, more detail is presented on questions and responses from the two candidates. [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Council Ward 5: Chuck or Vivienne?

A forum hosted by the Ann Arbor Democratic Party on July 14 featured eight candidates in four city council Democratic primary races. This article summarizes the responses from Ward 5 candidates Chuck Warpehoski and Vivienne Armentrout. The winner of the Aug. 7 primary will face Republican Stuart Berry in the November general election. Other races are covered in separate Chronicle articles.

Vivienne Armentrout Chuck Warpehoski

Ward 5 Ann Arbor city council candidates Chuck Warpehoski and Vivienne Armentrout. (Photos by the writer.)

The Ward 5 seat will be open this year, because incumbent Carsten Hohnke chose not to seek a third two-year term on the 11-member council – which includes the mayor and two representatives from each of the city’s five wards. Democratic primaries are contested this year in just four of the five wards, as Christopher Taylor is unchallenged in Ward 3.

Hohnke was first elected to the council in 2008, winning the general election against Republican John Floyd. In the August primary that year, Hohnke won a very close race against Armentrout, who is competing for a Ward 5 seat again this year.

Armentrout said she’s running based on her experience – and her involvement in the civic life of Ann Arbor. She cited her involvement with organizations like the Ecology Center, Project Grow, and the League of Women Voters. She also cited her service on public bodies like the city’s solid waste commission, the city budget review committee, as well as the Washtenaw County board of commissioners, an elected position that she held for eight years.

After she left the board of commissioners, she worked as a journalist, she said, focusing primarily on city issues for the Ann Arbor Observer. And she’s been writing a local issues blog since 2009 – Local in Ann Arbor. She wants to apply her experience to represent the residents of Ward 5.

Warpehoski told the forum attendees that he is running because he wants to serve the community. He stressed his strong Democratic values – like environmental protection, and a commitment to a strong social safety net. In his day job as executive director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, he is already serving the community, he said, but service on the city council is another way to serve the community. He stressed the importance of the mix that Ann Arbor offers – of a vibrant downtown and great neighborhoods.

Warpehoski noted that elections end up being a discussion about candidates. But fundamentally, he said, he does not believe that public service and elected office is about the candidate – rather, it’s about the community. That’s why the center of his campaign has been knocking on doors all across Ward 5, he said. And when he approaches the door, he said he’s not starting with a commercial for himself. Instead, he begins with a question: What’s on your mind about what’s going on in the city?

The single main policy issue that candidates were asked to address was a possible new train station at the Fuller Road site – and transportation is an issue on which Armentrout and Warpehoski have the most different perspectives. But the Fuller Road Station was touched on just briefly. Armentrout listed several reasons why she’s opposed to a rail station at Fuller Road, while Warpehoski is supportive of the idea. But he indicated that if the ultimate recommendation of a current study that’s being conducted is to locate a new facility at Fuller Road, he thinks it deserves a public referendum, because it is public land.

Aside from opening and closing statements, not a lot of specific local policy ground was covered by questions put to the candidates – due in part to a time constraint of about an hour for eight candidates. But the candidates did talk a great deal about issues of transparency and group dynamics on the city council – in response to the leadoff question from forum moderator Mike Henry, co-chair (with Anne Bannister) of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party.

Responding to the question of working as a group, Warpehoski described the techniques of “deep listening,” and stressed the importance of assuming good intent. For her part, Armentrout stressed the importance of  expressing mutual respect and in making decisions based on data and on the merits of the case, and “arguing politely,” whatever the case is.

Broadcast live earlier in the week on the Community Television Network was a League of Women Voters candidate forum that included Armentrout and Warpehoski, which is available online.

The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 7 primary has passed. Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote for the Tuesday, Nov. 6 general election. Information on voter registration can be found on the Washtenaw County clerk’s elections division website. To see a sample ballot for your precinct, visit the Secretary of State’s website. The League of Women Voters also has an online voter information site – – which includes biographical information on some candidates, stances on issues, and a “build my ballot” feature. [Full Story]