Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chip Smith for Ann Arbor's Fifth Ward

First, the most important public announcement. The Fifth Ward (like most of Ann Arbor) is heavily democratic. So whoever wins in August wins in November. Specifically, the election is next Tuesday, August 4th. More fun stuff about the turnout at the end (including videos with Duke). But endorsement.

The race is between the incumbent Mike Anglin and the challenger Chip Smith.

There are distinct differences.

First, the incumbent: 

I had high hopes for Mike Anglin, with a labor background I thought he'd make a really great voice for the people....whether he exactly shared my beliefs or not, his labor background had me hopeful. I don't know if you've ever sat through a City Council Meeting. I try not to. However at least twice a year I find myself in council chambers for either a meeting or a working session. Mike Anglin is an embarrassment. His questions show an extreme lack of preparation, to the point of not even understanding the bill or motion in front of him. The other day he a council meeting...that we really couldn't proceed without a traffic study. Two separate traffic studies were included in the board packet. The man had not even looked through, let alone studied, the packet provided him by staff.

If you want this job, it does take work and preparation. We are electing you to be a leader. I don't see that from the incumbent. I know of only one bill he has introduced (there may be others), and it was authored by someone else. I have heard him and his supporters say "I'm not against development, I'm just against bad development". Please name one tiny thing that Mike Anglin may have done to promote "good development". I'm not asking for what he may have voted against, I'm asking what he has done to promote this "good development" he talks about. Again, asleep at the wheel.

Frankly, after watching him in action, if he were running unopposed I'd write any name in.

Next, the challenger:

Chip Smith has an urban planning background. That means he understands how cities operate. He studies best practices in the basic services....Precisely what local government should be focusing on. I've had talks with him about exciting infrastructure stuff like sewer systems, fiber optic backbone, means of funding infrastructure, etc. In short, the guy is qualified to step in on day one and be better prepared than Mike Anglin is after six years on the job.

Chip understand transportation, and how it plays into economic development.

Chip understands tax policy, and how it can be used to improve our services and infrastructure.

We've had some fine representation over the years, but Chip Smith may be one of the best prepared people to apply for this job. He is a clear and intelligent spokesman for the policies he believes in.

Please join me in making a difference on the Ann Arbor City Council by voting for Chip Smith. If you want to learn more about him, you can check out his campaign website:

You will find fun videos there, as well as on his facebook page:

Here's his "Introduction" Video. You can also see videos on "Basic Services", "Attainable Housing" and more.

What Do Others Say?

I mentioned the incumbent's union background. In spite of this, the Huron Valley Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO) endorses Chip.

Mlive endorses Chip. The link contains all of MLive's endorsements. I don't agree with all of them, but what is notable is that in the other races they give the nod to the incumbent, and they do so on the basis of experience. And yet they ignore Anglin's six years of experience, call his lack of leadership disappointing, and basically give my assessment (though in gentler terms) of "asleep at the wheel".

Why Should I Vote At All?

I've heard it before. But even my dog has gotten into the get-out-the-vote action. Check him out. CivCity is a new 501(c)3 organization designed to promote civic engagement. They have done five videos on the subject of encouraging voting next week: a teaser-trailer and one for each of the contested wards. Duke is in several, but here is the trailer and Ward 5:

As Mar y Morgan points out, this primary is the real election. And VERY FEW PEOPLE SHOW UP FOR THESE ELECTIONS. If you don't think your vote matters, this is your time. A couple of votes could make the difference.