Priorities and Perspectives

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When I first ran for city council in 2011, I pledged to be a responsible steward of your tax dollars, to proactively address key 2nd Ward concerns and issues, and to bring an independent, common-sense perspective and voice to the council table.

I’ve worked hard to fulfill those commitments, and my priorities and guiding principles have not changed:

  • Fiscal responsibility – ensure your tax dollars are spent wisely, efficiently, and consistent with your priorities; insist on sound budgetary discipline
  • Responsible, sensible growth – realize economic growth through development that builds on the character of Ann Arbor and maintains the integrity and livability of our neighborhoods
  • Spending priorities – Basic services and Infrastructure re-investment shape the city budget to reflect these priorities; carefully scrutinize new discretionary spending proposals
  • Meaningful community engagement – increased level of meaningful resident and neighborhood engagement in decisions and policies impacting them
  • Taking the lead in addressing 2nd Ward issues

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed financial pressures on city government and on residents. Although the adverse impacts on the city are uncertain at this point, initial estimates for the fiscal year beginning July 1st are revenue losses of $10M in the city’s general fund and another $10M combined in the water, sewer and street funds.

The city can never afford to do all that elected officials and residents would like, but now the choices are even more difficult.  Fiscal responsibility and robust prioritization of scarce resources is always important – it’s absolutely essential in times like these.

In prioritizing city spending, my core belief is that city government spending should be aligned with community priorities, not those of elected officials and staff.  After all, it’s your money.  I led efforts to engage the community in setting budget priorities through two citizen surveys related to city spending conducted over the last 18 months.

I believe strongly that additional participation by residents is necessary to inform the difficult financial decisions the city will be making.  Especially now, the city must focus its resources and dollars on the continuing delivery of high-quality essential services and re-investment in core infrastructure  – streets, water, sewers – not on discretionary new programs, however desirable their objectives may seem.

I will be posting on this website page my views and positions on several major policy issues, so please plan to come back for another visit!