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Thursday, July 26, 2012

City Council candidates attend Meet & Greet hosted by Ypsilanti Area Jacyees

Photo Credit-ROJS News
Ypsilanti City Council Candidate Mike Eller
addresses potential voters at Mix Marketplace
in Downtown Ypsilanti on 7/26.
Candidates for Ypsilanti City Council attended a public meet and greet session, at the Mix Marketplace, moderated by David Palmer and hosted by the Ypsilanti Area Jaycees this evening. 

Seven-two potential voters in the upcoming August 7th primary attended the event.

Five of the six candidates vying to lead Ypsilanti legislative branch of government attended the event. Democratic Ward 1 candidates Tyrone Bridges and Steve Pierce, along with Ward 3 candidates Mike Eller, incumbent Ypsilanti Council member Peter Murdock and Ted Windish were present. Lois Richardson (D), incumbent elected official in Ward 1, was not in attendance.

"Why did Ypsilanti not get an opportunity to have Costco in our community?" Ward 3 candidate Ted Windish asked. "If we can stay lend, then we can be competitive with out neighboring communities. At one point in time, Ann Arbor was once our little brother."

A audience member directly one of the candidates, whom they voted for in the last Presidential election suggesting that one of the candidate running as a Democrat, was not fully align with the party's platform.

"I voted for a Democratic candidate numerous times in the previously," reply was to audience member from a question originally posed by moderator David Palmer.

Palmer asked potential Ypsilanti City Council members what they would do directly, to address the outstanding Water Street debt.

"The new City Manager has a lot of energy to solve our problems here in Ypsilanti." Incumbent City Council Member Pete Murdock replied. "The Water Street debt is a factor."

Murodck expressed Ypsilanti's public/private partnerships ventures, such as with Cross Street presents a way for the city to provide services with reduced public resources.

"Cross Street is a great example of a public/private partnership at work." Murdock cited. "We're working with reduced resources and we're forced to find new ways to make things work in this community."

Resident, Community Activist and Ypsilanti High School alumni Ward 1 candidate Tyrone Bridges, highlighted the importance of the city being a strong, vital community.

"Ypsilanti is a strong place and Ypsilanti is great," Bridges stated. "We'll have to think outside of the box to solve to address our issues."

Bridges addressed moderator Palmer's next question regarding if Ypsilanti would be facing a State Takeover or Emergency Manager in upcoming years, what would each City Council candidate do to avoid the action from occurring, if elected.

"I believe by thinking outside of the box, this is the way to prevent any State takeover of Ypsilanti in the immediate future," Bridges addressed.

Ward 1 Candidate and Wireless Ypsi co-owner Steve Pierce told the audience that Ypsilanti government must address structural fiscal matters of meeting payroll, receivables and pensions obligations.

"The best way to avoid a state takeover of Ypsilanti is to pay bills, pay city employees and don't ask for assistance; and a emergency manager will not come into our city," Pierce noted. 

"Decisions made regarding pensions years prior are issues that both property owners and businesses in Ypsilanti are dealing with. As for Water Street, we need to listen to ideas of residents in this community to property deal with this debt."

Palmer asked the residents vying for City Council positions what would be their first priority after being officially voted into office on November 6, and to represent Ypsilanti 's Ward 1 and 3 ballot choices after Tuesday, August 7th primary.

"My goal would be to prepare to hit the ground running," Ted Windish stated. 

Mike Eller, candidate for Ward 3, cited plans to immediately determine what's required to deal Ypsilanti budgetary problems.

"If elected to office to serve Ypsilanti's residents, I would make recommendations to move this city forward with the limited resources we currently have," Eller stated.

Pierce told residents crime related activities in Ypsilanti Public Housing communities must be addressed for both Ward 1 citizens and community members.

"I want to be the Council representation for Ward 1. We have to do something about the way public housing his handled within this city to address crime related activities for residents." Pierce stated. "The Director of Public Housing should have to live in public housing for 30 days."

Potential voters have another opportunity to meet local candidates for elected offices in Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and area Washtenaw County races during a candidate forum on Saturday, July 28th at the Parkridge Community Center 591 Armstrong Drive Ypsilanti, MI from 10:00 AM - Noon.

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