Updated: Council Candidates Taking Credit for the Work of Others (Including Their Opponents)

Updated: Council Candidates Taking Credit for the Work of Others (Including Their Opponents)

Updated: On Aug. 3, the Mayor sent out an email to residents in which he endorses Council candidates. Portions of Taylor’s email have been added to this article.

by Patricia Lesko

“To lie about an issue is to be a politician. To lie about a corporation is to be a public relation executive. To lie about a legal matter is to be a lawyer. To lie about international power relations is to be a diplomat. But to lie about who you are is to be a hypocrite, and voters despise hypocrites.”—Jack Shafer, Reuters, “Why we vote for liars.”

Council members Jason Frenzel (D-Ward 1), Zachary Ackerman (D-Ward 3) and Chip Smith (D-Ward 5) are all first-term incumbents running for re-election in contested races. They are joined by Jaime Magiera (D-Ward 4), running against incumbent Jack Eaton (D-Ward 4) for the second time. Other candidates running in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary election include Anne Bannister, Stephen Kunselman and David Silkworth.

In interviews with random residents hosting the yard signs of these candidates, as well as an examination of their campaign literature mailed in to residents and handed out door-to-door, several of the candidates are playing fast and loose with the truth, including about their votes and their legislative accomplishments. While interviews of residents at the door provided only anecdotal evidence of candidates who are willing to deceive voters, the candidates’ own campaign literature provides evidence that several of the candidates are willing to stretch the truth to get ahead (and to get votes).

They’re by no means alone in their efforts to deceive voters. National newspapers, magazines and digital news sites have spent the past months reporting on President Trump’s penchant for taking credit for the work of others.

In April 2017, AP Fact Check published this: “President Donald Trump claimed direct credit Tuesday for Toyota’s new investment in a Kentucky plant, calling it new evidence of economic improvement in a White House discussion with CEOs. The company says the move was planned long before Trump even announced he was running for president. It’s not the first time Trump has veered from reality…in his 82 days in office.”

In June 2017, Salon published, “Trump takes credit for new coal mine that had nothing to do with him.” In that piece, reporter Charlie May writes, “President Donald Trump is taking credit for the opening of a new coal mine in the state of Pennsylvania, even though plans were made for the mine to open ‘well before his election’ and the mine is expected to generate only 100 permanent jobs, according to the Los Angeles Times.”

More pertinent to Ann Arbor’s City Council races is this piece published on July 17, 2017 in the New York Times: “Trump Says He Has Signed More Bills Than Any President, Ever. He Hasn’t.”
Locally, a number of Council candidates are following the President’s lead and attempting to make thin legislative records into extraordinary “successes” and “proven results.”

The Ann Arbor Independent gathered the campaign literature of the seven candidates for City Council. (Photo: P. Lesko)
The Ann Arbor Independent examined the campaign literature of the candidates for City Council and compared the candidates’ printed literature to legislative records and information on campaign websites. (Photo: P. Lesko)

One Council candidate, Chip Smith, on his campaign literature handed out to voters claims: “In just 18 months on City Council” to have “created and or sponsored 35 pieces of legislation to help make Ann Arbor a better, safer community.” According to city records, that candidate’s legislative record includes:

  • Resolution to Approve Closing Washington Street Between Thayer and Fletcher for the ONE Vote Caravan Stop on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM
  • Resolution in Support of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Ballot Proposal
  • Resolution to Correct the Street Closure for the Townie Street Party on July 17-20, 2016 from North University Street to Washington Street
  • Resolution of Intent Regarding Potential Washtenaw County Millage to Support Community Mental Health Department, County Sheriff Operations, and Policing Jurisdictions Rebate
  • Resolution Committing the City of Ann Arbor to Adopt, Honor and Uphold Paris Climate Agreement Goals
  • Resolution Opposing Oil Transport through the Enbridge Energy Line 5 Pipeline
  • Resolution Opposing SB720 and HB5232
  • Resolution Opposing Public Act 269 and Requesting Appeal of the New Language in Section 57 of the Act
  • Resolution to Oppose Michigan House Bill 4425 Amending the Michigan Vehicle Code
  • Resolution Concerning Michigan’s Energy Policy and Current State Legislation Under Consideration
  • Resolution to Reappoint Susan Hutton, Robert Needham, and Karie Slavik to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Appoint Joshua Rego to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Appoint Veronica Hannah to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Re-Appoint Benjamin Muth and Alison Skinner to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Re-Appoint Christopher Graham to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Appoint Karie Slavik to the Environmental Commission
Chip Smith takes sole credit for strengthening the 1,4 Dioxane drinking water standards. Zachary Ackerman takes sole credit for the same accomplishment. They are both taking credit of the work of city staff and state officials.
Council candidate Chip Smith takes sole credit for strengthening the 1,4 Dioxane drinking water standards. Council candidate Zachary Ackerman takes sole credit for the same accomplishment. They are both taking credit for the work of city staff and state officials. (Photo: P. Lesko)

On his campaign webpage, Smith (without listing his legislative record or providing voters with a link to his legislative record) refers to his symbolic resolutions and board/commission appointment resolutions above as “proven results” of his “engaged leadership.”

A Ward 5 voter who hosted a yard sign for Smith, took it down after learning about Smith’s voting record. He replaced the Council member’s yard sign with that of his opponent, David Silkworth.

“The Mayor came to my door,” said the Ward 5 voter. Taylor said, ‘Chip Smith is a really nice guy.’ Then he asked if I would take a sign for Chip. I thought, ‘Why not?’ Silkworth knocked on my door a couple weeks later. I’m not necessarily in favor of a park on the Library Lot, but I do think we [the voters] should decide what happens to the land we own. Chip voted against that and then voted to sell the land.” The man, in his late-60s, folded his arms across his chest. “I didn’t realize that until Silkworth knocked on my door. I trusted the Mayor and that was a mistake obviously — one I won’t make again.”

In his endorsement email sent to Ann Arbor residents on August 3, Chris Taylor purports to recipients that: “Chip has worked to successfully strengthen the 1,4 dioxane standard to keep our drinking water safe.” Taylor adds, ignoring the reality of Smith’s legislative record, “If Chip is reelected, residents of the Fifth Ward can expect him to bring his great energy and expertise to improve basic services (storm water, street sweeping, and snow plowing).”

David Silkworth is also running in the Democratic primary election in Ward 5. Silkworth ran for City Council as an Independent in the Nov. 2016 general election. Silkworth’s campaign website and campaign literature distributed to voters are virtually identical. Silkworth writes:

I’m a lifelong Democrat, I come from a family of Union workers, and I served honorably in the United States Navy and the Navy Reserve.  I moved to Ann Arbor in 1993 to attend the University of Michigan, and I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998. I stayed in Ann Arbor after graduating because I felt that this community’s values were consistent with my own.

I believe that we need a city government that puts people first.

Our city is facing many important issues, and I will approach them with a high degree of integrity and transparency.  I will listen to residents’ concerns and be proactive and responsible in how I approach the issues.

At 23-years-old, Zachary Ackerman is the youngest candidate of the seven. A Burns Park resident who is hosting one of Ackerman’s yard signs said she was approached by Mayor Christopher Taylor.

“The Mayor said, ‘Zach’s a nice young man.’ Then Mayor Taylor asked if I would take a yard sign.” The woman, in her 70s, shrugged and raised her eyebrows, looking a bit embarrassed. “I probably should have asked a few questions, but I just took the sign. I voted absentee.” She declined to say whom she’d voted for.

Among the candidates, Ackerman’s campaign literature and his campaign website contain numerous examples of taking credit for the work of others, including his opponent, Stephen Kunselman. To social science researchers, this probably isn’t a surprise.

Studies have shown that millennials in the workplace are seen as disproportionately entitled, and are willing to sacrifice work friends for a promotion. Research also shows that they are even more willing to lie to get ahead. Millennials — defined as anyone between 19 and 36 years old — say they would take credit for someone else’s work to get ahead more than five times as frequently as Boomers, according to a study published in 2014. According to the study, 62 percent of millennials say they would lie to get ahead, while 68 percent of Baby Boomers say they would never contemplate doing so.

In his campaign literature Ackerman writes, “Since November, national government has been dominated by…fear and falsehoods…. Ann Arbor rejects this style of politics and deserves elected leaders who will uphold the values that define us.”

On his campaign literature, Ackerman takes credit for:

  1. “Preventative maintenance roads plan” (The work of the City Administrator and city staff);
  2. “Long-awaited sidewalk on Ellsworth” (In the city’s staff-prepared Capital Improvements Plan before Ackerman was elected in 2015);
  3. “Stricter cleanup standard for 1,4 Dioxane that threatens our drinking water” (The work of city staff and state officials; city staff and local hydrologists have repeatedly told Council members and the public that there is no evidence that 1,4 Dioxane threatens the city’s drinking water.) [Note: On their campaign literature, both Chip Smith and Zachary Ackerman take sole credit for strengthening the 1,4 Dioxane drinking water standard.];
  4. “New Fire Department Strategic Plan and critical leadership roles in the Fire Department filled” (The work of the City Administrator, Chief of Police and Fire Chief; Council members do not oversee staffing in the Fire Department other than to vote on the City Administrator’s selection of a Fire Chief.);
  5. “Fully funded Forestry Plan, bringing 1,000 new trees to our neighborhoods” (This plan was created by city staff and residents and approved by Council in 2014, before Ackerman was elected; his opponent Stephen Kunselman voted to approve the Forestry Plan for which Ackerman takes credit.)
On his campaign literature, Zachary Ackerman takes credit for the work of city staff and his opponent, Stephen Kunselman. (Photo: P. Lesko)
In his campaign literature, Zachary Ackerman takes credit for the work of city staff and his opponent, Stephen Kunselman. (Photo: P. Lesko)

Ackerman’s 18-month legislative record includes a large number of symbolic Council resolutions. The Ward 3 Council member put forth a total of 27 resolutions, 12 of which were purely symbolic, including:

  • Resolution of Intent Regarding Potential Washtenaw County Millage to Support Community Mental Health Department, County Sheriff Operations, and Policing Jurisdictions Rebate
  • Resolution Committing the City of Ann Arbor to Adopt, Honor and Uphold Paris Climate Agreement Goals
  • Resolution Authorizing a Commitment to Pursue Community Solar Options that are compatible with the City Council “Resolution Authorizing a Commitment to Making the City of Ann Arbor a Solar Ready Community”
  • Resolution to Encourage Support to Fund the Fire Protection Grant Program
  • Resolution Opposing Elimination and Reduction of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Programs Which are Vital to Washtenaw County Residents
  • Resolution in Support of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Ballot Proposal
  • Resolution Affirming The City of Ann Arbor’s Participation in the Welcoming Communities Campaign
  • Resolution Opposing Oil Transport through the Enbridge Energy Line 5 Pipeline
  • Resolution of Opposition to the Establishment of Any State-wide Discriminatory Laws by Constitutional Amendment or Legislation

Nonetheless, Ackerman tells voters in his literature that he “will continue to make decisions based on fact, not impulse and to promote policies that create a fiscally, economically and environmentally sustainable Ann Arbor.”

Ackerman sponsored the above symbolic resolutions as well as legislation to appropriate $1,000 from the city’s General Fund for a one-time bicycle light giveaway (after bicyclists were killed on city streets.) At the Dec. 2015 meeting when that resolution was passed, Ward 5 Council member Chip Smith said, “This is a Band-Aid. This is a short-term fix. What these tragedies that we’ve had in our community over the last year tell us is that we have a need for better pedestrian/cycling infrastructure.”

In May 2017, both Ackerman and Smith voted against allocating $450,000 for improved lighting and signage of pedestrian crosswalks at Ann Arbor elementary and middle schools. Ackerman repeatedly voted against city budget amendments proposed to allocate more money to street lighting.

Ackerman sponsored a resolution to amend the city’s Chicken Ordinance and an ordinance related to fine payments for home/business alarm systems.

In his Aug. 3 endorsement email sent to residents, Chris Taylor told recipients, “To further improve our roads, we are also now deploying a new plan that emphasizes preventative measures — like patching and sealing — to address short terms needs, not just major overhauls. Zach has been a constant champion of this new approach.” Taylor adds, “Finally, Zach has worked hard to support and fund our Urban Forest Management Plan.”

Stephen Kunselman served four terms on City Council and during his eight years in office, Kunselman sponsored 76 resolutions, including nine ordinances. During his time on Council, Kunselman sponsored just three symbolic resolutions, one in 2005, 2014 and 2015:

  1. (2005) Resolution Supporting Adoption of the Michigan Renewable Energy Sources Act.
  2. (2014) Resolution in Support of International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014
  3. (2015) Resolution against the Elimination of Local Governments’ Authority to Raise Local Labor Market Standards above State Minimums

Kunselman’s campaign literature and his website tell voters, “I am proud of the honesty, integrity, transparency and fiduciary responsibility I brought to our City Government. I will continue to focus on the public health, safety and welfare of our community.”

Stephen Kunselman's campaign literature, his website are virtually identical. His legislative record backs up the assertions made in his printed campaign materials and on his website. (Photo; P. Lesko)
Stephen Kunselman’s campaign literature and his website are virtually identical. His legislative record backs up the assertions made in his printed campaign materials and on his website. (Photo; P. Lesko)

In 2013, Kunselman’s Resolution to Support Education on Professional Standards of Conduct for City Officials and Direction to Council Rules Committee to Draft Appropriate Standard of Conduct was passed.

Stephen Kunselman’s legislative record shows that, while in office, he did focus on fiduciary matters, public health, safety and welfare:

  • Resolution Requesting Cost Estimate for the Temporary Re-Establishment of Three Outdoor Natural Ice Rinks at Burns Park, Allmendinger Park, and Northside Park
  • Resolution Removing Moratorium on New Lighting of the Public Right-of-Way in the City of Ann Arbor
  • Resolution to Support Best Practices in Response to Homeless Camps in the City of Ann Arbor
  • Resolution to Approve a Five-Year Partnership Agreement with Community Action Network for Operation of Bryant and Northside Community Centers (Not to Exceed $130,000.00/per year)
  • Resolution to Increase General Fund Safety Services Budget by $125,000.00 to Fund Police Overtime for Traffic Enforcement (8 Votes Required)
  • Resolution Requiring City Attorney Written Opinion on Legality of Transferring Voter Approved Street Millage Funds to Public Art Fund
  • Resolution Requiring Review of Downtown Development Authority FY13 Tax Increment Finance Calculation and Capture
  • Resolution Opposing Mayoral Nominations of City of Ann Arbor Employees to Office Appointments
  • Resolution to Reduce Fees at the City’s Golf Courses Effective for the 2008 Golf Season and Increase the Senior Citizen Qualification Age
  • Resolution to End the Temporary Suspension of the 2008 Sidewalk Improvement Program

Council member Jack Eaton, 67 64, is a labor lawyer. He is seeking a third term in office. His campaign literature distributed to voters and his website are virtually identical. Eaton writes, “I was elected to City Council in November 2013 and won re-election in 2015. In my two terms, I championed issues of transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and community values. I sponsored a resolution to disclose information about a planned train station that City staff had denied under FOIA. I serve on the Council’s rules committee and assisted in the drafting of ethics rules for Council members. I also sponsored a resolution to place the issue of the sale of the library lot on the ballot when petitions to do that fell short of the required signatures due to technicalities. Importantly, I helped draft and co-sponsored an ordinance prohibiting City employees from collecting immigrant status information.”

In his two terms in office, Eaton has sponsored 48 Council resolutions, including three ordinances.

  1. On April 3, 2017, Eaton sponsored the Ordinance to Amend the Code of the City of Ann Arbor by Adding a New Chapter Which New Chapter Shall be Designated as Chapter 120 (Solicitation of Immigrant Status) of Title IX of Said Code (Ordinance No. ORD-17-02)
  2. On June 6, 2016, Eaton sponsored the Resolution to Disclose Information Regarding Potential Locations for a New Amtrak Train Station;
  3. On Nov. 5, 2015, Eaton sponsored the Resolution to Require Voter Approval for Any Agreement to Sell or Lease Development Rights to Any Portion of the Library Lot Site;
  4. On Feb. 17, 2015, Eaton sponsored the Resolution Removing Moratorium on New Lighting of the Public Right-of-Way in the City of Ann Arbor;
  5. On Oct. 6, 2014, Eaton sponsored the Resolution for Public Legal Opinion Regarding Homeowner Tax Assessment.

Eaton’s legislative record corresponds to what his campaign literature asserts to Ward 4 voters. Among his resolutions are also ones which were symbolic, though in four years on Council Eaton has sponsored, in total, significantly fewer symbolic resolutions than Ackerman and Smith have during their 18 months in office:

  • Resolution Directing the City Administrator and City Attorney to Report to City Council on Issues Raised by Presidential Executive Order No. 13,768 Dated January 25, 2017
  • Resolution to Urge President Obama and Ann Arbor’s State Legislators to Take Action to Protect Deferred Action for Child Arrivals Program Youth
  • Resolution against the Elimination of Local Governments’ Authority to Raise Local Labor Market Standards above State Minimums
  • Resolution Authorizing the City of Ann Arbor to be Listed as a Supporting Municipality in an Amicus Brief to be filed with the United State Supreme Court in April DeBoer, et al., v. Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, et al
  • Resolution in Support of International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014

Jaime Magiera is running to represent Ward 4 on City Council for a second time. He is supported by Council members and others closely allied with the Mayor. Magiera’s endorsement from Ward 4 Council member Graydon Krapohl states, “Jaime has a strong track record of ethical leadership….” The Huron Valley Labor Federation-AFL-CIO disagrees. The group declined to endorse Magiera, who sought the endorsement and, instead, endorsed his opponent.

Magiera’s campaign literature identifies him as “Vice President, People’s Food Co-op Board.” A spokesman from the Huron Valley Labor Federation-AFL-CIO said that the group plans to target Magiera because of his part in thwarting the formation of a labor union by Co-op staff members, and his involvement as a member of the PFC Board in hiring a union-busting labor lawyer.

The union is sending walkers door-to-door in Ward 4 and dropping the piece, below, which tells voters that Eaton’s opponent, Magiera, does not support workers’ “freedom to organize.”

Union_Flyer

Magiera has persistently lied to voters in an effort to convince Ward 4 residents that he is “cut from a different cloth and [doesn’t] align neatly with any existing group on council.” Magiera writes on his website, “That’s an asset: it means less time playing to internal group politics….” In June 2017, The Ann Arbor Independent reported on Magiera’s attempt to bamboozle Ward 4 voters. Not only did Magiera claim in the June 2017 A2 Insight video interview not to belong to any “political camp,” he had been given the interview questions in advance. Magiera then posted that promotional interview, complete with scripted answers, to his website as “The Campaign in the Press.”

Jaime Magiera's campaign literature includes a quote from a Council member who touts the candidate's "ethical leadership." (Photo: P. Lesko)
Jaime Magiera’s campaign literature includes a quote from a City Council member who touts the candidate’s “ethical leadership.” (Photo: P. Lesko)

Like Ackerman and Smith, Ward 1 appointed Council member Jason Frenzel’s campaign literature and his campaign website take great liberties with the truth and obfuscate the facts, beginning with the number of resolutions sponsored. Frenzel, in his campaign literature distributed to voters writes under the heading “Legislative accomplishments”:

“Sponsored more than 25 resolutions” (City records show he sponsored 17 resolutions.) Of the 17 resolutions Frenzel has sponsored, five were symbolic and another three were resolutions to appoint individuals to boards and commissions:

  • Resolution of Intent Regarding Potential Washtenaw County Millage to Support Community Mental Health Department, County Sheriff Operations, and Policing Jurisdictions Rebate
  • Resolution Committing the City of Ann Arbor to Adopt, Honor and Uphold Paris Climate Agreement Goals
  • Resolution Authorizing a Commitment to Pursue Community Solar Options that are compatible with the City Council “Resolution Authorizing a Commitment to Making the City of Ann Arbor a Solar Ready Community”
  • Resolution Opposing Elimination and Reduction of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Programs Which are Vital to Washtenaw County Residents
  • Resolution to Urge President Obama and Ann Arbor’s State Legislators to Take Action to Protect Deferred Action for Child Arrivals Program Youth
  • Resolution to Reappoint Susan Hutton, Robert Needham, and Karie Slavik to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Appoint Joshua Rego to the Environmental Commission
  • Resolution to Appoint Veronica Hannah to the Environmental Commission

In his Aug. 3 endorsement email sent to city residents, Chris Taylor characterizes Frenzel’s legislative record as evidence that “Jason quickly proven himself to be a responsive and engaged Councilmember.”

Frenzel’s campaign literature tells voters he, “Passed 100% of sponsored legislation.” (In May 2017, Frenzel sponsored a budget amendment to defund the deer cull and it was defeated.)

Frenzel, in his literature distributed to voters writes under the heading “Climate Change”:

“Adopted a green-fleets policy for purchasing new city vehicles” (On June 19, 2017, the Resolution Directing the City Administrator to Update and Revive the City of Ann Arbor’s ‘Green Fleets Policy’ was sponsored by Chip Smith and Frenzel.)

On his campaign website, Frenzel writes, “First and foremost, we need to focus on basic services, infrastructure, and safety.”

Council candidate Jason Frenzel's printed campaign materials exaggerate his legislative record. He takes credit for the work of city staff and his council colleagues.
Council candidate Jason Frenzel’s campaign website and his printed campaign materials exaggerate his legislative record. He takes credit for the work of city staff and the work of his council colleagues. (Photo: P. Lesko)

In a July 2017 campaign video, Jason Frenzel tells voters that his “first priority is Ann Arbor’s efforts on climate change.” In a July 6, 2017 interview published by The Michigan Daily (Substitute City Council member Jason Frenzel for Ward 1 seeks election”) Jason Frenzel says, “…one of his main goals will be to find greater financial support for climate action plans –– the issue he says is dearest to his heart.”

In his campaign literature, Frenzel takes credit for having:

“Launched three-year prioritized plan to improve pedestrian safety in school zones.” (He didn’t launch any such plan.)

“Increased traffic enforcement and penalties in school zone.” (The police enforcement was temporary.)

“Reviewed potential changes in zoning codes and recommended strategies for affordable rental improvement.” (Such micro-management of city staff, boards and commissions is forbidden by both the City Charter, as well as Council rules. Those rules stipulate the Council members may not direct city staff or the members of boards and commissions.)

“Identified funding increase of $500,000 for pedestrian safety.” (Ward 2 Council member Jane Lumm (I) in one of her May 2017 budget amendments identified $450,000 to offset the cost of pedestrian safety improvement in school zones. Frenzel voted against the amendment.) On July 3, 2017 Frenzel co-sponsored the symbolic Resolution of Intent Regarding Potential Washtenaw County Millage to Support Community Mental Health Department, County Sheriff Operations, and Policing Jurisdictions Rebate. The $500,000 in funding “identified” by Frenzel would come from Ann Arbor’s portion of a not-yet approved county-wide millage.

Under both Affordable Housing and Climate Change, Frenzel writes, “Identified $1 million in annual funding for the next 10 years.” On July 3, Frenzel co-sponsored the symbolic Resolution of Intent Regarding Potential Washtenaw County Millage to Support Community Mental Health Department, County Sheriff Operations, and Policing Jurisdictions Rebate. The $1 million in funding “identified” by Frenzel would come from Ann Arbor’s portion of a not-yet approved county-wide millage.

In his Aug. 3 endorsement email, Chris Taylor promises voters that, “Going forward, Jason’s priorities include an emphasis on economic stewardship, community-focused transit and walkability, affordability, and our parks and open spaces.”

Council candidate Anne Bannister's website and her printed campaign literature are identical. (Photo: P. Lesko)
Council candidate Anne Bannister’s website and her printed campaign literature are identical. (Photo: P. Lesko)

 

Anne Bannister’s campaign website and her campaign literature are identical. Under the heading “Issues” on her website, Bannister presents the two sides of her campaign literature. Bannister writes:

Let’s Work Together To….

  • Make sure development is harmonious with our neighborhoods
  • Protect our river from heavy metal/Dioxane contamination
  • Make city government more transparent
  • Budget tax dollars in response to citizen priorities
  • Accelerate neighborhood sewer and road repairs
  • Prioritize public safety, especially for schoolchildren

 

13 Responses to "Updated: Council Candidates Taking Credit for the Work of Others (Including Their Opponents)"

  1. Pingback: 2017 City Council Aug. 8 Primary Election Coverage Round-up | The Ann Arbor Independent

  2. ward4voter   August 3, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Someone should ask Jaime Magiera if he understands that in a university titles (and telling the truth about your title) matter. Perhaps he doesn’t know there is a vast difference between a lecturer and a full professor, between a department chair and a dean and between a desktop specialist and a system administrator.

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  3. Jeff Hayner   August 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    We are seeing the next step in the “rule by appointment” era, especially as we move toward longer office terms.It started with the filling Boards and Commissions with political cronies back in Heiftje’s reign and continues to this day.

    Frenzel was appointed to fill a term, so he can call himself an incumbent with a legislative record. Jen Eyre was appointed to WCBOC to fill a term, she endorses Maigera as “Former Washtenaw County Commissioner”. Maigera was granted his PFC Board Seat due to a drop-out. It is, as the article points out, an exhibition of “disproportionate entitlement”.

    And some of the claims are just outrageous, almost delusional. As but one example from my ward, Frenzel has re-cast his ethically-challenged vote to sell the Library Lot as “Partnered with colleagues and non-profit organizations to set aside $5 million one-time budget allocation [for Affordable Housing]. Say what?

    I say ethically-challenged vote, because he was not elected at all, let alone to sell the people’s land, but make no mistake, if he had not already committed to a Yes vote (as he admits in his fanciful recasting of events) he would not have been given that seat – the 8th vote NEEDED to sell. Any Appointee with any sense of decency would have recused themselves from voting on such a contentious issue. I know I would have.

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  4. Pingback: Ward 4 Council Candidates Go Head-to-Head: Magiera vs. Eaton | The Ann Arbor Independent

  5. Robert Kruger   August 2, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Brilliant! When do we ever get a chance to compare all of their campaign materials much less with the actual voting and other records? The mayor’s boys are obviously trying to spin, spin, spin the time they wasted into success and proven results. What a joke. Steve Kunselman’s record shows what can be done – minus the baloney filler served up by Smith, Ackerman and Frenzel.

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  6. A2Dem   August 1, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    “The Ann Arbor Independent examined the campaign literature of the seven candidates for City Council and compared the candidates’ printed literature to legislative records and information on campaign websites.” Shame on you! Doing actual journalism about the council members’ records instead of just letting them talk and writing it down. How will the mayor’s sock puppets ever get re-elected?

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  7. dumptrump   August 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I have never seen this kind of comparison of candidates in any Ann Arbor newspaper. If we’re going to hold our state and U.S. reps to their votes it’s high time we did the same thing with local candidates. Comparing the actual records of Kunselman and Ackerman makes the decision easier. No hyperbole, no bs about who’s in whose pocket, just a comparison of what the two have actually done. Thanks.

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  8. Tim O'Connell   August 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Once again, WOW! Just WOW!

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  9. Kai Petainen   August 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for taking my question. I’m hearing two sides to this story and so I’m trying to figure out the facts and where the disconnect is between Magiera and the A2Indy on this matter.

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    • The Ann Arbor Independent Editorial Team   August 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      It’s not a disconnect. The candidate is actively (once again) trying to deceive Ward 4 voters. The informational material the Huron Valley Labor-AFL-CIO union walkers are passing out in Ward 4 is clear. The union is opposing Jaime because he obstructed the efforts of the workers at the People’s Food Co-op when they attempted to organize. This candidate is having trouble telling voters the truth about who he is, what he thinks, who supports him and what he did as a member of the PFC Board of Directors.

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  10. Kai Petainen   August 1, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Question. With regard to the co-op, Magiera has stated this: “That’s hilarious. How many times will she repeat the fantasy that the Co-Op board hired a lawyer? It’s in our bylaws that we only have the ability to hire/fire the general manager. Jack repeated the same nonsense at the A2 Dems forum saying “The People’s Food Co-Op Board voted…”. I called him out on that lie. He got real sheepish because he knows it’s a lie. Also, this article claims I tried to get the AFL-CIO endorsement. I didn’t. I didn’t fill out the survey.”. Do you have any thoughts about his statement?

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    • The Ann Arbor Independent Editorial Team   August 1, 2017 at 10:57 am

      @Kai, thanks for your comment. I served on the PFC Board of Directors, on the Executive Committee. At the time I ran, Board positions were assigned based on the number of votes candidates received. I received the second highest number of votes among the candidates and so was required to serve on the EC. As a result, I’m well aware of the responsibilities of the PFC Board members with respect to the supervision and management of the Co-op’s General Manager.

      The General Manager must consult with the Board if an outside attorney needs to be hired. The Board, in its capacity as overseer of the General Manager, is responsible for making sure that all of the GM’s work and decisions are in step with the principles and values of the FPC’s bylaws and the will of its membership. The responsibility for the hiring of that union-busting lawyer rests squarely on the shoulders of the PFC Board, including Magiera.

      PFC workers contacted the A2 Indy with allegations that they were being forced into unpaid overtime and that Board members (including Jaime) had been made aware of these allegations, but had done nothing. It was part of the reason the workers chose to form a union.

      The PFC’s union organizers informed the Board of the workers’ desire to bargain collectively and that they had the necessary number of cards signed to call for a vote. The Board and the GM were legally entitled to simply recognize the union (once formed) and to then bargain a contract. This is what Dr. Mary Sue Coleman did with LEO (the lecturers’ union) at U-M. Instead, the Board did nothing when the GM hired a lawyer from a firm that does work related to union-busting. Jaime Magiera was the VP of that Board. This is why the union organization is actively working to defeat him. So far as I know, the union (which made other endorsements in our Council races) is not dropping lit or walking in any other Ward.

      Unions officials said that all of the candidates for Council this time around had pursued the endorsement. They said that Jaime had pursued it the last time he’d run, but had missed the deadline to apply.

      I’m not sure how Jaime’s answer to your reasonable questions does anything other than to further damage his already-damaged credibility. Good for you for asking him.

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    • Jeff Hayner   August 2, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      It’s an odd sticking point but I will chime in. Based on my own experience serving on a non-profit Board; there is no way our General Manager would have been given authority to hire a labor lawyer on behalf of the business in the first place. IMO that is a matter solely for the Board to decide; perhaps in consultation with the GM.

      This is even more imperative in the case of the Co-op where it is governed by it’s member/owners. (full disclosure I am long-time member and I vote). If the GM first hired a lawyer, then sought approval from the Board, a record of Board members Y/N to the hire vote should exist. If the GM was given discretion by the Board or by hiring contract that’s a different matter. Hate to think that my Co-op board is taking ZERO responsibility for employee relations!

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