ANN ARBOR, MI – Voters in Ann Arbor’s 1st Area charge adjudge who’s activity to represent them on Burghal Lath for the aing four years, and there are two choices on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Jeff Hayner, who almost defeated Ron Ginyard with 51 percent of the vote in a blowzy Autonomous primary battle, now faces absolute Ryan Hughes, a autonomous left-wing and University of Michigan computer programmer who argues the hire in Ann Arbor is “too abuse high” and added affordable apartment is needed.
Hayner is a accomplished baron and baby business buyer with apropos about some of the new development Ann Arbor is seeing.
The candidates accept altered takes on issues alignment from affordable apartment to the city’s following of an $86 actor new alternation base in Fuller Esplanade to the approaching of the city-owned Library Lot and whether it should be awash for development or become a burghal park.
They discussed those issues and added during a contempo appointment hosted by the League of Women Voters.
“The Ann Arbor I fell in adulation with is diverse, alive and creative, but now we’re the eighth best absolute burghal breadth in the country and that’s a problem,” Hughes said.
“That’s not a botheration that the bazaar is activity to break for us. We accept to fix that. We accept to accomplish to allotment affordable housing.”
Hughes said the burghal additionally needs to authenticate that atramentous lives bulk by creating a badge blank agency with adequate ability and independence, a point on which Hayner agrees.
The two are aggressive for the bench actuality alone by Sumi Kailasapathy, who is abetment Hayner.
Hayner additionally has endorsements from Anne Bannister, the city’s added 1st Area rep, the bounded and accompaniment capacity of the Sierra Club, and Lath Affiliate Jack Eaton, D-4th Ward.
Hayner, a analyzer of the mayor, lath majority and Burghal Development Authority, is politically accumbent with the accepted boyhood band on lath that will be growing its ranks this month.
“For 35 years, I’ve lived in and affianced in our community, adopting my family, advance in our burghal and our schools and our busline systems, acquirements all I can about how our burghal works,” he said, abacus he reads every lath affair packet and is accessible to serve.
“With toxins in our baptize and developers gone agrarian on acquiescent zoning, we charge a amorous and knowledgable apostle of our acreage and baptize resources,” Hayner said.
“Your best in this acclamation is analytical for our city’s future. We’re acrimonious the best aggregation to represent Area 1.”
Hughes is accustomed by the Huron Valley Breadth Labor Federation, Huron Valley Autonomous Socialists, four accepted Burghal Lath associates and two above lath members. That includes Kirk Westphal, Julie Grand, Zachary Ackerman, Chip Smith, Sandi Smith and Jason Frenzel, all of whom are allies of Ambassador Christopher Taylor.
Multiple businesses in the Kerrytown area, including the Detroit Street Filling Station, additionally accept Hughes’ signs on display, while signs of abutment for Hayner can be begin at the address of the Ann Arbor Axial Esplanade Acclamation Committee, the accumulation abaft a angle for a burghal axial esplanade and borough centermost commons.
Hughes’ attack will analysis the catechism of whether an absolute can get adopted to Burghal Lath anymore, now that the burghal has switched to captivation lath elections alone in alike years.
With it actuality a federal midterm acclamation aback abounding Ann Arborites will be casting their votes for all Democrats up and bottomward the ballot, Hughes may be the underdog, but he believes the actuality that straight-ticket voting is now banned in Michigan gives him a boost.
Hayner said if he’s adopted he would assignment with Bannister and others on lath and in the association to focus priorities on what he thinks bodies absolutely charge from burghal government: responsiveness, integrity, and a safe, affordable and affable abode to alarm home.
Changes in the 1st Ward
The candidates were asked at the appointment to accompaniment their positions on three abeyant changes that could accept big impacts on Area 1, including conception of the Treeline burghal trail and redevelopments of the DTE Activity site along the Huron River off Broadway Street and the city-owned 721 N. Capital St. property.
Hughes bound his acknowledgment to talking about the 721 N. Capital acreage and the abeyant he sees for affordable apartment there.
“One of the capital things that I’d to see the burghal do is to armamentarium affordable apartment and body city-owned affordable apartment on acreage that the burghal already owns, and I anticipate the aliment acquiesce on North Capital is a abundant atom to body a mixed-use development there,” he said. “It’s endemic by the burghal and is affordable.”
Since the burghal can’t appoint hire ascendancy regulations on landlords beneath accompaniment law, Hughes said, accepting the burghal body its own affordable apartment is one way the burghal can set affordable rents.
“I appetite to see us armamentarium affordable apartment in a brace altered ways,” he said, suggesting the burghal should attribute a allocation for affordable apartment any time burghal acquirement increases.
Hughes said he additionally supports putting a burghal assets tax angle afore voters to armamentarium affordable housing. He said he would appetite it structured so it activated alone to bodies who could acquiesce it, demanding those who pay it at a bulk of 1 percent for association and corporations, and 0.5 percent for non-residents who assignment in the city.
“If we did that, we would accept affluence of money to assignment with the Ann Arbor Apartment Agency and Avalon Housing,” he said.
Hayner said he thinks the DTE beach armpit presents a abundant befalling for the burghal and for the Lower Town area.
“We charge to apple-pie up the contagion on that site, aboriginal and foremost,” he said, suggesting there should be a abundant accessible amplitude on the site. “And I anticipate there should be accessible amplitude on that site. Whatever development that happens there needs to annual the river and the adept plan.”
He added, “There’s been a lot of accomplishment on the allotment of the developers to assignment with neighbors to appear up with a affable affectionate of accommodation for that area. We charge to assignment with the neighbors more.”
The developer of the DTE site, which afresh submitted affairs to the city, is allurement to rezone the acreage from ablaze automated to campus business residential. Hayner said he “absolutely” opposes that and thinks it should be reconfigured as a planned assemblage development.
As for what to do with the city-owned acreage on North Capital Street, he said, there needs to be able-bodied accessible ascribe on that.
He acclaimed there are affairs to avenue the Treeline trail, a activity already referred to as the Allen Creek Greenway, through there.
“It is accessible land, it’s a accessible asset, and we charge to annual that,” Hayner said, acquainted there additionally are apropos about stormwater administration that could be addressed.
“The aboriginal eyes of the Allen Creek Greenway was … to actualize a greenway by not developing in the floodplain, and I anticipate that’s still important that we apprehend that vision,” he said.
Central esplanade proposal
The approaching of the city-owned Library Lot, which the burghal has agreed to advertise to Chicago developer Core Spaces for $10 actor to acquiesce a 17-story high-rise and capital to be built, is one of the best debated issues in the burghal and the accountable of a Nov. 6 acclamation angle that calls for anecdotic the lot as a burghal esplanade and borough commons.
The burghal affairs to put $5 actor of the auction gain against affordable apartment if the accord goes through.
“We charge affordable apartment and we charge a park,” Hughes said, abacus it’s aching to see about endemic acreage sold.
“Because, you know, my accomplished accord is I appetite to put affordable apartment on accessible land,” he said.
On the added hand, Hughes said, $5 actor for affordable apartment is “nothing to apprehend at.”
That’s the bulk of money that we’ve had in the affordable apartment assurance armamentarium cumulatively aback it was created in 1989, so that is a lot of money for affordable housing,” Hughes said.
According to the Ann Arbor Apartment Commission, every dollar from the burghal could be leveraged to get $25 added in alfresco allotment such as low-income apartment tax credits, so $5 actor could become $125 actor and pay for up to 500 new units of affordable housing.
“So that’s absolutely a huge accumulation of money for affordable housing, so I wouldn’t appetite to see that go away,” Hughes said.
Hughes said he thinks the 12,000-square-foot capital proposed as allotment of the Core Spaces development, with an alleviation so it’s an absolute accessible amplitude area chargeless accent applies, would be a “pretty adequate compromise” to go advanced with the development. The high-rise is accepted to accommodate a mix of high-end apartment and added “workforce” apartments set at 150 percent of fair bazaar rent.
“If I had my way, the burghal would abide owning the land, would body some added missing-middle blazon of apartment there, and all over the city, but several hundred units of affordable apartment in the duke is annual a brace thousand in the bush,” Hughes said.
Hayner, who is backed by supporters of the axial esplanade proposal, said what happens on the Library Lot is a bulk for voters to adjudge on Nov. 6 and “ask me Nov. 7 what I appetite to do with that.”
“You got to annual the will of the bodies and their application to get it on the acclamation in its aboriginal form,” he said of the esplanade proposal.
“If the vote is a yes and bodies vote yes to accumulate that as accessible land, again we’re activity to accept to get alive and we’re activity to bulk out what to do with that land,” he said.
If the esplanade angle is defeated and the development rights to be sold, he said, “Let’s assignment for the best accessible benefits.”
As for the $5 actor for affordable apartment that Hughes argues would be absent if the Core Spaces accord doesn’t go through, Hayner said, “You can’t lose article you never had.”
Hayner argues the Core Spaces development is not necessarily a adequate accord for the city.
He acclaimed there were added development annual for the Library Lot that would be beneath impactful and still accommodate a accessible space.
“All abundant cities accept a accessible space. They accept accessible spaces and accessible squares,” he said. “And so I don’t like this ‘one or the other’ — it’s alienated to the community. It’s not accomplishing the association justice.”
‘This affordability crisis’
Both candidates were asked area they’d abutment added affordable apartment in the 1st Ward.
Hayner said affordable apartment has become important to the burghal and there are a lot of bazaar armament at play.
“It’s a not a archetypal bazaar area accumulation and appeal is activity to break this issue,” he said. “We accept a university who builds appeal and it offers high-paying jobs, pays adequate wages, and so that drives up rents, and we additionally accept — it’s a abundant city, a lot of bodies appetite to alive here, and we’re consistently hyping our city.
“You know, we accept organizations in the burghal like the Burghal Development Authority whose actual actuality is predicated on adopting taxable value, and so that raises affordability issues also,” he added.
“One affair I would acclaim we do aboriginal is to attending aback at what we’ve been accomplishing for the aftermost 15 or 20 years or so that has got us in this position area we accept this affordability crisis — we accept this abundance alterity in the canton and in the city.”
Hughes believes the burghal needs to get far added austere about affordable housing.
He addendum the burghal has not kept clip with its affordable apartment goals set in 2015, which alleged for the conception of 2,787 new affordably priced rental units by 2035, or about 140 per year.
“That was three years ago and we’ve congenital 50 absolute aback then, so we’re not advancing anywhere a area we charge to be,” he said, acquainted hundreds of added affordable apartment units in the canton could alteration to market-rate apartment as affordability periods expire for projects congenital application low-income apartment tax credits.
“So we charge article big in adjustment to actualize the affordable apartment that we need,” he said. “We’ve been aggravating to cajole developers to put one or two units actuality and there, you know, into their clandestine development … and that’s not activity to get us to the 140.”
Hughes believes a burghal assets tax paid for by those who could acquiesce it would awning the costs to body 140 new units per year.
Hayner said the 1st Area has “all kinds of land” advancing assimilate the tax rolls, including belt islands and some ample properties.
“And so I’m calling for candid advance in the city,” he said. “When we attending at advance affective forward, we charge to apprehend that we’ve alone addressed one bazaar segment. We’ve addressed the high-end articulation of the bazaar and not the missing average and not the lower end. We’re 400 or 500 units abaft on the lower end.”
Hayner said infill development and attractive at the zoning for belt islands advancing into the burghal are adequate means to get a mix of uses.
“We charge chief housing, we charge affordable apartment at all levels up to the middle, and we charge accommodating housing,” he said. ‘We charge to be added anxious and added practical.”
$86M alternation base project
The two accept altered thoughts on whether the burghal should try to body an $86 actor alternation base in Fuller Park, a activity the burghal has been advancing in hopes that it would be mostly federally funded.
Hughes said accessible alteration is a advantageous advance and there are tens of bags of bodies commuting into Ann Arbor.
“And if we could get some of them assimilate trains rather than in alone cars, that would allay a lot of our cartage problems, and beneath abrasion and breach on our roads,” he said.
He said he’s not abiding if Fuller Esplanade is the absolute armpit for a new station, but he said Fuller Road can handle a lot of traffic.
“There’s affluence of amplitude there for parking, which the accepted armpit doesn’t absolutely have,” he said. “So, if we can get adequate allotment from the feds, again that sounds abundant to me.”
Hayner said he doesn’t anticipate there will be federal allotment for a base anytime anon and $86 actor could be bigger spent elsewhere.
“I’m a big adherent of transit, too, and alive in the 1st Area at the Barton and Pontiac intersection, added or less, we see the cartage every day,” he said, arguing the University of Michigan is amenable for at atomic some of that.
Hayner suggests befitting the Amtrak base at Depot Street for driver annual amid Detroit and Chicago and accepting UM body a European-style driver abuse belvedere forth the advance in advanced of the university hospital for Ann Arbor-Detroit driver service.
Hayner said there’s a lot that’s adequate about the accepted Depot Street area for a base in agreement of placemaking.
“It’s centrally located. It’s downtown. It’s activity to be aing to this new DTE development, the new Lower Town, and there’s a lot of befalling to assignment with the DTE developer to accede accumulation parking situations, to accede amenities and added things that would fit on their armpit aing to the bound amplitude of the station,” Hayner said.
“So, if we could accomplice with the development of the DTE site, I anticipate we’ll accept a bigger befalling to get the affectionate of base we charge for the Chicago trains, the through trains, the Detroit driver trains, and potentially additionally to actualize a new driver hub with them.”
After ablution his attack this year, Hayner faced abundant criticism from assorted association associates for actuality a lifetime National Rifle Association affiliate and sending tweets on capacity such as gun ascendancy and aborticide — as able-bodied as one authoritative advertence to penis admeasurement — that larboard some affronted and analytic his politics.
He has aback fabricated his Twitter annual private, but not afore assorted bodies took screenshots and aggregate them, and addition created an online database of his tweets.
Hayner has argued some of his tweets were taken out of ambience and mischaracterized, admitting he accustomed the penis antic he fabricated in advertence to a burghal authorization was in poor taste.
He said he considers himself a “pretty advanced guy” and he’s both pro-choice and in favor of gun ascendancy reforms, but that’s not the consequence some accept gotten from some of his tweets.
In a March 2 tweet, Hayner wrote:
“We appeal the appropriate to abortions! Also, ban accoutrements afore any added of our adored accouchement are killed! See how brainless that sounds? ‘Leftists’, go appropriate advanced & accept all the abortions you want, you’re accomplishing the apple a favor. #Overpopulation #WaterPlanet”
In an interview, Hayner explained that cheep by adage he was aloof “trolling” some “fake leftists” and he knew some bodies would booty it out of ambience and anticipate it’s outrageous.
On March 24, Hayner, who acknowledges he’s an NRA member, tweeted about a USA Today cavalcade in which Taylor aing added mayors beyond the nation in calling for gun ascendancy reforms and acceptance cities to accept bounded firearm restrictions to abate the blackmail of gun abandon while apropos built-in rights.
“We can do what needs to be done on guns, if our accompaniment legislatures get out of the way,” the cavalcade from the mayors stated.
Hayner tweeted: “Mayor Taylor attractive to ban accoutrements in #AnnArbor.”
Hayner said he’s alone an NRA affiliate because he started cutting accoutrements for activity as a teenager, continuing competitively into adulthood, and he had to be an NRA affiliate to participate. He said his dad paid a baby bulk to accomplish him a lifetime NRA affiliate abounding years ago and he hasn’t accustomed any money to the alignment aback then.
“I abhor their politics,” Hayner said, arguing there should be added restrictions on admission to accoutrements and he supports reasonable limitations that still annual built-in rights.
Some accept criticized Hayner for added tweets, including one in June 2015 aback he tweeted: “Why are some women bad at ciphering heights? Their accomplished activity men accept told them this is 12″ #a2council.” The cheep included a photo of a duke with the basis feel and deride spaced about an inch or two apart.
Hayner said it’s accomplished if bodies don’t get the antic and he acknowledges the cheep was in poor taste. For context, he said, he was biting an authorization afore lath that night apropos frondescence height.
In addition cheep from 2015 that’s been circulated, Hayner wrote: “Halfway to Halloween @necto Costume challenge at midnight – I’m activity as a douchebag yuppie that’s ruining A2. #a2council.”
Asked about the yuppie remark, Hayner said, “We absolutely accept our fair share. I mean, who pays seven bucks for a cup of coffee?”
Hayner, a Saginaw built-in who confused to Ann Arbor in 1983 and accelerating from the University of Michigan in 1987, believes there’s activity to be new activity on lath starting after this month.
Assuming he gets elected, he said, he looks advanced to alive with adolescent admission lath associates Ali Ramlawi and Kathy Griswold, as able-bodied as newcomer Elizabeth Nelson if she wins her race.
“I’ve formed up some adequate annual for bringing accuracy to burghal processes and accretion accessible apprehension and accessible accord opportunities,” Hayner said.
“Ward 1 has active, knowledgable residents,” he added. “There’s a lot of aciculate bodies alive up our way. We’ve apparently got the best assorted area in the accomplished burghal and it’s fantastic. It’s why we chose to alive there. And I’ve got a abundant aggregation abaft me with the ward, and I’m able to listen, and I’m able to booty a action.”
Hayner said he wants to get to assignment on acclimation the city’s baptize problems, and issues of candid growth, candid apartment and acreage use.
“And let’s accomplish absolute commitments to fix our anchorage and to break our longterm stormwater issues, and to bottle our parks, and to put sustainability practices into our burghal management,” he said. “It’s time to move advanced with Ann Arbor, to put a any affectionate of squabbles that we’ve had, and to move forward.”
Hughes, an Okemos built-in who came to Ann Arbor in 1998 to appear UM and acquire a amount in computer science, said he was aggressive by the Bernie Sanders presidential attack in 2016.
He acknowledges some of his annual ability abatement “outside the adequate political spectrum,” but he said if there’s one affair he took abroad from the Sanders campaign, it’s that bodies are accessible to vote for candidates with radical, alarming ideas.
“Ann Arbor is accepting a lot of growing pains appropriate now. None of us appetite to acquisition ourselves priced out of the burghal and we additionally don’t appetite to lose what we adulation about the city,” he said.
“We adulation that Ann Arbor is diverse, alive and creative.”
Hughes said he’s been advantageous abundant to acquiesce affairs a home in Ann Arbor’s Baptize Hill neighborhood, but he’s annoyed of watching added and added people, including longtime renters, priced out of the city. Prior to home ownership, he lived in accommodating apartment in Ann Arbor.
“I lived in the co-ops for 10 years and I was on the lath for five,” he said, apropos to the Inter-Cooperative Council.
“We fabricated all of our decisions by consensus,” he said. “We had 30 bodies in the room, we had to all agree, and that’s area I got my political apprenticeship there.
“That’s area I developed my political style, and I abstruse that you don’t win by acquisition your opponent. You win by alert to their annual and accumulation them. And again you acquisition that you’ve alone your adversary by axis them into a comrade.”
Hughes suggests complicated problems and disagreements about how to advance are a job for a accord architect with a d, accelerating vision, and he says that sounds like a job for a autonomous socialist.
Appealing anon to voters, Hughes said in closing at the forum, “Now I’m a lover, not a fighter, but I affiance that I will adulation angrily on your behalf, and I will never stop admiring for your rights.”
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