anti-gawlas literature seen in ypsi’s second ward

It looks like there may be some election shenanigans going on in Ypsi’s second ward. I’ve just been told that an Ypsi City Council member, who is currently running for reelection, has filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of State over a piece of campaign literature anonymously distributed this weekend. (I’ve posted a copy of the complaint here for those who are interested.) According to the complaint, Councilman Gawlas seems to think that notorious Ypsi landlord David Kircher is to blame. And, given the similarities between this new piece and an older piece that Kircher was responsible for, it looks as though he’s probably right. Having just recently gotten out of jail, one would think that he’d be more careful about such things… Maybe it’s the mystery lover in me, but I can’t help but think that there might be someone else framing Kircher, looking to take out both him and Gawlas with a single brilliant move. I don’t think we have anyone that diabolically Rovian in Ypsilanti, but I suppose it’s possible. Judging from the tone of this campaign, we’re certainly heading in that direction… As for the content of the anti-Gawlas piece, I don’t know how much of it is true. As it seems to have gone out to most, if not all, Ward-2 voters, though, I didn’t see an issue with posting it here, along with an invitation to Mr. Gawlas to respond. I know he’s probably got his hands full, as the election is Tuesday, but hopefully he’ll have the time. And, if his opponent, Mr. Bodary, would like to take this opportunity to condemn the flyer and those behind it, I’d also welcome that.

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33 Comments

  1. King
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Go Team Pierce!

  2. Posted August 4, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Speaking of the candidates from the SCIT slate, I’m sad to see this kind of fear-mongering. A quote from Al Gore which has been informing my thinking lately about this entire election process follows: “Leadership means inspiring us to manage through our fears. Demagoguery means exploiting our fears for political gain.” (From the intro to The Assault on Reason.)

    On the radio this morning, I heard about the fight in Northville over the site of the old psychiatric hospital — the city of Livonia is trying to incorporate it (and the township is fighting the effort) because they need the revenue in the face of the statewide recession.

    Trying to blame individuals on our city council for problems which cities are struggling with state-wide is a cynical tactic to gain power. I think it’s dispicable. We need experience and true leadership and we can retain that by re-electing John Gawlas.

  3. Anywho
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Steve Pierce is to be commended for what he has accomplished in Ypsilanti. By bringing together the unlikely forces of Kircher, Robb, Getto, Nanney & Murdock he’s managed to build an entire party built not on ideas, but on hatred of the city and everything it does. I wouldn’t have though it possible, but he’s done it.

  4. Mark H.
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Nobody who’s been on Council as long as John Gawlas – 12 years? – in a city with such intense politics as Ypsi could possibly have avoided upsetting some people. That’s to be expected; and indeed, the same is true of Ward three’s past (and future?) council member Pete Murdock.

    Both John and Pete have been slammed with anonymous smears this month. It’s anybody’s guess who is doing this anonymous smearing, but I doubt either instance of it comes from an actual campaign. More likely it’s old grudges being played out — John and Pete are veteran politicians, each with a lot of enemies. Today, Cheryl Farmer sent out an email smearing Pete, but she put her own name to it, at least.

    It’s crazy to put any stock in anonymous smears. That David Kircher may dislike Gawalas hardly means that all of Gawalas’s critics are beholden to Kircher or even agree with him on anything. Kircher may have the means and motive to orchestrate this smear; he is a slimball. That does not mean everyone who wants a change in the Ward 2 council position is a slimeball. Michael Bodary is honorable and honest — and Anywho’s claim that all critics of the status quo in Ypsilanti government have no ideas except “hatred of the city and everything it does” is absurd on the face of it.

  5. John Delcamp
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Politics as usual, in Ypsilanti.

  6. Posted August 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I dread to think that violations of election law (as this flier, and an earlier one, are) are “politics as usual in Ypsilanti.”

    However, the SCIT campaigners certainly are playing on our anxieties and using fear to manipulate voters, rather than engaging in a reasoned discussion of the issues and best plans for our city. And that makes me angry — because WHY? Can’t they engage in a reasoned discussion? I certainly tried to have one with Michael Bodary during his campaign stop at my house, but all he could do was make insinuations about conspiracies on council. And when asked in the Courier article why he wanted to serve on council, his reply was a laundry list of accusations.

    Those who would like to see the tenor of city politics improve should not elect Bodary, in my opinion, since he certainly engages in these divisive tactics (although he was not the author of the flier in question). John Gawlas provides leadership on our behalf in a very challenging time. Perfect? No, but never in the gutter slinging mud. For a paltry $5000 stipend, I really respect his commitment and hard-working experience.

  7. Posted August 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Lisele says this about Gawlas:
    “Gawlas provides leadership on our behalf in a very challenging time. Perfect? No, but never in the gutter slinging mud.”

    Yet on his campaign website, Gawlas wrote on August 3rd

    Maxe Obermeyer is a big fat liar

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Ypsilanti commits to safeguard this
    minimum service level and City Council hereby directs the City Manager
    to identify potential additional funding options including, but not
    limited to, …
    John Gawlas for City Council – [Gawlas website was here by Marks website is preventing posting it.] So here it is with blank spaces so hopefully you can follow the link
    councilmember . spaces . live . com

    Gawlas then renamed his post, but it was too late, Google had already
    captured the original title of Gawlas’ published blog post and sent it out via Google’s Daily Blog Watch.

    Here is what Gawlas changed the title to the next day, August 4th.

    Maxe Obermeyer lost his last shred of decency

    – Steve

  8. Posted August 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    For those that don’t get the Ann Arbor News, here is what they wrote yesterday.

    Election Letter: Gawlas doesn’t deserve reelection to Ypsi council
    http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews_opinion/2008/08/election_letter_gawlas_doesnt.html

    When you get a bad meal at a restaurant, you send it back. You don’t
    keep eating, hoping it will get better. The same is true for Ypsilanti
    City Council.

    John Gawlas has been on council for 12 years, and has made many bad
    decisions. He voted to spend over $15 million to buy the heavily
    contaminated property at Water Street. The Water Street fiasco has
    cost taxpayers nearly $30 million. Gawlas voted in June to borrow
    another $1 million for Water Street with no developer or project in
    sight.

    Gawlas voted to eliminate AATA bus service. He voted to eliminate
    parks and recreation and oversaw the closing of the much-beloved
    Freighthouse. His actions would have closed Rutherford Pool were it
    not for some hard-working volunteers and parents who took over the
    pool and kept it open. He supported the city income tax and voted to
    eliminate over 20 police and firefighters, yet has never once voted to
    cut his salary.

    Mike Bodary, a Democrat running for council in Ypsilanti’s west side,
    was the first person who said Water Street should be developed in
    stages, a plan now adopted by the city. He opposed the income tax
    because he knew the money would not fix the city’s long-term fiscal
    challenges.

    Mike’s mom was a teacher in Ypsilanti schools and his dad retired from
    the Ypsilanti Police Department. Mike understands the importance of
    our schools and the need for safe neighborhoods.

    Send the meal back. Mike Bodary can make a difference.

    Maxe Obermeyer, Ypsilanti

  9. Posted August 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Here is Gawlas response he posted on his campaign website on Sunday, August 3rd and revised on Monday with a new title.

    August 4, 2008
    Maxe Obermeyer lost his last shred of decency
    Truth should not be victim to politics

    Just because a letter to the editor is published in the newspaper does
    not mean it is vetted for truthfulness. As a public
    official, I am often subject to criticism based on a less than factual
    account of actions attributed to me. However,
    once in a great while there is an egregious violation of the facts
    that I am required to respond to. Maxe Obermeyer
    has submitted a letter to the editor published in the Ann Arbor News
    on Sunday, 03 August 2008, that contains such
    a blatant misrepresentation of fact that I must respond publicly. It
    is widely know that my campaign literature contains
    reference to my express advocacy for fair and equitable consideration
    when addressing the city’s budget. To that
    point, I have been criticized for my resolution that called for no
    reduction for AATA bus service in the City for the coming
    fiscal year. So be it. You may disagree with that position, as did one
    of my fellow council members.

    Mr. Obermeyer did not let the facts stand in his way of advocacy for
    his particular candidate, Michael Bodary, and
    thus he was willing to willingly propogate statements that are
    patently untrue. In his letter to the editor, Mr. Obermeyer
    stated that “Mr. Gawlas voted to eliminate AATA bus service”. The
    public record reflects the actions of Ypsilanti
    City Council on both 08 May 2008 and 27 May 2008.

    As reported by the Ann Arbor News, “The council first voted in April
    to fund the service in full. But Council Member Bill
    Nickels, D-2nd Ward, was absent for that vote and asked the council
    Tuesday to reconsider its decision. He called it
    improper to cut other services to balance the city’s budget while
    sparing the bus service.The council approved the
    resolution to keep bus service in full in a 4-1 vote, with Robb voting
    against it.

    Gawlas said many people in the city depend on the bus for
    transportation, and reducing the service would impact
    more people than cuts in other services – especially at a time when
    the price of gas continues to rise. “It’s important
    for us to maintain the bus service,” he said.

    From the minutes of Thursday, 08 may 2008, of the Ypsilanti City
    Council Meeting:
    BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Ypsilanti commits to safeguard this
    minimum service level and City Council hereby
    directs the City Manager to identify potential additional funding
    options including, but not limited to, further contribution
    from the general fund for the fiscal year ending 2009; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council, both collectively and
    individually, undertake the task of advancing
    public understanding of the tentative nature of public transportation
    as it exists and call for a coalition of municipalities,
    institutions and private businesses to advocate a regional
    transportation model that better serves the needs of
    the County of Washtenaw.
    OFFERED BY: Council Member Gawlas SUPPORTED BY: Mayor Pro-Tem Swanson
    Council Member
    On roll call, the vote to approve the resolution was as follows:
    Council Member Filipiak Yes
    Council Member Robb No
    Council Member Gawlas YES
    Mayor Pro-Tem Swanson Yes
    Council Member Nickels Absent
    Mayor Schreiber Yes
    Council Member Richardson Yes

    Finally, again on 27 May 2008, the City Council again considered the
    support of bus service provided by AATA and
    approved the following resolution:

    From the minutes of Thursday, 27 may 2008, of the Ypsilanti City
    Council Meeting:
    WHEREAS the City of Ypsilanti has committed to safeguard current
    service levels provided by the Ann Arbor Transportation
    Authority (AATA) and anticipates entering into a Purchase of Service
    Agreement (POSA) that maintains
    those levels, and
    WHEREAS, the Ypsilanti City Council has previously given direction to
    the City Manager through Resolution 2008-
    088 to identify potential additional funding options including, but
    not limited to, further contribution from the general
    fund for the fiscal year ending 2009, and Council Budget Session May 27, 2008 4
    WHEREAS, the City Council was provided a memorandum from the Assistant
    City Manager dated 16 May 2008 outlining
    three options by which the City can contribute in the event other
    outside funding such as partnerships are unable
    to be secured,
    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council rejects any option
    that directs the City Manager to eliminate
    more personnel as a funding strategy for the Purchase of Service
    Agreement (POSA), and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council hereby accepts the
    recommendation of staff and directs the City
    Manager to allocate the necessary balance of funding from the
    projected excess revenues for the fiscal year ending
    2009.
    OFFERED BY: Council Member Gawlas SUPPORTED BY: Council Member Nickels
    The roll call vote was as follows:
    Council Member Filipiak – Yes
    Council Member Robb – No
    Council Member Gawlas – YES
    Mayor Pro-Tem Swanson – Absent
    Council Member Nickels – Yes
    Mayor Schreiber – Yes
    Council Member Richardson – Absent
    Political hyperbole aside (which I understandably expect during the
    normal political), Mr. Obermeyer’s misrepresentation
    of the facts is incompetence at best and at worst represents a willful
    effort to engage in deceitful actions in the
    advocacy of his chosen candidate. Ypsilanti deserves better than this
    and I call Mr. Obermeyer out on his fabrication.

  10. ML
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Steve misspoke when he said the Ann Arbor News “wrote” that. They didn’t. It was a letter to the editor. All the paper did was print it.

  11. Posted August 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    ML,

    I stand corrected, you are of course correct, it was a letter to the editor published on their opinions page.

    I should have said published, not wrote. Sorry about that and thanks to ML for correcting me.

    – Steve

  12. rodneyn
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Anywho: “Steve Pierce is to be commended for what he has accomplished in Ypsilanti. By bringing together the unlikely forces of Kircher, Robb, Getto, Nanney & Murdock…”

    Wow. It’s pretty cool to have one’s name slimed in such vaunted company, and to be referred to an an “unlikely force” in Ypsilanti politics to boot! I am simply an Ypsilanti resident/homeowner, never having stood for election (and in some cases re-election) in Ypsilanti like the others on this list – yet apparently some Mr. Gawlas’ friends believe that I’m a force…. I’m flattered :)

    That is why you fail, O supporters of Mayor Farmer/Schreiber and “reformed” proponents of a city income tax: You fail to understand that this is no amorphous Team or Party representing, like you, some minor faction of the community. When Ypsilanti residents stand up “in force” to support integrity, fiscal responsibility, and transparency in city government, positive things happen. Last November Ypsilanti residents stood up and voted overwhelmingly to say “No More!” to the same-old-same-old policies and egregious decision-making on Council. Tomorrow’s primary election is simply another opportunity to reinforce that same message to the powers-that-currently)-be.

    I enjoyed Mr. Gawlas’ response to the Obermeyer letter – note that he focused exclusively on the AATA question. That’s because he has no credible defense to his record of unquestioning support for the failed Water Street development scheme. Truth hurts Mr. Gawlas, but it will be over tomorrow.

  13. John Gawlas
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    As pertains to the letter to the editor, I guess I focused on the most eggregious and blatant falsehood. Obermeyer consciously chose to fabricate the statement that I “voted to eliminate AATA bus service”. He lied and I have called him on it.

    rodneyn –
    Thank you also for your most recent contribution related to integrity and transparency. Too bad no one in Ward 2 knows who to give the credit to.

  14. Stela Cox
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Comon Steve! We all know Max is a big fat liar and has a big fat mouth and that is the truth!

  15. Quietly Waiting
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Gawlas, are you planning to respond to the charges made my Mr. Kircher?

  16. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    You mean Kircher had his home broken into “twice in two days” and was then “attacked and robbed” in his yard, leaving him with “$3,000 in medical bills”–all because of Gawlas? That charge? Ha.

  17. Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Gawlas protesting his own record of votes for AATA funding is sort of like John Kerry and his flip flops on the war.

    Mr. Gawlas is trying to say, “I voted for AATA after I voted to cut AATA.”

    It is a flip-flop.

    Mr. Gawlas’ record speak for itself. Mr. Gawlas voted to cut funding for AATA by 50% and then voted to eliminate all funding within two years as part of the solvency plan that Mr. Gawlas supported and voted for in 2006 and voted for again in 2007.

    Then in 2008, after Mr. Gawlas announces he is running for office again, Mr. Gawlas voted for a special resolution during a special Thursday budget meeting to fully fund AATA with no route cuts and no dollar amount. Just a promise by City Council to pay for AATA in full for bus service.

    A resolution that Mr. Nickels, Mr. Gawlas other council member from Ward 2, said was a bad idea and someone else said it was like giving AATA a blank check for funding.

    Ypsi is paying about $140,000 to subsidize the buses, down from $235,000 the City was paying back in 2006.

    Less than a month after Mr. Gawlas voted for full AATA funding in May 2008, AATA announced that they would like to cash that blank check when they said Ypsilanti’s full funding cost for AATA with no cuts to routes and no fare box increases will be over $460,000 annually starting Oct 1, 2008.

    The funding jumps from $140,000 to as high as $460,000 and that is nearly double what the city was paying just two years ago before Mr. Gawlas voted to cut AATA funding.

    Mr. Gawlas’ numerous votes to cut and eliminate AATA subsidies in 2006 and 2007 is a matter of the public record.

    Cheers!

    – Steve

  18. rodneyn
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    John Gawlas: “rodneyn – Thank you also for your most recent contribution related to integrity and transparency.”

    You’re welcome. You may consider yourself to be running an above-board campaign of sweetness and light, Mr. Gawlas, but your friends like Mayor Farmer are not.

  19. Brackache
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I miss the days of duels.

  20. Kerri
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Steve: “Mr. Gawlas protesting his own record of votes for AATA funding is sort of like John Kerry and his flip flops on the war.”

    And you call yourself a Democrat?

  21. Crocsmom
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Steve,

    Spoken like a true Republican. Oh, that’s right, you became a Democrat when you ran for mayor, “Because a Republican could never win in Ypsilanti.” Thank God that’s still true.

  22. John Gawlas
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Mr. Kircher’s anonymous litany of questionable deals and tax giveaways offer vague references to tax abatements, police misconduct, and employee dismissals. The main assertation that “tax free” units at Pennisular Place were granted an unreasonable advantage is wholly misleading. This development did employ tax increment financing with a portion of the taxes used to repay $1.5M costs related to the brownfield cleanup of the site. This is not a tax abatement. The full tax capture by the City for the general fund begins in 2009 as the obligation for the brownfield cleanup will have been fulfilled. The substantial added taxable value this project brings to the City certainly speaks to the efficacy of employing such redevelopment tools.

  23. not one of the cool kids
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Disclaimer: I am a little behind on the politics of Ypsilanti because I just moved back here this past winter.

    That said, I think most of the incumbents need to go. The tone I get from everyone from the mayor to the city council members is…”I am burnt out, the citizens have NO idea how HARD my job is (boo hoo)…and that they are all generally pissed off.”

    I have had to go into city hall a few times since moving back, and even the front office staff is grumpy and rude. Don’t even get me started on the Building Department.
    Ypsilanti needs new intelligent blood. Ya I said it, Intelligent. And what Ypsilanti needs more than anything is someone with a degree in Economics, Business and/or Non-profit Management, or Business Law to run for Mayor or any council position. Quit hiring consultants that waste city money and elect someone that is smart instead of hiring “experts”. (that’s what brought us the blvd. on Michigan, Water street, yawn, yawn, yawn, debt, debt, debt)

  24. rodneyn
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    John Gawlas: “Mr. Kircher’s anonymous litany of questionable deals and tax giveaways offer vague references to tax abatements, police misconduct, and employee dismissals. The main assertation that “tax free” units at Pennisular Place were granted an unreasonable advantage is wholly misleading.”

    I don’t know about police misconduct or employee dismissals, but I do know about the unintended consequences of Peninsular Place on Midtown and the student housing areas of the city. Mr. Gawlas, the Planning Commission and City Council completely failed to consider the potential impacts on our neighborhood if so much additional student housing was built and given such preferential treatment by the city. Foreclosures have skyrocketed among rental properties, and property values have dropped through the floor. That is part of your legacy.

    This happened because, under Mayor Farmer’s direction and with Council agreement, the city did everything but put up a billboard to promote Peninsular Place and punish other student housing areas. Remember, at the same time Peninsular Place was in process, You and Mayor Farmer were attempting to ram through a draconian downzoning of Midtown.

    I’ve heard reports that some rental properties are now being picked up for less than their State Equalized Value (SEV), which is intended normally to equal 50% of the market value! Drive down Emmet and elsewhere and you will see more empty or boarded-up structures. Michigan may be in the midst of a housing downturn, but the disaster in these neighborhoods was magnified by ill-considered decisions in City Hall. With the return of abnormally cheap properties comes poor maintenance, more problem tenants, and the potential for increased crime. We are already seeing these effects. Next year when the new property assessments go out, there will figuratively be blood in the water as homeowners discover just how far underwater they are!

    Of course, the massive loss of tax revenue won’t help our city finances either. It is amazing how much unintended damage can be done when even one City Councilmember fails to ask enough questions, demand adequate information for decision-making, or bother to actively listen to the residents of a neighborhood.

    Mr. Gawlas, your website states that you represent the Normal Park, Gerganoff, and College Heights neighborhoods. Apparently you were not aware that Ward 2 also includes almost two dozen homes and rental properties in Midtown (along N. Summit St.). Ypsilanti is too small for such balkanization of thought on City Council. Perhaps you would have been more successful if you had attempted to represent the City, instead of just your faction.

  25. John Gawlas
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    You know Steve,

    Maybe the real point is that my bus vote represented a potential conflict of interest. Since I ride the bus to work the majority of time, introducing resolutions that I somehow convince my fellow council members to support may constitute actions that are meant to directly benefit me and or my family (since my wife takes the bus to work in downtown AA). Rather than protect the level of service in Ypsilanti, I should recuse myself on votes related to public transportation.

  26. rodneyn
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    BTW Mr. Gawlas,

    According to the information on the City’s website, Peninsular Place doesn’t begin paying full property taxes to the City’s General Fund until 2010, not 2009 as you noted. Considering due dates for such taxes, that would put their first tax payment out more than two years from now. By the time the first payment comes in, we will be voting for a new Mayor and the other three Council seats!

  27. John Gawlas
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    rodneyn –

    You know, if you expanded from a 1/4 sheet of paper you might fit all of that into another anonymous flier to the voters in Ward 2.

    Normal Park is located on the west side of the City of Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan. It covers the area bounded by the south side of Washtenaw Avenue on the north, Congress Street on the south, Mansfield Street on the west, and the west side of Summit Street on the east. Approximately 700 households are in the Normal Park neighborhood, all of which are automatically members of the neighborhood association. (That is how both I and the NPNA interpret Normal Park to be.)

  28. rodneyn
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Gawlas,

    Midtown represents both sides of North and South Summit Street from end to end, and has done so virtually since it was established as a neighborhood association. Normal Park N.A. does not and has not represented the interests of property owners on Summit St. – in fact, it was Normal Park that was one of the driving forces in favor of that draconian downzoning scheme!

  29. John Gawlas
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    RE Peninsular Place TIF:
    The current fiscal year (FY 2008/09) will see the end of the reimbursement with an additional $61,900 coming to the general fund. The full capture of $216,000 comes in the FY 2009/10. I am generally expressing myself in fiscal years such that 2009 would in fact be for the period 10 July 2009 through 30 June 2010.

  30. Christine Moellering
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    We got this flyer in our door the other day and I read it over. It took just a few moments to conclude that whomever wrote it is a coward since it was not signed.

    People who do things anonymously aren’t worth taking the time to think about….however, if they track this person down they should be punished within the law. It’s a cheap and crappy tactic and probably will convince some easily swayed voters.

  31. Posted August 6, 2008 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Mark, I would have contributed to the discussion despite my “hatred of the city and everything it does,” but it appears I missed all the excitement while I was in Denver this weekend. I just got back this evening in time for the victory party over at Pub 13.

    One of the highlights of my trip was hating lower downtown Denver by visiting the Tattered Cover Bookstore, and then the Wynkoop Brewery, where I must admit, I especially hated the Gumbo and the two pints of Porter I drank with it. If you have a chance to get over there, and I recommend you do — you might hate it, too. Another highlight was venturing to the top of Mt. Evans, a 14,000+ foot peak, from which I was able to hate the entirety of the Rocky Mountains as well as the state of Colorado (at least the part I could see from there). I was hoping to have the opportunity to hate Colorado Springs or perhaps Pueblo while I was there, but I ran out of time.

    I just got back this evening, so I am now relieved that I can get back to hating from the comfort of my own home.

  32. rodneyn
    Posted August 6, 2008 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Mr. Gawlas,

    I’m sorry. I learned tonight that I was mistaken when I wrote above that Ward 2 included a portion of the Midtown neighborhood. As it turns out, Midtown and Normal Park did discuss such a transfer of these properties from NPNA into Midtown, but my informed source tells me that at the last minute NPNA balked at the notion (this was around the same time that the west side of S Summit St. was absorbed into Midtown). You were correct in that you have not represented Midtown NA on City Council.

  33. Mark H.
    Posted August 6, 2008 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    The results are in — and congratulations to all the candidates and their campaigns for a hard fought campaigns. Significantly, the results indicate that anonymous smear campaigns were irrelevant to actual results; the margins were far too wide to have been decided by the smears. None of the resuls were at all close in Ypsi, and the trends were the same city wide.

    The candidate in ward 3 (Pete Murdock) who was hit with anonymous smear attacks won by roughly a 58%-42% marigin; the candidate in ward 1 who was hit by an anonymous smear (John Gawlas) lost by about 42%-58% margin. Clearly these are too wide for the smears to have made the difference, and I doubt they affected more than a few votes.

    Ypsi voters are actually well informed voters, more than the national norm; and informed voters aren’t so easily swayed by smears. The lesson? Smears don’t work in Ypsi when the issues are clear, so focus on the issues and don’t get too excited by the smear jobs that may arise in future elections. Indeed, these smear jobs may have benefited the target of the smears, by creating sympathy for them. I think none of the campaigns this year were responsible for the smears, but some mentally unbalanced individuals with strong feelings most llikely were responsible.

    In ward 2, Lois Richardson won over two candidates with about 63% of the total vote; the mayoral machine’s favored candidate came in third place, and the AA NEWS’s endorsee came in 2nd, just barely ahead of the mayoral machine’s candidate. Go, Lois! A very impressive victory.

    All the candidates backed by the current mayor and by our immediate past mayor lost, and lost pretty big.

    I commend each of the candidates for seriously waged campaigns, and commend them for their devotion to the public good in Ypsilanti.

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