Ypsilanti mayoral debate on Dreamland Tonight

I’ve yet to watch it, but, thanks to Mike Ambs, the fourth episode of Dreamland Tonight is now up online. This is the one containing the big mayoral debate, so, if you weren’t in the audience a few weeks ago, when we taped it, you should probably check it out. (If you want to skip all of our nonsense, like the fight scene between Puppet Mark and professional wrestler Bash Boulder, and get right to the debate, it starts at the 8-minute mark.) So, check it out, share it with your friends, and remember to vote in the Democratic primary on August 3, when the next Mayor of Ypsilnati will be chosen.

Dreamland Tonight * Episode Four from mike ambs ☂ on Vimeo.

For more information on the candidates, you can check out their websites here (Schreiber) and here (Murdock)… And feel free to leave comments on how you think the candidates did.

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  1. Mike Shecket
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    If anybody has opinions about the candidates for other offices on the ballot, I would be very interested in hearing them, being a fairly recent Ypsi arrival. There’s League of Women Voters info for some of the candidates, but not so much for the county commissioner & city council candidates.

  2. lorie thom
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I would simply say this: Pete was Mayor before and his tenure was highlighted by secret city council meetings before the public meetings, backroom deals and nasty rhetoric. Pete was charged but not convicted of voter fraud, has been the campaign manager for a candidate that was convicted of voter fraud. He has a nasty habit of putting yard signs up in people’s lawns without their permission – it goes to his integrity.

    Later, when back on Coucil he pushed the creation of an environmental department that he felt he should lead (thats right, personal gain) and when not hired, he sued the city.

    Has he changed? Not so much. He pushed the transportation headlee override on to the AUGUST ballot without waiting, as our current mayor asked, for any kind of review and sure enough. WE got screwed. The measure has to be on the November ballot because its a tax increase and the language, in its rushed state, isn’t valid.

    He also lead the coalition who wanted to put off re-appointing commission members until after the primary because there are some people he won’t work with. That effort failed – these commissions need these volunteers and need to keep working. Really bad politics and awful public policy. He also got a coalition together to form a committee to lead the Waterstreet effort and has done NOTHING with it. Not even Burger King came through – no meeting minutes, no public discussion. My favorite was the budgeting proposal to take money from the future to pay for firefighters – thus getting them for the next couple years but ensuring insolvency in the near future. That is not good planning.

    Our mayor has, on the other hand, played above board and transparently. Paul Schreiber has run a positive and ethical campaign. He has continued the push for a solid solution for Waterstreet. He has supported city staff in their efforts for grant money to tear down the buildings and other blighted structures. He pushed for a great solution on Parkview that will bring a $12M redevelopment effort (and the jobs that come with it). He was worked to keep the commissions filled and active. Paul is approachable and smart. He behaves in manner I would expect from a public official.

    Vote Paul, friends don’t let friends re-Pete.

  3. Kim
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your thoughts, Lori. You’ve given me a lot to think about. I suspect that, before too long, someone will leave the counter argument. Hopefully their contribution will be as thoughtful.

  4. Pete Murdock
    Posted July 24, 2010 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    @lorie thom – You never seem to let truth get in the way of political venom – To go directly to your “favorite”, City council and staff diligently worked for a year on this two year budget. It reduced expenditures over $1 million while providing an $800K surplus to be used beyond those two years. (No robbing from the future here.) Yes, we negotiated an agreement with our firefighters that prevented layoffs in exchange for wage concessions for the next two years. We also reinstated the Neighborhood Policing Team, originally slated for lay-off and elimination. And we added a downtown beat cop whose costs are shared with the DDA. Not a bad result I’d say. These proposals were unanimously approved by City Council and I’m proud of the leadership role I played in achieving them.

  5. lorie thom
    Posted July 24, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    oh Pete, see I agree that was the result, it just wasn’t your proposal. I know it was hard work…just think it would have been easier without your budget games.

  6. One Voice
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Question to Mr. Murdock: After all the ‘work’ to save firefighters, why did the city vote to give $9,000 to the Freighthouse for a seismic test, then another $87,000 to keep phase I on track with a promise to pay it back as soon as possible? According to A2.com the vote was taken with 3 members absent, including the mayor.

  7. Sylvia
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Question, would Mayor Schreiber have voted against loaning the money to the city owned freighthouse?

  8. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I would like to hear a little about the condition of Riverside and Frog Island parks since Pete sided with Brian Robb to take maintenance of both back from the DTCDC. If you went to beer fest this weekend, you know that due to all of the rain, the park is in rough shape. Before you yell at me, I don’t blame the city for that, its an act of nature. However, the city does not have any money to make improvements to the park, which means they can’t even consider action to help remedy the situation, outside of throwing down more wood chips. We were told during the great “tucky” debate that the city had more than enough money set aside to pay for park maintenance for the year, which not only neglected the future but in reality, was only enough money to mow the lawn and pick up the trash. Neither of those things are being done as regularly as they were under the CDC, again, not because there is a problem in DPS, but because there is not enough money to do it. Places that require labor intensive maintenance, like trimming the weeds on the embankment in Frog Island, just don’t get done. This doesn’t even take into account long term maintenance projects; the city had been deferring all repairs for 10 years. The CDC at least had the funds to chip away at that list.

    This could quickly turn into a serious financial drain on the city. The car shows and festival in that park bring enormous amounts of money into city businesses. While the locally organized festivals probably won’t pull out altogether, having the park a muddy mess, or even just not well cared for, could certainly drive down attendance numbers. The beer fest is another story. They could easily decide that the park is not being maintained to a standard that can allow them to continue to be located there. That would be nothing short of an economic disaster for Ypsilanti, with over 9000 visitors from around the country gone.

    Like so many things that have come before council in the last couple of years, the decision to take back control of the parks just doesn’t pass the logic test. No, it was not ideal to have a private non-profit care-taking a public property. But Ypsilanti is in anything but an ideal situation right now. The truth of the matter is that the city could not afford to give up the service being provided by the CDC, and we are all paying for it through reduced service levels in the park. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cost anything more.

  9. Mike Bodary
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    @ lorie Thom
    It’s no secret I do and have supported Pete. I have many reasons. I agree that Paul has done some good things. Parkview was a concern when he was on the Housing Commission and he continued the fight as mayor and won a victory with Mr. Dingel’s help over the HUD roadblock. We all supported that.

    @ one voice: The money for the Freighthouse is a loan, not a gift, Paul knew all about beforehand. Without it they are in trouble.

    Paul needs to realize the Housing Commission needs new blood desperately. He continues to stall overhauling it.

    Please do not get to smearing mud about voter fraud. The coalition that started it goes to great lengths to find and manufacture dirt to smear, regardless of truth. Not the first incidence of spreading lies to deflect truth and sway votes on their part.

    I am there for the decisions. I watched Paul willing to go along with deep cuts recommended by the City Manager with no qualms. Pete was the one who saved the jobs for fire fighters (sorry lorie it was his idea from the start). Paul hedged and took convincing that Pete’s offer of wage cuts would be a good option. Pete was the one who alone swayed the DDA (sorry again lorie, Pete’s idea) to help fund a patrol position for downtown and helped YPD to reinstate the Neighborhood Policing Team. Pete, Brian and I lead the fight for local labor with the CUB agreement, reluctantly followed by Paul. Pete was the leader on the combining of the DDAs (oops! sorry again lorie) and healed a great rift to get the sides pushing in the samedirection. Pete was the one who scrounged for NSP demolition funds for Water Street. Pete is the leader in energy conservation and pollution reduction. Pete worked to secure the $500,000 grant for the Freighthouse. Pete is at the lead in a long term plan for bus service. Paul was always too willing to chop YPD and Fire and pay the full fee for transit without digging for ARRA available funds.

    In short, Pete is the leader, not the follower, we need as our next mayor.

  10. Pete Murdock
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    @One Voice : I don’t quite get the connection between the firefighters and freight House, but here are answers on the freight house issues.. The City did pay for some soil tests that were required, but not eligible, for the MDOT grant as the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freight House (FOYF) did not have the money at that time. Re-roofing was part of the MDOT grant, but when the roof was torn off there was found to be significant rotting of roof boards and rafters that needed to be replaced. There was not enough money in Phase I to complete that work and we were unsuccessful in getting Phase II to pay for it because of various grant timelines. (We were fortunate to get a Phase II at all, thanks to the efforts of our lobbyist, Kirk Profit, and Representative Pam Byrnes.) The options were to leave the roof blue tarped and send some of the grant money back or roof over the rotted boards or use fund balance to do it right. We chose to use the fund balance so we could move this project on and hopefully reopen this building sooner rather than later. It seems to me to be that is what a fund balance is for – to deal with unanticipated events.

    I can’t speak to the reasons for the absences of the Mayor and other council members, although I think the Mayor was in California. It was a regularly scheduled meeting.

    @sylvia: In my discussion with the Mayor prior to this meeting, he was supportive of this approach.

  11. Chad S.
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Council member and mayoral candidate Murdock, would you please explain to me and the other tax payers in Ypsilanti why you supported loaning $80,000 to a non-profit organization, with only the promise to pay it back ‘when they can’?  The loan is in violation of city’s own MOU agreement with this non-profit.
    Cutting police officers while at the same time ‘loaning money’ with no guarantee of repayment to a non-profit, non-tax paying organization is confusing.

  12. Pete Murdock
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    @Chad S: It is a City owned building. We paid for the necessary roof repair out of funds that are there for unanticipated expenses just such as this. See post above.

  13. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Wait, maybe I need to pose this more in the form of a question?

    Pete and Brian, why did you vote to cancel the DTCDC park contract, knowing that DPS was already stretched to the limit? Don’t you think that your action was out of proportion to the problem, which was about a few people not liking the word “Ypsitucky”? How do you justify juggling money from a onetime expense to cover a yearly budget item, and call the problem solved? Considering all of the maintenance problems in the park this year, do you think you made a mistake in canceling the contract and returning a minimum of $20,ooo (Brian’s number at the time) to city expenses?

  14. One Voice
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    @ Mike Bodary, if the money to the Freighthouse is a loan then is it correct to assume there is paperwork that includes a timeline for payment, collateral in which the loan is based upon, and a mature date? Have attorneys on both sides looked at the loan and worked out a default provision? If not, it’s a gift. Pay it back when and if you can. Not much of a contract, eh?

    @Pete Murdock, according to Ann Arbor.com it stated that the $87,000 came from the general fund. That’s 87k that may or may not be returned to the general fund in the future. As you said, the fund is to deal with unanticipated events. Perhaps the safety of your constituents would rate as an unanticipated event. Instead, you claim pride in asking the DDA to pay for 50% of a patrol officer in the districts. Seems to me that that shouldn’t be the role of the DDA. I believe if the city had $87,000 they could “loan” or “give” to a non-profit, (which doesn’t pay any taxes to the city); they should first and foremost pay for city services. As far as I’m concerned, no feather in your hat for that call!

    I understood the city throwing in $9,000 to cover the soil tests but if the money for Phase I comes up short because of unforeseen problems when the roof was peeled back, any other business would have to figure out a way to complete Phase I. A business would have to find an answer even if it meant cutting into Phase II. If the business entered into the construction phase without enough capital, then it’s their responsibility to work it out. If the contingency funds are depleted, what will happen when the construction runs into another unanticipated problem? It is not the responsibility of the city to provide a bailout for a non-profit, EVER.

    How about giving us a sample of how the Freighthouse plans on repaying the ‘loan’? I love the Freighthouse as much as the next guy but it didn’t make enough money in the past to pay for the basic expenses. What will make this a more profitable venture? An ATM machine? Rental of space? The Freighthouse is a great community center but it shouldn’t be the burden of taxpayers to make sure it opens or that it remains open.


  15. Lorie Thom
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:22 am | Permalink


    You can support Pete if you want. At least you admit it openly.

    What I am looking for in a rep is someone who doesn’t play those kinds of political games. We don’t have the time or money to waste on bad Headlee override ballots or paying transaction attorney’s for no good reason. Don’t float baloney about “saving firefighter jobs” when you are wasting so much money on things like attorneys and site plants and staff time on things like Burger King and Beal.

    When I get a candidate who will work for the better of the city, someone who doesn’t align themselves with games like holding up the work of commissions with silly attempts at backroom horse trading. Someone who doesn’t send us into court on a boondoggle (Beal) when a much less expensive and equally speedy route serves us better. Someone who may acutally be willing to ask that Pete’s late submissions/midnight moments on things like getting us to vote on tax increases might get more time to review so that you don’t have a confused public thinking they are voting for a SECOND tax increase in November. Thats the rep I want. Petty alignments waste my tax money and bring bad results.

    That candidate shows up and I will knock on every door and comment on every blog in support of them.

    Mike, you have been here long enough to remember how bad it was and I am disappointed in your allegiance with Pete and his brand of politics with backroom dealing and horse trading and game playing with commissions for vindictiveness-sake. You know better and you know the results of that better.

  16. Lorie Thom
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    This is an article from the time on an out of town paper. If anyone wants to go review the Ypsilanti News/Press version of events its on Microfilm at the Whittaker Road Library (second floor research room).


  17. Mike B
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink


    I thoroughly believe that if we had not said no to Beal and forced it to court a few months ago we would have been doing it a year from now and just lost more time. I read the first Beal proposal carefully and found so many holes and open ended dates that I didn’t believe him. The minute we tried and still try to nail down firm dates and a deposit that would be held by a third party he and his mom (that’s his attorney Nora Wright) bail out of negotiations. I only feel we are a year ahead of where we would be in the same fight. Don’t let him blow smoke that this is costing him the funds he would be using to do the work. The only thing Beal wants is to save his loans from recall if it comes down and he hasn’t the money to rebuild.

    I promised to look at every reasonable offer on Water St. and Burger King would have given us $400,000 to put in sewers and water main which we will need for further development. The corner of the old St Police post was a place that would not have disturbed the overall vision(s) that many have been proposed. I bowed to the majority of letters that were against it.

    The transit tax increase is favored by all council members and the Mayor. In every case we have checked it will raise taxes less than they are falling so all should still see a tax decrease. With the shrinking revenues we can not look forward to any transit in the future without it. The general fund will not cover it.

  18. Meta
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The Ann Arbor News is now covering the debate video, and they include much of the transcript.


  19. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Lorie does not like facts to get in the way of her vindictiveness. You would think it was personal…

  20. Kid
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Pete and Paul are both good men. They both care about the city. We’re lucky to have both of them serving at this time. Pete is good with numbers. Paul, however, in my opinion, is a better face for the city. No offense to Pete, but Paul is more personable. Neither, however, are visionary. If we want that, we need to bring in new blood. For now, though, my vote is for Paul.

  21. Sylvia
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    One Voice, if both Paul and Pete supported lending money to the FOYF for use on a city owned building who are you blaming or trying to give credit to?

  22. Mark H.
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The person calling him or her self “One Voice” seems to be deliberately obtuse about the Freight House issue: it is a city owned property. A non profit of volunteer citizens have spearheaded the repairs for it. So for city leaders like Pete and others on council to “loan” city funds needed to enable that project to go ahead is reasonable and prudent; these funds are for unanticipated expenses, as as Pete has said clearly above, they are being used appropriately to help restore this city asset to a good state of repairs, so that the public can use it.

    I much appreciate council member Mike Bodary for his wise and well informed comments on the issues upcoming in this election. I just wish that Paul’s supporters would focus on the issues more, and openly endorse the Keep Ypsi Riding motion. Put the signs up if you’re for it! All members of council were for this, and the screw up by the city manager and city attorney in drafting it for the August vote should not be a justification for not supporting the pro transit side in both August and November. Bravo to Pete for spearheading this very specifically targeted tax!

  23. Ethan
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    The way I heard it, it was Pete, not the City Manager, responsible for the Keep Ypsi Rolling boondoggle. Can someone tell me what really happened?

  24. Glen S.
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    @ Mark H.

    Mayor Schreiber has made very clear that he enthusiastically supports a Headlee over-ride to support public transit, as have many of his supporters (including me). That’s why I plan to vote “Yes” in August, as well as November — and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Period.

    However, it is worth noting that when Murdock introduced his ordinance to put this on the ballot, he did so at the last minute (as usual), and without the due-diligence necessary to make sure it conformed to state law. Despite Mayor Schreiber’s request to table the ordinance for two weeks to give it a closer inspection, Murdock (and his allies) insisted on rushing it through “as-is,” and voted to adopt it on the spot.

    As we have since learned, Murdock’s resolution was flawed in two key ways: One – at 102 words, the ballot proposal exceeds the state-mandated limit of 100 words for ballot proposals; Two – Murdock’s proposal violated a state law that requires City Charter revisions (which this is) be placed only on the November (General) election ballot, not the August (Primary) ballot.

    As a consequence of Murdock’s unnecessary haste and lack of attention to detail, we are left with a “wasted” vote in August — and quite likely, some confused voters, as well. I can only hope this episode won’t hinder the efforts of “Keep Ypsi Rollin’ ” to build community support for this important effort.

  25. Mike Shecket
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else receive an unsigned anti-Murdock screed in the mail today from the “Ypsilanti Populist Caucus”? Is that the same people as the Populist Cleaning Company/Church/Anti-UN thing on Washington St.? Isn’t there some kind of law that says you have to say who you are when you send out a political pamphlet?

  26. Sylvia
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Last I heard, Pete was not the city attorney. Isn’t that the city attorneys job to check out the wording and to know or at least find out the rules? Who is responsible for hiring the city attorney? If it is the city manager, who is responsible for hiring him? Somebody should be held responsible or at least reprimanded. Tax payers should not always be the losers when someone screws up.

  27. Mark H.
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Mike Shecket,

    The mailing from the so called “Populist caucus” arrived in my mailbox today. It was mailed from Dayton, Ohio! It’s arguments are strange: Pete and Paul are alleged to have the same positions, but Pete is alleged to have a Nixonian, manipulative side.

    I call on Mayor Schreiber to denounce this unsigned last minute campaign intervention by unnamed forces.

    Glen S.,
    Thanks for your post. My understanding is that all on Council supported the Keep Ypsi Riding ballot measure, that it was actually drafted by the city attorney (who reports to the city manager), and that nobody on Council – not Paul, not Pete – at the time questioned the city attorney’s ability to follow state election law.

    I’m glad you’re for it, Glen, now and in November. What disturbs me is the opportunistic way some of the Mayor’s supporters are seeking to blame Pete, who spearheaded the effort, for the sloppy work of the city attorney. You are objecting to Pete for bringing good ideas to the table, on a timing you don’t like, but you’re silent on the city attorney’s poor performance.

    And gosh, you’d think that since it’s going to be on two ballots, one without legal force (August) and one with legal force (November), all the Mayor’s men would see this dual voting as two opportunities to really campaign for the Keep Ypsi Riding Headlee override. Instead, they are largely silent now or blaming Pete! Odd indeed….unless political opportunism is the motive for their silence now.

    The Populist Caucus mailing, for instance, slams Pete for favoring a tax aimed at aiding public transit, and implicitly endorses Paul as being the lessor of two supposed evils. This mailing faults Pete for not being against all taxes, despite his record of opposing the proposed city income tax that Paul pushed (only to be soundly and predictably rejected by the voters).

    To those who say Pete is dishonest or corrupt, I say they are wrong. Pete is principled. He was against the city income tax, but he is not now taking any easy, blanket anti-tax, anti-government stand. Such a sweeping stand would be popular with many voters, and yet Pete doesn’t go there, because he’s principled and believes in good government, in active government. (Paul too believes in good government; they differ on what that means.)

    If Pete Murdock was even one hundredth the opportunist Paul’s friends on this blog and around town accuse Pete of being, he’d be smashing the Mayor left and right on the “tax” issue. Paul was on a very unpopular, losing side of that issue. But Pete’s too honest to do follow that easy, popular route: he believes that government is complex and has important responsibilities.

    Sorry to go on so long here. May the candidate with the best ideas, and the best record of accomplishment and leadership — Pete Murdock! — win the primary.

    I urge the Mayor to ask everyone who has a vote for Paul yard sign up to match it with a pro Ypsi rides yardsign. Let’s show the wing nuts of the Populist Caucus that the city’s united behind good local transit, in August and in November.

  28. Mark H.
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mean by my prior comment to say that the city income proposal of two years ago isn’t relevant to this election. It is. What would be destructive, but easy to score points by, is for a candidate to denounce all taxes. The Mayor is very vulnerable to that kind of attack; most mayors are! Pete makes no such blanket attack, because he has principals (in my view). If he was an opportunistic politician just out for power, as some of the Mayor’s folks say, he could readily gore the Mayor on this front.

    When a candidate for office declines to use a golden electoral opportunity against his opponent, you gotta wonder why.

  29. Lorie Thom
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    @Mike: I see your perspective. I disagree.

    @Mark H – if that campaign had actual control over both the funding and the acquisition/distribution of those signs, I’d have one. As it stands, its not so clear how to get one.

  30. Lorie Thom
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Ypsilanti Populist Caucus…Ellers?

  31. Lisa W
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    The Ypsilanti Populist Caucus is a wing of Advance Ypsilanti or working in cooperation with them. The leaflet talks about switching to a strong mayor form of government. Cheryl Farmer and John Gawlas were both calling people to run for the charter commission using those same lies.

  32. One Voice
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    @ Sylvia, since Paul wasn’t in attendance and didn’t vote for the ‘loan’ I couldn’t make the conclusion that he supported the loan to the Freighthouse. If he had supported it, I would be just as unhappy with him.

    @Mark H, there was NO public discussion prior to the council vote authorizing the use of general funds to bailout the Freighthouse. I understand it is owned by the city but I have to believe when the city allowed the Friends to move forward by obtaining grants and renovating the building, there was an agreement in writing spelling out the role of each entity. Pete/Paul: is there an agreement? Where can it be found?

    There are other venues owned by the city that are supported by friends. They were scheduled to close and didn’t receive a bailout. They had to find a solution to remain open.

    Since the Freighthouse isn’t ready to open and a lot of work still needs to be completed, what will happen if another unexpected expense pops up?

    No one has yet given me an answer of when or how the funds will be repaid. If it is indeed a loan, by definition there has to be an understanding of HOW and WHEN it will be repaid. $87,000 is a LOT of money that I’m sure could better serve the citizens of Ypsilanti than repairing a community center.

    PS: How many jobs will this federal incentive create?

  33. Lorie Thom
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    @Lisa W…nice try, AY PAC is not aligned with the Ellers or their Populist Caucus which has been around for years in Ward 3.

  34. Ingrid
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I’m in the campaign and have access to the signs. Contact me at ilkock@yahoo.com if you would like one.

  35. Mark H.
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Lorie, glad to hear that you’re going to put up a Keep Ypsi riding sign! But isn’t Lisa W’s point that the content of the “Populist Caucus” flyer attacking Pete follows the line of (imaginary) logic being used by the Mayor’s supporters against Pete, entirely beyond dispute? The made up idea that Pete secretly wants a strong mayoral system? Where would the Ellers have gotten such a notion? For a notably outspoken person, Pete is accused of having lots of secret agendas and these false accusations seem to flow from the corner of the Mayor and the former mayor.

    But if all Paul’s loyalists would rally to the Keep Ypsi rolling campaign, and put up those yard signs, it’d show that Paul’s folks and the Ellerites aren’t reading from the same page of political opportunism as Aug. 3 draws near.

  36. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Local politics is so cute. It’s like Hobbits fighting over who has the biggest radish, but with fewer positive results.

  37. lorie thom
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Mark, Murdock fought the charter change to a strong manager type government – Ellers have been here long enough to remember that.

    As for the rest of your spin – circular logic doesn’t impress me. The Keep Ypsi Rolling Campaign is made up of volunteers and its just getting itself together. It was not readily clear how to get a yard sign from their website. Mine and 2 more will go up today now that I have a line on how to get them I don’t know your experience but most of the Paul supporters I have spoken with have asked how to get them and I didn’t know.

    I view these two issues (campaign for Mayor and KYR) as separate. Efforts to conflate the two inappropriate and very detrimental to the KYR. If we don’t vote for the headlee override, there will be no busing in Ypsi. I think that would be terrible. I ride the bus, my family rides the bus, its a great and badly needed service.

    The challenge here is that if KYR gets used in other political matters it will fail. It can’t be used as a shield any more than it can be used divisive tactic based on who has yard signs or not. We need bus service, I would argue we need bus service more than some other city services. This house and its two voters will be voting yes – both times.

  38. Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    As a co-chair of the Keep Ypsi Rollin’ campaign, I’m thrilled to see so much enthusiasm for the Charter Amendment for Public Transit, both here and in the real world.

    Both Pete and Paul are strong champions for public transit in Ypsilanti, and both support the charter amendment and the Keep Ypsi Rollin’ campaign.

    On this, our Mayoral candidates (and Council in general) have set a great example of how we can unify behind an issue despite disagreeing in other ways. On behalf of Keep Ypsi Rollin’, I ask the supporters of both Pete and Paul to do the same: transit should not be a wedge issue in the Mayoral race, nor should we be arguing about who supports it more or better or first or how. We all support transit, period.

    You are certainly welcome to take quiet pride in your yard sign (e-mail your address to kyrsigns@gmail.com, and we’ll get one to your yard), or your donation to the campaign (send checks made out to Keep Ypsi Rollin’ to 308 Maple, Ypsilanti, MI, 48198), and definitely in your “Yes” vote – both the practice round on August 3 and the real deal on November 2. Just let’s remember that we’re all on this bus together.

    (Except Brackache. I have no unrealistic expectations on his part.)

  39. Scottie P L
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    You should have asked if either candidate has been convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors that would relate to their qualifications for mayor.

    Seriously, what’s up with Murdock’s conviction for election fraud last time he was mayor? Was it really not that big of a deal? I can’t believe none of our local news sources finds it worthy to mention that last time he ran for mayor he and his wife were convicted of election fraud.

    Call me old fashioned but I think tampering with elections should preclude you from running again. If I were Schrieber, that’d be on the top of my campaign literature. Why is everyone other than LT being hush-hush on it? Anyone have any perspective on this? Maybe it wasn’t as bad as it sounds?

  40. Firey Fred
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Was he actually convicted, or just accused of having rigged the election? If there’s evidence as to a conviction, I’d love to see it. It would certainly help me make my decision.

  41. Jenkins
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink


    Pete was not convicted. The charges were thrown out. That is why no one (well, almost) is talking about them. Much ado about nothing.

  42. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Fraud, abuse of power, lawsuits against Ypsilanti–Teflon Pete?

  43. John Gawlas
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    You may note that Advance Ypsilanti has come out with a formal public endorsement supporting a YES vote for the charter amendment (in both the August and November ballots). This continues the consistent message of support for public transit. http://bit.ly/AY-OK

  44. Pete Murdock
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    @lorie thom, glen s, john gawlas , Advance Ypsilanti PAC and Mayor Schreiber

    Lee Atwater and Karl Rove have nothin’ on you guys.

    Many of us are trying our best to secure dedicated funding for public transit by passing the Public Transit Charter Amendment. We had hoped that since this is a “common” goal that we could keep other politics out of it. I had even suggested that KYR might use the Mayor and I as honorary co-chairs of the campaign. But you folks have been playing politics from the get-go on this site and AA.com.

    You and your group, Advance Ypsilanti PAC (and the Mayor) have opposed this specific transit funding proposal from the beginning and it was unclear as to whether or not you would even support it when it actually went on the ballot. I was pleased to see that you reluctantly supported it, even if you took a few shots at me in the process.

    Now, I see Beth Bashert, a founding member of Advance Ypsilanti PAC and a member of the Mayor’s campaign team has maneuvered herself to become co-chair of Keep Ypsi Rollin’ and has pronounced in an email that the Keep Ypsilanti Rollin’ Campaign message is ‘august 3 is a mistake that we are just letting slide by’. This doesn’t sound like a robust or even tepid campaign for August 3rd. It is a huge mistake to squander the opportunity to get the message out and identify supporters through the August election, even if “it doesn’t count”. It would make the task a lot easier for November. A loss in August is not the springboard we need to go in to November.

    As to Yard signs – the availability of yard signs and how to get them was posted on the Keep Ypsi Rollin’ Facebook Page and sent out over the KYR Google group. Both Co-chairs of KYR were aware of their availability. Both Glen Sard and John Gawlas personally declined my offer of a KYR yard sign for August.

    It seems that you folks would much rather fight than put together a serious coalition for public transit. It is one thing for the Mayor and I to “support” the issue, it is another to actually campaign for the issue. In my Mayoral campaign, I have consistently talked up the issue and urged support for the issue and I have found that it has widespread support, including many prominent members of the Stop City Income Tax group. I expect that it is going to pass despite all your attempts to sabotage the effort. But you sure don’t make it easy.

    Now back to the doors of the campaign trail and talking to folks who really do have an interest in working together to solve problems.

  45. Glen S.
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    As I said before: Mayor Schreiber has made very clear that he enthusiastically supports a Headlee over-ride to support public transit, as have many of his supporters (including me). That’s why I plan to vote “Yes” in August, as well as November — and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Period.

    Furthermore, throughout this campaign season, I have yet to talk to anyone — within our campaign committee, or among our key supporters — who has expressed anything other than unqualified support for this proposal.

  46. Lisele
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Glen. I know that there is unqualified and enthusiastic support for public transit in our household, since that’s my main means of transportation in our one-car family. Beth is already working 60 hour weeks at her job, but is gamely working another 10 hours per week on the KYR campaign. It’s possible you misunderstood Beth’s out-of-context comment, Pete, since the battle is still to be fought through November, and the question’s appearance on the August ballot was a mistake. Few know better than me how hard we are now and will continue to fight — and tepid is not an adjective that applies.

  47. Jiggs
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    The charter amendment for public transit on the ballot is, in fact, a mistake. It doesn’t count or have any effect on anything. Today, however, I got a letter and several other info pieces from Pete Murdock, touting his involvement with this amendment (and one of the info pieces was about it). Again, this amendment means NOTHING for the August election! I think it was quite sneaky to send this out now, as people will assume that since it’s on the ballot it is a vote for the amendment. It is not!

  48. lorie thom
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Pete, I never opposed busing or ways to pay for it. I am pissed off about the way you handled the proposal. You screwed it up with the 1/2=assed way you shoved it through without any time for review other than to flash it by our less than swift attorney. It was a shabby way to do it and it will confuse enough of our voters to kill it. Its the same ol’ Pete and the cult of personality crap that put this city sideways with each neighboring township, our county, EMU and Lansing in the 80s and 90s and people ought to see how you work. Me. Pete. Now.

    You claim to be working with the campaign and yet yard signs were only available through you via your fb page? Thanks for making that clear. And thank you for allowing the campaign to distribute them now.

  49. notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    who is Lori Thom and why is she so angry?

  50. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    How come my questions never get answered anymore?

  51. Mike Shecket
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s because I’ve only lived here a year and a half, but I’m totally befuddled. My mind can’t seem to assemble any set of agreed upon facts about the past actions of city government or any concrete policy differences between the candidates that could possibly explain the general nasty tone of debate. The only information I can piece together is that so-and-so hates so-and-so because of such-and-such, and what-and-the-other is BFFs with whomever-the-what. Is there substance here (and if so, can someone boil it down for me) or is it just a bunch of cranky middle-aged folks with interlocking personal grudges? Is there a really compelling reason we can’t try to be nice to each other?

  52. kjc
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Mike, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  53. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Ego fight.

  54. Sylvia
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I also want to know why Lori Thom is so angry?

  55. Peter Larson
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    And somehow, it’s all the Township’s fault. Or the city’s fault. And, most bizarrely, everything that goes wrong in Ypsi has to be Ann Arbor’s fault.

    Mike, I read this blog and I can’t make any sense out of Ypsi politics at all.

  56. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why Lori is so angry (her arguments hold no air for me) but I have spent my whole adult life in Ypsi participating in politics here. It has taught me it can get ugly. Some of it is plain sour grapes and sore losers. It is weird because we can probably all agree on at least 90% of things (Am I too optimistic?). We are all neighbors, we attend the same parties and support many of the same causes; we have watched the same city problems develop and fester. Yet we let this season get ugly. It is a time honored American tradition so I try hard to not let it get to me. May the best win and may we get on with it then?

  57. Posted July 29, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    There IS a Populist Caucus and it has been active in Ypsilanti for many years. It has nothing to do with the Advance Ypsilanti PAC.

  58. dragon
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    As someone who was also around in the 80’s I can understand Lorie’s anger. I clearly remember Mr. Murdock inexplicably refusing state matching funds for citywide vaccinations for Chronic Butthurt Syndrome (CBS).
    And now the whole yard sign fiasco.

    …won’t get fooled again!

  59. Bush league
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    In a one party town, the only thing to argue about is personalities. Ypsi politics can be exasperating and/or funny at the same time.

  60. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, we have a Republican in disguise.

  61. Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    …a REPUBLICAN in YPSILANTI? I’m shocked.

  62. Kim Butterfield
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m watching now. Thanks for doing this, Mark.

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