Claiming it’s about taking pride in their community and history, a group of Ypsilanti Township residents moves to change the name that their community has had since its inception, dropping the “Ypsilanti”

YptiTownship

I imagine it has more to do with gaming property values than it does with anything else, but, according to our friends at the Ann Arbor News, there’s a group of Ypsilanti Township residents actively pushing to rename their community. It would seem they want jettison the “Ypsilanti” in favor of something that, in their opinion, better reflects their “identity,” or, perhaps more correctly, the identity they wish to convey to the outside world. Being a resident of the more authentic and less sprawlingly hideous community that they want to distance themselves from, I don’t think it’s any surprise that I’m a bit offended, but, given the conversations we’ve had in the past with Township residents about the possibility of combining public safety services, or possibly even merging our communities, I’m not surprised to hear that, instead of dealing head-on with the problems that face their community, they’d rather just change their name to something like East Ann Arbor Township, or Ford Lake Township, and hope that everything suddenly gets better. I don’t imagine they’ll have any more luck with it than they did a few years ago, when, for similar reasons, they wanted to build their own downtown, just a mile or so from our real one, but it’s interesting to watch, and speculate as to what their motivations might be. My guess is that, like the white guy who blames the fact that he never became a captain of industry on affirmative action, they actually believe that Ypsilanti Township would have been a booming metropolis if not for the fact that they shared a name in common with the decidedly un-suburban City of Ypsilanti… Here, before we begin the inevitable debate as to whether racism may play a role in all of this, is a clip from the article.

…(Mary Gooden, one of a core group of Township residents pushing for this change) said the idea grew out of discussions among friends on how to improve the township. She said they all agree establishing an identity separate from that of the city of Ypsilanti would be a good move.

The group only began mobilizing and circulating petitions last week, but so far they have signatures from three Board of Trustees members, Gooden said…

According to the article, Gooden and her associates are planning to launch a website shortly titled OurIdentity.com, and hope to deliver 6,000 signatures to the Township Board of Supervisors in the near future.

Personally, I’m inclined to let them go without putting up too much of a fight. If they don’t see anything in Ypsilanti worth aligning themselves with, I don’t think that we should try to keep them against their will. And, to be honest, I’m tired of having the crimes committed in the Township (both violent and aesthetic) reflecting badly on those of us who live in the City. So, if they want to be like the people of East Detroit, who changed the name of their community to East Point in hopes of distancing themselves from the problems of the city they reside next to, I say good riddance.

Oh, and I don’t know how relevant it is to our discussion, but a friend, upon reading the story in the Ann Arbor News, decided to look up the addresses of those people identified as leaders in the petition drive, and found that they all lived in the most southern part of the Township, in the vicinity of Bemis Road. Make of that what you will.

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103 Comments

  1. Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    They should just rename themselves “Whitesville.”

  2. Glen S.
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    According to the 2010 Census:

    City of Ypsilanti = 61.5% White, 29.2% African American, 3.4% Asian, and 3.9% Hispanic/Latino of any race.

    Ypsilanti Township = 58.4% White, 32.8% African American, 2.1% Asian, and 4.6% Hispanic/Latino of any race.

    Both communities have neighborhoods with significant poverty, and crime. Both also have sizable middle-class populations, and even a few wealthier enclaves. Both have experienced some new development recently, and both have areas with stubborn blight. Both have suffered major factory closings in recent years, and both have struggled through major cuts in revenue caused by the 2008 housing mortgage crisis.

    On balance, the two communities look much more alike than different. Therefore, I don’t really understand this idea that if folks in the township simply jettison the name “Ypsilanti,” they will somehow become the new Northville, or Canton, or whatever … but I guess the change is ultimately up to them.

  3. Edward
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Would I be right in guessing that Bemis Road was also the whitest part of the Township?

  4. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    No.

  5. anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    What’s so bad about the name Ypsilanti, EOS? Could you enlighten us?

  6. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    It’s doesn’t sufficiently differentiate us from a neighboring community. We are almost 8 times as big and twice as populated as the city, with far greater economic capacity and vitality. I don’t care for Ford Lake Township myself. I think we can come up with a better name.

  7. anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Klan Ranch
    Kissinger Estates
    Nugentown
    Disneyburg
    Point McWalMart

  8. Thom Elliott
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Who cares what they do? That’s where EOS lives, it has the creepy diner where the lunatic fringe of the right wing meet late at night, it has the ice cream shop with the giant cow statue which mocks the suffering of the animals who create that shit, and several dingy prol dive bars…in other words; nothing to miss.

  9. tommy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The township and the city have been at odds with one another for as long as I can remember. What it really boils down to is the folks South of I-94 don’t particularly care what happens North of I-94. If it was possible, I think that what people south of the freeway would like to do is create their own municipality. Anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. If a trade was offered up today – as in the city gets everything north of the freeway while everything south can become, say, Woodruff’s Grove (always loved that name) – people south of the lake would almost unanimously support it. Peopl north might also vote for such a proposal.

    Just calling it like i see it.

  10. anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Cape Pentecost
    Galt Village
    Stumbolita
    Ennaré
    White Island

  11. Eel
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Stupid people looking for silver bullets. The truth of the matter is they have a sprawling wasteland of strip malls and not much else. There is no identity. I appreciate the fact that they want to create one, whether through a new name or a fake downtown, but the fact remains they have little to work with except for land and a shared belief in “freedom” and “low taxes”.

  12. Meta
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Also in the news today.

    A Ypsilanti Township man will serve 24-51 years in prison for murdering a coworker last year.

    Leonard Lamont Ware, 34, was sentenced by Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Darlene A. O’Brien Friday afternoon on four counts stemming from an incident on Oct. 3, 2012 that left Bhagavan Allen, 29, dead.

    Ware was sentenced to 23-50 years for murder in the second degree; 2-5 years each for carrying a concealed weapon and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Those sentences will all be served concurrently. A fourth count of felony firearm carried a mandatory 2-year sentence that has be served prior to the other three sentences. Ware was credited with 362 days on the last count.

    Read more:
    http://www.heritage.com/articles/2013/10/08/ypsilanti_courier/news/doc524f15203f9b4321666695.txt

  13. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “If it was possible, I think that what people south of the freeway would like to do is create their own municipality. Anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. If a trade was offered up today – as in the city gets everything north of the freeway while everything south can become, say, Woodruff’s Grove (always loved that name) – people south of the lake would almost unanimously support it. Peopl north might also vote for such a proposal.”

    I would absolutely support this proposition. Lets make it so.

  14. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    For the record, I think those of us that do live south of the freeway have a much different identity than those living north or it (both in the city and township areas in the north). As has been argued about here for years, the southern part of the township is very suburban, perhaps exurban. These residents prefer their vinyl siding and landscaped lawns in subdivisions surrounded by dirt roads and farms. “Walkable” urban centers are not a desire. This is the exact opposite of the desires of the walkable and bikable desiring residents living in the city.

  15. tommy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Dan – I have lived in both north of I-94 (near Washtenaw CC, or whatever it is now called) and south (Whittaker / Textile area). You are absolutely correct in terms of what residents are generally seeking for their communities. I know great people in both – different priorities and absolutely nothing wrong with that. The battle lines that were drawn over the library location and the failed recreation center location many years ago was a good indicator of how little the two areas have in common.

  16. Sparklemotion
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Ford Lake Township perfectly suits the bland rice cake flavor of the area. In three words, they manage to take a unique, unmistakable sounding identity like “Ypsilanti” and make it into something as forgettable as a strip mall along a divided replete with Applebee’s, Macy’s and the cheap shitty Chinese restaurants that always haunt those things. As predictable as a Saturday afternoon spent eating chicken wings and drinking Bud Light in a pre-fab neighborhood built in the mid-90s watching Michigan football in a faux man cave.

  17. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Chinese food, beer, wings, and football. Sounds like a perfect Saturday! We could put that on our billboard as you cross 94 on Huron.

  18. tommy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    or …As predictable as a Saturday afternoon spent eating mixed greens and drinking Micro-Brew in a pre-war neighborhood built in the mid-30s discussing Michigan politics in an old converted wheel factory office that you walked to with hipster friends…

    To each his own, man, to each his own.

  19. Demetrius
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    As abundant oil/cheap credit begin to disappear, I wonder who will fare better in the long run?

  20. DepecheMode
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    People are people so why should it be that you and I should get along so awfully?

  21. double anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    How about Weliketothinkofourselvesaswhitersmarterricherandmoresuccessfulthanwereallyareville?

  22. lorie thom
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I actually don’t care what they call themselves. Have at it.

  23. Fox
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Powerful Whitey
    Not Those Guys
    More Guns Less Crime Ville
    Cape Applebee’s
    Walmart Cove
    Bibleclutchopolis

  24. smellytongues
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I looked up ouridentity.com in the whois database because I thought it would be funny to buy it if they hadn’t already done so. Believe it or not, some people announce URLs only to find out they are not available. Anyway, it’s currently owned by namestore.com and is up for sale at $3000. Good luck with that, Ms. Gooden.

    http://whois.net/whois/ouridentity.com

    https://auctions.godaddy.com/trpItemListing.aspx?miid=72753979&ci=44273&prog_id=GoDaddy

    http://www.namestore.com/

  25. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    A shared belief in “freedom” and “low taxes” – exactly! We are much more diverse than the city in that most township residents live in close proximity to other racial groups. We don’t segregate into separate neighborhoods.

  26. Eel
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    My favorite thing about this post is that it’s keeping Dan from shitting on Patrick Elkins.

  27. Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Does Mary know that there are real problems that need to be fixed? I bet she can find a better use of her time.

  28. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius,

    The US actually has one of the largest shale oil reserves in the world. I believe 2nd to Russia. We are very high on the list of gas reserves as well. That’s the beauty of buying the majority of the worlds oil supply for the past 50 years at extremely cheap prices. Now that shale reserves are becoming an ever more profitable industry, we can then sell our oil to the rest of the world when they need it most (i.e., at high prices) Meanwhile, we are already migrating from conventionally powered engines and plants, etc.

  29. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Eel, I have more than enough time to make you look stupid in multiple threads. Unfortunately, you don’t need any of my help.

    (and I’m the troll here, right? Lol)

  30. Knox
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken Ford Lake was among the most polluted bodies of water in the nation until not so long ago. I find it interesting that they’d want to name their community after it. It’s like naming something after Chernobyl or Fukushima.

  31. anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Ford Lake Township: Come for the Applebee’s. Stay for the meth.

  32. Elviscostello
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow, talk about contentious. Also, the lack of understanding by city bashers and township bashers is pretty sad. To start the thread with Peter Larson calling the township “Whitesville” to tommy slamming a stereotype of City residents shows me that cooperation ain’t gonna happen before the Lions ever win a Super Bowl. By the way…I like “Woodruff’s Grove” for the whole community.

  33. Sparklemotion
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Let’s get back to the township slogans for Ford Lake Township – I would like to ape part of the one anonymous had and go with – “Ford Lake Township – Come for the Applebee’s, stay because you’re afraid of minorities!”

  34. Demetrius
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    @ Dan.

    That sounds like a great plan as long as you ignore the tremendous inputs of energy and water are necessary to turn shale oil into useable fuels; the tons of waste products this process creates; and the millions of tons of additional greenhouse gasses that will flow into the atmosphere as a result. It also helps if you assume that we will continue to have economic and political stability, going forward.

    The future isn’t going to be global … its going to be local, i.e. walkable, bike-able, edible, etc.

  35. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    @Demetrius,

    As I suggested, shale oil is just now becoming economically viable. As with any other industry, the more research, experience and adoption that takes place, the cheaper and more efficient it becomes. But whatever, I was just pointing out that there will be “abundant” oil for many decades still.

    As far as the future being “local”: when will this happen?

  36. tommy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Elvis (I prefer Declan McManus) – I guess my attempt at humor was lost on you. I was actually making a reference to Sparklemotion’s stereotype of township residents south of the lake.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight anymore as I have moved a bit west, but you are spot on in terms of cooperation not happening anytime soon. I, too, think that rather than separating, the area would be much better off with one unified ‘Woodruff’s Grove’. Both communities would benefit, but the power structure, the attitudes , and the mindset won’t be a changin’. Sad, but true.

  37. Mr. Y
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Thayrone Township: Come for the guns. Stay because you’re afraid to leave your home.

  38. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    It would be a funny logo except there’s no Applebee’s in the township. If you’re coming for Applebee’s you’ll be disappointed. We do have a lot of farmland, natural areas, wildlife, bike paths, parks, coffee houses, restaurants, and even a few full service grocery stores.

  39. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Galt Township has a nice ring to it – where the land is plenty, individuals are free, and the government promises to not take your last dime.

  40. Lynne
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really mind if they change their name but honestly, I still don’t get why they want to. I am not sure what is meant by the name not sufficiently differentiating it from the City of Ypsilanti. Why is that important?

    FWIW, most of the people I know who live in Ypsilanti Twp live in neighborhoods not too unlike the neighborhoods in the city. I know some folks who live off of Cross Street in that neighborhood behind Prospect Park. I think the first couple of blocks there are the city but then it is the township and other than the township’s streetlights, there isn’t much of a difference between the two. My other friends live over in that Gault Village area which has houses that seem pretty much the same as many neighborhoods in the city.

    I get it that those areas and others such as West Willow are much different than the township neighborhoods which are further south but if they change their name, they will still be associated with those neighborhoods so if the point is some kind of disassociation, I don’t think it is going to happen.

    Also Ford Lake Twp is a really stupid name.

  41. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    The difference is 50% lower taxes and a desire to keep it that way.

  42. Anne
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    As a Township resident, I don’t see the sense spending all the money to facilitate an identity change nor do I see the need for the township to distance itself from the City. Granted I live on the north side of I-94 and a stones throw from the high school/ a bicycle ride to downtown, so I feel much more connected to the City than the Township. Not that I think such a resolution would pass, but if it did I think those that vote for it should get to foot the bill for such nonsense. And yes, given the chance to vote to be annexed by the City, I would be in total support of it even if meant, gasp…having to pay higher taxes.

  43. dragon
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    On the first part of the journey
    I was looking at all the life
    There were rants and turds and Fox and things
    There was Rand and shills and Frings.

  44. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Anne,

    With your attachment to the city, you might consider donating your extra funds to help pay down the Water Street debt. After all, you do ride your bike on their streets.

  45. Ray Parker Jr.
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    You can change your telephone number. You can change your address too. But you can’t stop me from loving you. No, you can’t change that.

  46. Sparklemotion
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    How about Canton Jr.?

  47. Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure my opinion is somewhat biased as a result of the folks from the Township, like EOS, who leave comments here, but my sense is that people who choose to live there, more often than not, value low taxes more than they do strong, vibrant community. I certainly have friends in the Township who don’t conform to this stereotype, and I’m sure they’re not alone, but my sense is that the overwhelming majority of folks who live in the Township, if given $100, would rather buy a gun than contribute toward the greater good of their fellow citizens. Like I said, I know that there are certainly exceptions, but, after living here off and on for over 20 years, that’s the impression that I have. And, yes, I think it’s stupid to have “change our name” as one’s economic development policy. I know it’s painful to hear this, but the Township isn’t well situated for the future, and the best name in the world won’t change that. Suburbs are over. And sprawl is dead. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about tar sands. The truth, regardless of what Thayrone may tell you, is that we aren’t sitting on an endless supply of clean, ready to burn fuel. The stuff that’s left takes ever more work to get out of the ground, and is increasingly toxic. The American way of life has to change. I know that’s painful, but it’s true. Walkable cities are coming back. And the Township will eventually turn back to farmland, broken up by the occasional compound. These forces cannot be stopped. But, sure, go ahead and change your name.

  48. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    I agree on all points. I would vote no on a name change just for the sake of it. You are correct that the “identity” that this petition is trying to cultivate is not the same as the ones in west willow, gault village, or the northwestern part of the township. Unless a proposal came along such as the one that tommy suggested way up top (redefining the municipal boundaries at the freeway), changing the name wouldnt have much impact. I guess the only difference it might make is that it might stop the citizens of the city from thinking that they have some right to combine with the township simply because of a shared name.

    And yes, Ford Lake Twp is a terrible name.

    Also, i’d be surprised if any name change at all would make much difference, as we would all most likely still share the postal codes. Mailing addresses would still say Ypsilanti.

    I also have no idea why Mark suggests there is something wrong with Bemis Rd. Actually, Bemis Twp isnt too bad of a name. Hewen’s Creek Twp would be cool too.

  49. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I asked Demetrius this, but he didnt answer. To you statement that” Suburbs are over. And sprawl is dead.”

    When is the funeral?

    I’d venture a guess that you havent made it south of the Whittaker Rd library much, but the sprawl is very much alive. Head to the exurbs of Saline (Lodi Twp) and tell me that the sprawl is dead. Housing in suburbia has picked up a great deal. Hell, just venture down Ellsworth into Pittsfield and let me know how the sprawl is dead.

    Just because you and your friends hate suburbia, you cant change the fact that the majority of young professionals looking for a home would rather live in a suburban subdivision than a loft apartment. The oil boom is 50 years away from dieing, at the earliest. We are only prolonging surburban living by creating extremely fuel efficient cars and electric vehicles that easily handle 1 hour commutes. (although, the environmental benefits of an electric car havent been realized yet, just as any new technology such as alternative oil sources.)

  50. Huh?
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Why are the people from the city that are commenting so defensive? Who cares what the Township does unless you live there? I live in the city and choose not to be bothered by what people from the neighboring cities and townships think of Ypsilanti. If they change the name why do you honestly care? As for it being racist, that’s such a shitty assumption to make. This predominately white blog is going out it’s way to scream that they aren’t racist because they live in the city? What does that even mean? How do you know that non-whites wouldn’t and don’t currently support a name change? I can assume that no matter the color of the homeowner, selling a home in a city not named Ypsilanti is a lot easier than selling one with it. Is the reason because it’s got black people? I don’t think so, I think it’s because there is a crime problem, yearly murders at EMU, below average schools, and a lot of unattractive property. Yes there is a lot of historical, unique architecture. However it kind of gets shit on when the grass isn’t cut and Christmas lights are left up and on throughout the year. Oh, and those are my white neighbors… It’s not racism, it’s Ypsi. It is what it is.

  51. Elviscostello
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Tommy, sorry, I didn’t get the attempt at humor. My bad.

  52. Elviscostello
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Mark, “but my sense is that the overwhelming majority of folks who live in the Township, if given $100, would rather buy a gun than contribute toward the greater good of their fellow citizens”, really!?
    As a 43 year former resident, former firefighter, and husband of a teacher, I gotta say that’s the most offensive post I’ve seen here, and unexpected from you. In the Greene Farms neighborhood, a suburb that you decry, I’ve been to some of the most engaged, giving, charitable family’s homes. They raise money for schools, give untold hours in parent groups, hold fundraisers for sick neighbors, and raise engaged children. The parent group at one of the Elementary schools, over 6 years has raised well over $50,000, not selling candy bars, but through hard work. I’m so sorry that you felt the need to “go there”. How would you feel if the question was reversed, if a city resident was waiting near the AATA transit stop, and was given $100, what would be done with it? Do you really want to stereotype residents of the two communities like that? Wow. Just unexpected.

  53. jcp2
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    What sort of gun can I get for $100? All the ones I would want are several multiples of that.

  54. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Elvis,

    Mark is under the impression that lower taxes = only caring about oneself. It’s mind boggling that he thinks “a strong vibrant community” is a function of tax rates.

    He has no idea what the southern part of the township is like, so he makes assumptions that we are all gun toting lunatics, flying the Stars and Bars in between our hourly church sermons. That apparently is the prevailing opinion among his friends here as well.

    The only way they can justify the decades of mismanagement by their elected leaders (that has brought on the need to combine two failing school districts and borderline insolvency, even though they have one of the highest tax rates in the state) is to claim that anyone that doesnt want to pay more in taxes is a Rand disciple.

    And of course, the Ypsi city way is the only way. suburbia is about to fall. Just ask the citizens of a municipality that cant entice anyone to build, let alone build multi-family dwellings. Meanwhile, all of the surrounding “sprawl” areas have builders putting up suburban homes

  55. Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Maybe not the best analogy. I do think, however, there’s something to it, based on several conversations we’ve had here before. There seems to be a sense among folks in the Township – at least the ones that leave comments here – that they’re rugged individualists, who don’t need charity, and can take care of themselves. There have been several conversations here, for instance, when people from the Township would chime in and say that we’d be better off spending less on cops, and just arming ourselves. So that’s where the “gun” thing came from. As for the other side of the equation, my comment was meant to reflect the recent conversations we’ve had about my friend Patrick Elkins, and our efforts to help him pay his hospital bills. As you’ll recall, some folks from the Township indicated that we should keep our money, and that he should take responsibility for himself, as he made a choice not to purchase insurance. It just seems to me that there’s a certain strain of selfishness that runs through conversations, and an unwillingness to accept the fact that we all need one another to survive. And, yes, my shorthand for conveying those ideas could have been better. And, as I said up front, I know that it’s likely a minority of folks who feel that way… they’re just the ones I come in contact with most frequently. Some of my very best friends live in the Township, and they’re among the kindest people I know.

  56. Dan
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I’ve tried to not bring this into the township naming debate, but you obviously need the attention.

    No one ever told you to “keep (y)our money…”

    At least not that I know of. I’ve repeatedly said that I couldnt give a shit less if you all donated your own legs to Patrick. Just stop blaming the current insurance situation on the american people, and stop trying to shame us. You repeatedly said “how fucked up is it that he has to worry about his bills.” and so on and so forth.

    The conversation was NEVER about not helping your friend. Of course everyone wants to help their friends. The conversation was about why you think he should be entitled to that health care, and not have someone send him a bill. Even under the “Affordable” Care Act, Patrick would owe at least $6500 per year, for as long as he had this condition and expected to have it treated. Why should he receive care for free, while you try to shame the rest of us (non-friends, i.e., the American public) for not paying for it for him?

    Which you’ve still never answered.

  57. Our Town
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Sorry Ypsi. We’ve outgrow you.

    At 3X the population, we’re as much as a city as you if not more.

    And yes, we’re different.

    As long as we’re filing paperwork, I’d like to see us just get it all in line.

    Let’s forgo “Ford Lake Township” and just file as what we are: “The City of Ford Lake.”

  58. Our Town
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ford Lake … get used to it!

  59. Our Town
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    City of Bemis.

    =AWESOME!!!

  60. Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Everything I know about Ypsi Township is from this blog. It seems like a terrible place.

  61. EOS
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    In Michigan, 96% of the land, 58% of the property values, and a majority of the people live in townships, not cities. Anyone willing to accept the truth can easily discern that the old, decaying cities with the high tax rates and crumbling infrastructure and corrupt governments are dying while almost everyone with the economic means is leaving for the greener pastures of township living. Not wanting to pay excessive tax rates to local government is not the equivalent of not caring. While it’s true that the city may very well need township tax dollars to survive in the very near future, the Township is poised to expand commercial, industrial, and residential properties and maintain high standards of living for years to come. Having lived in both the city and the township, I strongly prefer the strong bonds of community and friendly neighbors in the township. Sorry, but the American dream has never been to live in high density urban environments, without a car or place to park it, living hand to mouth while carrying groceries home daily and watching our children play on toxic brownfields. Mark, you’ve done more to fuel the animosity between city and township than anyone else. Continually insulting the township will not make us more likely to pay the city’s bills. When the city eventually collapses you’ll all be incorporated within a larger, contiguous township where those who want to give more and more money to inefficient government will be vastly outnumbered.

  62. EOS
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Dan is right about having abundant oil for a long time to come.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/04/us-oil-natural-gas-production-russia-saudi-arabia

  63. Burt Reynolds
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I love the name Woodruff’s Grove. Why not change the name? The City and Township are polar opposites.

  64. anonymous
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    When you ask people why they live where they do, and they invariably start with “the taxes are low” that tells me everything I need to know about that community. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

  65. EOS
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    No apologies necessary. The taxes are low AND the services are considerably better than nearby municipalities.

  66. John Thomas
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    New Name: “Freedom Land”

    New Tag Line: ‘unless you happen to be gay, non-christian, believe in evolution, desire access to health care, want to read books perceived by some as offensive, don’t mind paying taxes to support community infrastructure…’

  67. Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I live in the country. My taxes are absurdly high and I receive almost no services.

    If I lived in Ann Arbor, my taxes would be approximately the same and I would have services.

  68. Dan
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I like how EOS and I are considered the “trolls” here, when you have posts like John Thomas’ and all of the other ignorant and racist posts in this thread from a half of a dozen of others. But they’re considered “contributors”

    lol, the hypocrisy in here is so delicious.

  69. Murf
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I had a good chuckle when I read that they wanted to change the name because for the last year or so, I made it my own personal mission to give the ‘This was in the township, not in the City’ comments to all the Ypsi City naysayers in the crowd on the ol’ annarbor.com stories that were Ypsi Township based.

  70. josh
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    This is way off topic, but I don’t understand the obsession with low taxes. My high city taxes were priced into the house I bought. A comparable house likely doesn’t exist in the township, but there’s no way you are getting a tract house with my square footage for anywhere near my total monthly payment, taxes included. You can pay the bank or you can pay the taxman. It’s not like anyone sees the end of their 30-year mortgage anyway.

  71. Aaron
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I lived not too far from East Detroit when they switched names to East Pointe as if some how putting the “Pointe” after their name would make the little houses there more like the large brick houses of the Grosse Pointe’s…. and despite the name change it’s still a blah area as it was before the name change. People are so silly.

  72. Dan
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    @josh,

    What is your sq ft and total monthly payment?

    Hard to just guess at numbers, but what you are implying is that your home is not worth as much as a similar size home in the township (market value). But anyway, if you were to sell your home in 10 years, you would have less equity in it, than someone that paid a similar amount, but a lower tax rate.

    Just doing some quick examples using an online mortgage calculator:

    City House with market value of $150k, 5% mortgage interest, property tax rate = 3.25% (half of the 65 mills): Total payment $1211.48/month. After 10 years, you would have $25370.12 equity in the home (ignoring potential market increases)

    Township House with market value of $170k, 5% mortgage interest, property tax rate = 2.1% (half of the 42 mills): Total payment $1,210.10/month. After 10 years, you would have $28752.8 equity in the home (ignoring potential market increases)

  73. Dan
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    actually, my numbers would be after 9 years and 3 months (assumed mortgage originated today.) After 10 years, the gap would widen a bit more.

    City house worth $150k, $1211/month payment: $27986.9 in equity after 10 years

    Twp house worth 170k, $1210/month payment: $31718.49 in equity after 10 years

  74. josh
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Dan, close on the city house, nowhere near close on the township house. My $150k got me over 3000 square feet in the city. I only did a quick search for square footage, but the cheapest I found in the Township was $260k. By my math, just the mortgage payment on the township house is roughly equal to my entire monthly payment. We also only have to have 1 car and drive it 5000 miles/year max. So throw transportation costs on top. We might have gotten an especially good deal, but even at the appraisal value, nothing in the township could touch it.

    Even if your numbers were accurate, the difference is $400/year in equity. Car payments? Time lost to commutes? With the exception of maybe Willow Run, it is not cheaper to live in the township.

  75. My Kid's Mom
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Low taxes do not a community make.

  76. karen
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    twice in the past six years, two thirds of the voters of ypsilanti voted against much higher taxes.

  77. Dan
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    @josh,

    obviously, thats a bargain price. and not very typical of peoples home purchases in either places. Just looking at for sale homes on zillow of that size, there none in the city. There are a few foreclosures for sale in the twp at much lower numbers, though.

    However, there are recently sold homes of that size in the city at over 220k. As well as homes in that size range in the township that have recently sold for 170k. So, while the situation is fairly uncommon, my numbers are still applicable.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9710-Falmouth-Dr-Ypsilanti-MI-48197/98562381_zpid/

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7702-Greene-Farm-Dr-Ypsilanti-MI-48197/54813935_zpid/

  78. josh
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I think my point got lost. Property taxes have no bearing on the affordability of housing. All else being equal, the housing market takes them into account when pricing houses. Changes in taxes obviously do matter as they alter the market value of your house (but are unlikely to change the actual monthly payment).

    It won’t fix their problems, but I don’t care what people in the Township want to call themselves.

  79. Oliva
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Did someone already suggest the name Inferior Township, for the symmetry with Superior? No real wish to offend, just couldn’t resist–and God love the library and P.O., the roundabout, the credit union and Urgent Care! And the people–plenty of them. (BTW, it’s yucky what is happening to the land on the north side of Geddes across from the governor’s gated community. Is that technically Superior Township? If yes, don’t lots have to be at least two acres to build there?)

  80. Thom Elliott
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I think you should change it to “Fracking Lake”, has a nice ring to it. If flamable water, birth defects, endocrine disrupting chemicals, thyroid disorders, autism, and skyrocketing cancer rates are worth it to keep eating double cheeze burgs, disposable cellphones, and SUVs, then move to Fracking Lake! We have plenty of reserves of the frackable! We’ll have all the oil we’ll need! Which is just our immediate lifetimes! Who cares about the future! We have the fracktopia!

  81. Billy
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Listening to all of you bitch makes me want to move back to my hometown…and that place REALLY sucks. You have a great community, township AND city proper. Stop whining, you clique-ster a-holes.

  82. karen
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    ever since the ford plant closed, the only thing ypsilanti makes anymore is clique-ster-a-holes.

  83. Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I went to the greener pastures of the country and quickly found that the service suck.

    Ypsilanti Township does not qualify as a “rural community.”

  84. Dan
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    @Peter

    “Ypsilanti Township does not qualify as a “rural community.”

    Why do you say that? Are you only familiar with the portion north of the freeway. Take a look at the google map -satellite image of the southern portion.

  85. Posted October 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    josh – “throw transportation costs on top”

    Random dataset, perhaps of interest, the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s housing + transportation affordability index backs you up, showing ypsi-area annual per-household transportation costs to be lowest in the downtown/campus area, and getting higher as you move into the townships.

    The difference from an average neighborhood in Ypsi City to one in Ypsi Twp is $1000+ annually, advantage city-dweller. (Superior’s even more expensive in transportation, with some areas averaging $17000+ annually in per-household transportation costs, relative to $12k-$13k in the city’s core neighborhoods.)

    Assuming you’re an average household, you could put that extra grand a year into addl principal payments on your house, and come out way ahead on Dan’s math.

  86. Posted October 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    @Dan

    Although there are some rural pockets within Ypsi Township, the predominant characteristics are suburban, not rural.

    Consider population density. Michigan as a whole is rural, with an average of 175 people per square mile. The average population density for Washtenaw County is 456 people per square mile. To the south of Ypsilanti Township, Augusta Township is rural, with a density of 180 people per square mile. To the north of Ypsilanti, Superior Township has a density of 370 people per square mile. Looking at northeastern Washtenaw, Northfield Township has 220 people per square mile, and Salem Township has 160 people per square mile. To the west, Sharon Township is truly rural, with just 46 people per square mile.

    By comparison, the cities in Washtenaw County are more dense: Ypsilanti has 4,490 people per square mile, Ann Arbor has 4,094 people per square mile, Saline has 2,068 people per square mile, Milan has 1,758 people per square mile, and Chelsea has 1,362 people per square mile.

    Based on these numbers, and your perception of the area, what would you guess would be the population density of Ypsilanti Township? I hope you’ll give an honest guess, without looking it up first…

  87. Dan
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    @Murph @josh

    That all depends on your situation. I could live in Ypsi Twp and work from home and have a transportation cost of $0. The mistake in your logic is that you’re assuming that your 50+% higher tax rate is paying for then equivalent of transportation costs. That’s not the case. Your 50+% higher tax rate is paying for poor decisions and legacy costs.

    Imagine how much cheaper you could live if your elected leaders didn’t continually make horrible decisions?

  88. Dan
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    @cmadler,

    I was referring to the southern part of the township, which borders Augusta. I realize there is high density in the north

  89. Posted October 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I have done the math on living in a rural community vs. in a city center several times (based on taxes, travel expenses and living expenses) for a number of contexts. In every single context, I have found that living in the city center is far more cost effective.

    I choose to live in a rural area, but am under absolutely no illusions that it saves me any money. It’s expensive to live in the country in the long term.

  90. wobblie
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    In the 2010 census ,
    The median income for a household in the city was $28,610 and the median income for a family was $40,793. In the township the median income for a household was $46,460, and the median income for a family was $55,131. The per capita income for the city was $16,692. About 16.9% of families and 25.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 15.3% of those age 65 or over. Compared to the township where the per capita income was $22,970. About 8.0% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

    I think these statistics explain a lot. The folks in the township have on average $6,000 per person more than us city dwellers. With nearly half the households in the township making in excess of $50,000 per year. Despite the township having nearly as many minority members as the city it seems much more highly segregated with most of the poor folks living in west Willow and Willow Run and in high density apartment complexes close to the city. Whereas in the City we have no wealthy population with some of the cities poorest folks living next door to one of the city’s biggest land owners.
    Ypsilanti has about 19,500 folks living in the city limits. About the same as we had in the mid 50’s. In 1970 there were nearly 30,000. We are stuck with paying off the legacy cost created by meeting the needs of a 1970-1980 population with a 1950’s population.

  91. Demetrius
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    @ Dan

    re: “legacy costs”

    Yeah, I guess we’re just a bunch of fools to agree to continuing paying for the pensions and health benefits that we promised our police officers, fire fighters and other civil servants in exchange for a lifetime of public service. Much smarter, I suppose to just we just “write off” these costs … along with the people attached to them.

  92. EOS
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else notice how wobblie conflates being poor with being black? What’s up with that?

  93. Dan
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    No demetrius, the issue is that your leaders knew these costs would cripple the city. They knew this many years ago. And their only solution was to keep asking you for more money. They never considered other options.

    Youre fools to believe their bullshit that its cheaper to have your own police dept than to contract with the county. Youre fools for thinking that its acceptable to have a millage rate of 65+ in a city with despicable schools. And if you believed the city income tax was a good idea, you’re especially foolish. Stop thinking that giving more money to the people that create your problems is a solution to your problems

  94. Dan
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    @eos

    Wobblies post is filled with nonsense. Never saw the housing project by the police dept? How many “poor people” live in Normal Park?

    Not to mention that the township has over 30,000 minority citizens. The city has about one third of that

  95. IpseeKid
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I like it, and I’m a city guy. Here’s why:

    -It would immediately cut the broader perception of both our crime rates in half, for say, the less informed readers of things like A2.com. “Ford Lake Township man…”

    -It might make some residing in the more outlying Ford Lake Twp areas take a little more ownership of their image. “Ford Lake Township man…”

    -Really, the only things we have in common is proximity and a name. I’m generally in favor of consolidation of services. Names aside, I think it makes more sense for the city to partner with Superior Twp. who shares more values.

    -Unless Ypsi Twp and Ypsi City are ready to merge, it’d be good to define. Where are the most interesting things happening in Ypsi? Where are the most dangerous places?
    (Hint. One is City and one is Twp. You pick.)

    -I think it’d be useful for people living east on Holmes or Cross to say, “I live in Ford Lake Township” and engage in their local gov. instead of complaining about our parks.

    Pip, pip to Ford Lake Township! Take our reputation, but not our name.

  96. Dan
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Once again “Ipseekid” has confirmed the point that not a single one of you township haters has ever been south of 94 . (and before you lunatics go nuts, yes that is hyperbole). But the point remains. The vast majority have no idea what the southern part of the township is like. And as I’ve said several times now
    , I would be more than. Willing to vote for a proposal where the city gains the tax payers north of the freeway or the lake, in exchange for a township name that had no affiliation with the mismanaged and over taxed city.

  97. EOS
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Sorry Dan,
    I can’t agree with you on that one. There are great neighborhoods in the township both north and south of 94. Business and industries will substantially improve the northern areas when the expansion of willow run aeropolis is fully implemented. In the forseeable future, the majority of tax revenue may come from this area. There is no need to reduce the size of the township or give the city anything. Any name change is exclusively the township’s perogative.

  98. EOS
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Demetrius,
    At one time, pensions were paid after a lifetime of service but now police, fire, and civil servants typically get full pensions for 20 years of work. Most private sector employees work for 45 years or more to get retirement benefits from a 401K plan that is dependent on their investment choices and market volatility. But for years, Union funds have financed the campaigns of local officials in return for contracts that provide enormous retirement benefits at taxpayer expense. And, to add insult to injury, after 20 years, a municipal employee retires with full pension and is then hired in a neighboring community for a similar position. After 10 years of additional work, they are allowed to “buy an additional 5 years of benefits” and then qualify because of age and years of service to receive a second full pension at taxpayer expense. To a large extent these high “legacy” costs are due to mismanagement of funds by elected officials who knew that their communities couldn’t afford to pay for them, but realized they would be out of office before the shit hit the fan.

  99. Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    “Most private sector employees work for 45 years or more to get retirement benefits from a 401K plan that is dependent on their investment choices and market volatility. ”

    I’m not sure I agree with “most.” I think “some” might be more accurate. Many private sector employees earn hourly wages and don’t have access to employer sponsored retirement plans. Even if private sector employees have access to some kind of retirement plan, many don’t start contributing seriously until they are well into their 30’s or 40’s.

    I have no access to a retirement plan now and never had any at any of my jobs in the past. My wage was so low that I wasn’t ever able to put money away. Though I eventually started putting money away, I wasn’t in a position to start until last year.

    I don’t think that my case is exceptional at all.

    If I’m lucky, I will die by the time I’m 65. It’s really the only logical option.

  100. Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    “In 2011, 51 million American workers were active 401(k) participants”

    This is hardly “most.”

    As for “market volatilities,” investors are free to invest in non-volatile public bonds, even through 401(k) plans.

  101. wobblie
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    I was not conflating poor and minorities. The township and the city have approx. the same % of minorities. I was talking about the relative wealth of the citizenry. Normal park and the Roosevelt neighborhoods are about the only city neighborhoods where you find upper income middle class folks. Anywhere in the city you go around the corner and you will be confronted with those whose incomes are much less than in the township. Live down on Bemis road and you can pretty much pretend the poor don’t exist and that the pan handlers at the interstate exchanges deserve their fate.
    The people who also want to believe that the failed school systems and the cities problems are the result of the same leadership are simply clueless.

  102. skeptic
    Posted October 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    This map shows a dot for each person in the 2010 census color-coded by ethnicity. If you zoom in to Ypsi/the township soon-to-be-formerly-known as CTY, it shows pretty clearly that the township is more integrated than the city, especially in the large subdivision along Bemis between Hitchingham and Whittaker. Really, everywhere in the township other than West Willow has a pretty even mix of ethnicities in close proximity compared to the city, which is still very segregated along Michigan Ave and Huron River Dr. Also, there is a pretty high concentration of people of Middle Eastern descent down by Bemis, who I believe are counted as white people in the census data. http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html

  103. Dan
    Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Nice link skeptic.

    So maybe Ypsi City should change its name to “Whites ville” or “Klan Ranch” or “White Island”

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