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Candidates' Views: From Pride To Garbage

Candidates' Views: From Pride To Garbage image
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Garbage collection, transportation, "pride" in Ann Arbor and "community '■ control" of City Hall were among the 1 vorite subjects at the League of Women 3 Voters City Council candidates night i Thursday. j Nineteen candidates from the city's : three political parties who face opposition in the Feb. 19 primary appeared to present their views to the more than 100 . persons in attendance, plus a radio audience. , The differences among the three ! ties appeared to be their fundamental L approaches to the city's problems: The Republicans want better management, ] fiscal responsibility and improvements in basic city services; the Democrats called for better planning and leadership , in seeking solutions to problems ; and the , HRP members accused the other two , parties of working to maintain the status quo, and said that real change can only come from their third party movement. There wasn't a single major issue all the candidates agreed on, but the mass transit package residents will vote on in April came the closest. The only opposition to this came from the GOP's Third Ward candidates Roger R. Bertoia and Robert L. Henry Jr. Bertoia said he feit the millage (2Vi milis) is too much, and Henry claimed the system would fail because it attempts to serve too many people who don't need it. All of the Democratie candidates supported the transit millage, saying this is a start toward solving problems caused by too many cars and roads. The HRP candidates also supported the millage, but said changes are needed to make the Transportation Authority more representative of the community. Several HRP members also urged expansión of the proposed system with no fares charged. Following is a summary of some of the views expressed by the candidates for mayor. Democrats Robert Elton: Ann Arbor is growing at a record rate yet not enough is being done to make the city more "ecologically responsive," Elton said. He urged that planning begin immediately to solve some of the city's environmental problems, specifically suggesting more recycling of certain refuse, a ban on nonreturnable bottles, further reduction in the amount of salt used on streets, and steps to discourage the use of private I automobiles, including street closures. John Feiner: A descendant of a family that settled in Ann Arbor in the 1860's, I Feiner promised to work to obtain more I payments from the University for city I services. He said he is a registered lobIbyist with the state, and would use his I I contacts with Michigan's legislative and I nvorii+ivn lpnHers tn trv to hrins about the restoration of the U-M's contributions to the city. Franz Mogdis: Ann Arbor needs a strong mayor who is capable of taking the lead and forcing needed changes, Mogdis said. More accountability is needed in City Hall, he added, suggesting that city department heads be made responsible to council and not the administrator. He also ' said council should regularly review departmental operations, and, if necessary, conduct public hearings on those operations. Mogdis promised to push for a moratorium on all road construction in the city until alternatives for transportation have been studied. He also promised, if elected, to set up an ad hoc council committee to study changes in the emphasis placed by the Pólice Department on victimless crimes. Child care centers are needed with a sliding scale of rates, and more women are needed in the city's top administrative positions, he said. Huirfon Rights Party Anne Bobroff: All citizens have the right to health care, low cost public transportation, low cost housing and strong enforcement of antidiscrimination laws, Bobroff said. Pointing to the difference in the HRP's various factions, she said she is of the opinión that the party must work on the state and national levels for a mass-based third party movement to bring about social change. She said the HRP must select a candidate aware of the importance of looking beyond the local level in seeking change. Benita Kaimowitz: Placing too much emphasis on obtaining change on the state and national levéis because of local legal and financial limitations wnnlri nniv give city offiicals an excuse to avod change, sad Kaimowitz. Local government should concéntrate more on human services than on refuse and pólice services, she said. The city's revenue sharing money is coming from social oriented federal programs, she said, and the money received locally should go back into those programs. Richard Steinhart: People are becom-: ing "militantly apathetic" in trying to escape social problems and need a ! son to take pride in their city, Steinhart j said. He suggested that learning experienees which traditionally take place in schools should take on more of a practi-j cal nature to benefit the community,] alternatives to the automobile are needed. including bike paths, pedestrian mails and mass transit, he said. A new approach to city government is needed, one that deals with the causes of problems and not the symptoms, Steinhard said. He was also the only HRP candidate who said he would not feel bound to the platform chosen by the party members. Republican Lewis C. Ernst: Ann Arbor í'needs a mayor with ideas and the backbone to carry them out," Ernst said. "When we look at the causes of problems we musL look at ourselves, not at others." Concerning law enforcement, Ernst said the city doesn't have enough laws on the books to enforce. James Stephenson: Ann Arbor has always had a "community spirit" that has made it unique among cities, but this spirit has been dwindling in the past few years because of the Democrat and HRP influence, he said. That influence has helped result in a doubling in the number of robberies, city streets becoming dirty, a $400,000 city deficit this year, a Housing Commission $100,000 in debt and a Model Cities program that is a "political mess," he added. One of the major problems, Stephenson said, was that city leaders in the past have allowed themselves to be pressured into action by special interest groups. Ann Arbor needs a government with direction and 1 ship, he said. Following is a brief resume of some of I the comments made by the candidates I for City Council who appeared: First Ward Andrei Joseph, HRP: The Republicans I and Democrats have fostered programs I resulting in racism, sexism, and I quate health care despite the fact the I city has the resources to deal with these problems, he said. The HRP was formed because of lack of change, and only it is capable of bringing change, he said. Second Ward Lisa North, HRP: Funding is needed for child and health care, and mass transit, she said, and the HRP is supporting these as well as rent control. The HRP must also look outside the local scène seeking a mass base of support, she said. Frank Shoichet, HRP: A former Democrat, Shoichet said the programs that party has developed are "cruel jokes." The crime problem is directly related to the hard drug problem, and the emphasis should be on helping the drug user rather than arresting him, he said. David Sinclair, HRP: The present HRP leaders are too concerned with using the party as a forum for radical ideas and not enough to give control of the city to the people. Food cooperatives, child care, rent control and full enforcement of the rights of minorities are among the priorities he stressed. Alexander Stephenson, HRP: E ach city ward should have its own emergency medical treatment facilities for accident victims, he said. He also urged steps be taken to phase out the use of automobiles.