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Posted on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Rapundalo vs. Lumm: 2nd Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council heating up

By Ryan J. Stanton


Ann Arbor City Council Member Stephen Rapundalo, left, stops to talk to 2nd Ward resident Stanley Bies while going door-to-door on Prairie Street on Thursday. Bies had concerns about the city's new pedestrian safety ordinance, which Rapundalo voted for and continues to support.

Ryan J. Stanton |

(Editor's note: will have another story taking a close look at some of the key issues that are shaping the 2nd Ward race later this week.)

After six years on the Ann Arbor City Council, Stephen Rapundalo faces perhaps his most formidable political challenge yet: seeking re-election against Jane Lumm.

The man who once ran for mayor as a Republican and lost to Democrat John Hieftje is now, a decade later, one of Hieftje's trusted Democratic allies on council.

But two weeks from now, his continued service representing the 2nd Ward depends on his ability to fend off Lumm, a former GOP council member running as an Independent.

It's a matchup that leaves political insiders saying it's anyone's guess who might prevail at the polls on Nov. 8, and it doesn't appear either candidate is taking any chances.

Lumm is campaigning on a platform of realigning the city's spending priorities on basic services like public safety, parks and infrastructure. She's critical of city spending on public art, the new pedestrian safety ordinance and many capital projects the city has taken on.

Rapundalo, a supporter of public art and capital projects like Fuller Road Station, has done his best to characterize Lumm as a naysayer and says the city has spent the last 15 years cleaning up the mess made by Lumm and other council members from the '90s.

"They got nothing done. Our infrastructure didn't get the attention it needed," he said. "There was a lot of brinksmanship and petty partisan politics and things like that."

Aside from the usual campaign mailings and knocking on doors, Rapundalo is doing things he hasn't done in past elections. He's launched a Facebook page for the first time, and as of late September he also finally has an official campaign website.


Jane Lumm, who is challenging Rapundalo for his 2nd Ward seat, talks to a resident on Stanton Court on Thursday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"We felt we needed all of those tools in our arsenal in order to get the message out," Rapundalo said, conceding: "She's a serious threat."

Further evidence Rapundalo is taking the race seriously is an e-mail he inadvertently sent to's Chief Content Officer Tony Dearing last week. The e-mail, intended for another recipient, reveals Rapundalo's tactical response to discovery of Lumm's efforts to get information out to residents about a restoration project planned along Malletts Creek in the 2nd Ward.

"As for the Mallet’s Creek project — be sure to involve me in any meetings, etc., if there any, before the election — just so I look like I’m engaged," Rapundalo wrote in the e-mail. "Is there something I can write up for my e-newsletter and make myself look knowledgeable and at least neutralize her for the time being?"

Rapundalo declined to comment on the misfired e-mail or whether he intended to send it to Council Member Tony Derezinski, a supporter of his campaign.

Derezinski, D-2nd Ward, was copied on another e-mail about Mallets Creek that Lumm sent out to various residents on the same day, just hours before Rapundalo's e-mail.

Lumm said she's been pulling together information about the Mallets Creek project simply to keep 2nd Ward residents informed, as some have concerns about potential tree removal. The multimillion-dollar project includes bank stabilization work as well as building a 3.5-acre stormwater basin at County Farm Park in the form of a wet meadow.

"I became aware that there were concerns, just talking to neighbors," she said. "I didn't think anybody outside our little neighborhood knew about it. It wasn't because I was doing this to have some edge over Stephen Rapundalo."

Rallying support

Lumm served as a 2nd Ward representative on council from 1993 to 1998. She later waged a long-shot campaign for mayor as a Republican in 2004 and lost to Hieftje.


Lumm says she's against funding for public art right now and thinks the pedestrian safety ordinance needs to be suspended until the city can get it right.

Ryan J. Stanton |

She said she wasn't planning on seeking office this year, but a number of local Democrats and Republicans recruited her to run. In recent months, she's assembled what most political insiders agree is an impressive list of supporters that transcends party lines.

The co-chairs of her campaign are Ingrid Sheldon, a Republican who represented the 2nd Ward on council from 1988 to 1992 before serving as mayor from 1993 to 2000, and Leslie Morris, a Democrat who represented the 2nd Ward on council from 1977 to 1983.

Also supporting Lumm are three other former Democratic 2nd Ward council members — Robert Faber, Barbara Bach and Seth Hirshorn — and Tom Wieder, the former vice chairman of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party. On the GOP side, former 2nd Ward council members Peter Fink, Joe Upton, Mike Reid, David Kwan and Clifford Sheldon are behind Lumm.

Rapundalo has a long list of mostly Democrats supporting him, including Council Members Sandi Smith, Tony Derezinski, Christopher Taylor, Margie Teall, Marcia Higgins, Carsten Hohnke and Mayor John Hieftje. Also supporting him are U.S. Rep. John Dingell, state Rep. Jeff Irwin, County Prosecutor Brian Mackie, and Downtown Development Authority board members Joan Lowenstein and Leah Gunn.

Rapundalo said he doesn't pay much attention to the party affiliation of his supporters, but one Republican supporting him is Patrick Putnam, who served on council with Lumm.

A handful of Democrats — including Higgins, Lowenstein and former Council Member Leigh Greden — recruited Rapundalo to run for council as a Democrat in 2005.

Rapundalo, who won his first election that year, differs from his opponent politically in that he considers himself socially liberal, while Lumm considers herself socially moderate. But both candidates consider themselves fiscal conservatives and both donated $250 to Republican Rick Snyder's successful campaign for Michigan governor last year.

"I did so largely with my MichBio hat on," said Rapundalo, president and CEO of the state's life sciences association. "It certainly became quite apparent Rick was going to win and I wanted to be sure that our voice was there in terms of issues that were important to us, like stem cells and such, which of course he supports unlike others in his party. Plus I've worked with Rick. I know his capabilities as a CEO and somebody who can lead."

Natural advantage

As politics go in Ann Arbor, Rapundalo has a natural advantage being labeled both a Democrat and an incumbent. But political insiders agree, an Independent candidate like Lumm with both name recognition and experience could give someone like Rapundalo a good challenge, and making matters more interesting is the fact that the race is set in the 2nd Ward.

County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum said the 2nd Ward has earned a reputation for being the most Republican-friendly of all five city wards. At one point in time, he said, it was almost unheard of for a Democrat to be elected to council from the 2nd Ward.


Rapundalo, who supports continued funding for public art, has a laugh while going door-to-door on Thursday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Kestenbaum said the fact it's an off-year election — when turnout is low and the ballot isn't filled with partisan contests that lead to straight-ticket voting — only helps Lumm's chances.

"It's almost meaningless as to what their party labels are and more so about their respective personalities and backgrounds," he said. "I think it's quite possible that Jane will win, whereas if she were running in an even-year election, I wouldn't give her much chance."

In the November 2010 gubernatorial election, 23,520 people in Ann Arbor voted for Democrat Virg Bernero, while 13,149 voted for Snyder. The margin was much smaller in the 2nd Ward, where 3,793 people voted for Bernero and 3,339 voted for Snyder.

Rapundalo's past performance at the polls also offers insight into just how close the 2nd Ward race might be. When he first was elected in 2005, he defeated Republican Thomas Bourque with 52.2 percent of the vote compared to Bourque's 47.6 percent.

In November 2007, Rapundalo just barely defeated write-in challenger Ed Amonsen to stay in office, getting 51.6 percent of the vote compared to Amonsen's 48.4 percent.

Rapundalo was reelected without opposition in 2009. In the August primary this year, he knocked off Democratic challenger Tim Hull, getting 57.4 percent of the vote compared to Hull's 42 percent — the closest of any primary contest this year.

Mike Reid, who served two terms as a 2nd Ward representative on council from 2001 to 2005, was the lone and last Republican on council when he stepped down. Reid said he had to make a tough decision this year whether to support Rapundalo or Lumm.

Other races this year

  • 3rd Ward: Democratic incumbent Stephen Kunselman vs. Republican challenger David Parker
  • 4th Ward: Democratic incumbent Marcia Higgins vs. Republican challenger Eric Scheie
  • 5th Ward: Democratic incumbent Mike Anglin vs. Republican challenger Stuart Berry
"For me personally, it's a tremendously difficult problem," he said. "I know and like both of these candidates. Jane was an early supporter of mine when I ran for council and Stephen served as my campaign manager. But for me, it really kind of boils down to a single position that differentiates the two candidates, and I'm personally giving the nod to Jane."

Reid said the deciding factor was that Lumm is running an Independent campaign that seeks to remove partisan politics from the election process.

"I think it's certainly going to be a very close race," Reid said. "Both Jane and Stephen are well-known for their contributions to city hall. They both put in a lot of hours. It's going to boil down to which of the candidates can turn out the vote."

If past performance is any indication, at best about a quarter of the 2nd Ward's nearly 17,000 voters will cast ballots Nov. 8, and at worst less than 10 percent will head to the polls. In the August primary this year, only 6.4 percent of 2nd Ward voters showed up.

Both candidates are working to up that number.

"I'm knocking on doors, talking to people, asking them what's on their minds," Rapundalo said. "I don't take anything for granted. I run like I'm running for every last vote."

Lumm is doing the same.

"Stephen's the incumbent and I'm the challenger, so I see it as an uphill battle," she said. "And I'm certainly not taking anything for granted. I'm going to continue to work hard, as I'm sure he will. So yeah, I don't know. I'm just going to work hard."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


gene Jones

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

The choice is clear, we need Jane's voice on city council...


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Our Council has become so disengaged and isolated from the citizens. I talked to someone else who was visited by Rapundalo and asked about the crosswalk ordinance (and related to me that she was hit from behind with her child in her car because she stopped at a crosswalk but someone behind her did not). I'm glad it's becoming a big issue not so much because the issue is a huge one, but because it is a very good example of how the City Council has forgotten that they were elected not to pat themselves on the back for how progressive they are or for trying to be Boulder, Colorado, but to represent the citizens of Ann Arbor. How many Ann Arbor citizens actually support the crosswalk ordinance? I'm glad we actually have a real election in the 2nd Ward.

Tim R. Land

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

Regardless of your politics, what is MOST disturbing about this article are the questionable ethics that has in regards to publishing a PRIVATE email. It's essentially the same thing as reading someone's physical mail and publishing it online. It seems like they could be held liable for publication of private facts - they must have good attorneys and I hope one of my emails never accidentally gets sent to them.

Tim R. Land

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

If the email was sent from a private email account then it is clearly a violation of publication of private information in Michigan - clearly questionable ethics.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

I believe that if I receive an email, even in error, it's my right to share the content with anyone I like.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

Where are the real leaders in this town? I will vote for the candidate who will support the removal mayoral appointments, and set up an elected board of officials (such as UM trustees minus the partisanship) in charge of appointing and reviewing all board activities and appointees performance, etc. Furthermore the development of jobs in the form of start ups and business development is completely missing in this political conversation in a fashion that borderlines on arrogance from everyone in a position of power in Ann Arbor, unless your on the gravy train of SPARK, that has become like most things in Ann Arbor (see Art Fair) institutions of unchecked cronyism and self congratulatory baby boomerism. The fact that a piece of art, a storm drain, a parking lot and the sidewalks, have become the political fulcrum of our conversation would make me ask, is anyone really happy in Ann Arbor? and we wonder why people don't vote?

Jon Saalberg

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

Speaking of the West Park snafu - maybe the city could figure out a way to move the entire thing into the lobby of the new police facility and consider it an art installation, thus saving the city thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been spent on purchased art. And with the $1M+ spent on the park debacle, we know that the art wasn't cheap - that in and of itself should make it worthy of consideration.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

Two words describe Jane Lumm: Local heroine.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.



Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

just because you can do something docent mean you should


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

@demistify: I do not necessarily endorse the views or conduct of Andrew Shirvell or the synagogue picketers, however I do endorse the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment that protects the exercise of some or all of the conduct of such persons.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Roadman, Given your previous choices of local heroes, the synagogue harassers and the gay-bashing Asst AG, your endorsement just might be a disservice.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Wow, how persuasive.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

Rapundalo ran as a R until he switched (you can decide about his reasons for switching). RE: your statment "in most places D's and incumbents would be voted out": Um... do you realize, many places, the R's ARE the incumbents? Do you have any idea how many hundreds of miles here in the Midwest you would have to drive to find even one city or local region that is doing as well as "liberal"-led Ann Arbor? The corn-fed Midwesterner republican strategy has produced nothing other than tax-break-funded job flight (yes, really, your god-fearing tax dollars fed your loss of a job, and you can thank the R's for that), plus fed as well the gutting of your education so that you have no critical thinking skills (but still got "acceptable" rankings on the MEAP). But hey that is made up for with plenty of marketing dollars telling you that data isn't important, vote the traditional GOP way. 30 to 40 YEARS (depending upon when you want to start counting) of handing rights and money over to Corporations with the public being told "this will make your lives better... " has produced literally nothing more than the evisceration of the both the capability and the potential of the "public" to get anywhere. But hey, if you are an Ann Arbor republican, you (used to) be able to smoke dope, at least. That explains a lot.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

I do not know either of the canidates, however it is becoming clear that these two canidates are pretty much the same. One seems nicer to deal with than the other, but both are politically connected both support funding for public arts. One only thinks the extortion used to fund it should only be half as much. Sorry AA if you want change, and I do not believe you really want change, just a pleasing personality in charge, you need to support a someone who believes in less government.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

Vote for Eric Scheie in the Fourth Ward, a Libertarian-oriented Republican.

say it plain

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

OMG, I just *love* that dirt on Rapundalo about the email! He must have been writing to Tony *Derezinski* asking for ammo to make himself look good and to "neutralize" Lumm, lol, but clicked the wrong name on his email addressbook! Too rich! Tony *Dearing* comes just before Tony *Derezinski* in his rolodex...too funny! He really ought to be more careful with his emails next time he's looking for PR help on issues that voters care about but that he could care less to *really* know anything of lol... how revealing was his email language?! Let's end this pal-sy we-the-powerful garbage from the Hieftje lackies on City Council...


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

My economic contribution, volunteer support and vote will go to LUMM for ONE reason. GET RID OF THE PEDESTRIAN "SAFETY" ORDINANCE ASAP!!! Rapundalo supported it all the way through and CONTINUES to support it! VOTE HIM OUT NOW!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

"It's going to boil down to which of the candidates can turn out the vote." ....


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

More about our current council reps: I live in Ward 2. When the Huron Hills golf course issue came up last year I emailed both Tony Derezinski and Stephen Rapundalo, my reps, for a position paper or something I could read on the issue as I really did not understand it and wanted some info. I received no response from Tony D at all. And no response from my other rep, Stephen Rapundalo. I will not forget this when I vote.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:19 p.m.

I emailed the mayor once about the fire department cuts. He emailed me back a pre-made press release. I then posed a couple tough questions about the FD cuts and I did not receive a reply.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

I also contacted all the council members re HH. I got responses from council members in other wards, but not from Stephen Rapundalo, my own rep. I got the feeling his loyalty lay with the mayor and city administrator, not with his constituents. I, too, will remember this.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:53 a.m.

i haven't emailed much to city hall... but i have emailed the mayor. and he listened to me, and politely responded to me. sometimes i'm critical of stuff, but there are other times i am not. my experience with city hall, has been that they do respond. and i have been appreciative of that.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

If you moved to the Fourth Ward, you would probably get no response from Marcia Higgins - its how the Council Party reacts to e-mail communications.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

If you'd like to learn more about these candidates, come to the Orchard-Hills Maplewood Homeowner's Association (basically the neighborhood bounded by Plymouth, Green and Nixon) candidate's forum this Wednesday (the 26th) at 7 at Thurston elementary school, 2300 Prairie.

David Cahill

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

As Jane Lumm said at her campaign kickoff a couple of weeks ago: "Public safety is not a bargaining chip."

Kai Petainen

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

When I look at stocks, I look at the connections between directors and the stock. In a recent example... I noted that the director at Sara Lee, was the director at JP Morgan. That director at Sara Lee bought Sara Lee stock, and then a few weeks later, JP Morgan gave the highest analyst rating on Sara Lee. Is it questionable/ethical? That's up to others to decide. You can read about it here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Why do I bring this up? Because... when an 'analyst'... in this case, the Ann Arbor news... gives an endorsement, they should (in good corporate governance and ethics) indicate the relationships. Some may view that relationship as a good thing, some may not, but it's important to note the relationship. Patricia raises a good point... &quot;What you didn't mention is that Laurel Champion, who did participate, serves on the Board of Ann Arbor SPARK, which gets funding from the LDFA, where Rapundalo sits as a representative from Council.&quot; Perhaps that is good, or perhaps it is bad, or perhaps it is a non-issue... but in good corporate governance, it should be noted in the endorsement. The JP Morgan analyst should have noted that the #1 insider at JP Morgan was the #1 insider at Sara Lee when they made their endorsement. Likewise, the Ann Arbor news should have noted the link between Ann Arbor news and Rapundalo.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Let us keep a tiny bit of perspective. SPARK and MichBio are public non-profits, not big bad capitalist ogres.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

ha. perhaps they aren't determined by stock analysts... but they can be determined by money (lobbying etc).


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.

Thank God elections are not determined by stock analysts.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

Check out Rapundalo's campaign site! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> There are more lies there than you have fingers and toes to count. Check out the picture of him. Was that taken when he was in the third grade? Get him out!! Get it right this time or no more whining about what you're stuck with! Vote Jane Lumm!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

Just as long as Ms. Lumm avoids using the &quot;R&quot; word, she'd get my vote -- too bad I'm not in the 2nd ward.

Patricia Lesko

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

CM Rapundalo sent this in an email to Tony Dearing: &quot;As for the Mallet's Creek project — be sure to involve me in any meetings, etc., if there any, before the election — just so I look like I'm engaged,&quot; Rapundalo wrote in the e-mail. &quot;Is there something I can write up for my e-newsletter and make myself look knowledgeable....&quot; About 25 minutes after Stanton's piece was posted,'d editorial board, including Tony Dearing, went on to post its endorsement of Rapundalo in this race as &quot;a diligent Council member.&quot; That endorsement included this notice: &quot;(Editor's note: This editorial was published in today's newspaper and reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board at The four community members who serve on our Editorial Board -- Mary Kerr, David R. Lampe, Marsha Chamberlin and Kyle Poplin -- did not participate in these endorsement decisions.)&quot; That's nice. What you didn't mention is that Laurel Champion, who did participate, serves on the Board of Ann Arbor SPARK, which gets funding from the LDFA, where Rapundalo sits as a representative from Council. What is she doing participating in the endorsement process of the man who has sent, literally, millions in tax dollars skimmed from the public schools to Ann Arbor SPARK? In a recent A2Politico poll which asks readers &quot;What Are YOUR Issues In This November's City Council Election?&quot; of the 732 people who've voted thus far, number 3 on the list of top concerns was &quot;political corruption, cronyism and/or conflicts of interest.&quot; <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Stephen Landes

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

In my opinion the following comment form Mr. Rapundalo is very troubling: But both candidates consider themselves fiscal conservatives and both donated $250 to Republican Rick Snyder's successful campaign for Michigan governor last year. &quot;I did so largely with my MichBio hat on,&quot; said Rapundalo, president and CEO of the state's life sciences association. My reading of this comment on his financial support for the Snyder campaign is that his he has one set of principles for himself personally and another set he applies in his business: His ethics are situational. His comments elsewhere in the article about wanting &quot;look engaged&quot; rather than BE engaged supports this assessment. His interest is in looking knowledgeable as a campaign tactic NOT in helping the citizens of Ann Arbor be informed and having their questions answered. We cannot afford to have a person like Stephen Rapundalo on City council, having responsibility for using our tax funds wisely and negotiating with our unions. One's reputation for honesty, ethics, and principles is a critical element in negotiating, working with others on Council, and making what should be public decisions. Remember all the negative comments about City Council actions or lack thereof that have rolled through this web site for the past year and then go to the polls on election day and send a message: Rapundalo OUT and Lumm IN.

Tom Wieder

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

The story says Jane is &quot;critical of city spending on public art&quot; and, in the next sentence, describes Rapundalo as &quot;a supporter of public art.&quot; This implies that Jane opposes public art, which is not the case. She supported the recent proposal to reduce spending from 1% to 1/2% of capital projects. She feels such spending may not be appropriate until the city's fiscal situation improves, and she wants honest communication to voters about inclusion of this spending from money raised through voted millages.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

I wish I lived in the 2nd ward so I could vote for Jane. A campaign contribution is in the mail. The citizens of Ann Arbor need diversity of thought on City Council to arrive at the best decisions for our community. Jane has the experience and committment to Ann Arbor be a competent member of City Council.

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

I omitted a couple of points in my first post. One is that while you accurately state &quot;She's critical of city spending on public art, the new pedestrian safety ordinance and many capital projects the city has taken on&quot;, elsewhere you shorten Lumm's position vs. Rapundalo's as being simply about &quot;public art&quot;. It is very important to distinguish &quot;public art&quot; from &quot;publicly funded art&quot;. Lumm is for the first and against the second. Rapundalo's comments about supporting Snyder &quot;with his MichBio hat on&quot; is significant in that I believe that many of his Council positions, such as support of the downtown conference center and hotel, are driven by his position in that economic development community. The support for tax dollars going to public art has also been defended by the incumbent as being important for economic development. A similar motivation can be found behind several other such positions. But should he be basing his decisions on what is good for MichBio? I'm sure that he believes his decisions to be in the public interest, but it appears to me that borders between these two interests have become fuzzy. I believe that Lumm's positions, which do not divert tax dollars to capital projects (or institutional artworks) beyond the scope of what is needed for good public purpose, are indications of the true fiscal conservative.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Vivienne, You are getting carried away by your partisanship. Surely, given your professional background, you don't disapprove of MichBio?

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

Thank you for your campaign coverage. This story is significant in making the point that we have a real contest in the 2nd ward, one that has a real potential effect on the direction of the Council. I have a couple of editorial points: 1. When discussing a campaign and giving the website for one candidate, it would be a service to your readers to provide the other candidate's website. Jane Lumm's website is <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> 2. You say &quot;Rapundalo, who won his first election that year, differs from his opponent politically in that he considers himself socially liberal, while Lumm considers herself socially moderate.&quot; But those two labels do not distinguish the views of the two candidates on social issues and in fact mean about the same thing. It would be necessary to examine positions on each of what might be considered social issues. Although I can't document it, I suspect that you would find that they hold very similar views in the abstract on women's reproductive freedom, human services, affordable housing, and equality without regard to sexual preference (e.g., same-sex unions and other LGBT issues). I recall that Jane was defeated in a Republican primary for state representative because of her pro-choice views, and she was active in an affordable housing group (LISC). There might very well be differences in the way each would respond to a particular initiative, but the labels you have reported would not describe those. 3. The paragraph about the 2011 primary is confusing. You say &quot;he knocked off Democratic challenger Tim Hull, getting 57.4 percent of the vote compared to Hull's 42 percent — the closest of any primary contest this year.&quot; I had to read that a number of times to understand that you meant that both incumbents in other wards, Stephen Kunselman (in a three-way race) and Mike Anglin won by greater percentages. It did indeed reveal a weakness in Mr. Rapundalo's support.

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

Ah, it must be that the links are behind their names. Sorry. But later in the story you specifically call out Rapundalo's site and the link to Lumm's is not as obvious.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

There are links to both candidates' websites in the first sentence of the story.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Part 2 Stephen Rapundalo is also an advocate for the 1%-for-art fund while Jane Lumm is not. The art fund obtains its financing by skimming 1% from portions of funds designated for use on capital projects, like bridges and street repair. The art projects are required to be related to the capital projects that are supported. Thus, since some of the money for arts is taken from streets and water project designated monies, the $800,000+ Dreiseitl monolithic water sculpture was created outside the new municipal building. Proponents, including Stephen Rapundalo, believe that public art like the Dreiseitl leaning beam enhances Ann Arbor economics and attracts new businesses and residents. Reliable factual data to support such contention has not been provided and will be difficult to accumulate. Citizens have vocally attacked the 1%-for-art fund for spending money for a non-essential item at the expense of essential police and fire protection services. Presently, the 1%-for-art fund has over $1 million which could provide salaries for 12 more police and firemen. City Council members including Stephen Rapundalo will note that the art fund ordinance does not allow for use of money to support personnel services. However, just as City Council created the art fund and the limitation for its use, City Council can amend or even rescind the art fund so funds can be used most effectively. The art fund smacks of elitism and, for those few assigned by City Council to select the &quot;art&quot; for &quot;us&quot;, arrogance. If allowing Ann Arbor's downtown to be dotted with speculative commercial buildings or frivolous and expensive art projects is important to you, and you do not care how much more money you will have to provide to DDA/City Council to support these projects, then you should vote for Stephen Rapundalo.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

How can anyone with a sound mind would vote for Rapundalo? This man first was a Republican the became a democrat and yes he is Mayor's go to man. He wants to cell the Huron Hill the most beautiful Golf Course with in the City of Ann Arbor.And yet Mayor and counsel keep buying so called GREENBELT....


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:37 p.m.

Go Meral! Let's hope Ann Arbor gets it right this time!! Vote LUMM!

Tom Wieder

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

@Alan Goldsmith -&quot;'What he, and the story, don't mention is that Putnam, who doesn't live in the 2nd Ward, is married to Democratic Councilwoman Marcia Higgins, one of Rapundalo's current colleagues on Council.' So why was this left out of the story? Bad reporting or was it intentional?&quot; Alan, I agree with you on many things, but give Ryan a break. How would Ryan know who Putnam is married to? I've been intensely involved in city politics for years and didn't remember that connection until someone else pointed it out to me. Putnam is a name from the past.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

Putnam has seved as Marcia's campaign manager until the 2009 election when Leah Gunn assumed that role.

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

&quot;What he, and the story, don't mention is that Putnam, who doesn't live in the 2nd Ward, is married to Democratic Councilwoman Marcia Higgins, one of Rapundalo's current colleagues on Council.&quot; So why was this left out of the story? Bad reporting or was it intentional?


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

I am quite sure that you know that Marcia Higgins was first elected to Council as a Republican, and switched parties years later. Now why did you not mention that?


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Part 1 Those voters having trouble distinguishing between the two &quot;former&quot; Republicans, Jane Lumm and Stephen Rapundalo, should look at both candidates records while serving as City Council members and the beliefs that they espouse. Stephen Rapundalo is determined to have high density construction downtown. He was a strong proponent for the subterranean parking structure next to the library that is costing $50 million. The underground parking structure will have an enhanced superstructure capable of supporting a 12-story hotel which added maybe $20 million to the overall cost of construction. The DDA which issued bonds to pay for the parking structure will not have enough revenue from its sources, TIF and parking fees, to service the bonds and will likely require either a millage or city income tax to prevent default on bond payments. &quot;Coincidentally&quot;, soon after the DDA/City Council committed to building the underground library parking structure, the New York development company, Valiant Partners, provided its plan for a 12-story hotel and conference center. Part of Valiant Partners initial plan required Ann Arbor to issue bonds to pay for the $9 million conference center even though conference center revenue could not be predicted. Stephen Rapundalo was a strong advocate for this project despite feasibility studies showing that the concept will likely fail as a business. Even a letter from many local hotels argued against the need for a luxury hotel downtown. The recession had Ann Arbor hotel occupancy rates at barely survivable 60% with an unclear outlook for when hotel usage would improve. Another hotel would add to the glut of available rooms and depress occupancy rates further for all area hotels. After angry citizens formed a neighborhood alliance against the hotel/conference center, City Council finally decided to discard the Valiant Partners project with Stephen Rapundalo acceding to the majority in the end.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Another incumbent doomed by his own arrogance and email habits. This absolutely confirms Lumm's contention that Rapundalo is representing City Hall to his constituents instead of representing his constituents to City Hall. Everyone I know in the second ward is voting for Lumm, or already has via absentee. I'm tired of councilmembers like Rapundalo who only see their time on council as a way of serving their own private &quot;economic development&quot; interests instead of serving the public. And by the way, if I was on council and needed up-to-date information on issues important to my constituents, the LAST person I would ask would be Tony Derezinski. He's even more out-of-touch than Rapundalo!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

As a fifth ward resident, I am sad I have to wait for another election cycle to vote out Hohnke. I called him once with a question/concern, left a message, and he called me back two months later. I called Anglin, left a message, and he called me back 15 minutes later


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

i can't decide if its good to know i am not alone or a shame . . .


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

Deb: You are doing better than I am. I am a fifth ward resident, too, and I correspond with both my Council members. One, Mike, responds immediately; the other, Carsten, never even answers me. I have given up with the latter. When he writes, it is boilerplate saying &quot;Let's reach together.&quot; I guess he wants to be the one to decide what we will reach for and doesn't care what I think about priorities.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

Rapundalo's list of supporters really says it all.....and not in a good way.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

If this city councils performance doesn't cause us to vote for Jane and the 3 Republicans running for the other seats so that we have some diverse, conservative, sanity restored, then I fear for the city. I am a proud Democrat. However, consider: $750,000 city hall art installation desiged in Germany with more similar atrocities coming while police and fire personnel are laid off, pedestrian walkway fiasco, car idling joke, Fuller Station questions, City Place mess, sidewalk flip-flop where first residents maintained them and now theres a vote asking for more city funded maintenance, recycling incentive debacle - we pay more when the firms projections are low, and theres many more examples of this councils &quot;leadership&quot;. We get what we allow. Please vote no to incumbents on the city council! Be engaged for Ann Arbor!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

You are confused about political orientation. The Republicans are challenging the Council from the right. Lumm is endorsed by the Council faction challenging the Mayor from the left. There is a difference.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Mr Rapundalo - people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Someone who would know - within City Hall - has correctly called the West Park infrastructure SNAFU &quot;A Mess&quot; and I quote. The generation of this mess happened under your watch and the watch of those you are aligned with. So I would be very careful about bringing up Jane for what she did or did not do in being the one responsible for the &quot;mess in infrastructure&quot;. You need to be careful, or your logic will lead your electorate to conclude that we need JANE to clean up the West Park infrastructure SNAFU mess that you had a hand in.

Tom Wieder

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Although Jane is supported by an impressive array of Democrats, Republicans and independents, Rapundalo can come up with just one &quot;Republican&quot; supporter to name - Patrick Putnam, who previously served on Council. What he, and the story, don't mention is that Putnam, who doesn't live in the 2nd Ward, is married to Democratic Councilwoman Marcia Higgins, one of Rapundalo's current colleagues on Council. So, is this a sign of bipartisan support, or just the current councilmembers circling the wagons to protect one of their own?


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

Marcia Higgins long served on Council as a Republican, before switching parties.

Tom Wieder

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

@outdoor6709 - &quot;Two days after the election, I am willing to bet, no matter how many votes you [Jane] get, you will not be able to find half a dozen people who will admit they voted for you.&quot; I'll take that bet, literally. More than that, I'll bet you that Jane wins this race. (Call me, I'm in the book.) While I'm a lifelong Democrat and don't agree with Jane on everything, I know her to be smart, honest, hardworking, principled and an unselfish giver of her time and energy to this community. On social issues, whether it's abortion, stem cells, same sex marriage, violence against women, etc., there is almost no difference between Jane and Ann Arbor Democrats. On fiscal issues, she's tough and sound. Rap's misdirected email says all you need to know about him - sneaky, dishonest, superficial, willing to do anything to get elected. Oh, and do you want someone helping to manage the city who can't even manage his own emails?


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

I definitely agree with you, Tom! The present city council is like a club. Rapundalo must go! Before this election, I could never even find an email address to get in touch with him. Now he has an email address and has no clue how to manage it!! I am so very tired of what he stands for: decreasing our fire and police departments, voting for that &quot;piece of art&quot; downtown, trying to turn Huron Hills into a retail golf establishment--oh, and &quot;wanting to LOOK like he's engaged&quot; in the Mallet's Creek project. He is clueless as to what his ward wants done. No more whining, Ann Arbor. Let's get it right this time!! VOTE JANE LUMM!!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

Let's all try to &quot;look engaged&quot; by getting out to vote. It matters!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

Give me a break, this is Ann Arbor. I had a conversation with my neighbor about politics. I ask about her positions on various issues. At some point I said you sound like a republicain. She said I am a democrat, I have not voted for a republician in 40 years. I asked why she voted for people who do not believe in the same things she did, and she continued to say, she was a democrat. Bottom line is, AA voters complain about the decisions their politicians make but will not change their voting habits. Sorry Jane, I wish you the best, but AA voters have an image they need to uphold. Two days after the election, I am willing to bet, no matter how many votes you get, you will not be able to find half a dozen people who will admit they voted for you. After all you cannot bribe us with a new bridge. By the way, How has that worked for us?


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

Ann Arbor Council needs a greater diversity of individuals asking hard questions. The powers that be are far too much of an echo chamber. There are far too many just concerned with &quot;looking I'm engaged&quot; rather than drilling down to really know the problems and issues and asking the hard , non-aligned and controversial questions and demanding answers to them. Lumm needs to get elected if for no other reason than sending a clear message to the powers that be that the electorate has had enough of business as usual.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

&quot;a natural advantage being labeled both a Democrat and an incumbent.&quot; Only in Ann Arbor, could this be an advantage. In most places, Democrats and incumbents would be voted out of office but Ann Arbor voters seem to lack that critical thinking element that is so important.

Basic Bob

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

Especially funny given both candidates' history as Republican mayoral candidates. There seems to be a critical mass of Ann Arbor Democrats who attach more importance to labels than substance.

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

&quot;Lumm said she's been pulling together information about the Mallets Creek project simply to keep 2nd Ward residents informed, as some have concerns about potential tree removal. The multimillion-dollar project includes bank stabilization work as well as building a 3.5-acre stormwater basin at County Farm Park in the form of a wet meadow.&quot; Hopefully the followup article on campaign issues will focus on this. It's a major issue in the neighborhood around the park that has so far been below the radar for local media. Another Rapundalo issue he's missed the boat on.

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

&quot;As for the Mallet's Creek project — be sure to involve me in any meetings, etc., if there any, before the election — just so I look like I'm engaged,&quot; Rapundalo wrote in the e-mail. &quot;Is there something I can write up for my e-newsletter and make myself look knowledgeable and at least neutralize her for the time being?&quot; Wow, I can't imagine why he would decline to comment. Lol. &quot;Look like I'm engaged' huh? And I wonder why the PACs for AT&amp;T and DTE contributed bucks to Rapundalo's campaign. Did anyone ask him what he thinks they expect for their 'contributions'?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

This comment alone is the sole reason I will not vote for Rapundalo. This tells me that he is not an honest person, that he's deceitful and self-centered. His involvement on the council is not for the good of the people,


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

Hey, I remember the City Council of the 1990's that Stephen Rapundalo is criticizing. That Council, in the early '90's, did a fabulously wonderful job of making sure our roads were paved and that basic services were provided. My vote goes to Jane for her sane and fiscally responsible history of service to the City.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

A couple of the members of the Council that you so admire are still it office. Will you give a big hand to John Hiefje and Marcia Higgins?

A Voice of Reason

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

..and leaves and xmas tress were picked up! How come the city services keep getting cut back and the ivory tower gets bigger and newer with expensive art. Time for a change!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 10:21 a.m.

This is the time when voters can speak by casting a ballot. If you have an opinion about the job the city of Ann Arbor has been doing, please take the time to vote on November 8. We get the government we deserve.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

I agree 100% We'll be lucky to get 15% of registered voters out for this election.