Ann Arbor City Council candidate profile: Leigh Greden
Profession: Attorney. Politics: Democrat. First elected to City Council in 2003. Re-elected in 2005 and 2007. Candidate for state House in 2006. Education: Bachelor's degree from Albion College and law degree from Case Western Reserve University Law School. Personal: Single. Grew up in the Burns Park area of Ann Arbor. Web site: www.votegreden.com
What he told us:
â€¢ Lifelong Ann Arbor resident. Has served on City Council six years and says he wants to continue helping 3rd Ward residents.
â€¢ Says Ann Arbor is in good financial shape compared to other local governments. Cites a healthy rainy day fund, a pension fund that's close to 100 percent funded, and investments in new infrastructure as positive signs.
â€¢ Says the next few years will be challenging, with the first declines in property tax revenues in modern history projected and revenues from the state on the decline; says the biggest issue facing the city is the budget.
â€¢ Proud he has a strong working relationship with organized labor, which represents 85 percent of the city's work force. "Personnel is one of our highest expenses, so if we want to continue to streamline government and make things more efficient and deliver high-quality services, we've got to work with the labor folks."
â€¢ Wants to focus on regional cooperation to maintain local services at a lower cost. â€¢ Supports placing a city income tax question on the November ballot to shift the tax burden to non-residents who commute to Ann Arbor.
â€¢ Believes there are problems with city zoning codes and wants to work to fix them. Supports strict height limits for building projects.
â€¢ Currently serves on the city's Administration Committee, Budget and Labor Committee, Building Design Committee and Student Relations Committee.
â€¢ Sponsored amendments to implements height limits on new buildings in downtown Ann Arbor; co-sponsored legislation creating a city-county partnership to reduce foreclosures.
â€¢ Sponsored legislation that reduced the city's health care costs for employees by hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
â€¢ Sponsored budget amendments to protect Ann Arbor's curbside recycling program.