Janis Bobrin won't seek re-election as Washtenaw County's water resources commissioner
Long-time Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Janis Bobrin says she won't be seeking re-election this year.
Instead, she's endorsing Evan Pratt's campaign to fill her shoes.
"After close to 24 years as drain commissioner, and now as water resources commissioner in Washtenaw County, I will not be running for re-election this November," Bobrin said in an open letter shared with AnnArbor.com Wednesday night.
"I have had wonderful and fulfilling years working to protect and restore Washtenaw County’s water resources and improve vital infrastructure," she said. "I could not have undertaken the work I have completed without this community as an active partner."
Pratt, an engineer for Spicer Group, has served for the last eight years on the Ann Arbor Planning Commission and is past chairman of the commission. He could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday night.
"I've known and worked with Evan for 15 years," Bobrin said. "No one could be more qualified to ensure that the Office of Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner continues as a leader in water resource protection than Evan."
Pratt, a 1987 graduate of MIT's civil and environmental engineering program, has been a Washtenaw County resident since 1989. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Ana, a teacher, their children, ages 11, 8, and 5, plus three large dogs and two cats.
Bobrin pointed out Pratt has worked as a consultant to many of the communities and agencies in Washtenaw County, and he has experience on water resources projects aimed at addressing water quality and quantity issues in Southeast Michigan.
"His expertise includes stormwater quality and management, capital improvement project management and funding, and public works budgeting," Bobrin said. "He knows the Drain Code from his years working with Michigan's Drain and Water Resources Commissioners."
He also has served on a variety of boards and committees, including the Washtenaw County Planning Advisory Board, Huron River Impoundment Management Committee and Statewide Stormwater Low Impact Development Design Manual Advisory Committee.
His professional affiliations include the Michigan Association of Planning, American Planning Association and the Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association, including service as treasurer and president.
Pratt sparked some discussion two years ago when he remarked at an Ann Arbor Planning Commission retreat: "All the entrances to town are ugly."
In an email she shared with many of her supporters Wednesday night, Bobrin gave thanks to the Washtenaw County community as she steps down.
"It has been the support I have received from Washtenaw County public officials and citizens that allowed me to undertake projects and programs that are improving the health of local waterways and have won state and national recognition," she said. "This community has provided me with great friends and colleagues. I cannot thank you enough."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.