Ypsilanti mayoral candidate Pete Murdock hasn't changed his stripes
I am writing to urge you to do a little digging into the election for Ypsilanti's next mayor. It bothers me that you have not yet brought up even the slightest detail about Pete Murdock's very public past in his roles as city council member and mayor.
Murdock is not some old activist returning to the fray. He is a cynical long-time politician who once again thinks he can get away with anything. He was charged with voter fraud but not convicted in 1985. He was the campaign manager for Lois Wells’ city council campaign in the early 1990s when she was convicted of voter fraud.
I haven't seen any coverage of Murdock's terrible relationships in the past with our surrounding townships, including Ypsilanti Township, which got so bad that Ypsilanti Township tried to change its name to get away from being associated with the city. No mention of the appalling way Murdock handled both the building of the EMU College of Business in downtown (now bringing needed students to live downtown) and the Marriot out in Ypsilanti Township. Nothing about Murdock’s dust-up with EMU Regents. Do you have anyone on staff or in your network who remembers how absolutely crazy things were here? How a city that leans overwhelmingly to the Democrats elected a Republican mayor to be done with him?
I’ve seen no coverage or mention of Murdock’s public take-over of the independent recycling project and, later, as a council member, pushing for the creation of a department within city government so he could run it. No mention that when the city refused to hire him, he sued and, when turned down, appealed. He was told by the courts in those decisions that they would have had a problem if he had been hired, because it was clear he’d used his council seat for personal gain.
I’ve seen no mention of Murdock’s current role in nearly demolishing our relationship with AATA by first trying to reduce the routes and now putting a tax increase on the ballot that will make or break all of the busing in Ypsilanti. AND, because he presented this to council less than twenty-four hours before the meeting, it didn’t get proper review and it now looks like we’ll have to vote twice.
There has been no mention of the sham committee Murdock created to handle Water Street, which excluded representation from the ward it sits in. No mention that this committee either hasn’t met or hasn’t complied with the requirements laid out by the city attorney to comply with the open meetings act. I’ve seen no mention of the money spent for the non-sale of a parcel of that land to Burger King - money that was wasted on attorneys’ fees and staff time for no good reason.
I haven’t seen anything about how Murdock held up the work of our commissions because he doesn’t want anyone to be re-appointed before the election that he doesn’t want to work with. How about publishing something about the accomplishments of our current mayor’s patient but strong push for a better Ypsilanti? Or something about how he is creating the foundation for Ypsilanti’s transformation into a city based on education, arts, entertainment, and new technologies. You could mention Mayor Schreiber’s many years of hard work on Parkview’s redevelopment, which will result in $12 million coming into the city. Or you could say something about all he's done to get consensus on tough budgets and his continued push for proper zoning for Water Street.
I’d like to read something about Mayor Schreiber’s attempts to reason with an opponent who continually dreams things up, gets the majority of council votes counted before a meeting, and then springs his plan on the other council members less than twenty-four hours before a council meeting.
It is my hope that these reminders of our past will help Ypsilanti voters to understand that Peter Murdock is very much the same person now as he was back in the 1980s. Friends don't let friends “re-pete” their mistakes.
Finally, I think it is important to note that Paul Schreiber has been a great mayor at a terrible time.
Lorie Thom Ypsilanti