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Posted on Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 1 p.m.

Chickens, bees and budgets: Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber, challenger Pete Murdock discuss the issues

By Tom Perkins

During a recent mayoral meet and greet at the Ypsilanti Senior Center, Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber pointed out he was the first person ever interviewed by “Puppet Mark Maynard” on the local blogger’s talk show, “Dreamland Tonight.”

Schreiber conceded the badge of honor might not be what moved the seniors to put a check next to his name on the ballot.

“Maybe it might not excite a lot of people here,” he said.

But the point, he says, is that he reaches out to all groups within city - be it the seniors who gathered that night or the community’s younger artists who are more likely familiar with Maynard and his puppet alter-ego. In short, Schreiber says, he is a ”consensus builder.”


Paul Schreiber is asking voters to give him a second term as mayor.

Tom Perkins | For

But his challenger, Council Member Pete Murdock, sees Schreiber’s leadership style differently and says it's time for a change. He says Schreiber didn't show strong leadership during budget discussions over the last two years.

Murdock credited himself with certain initiatives that saved jobs and money in the city.

“We’re a policy and legislative body, and it needs leadership to do those things,” he said.

Murdock worked with City Manager Ed Koryzno in June to develop an amendment cutting the police force by 2.5 positions instead of five. He was also a proponent - as was Schreiber - of 5-percent wage reductions for the fire department instead of layoffs.

Murdock also pointed to an energy efficiency and conservation fund he proposed that will take savings from energy-reduction measures at city buildings and put them into a revolving fund for future improvements.

Schreiber acknowledged Murdock "has spearheaded some legislation," but called council "a team effort."

"I think I've been a part of the team," Schreiber said, while pointing to his recent initiatives to develop ordinances regulating owning chickens and bees in the city.

"Being mayor is more than just casting votes at the council table, and I think people can look at my record and know what they're going to get," he said. "People need to look at what happened in the '80s and draw their own conclusions as to what type of mayor Pete would make in the 21st century."

Murdock has long been involved in Ypsilanti politics, including several terms on council before serving as mayor from 1982 to 1989. Since he was defeated in the 1989 mayoral race by a Republican, he has been elected to council twice. He counts his experience as one of his assets.

Among his accomplishments in the last four years, Schreiber cites guiding the city budget process and transforming the city from an industrial one to a city based in arts, entertainment and education.

Schreiber also called the role of the mayor weak per the city charter, noting a large part of the role is to communicate and willingly work with those in the city and around the county to help move the city forward.

“We have respect like we haven’t had since I became a resident here,” Schreiber said. “We now have an exciting downtown, and it’s growing and changing .… Our future is in the arts, entertainment and education, and the fact that Ypsilanti is being viewed in that light is a huge accomplishment. I think you need a mayor who is willing to embrace and encourage that.”


Ypsilanti City Council Member Pete Murdock (left) is hoping to move into the mayor's seat.

Tom Perkins | For

Murdock said he wants to make Ypsilanti a more attractive place for businesses by making it safe and clean. He pointed to agencies like SPARK East, the Chamber of Commerce and others affiliated with Eastern Michigan University and said coordinating their efforts should be a focus more than developing another entity to do so.

“Make Ypsilanti a clean, safe place to be - that’s a focus we should have governmentally,” he said. “That goes a long way to begin bringing people here, to live here, to start their business here.”

Murdock said that was part of the reason he pushed to fund a business district beat officer, which will in part be funded by the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority.

To that end, Murdock said he has been pushing for a “blight court," which the City Council is currently discussing. Murdock heard about the idea at a Michigan Municipal League meeting around a year ago and said the concept is to develop an administrative court comprised of city officials who can more quickly address blight-related infractions as a civil case.

“We need to figure a way to accelerate that process so we can intervene before the properties become totally derelict and need to be torn down,” Murdock said. “When they get to that point, we need to do that in a fairly quick manner so they don’t impact the neighborhood.”

Murdock also suggested continuing to employ the services of Habitat for Humanity and the Washtenaw County land bank, should it be established.

Schreiber has been a big proponent of the land bank, which is a county entity that could buy foreclosed homes to rehabilitate and sell or demolish. He served on the board of directors until it was dissolved and has advocated for it to be formed again.

Schreiber said the next four years will require the city to pay special attention to where it can find matching funds, such as using the county's undercover narcotics task force or its transportation arrangement with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.

Both candidates have expressed their full support of a millage that would provide a dedicated source of funding for public transportation in Ypsilanti, which Murdock first suggested during service negotiations with the AATA.

Murdock and Schreiber also both agreed the city needs to continue to work with surrounding communities, engage with the county and seek grants, like the $1 million recently obtained to help clean up Water Street.

“We have to spend our money judiciously and keep our city services,” Schreiber said. “The only reason our service level is as good as it is is we have an excellent group of employees, especially our police department. You need to have a good city council, a good mayor and good city manager in order to be able to keep a team together.”

Schreiber has pushed for updated zoning ordinances for Water Street and said giving city staff and developers an idea of what the city wants to see is key to attracting development. He also said he is feeling confident the redevelopment of downtown could help spur development on Water Street.

“I see it being more of an westward extension of downtown,” he said. “I think, ironically enough, when it was originally proposed it was thought it would bootstrap downtown, but I think the opposite is going to happen.”

Murdock maintains the zoning should be left as it is.

“I think you want to leave it as broad as possible so you can accommodate a variety of things, yet unknown, on that site instead of locking it into a certain development scheme,” he said. “I don’t believe that ‘If you zone it, they will come.' It just doesn’t make sense. In any event, I don’t see people beating down the doors very soon.”

The Water Street issue is particularly crucial because the city has four years of reserves to make payments on debt before those savings are depleted. Murdock said the best the city can do is hope for some development to ease the strain on the city funds.

“We have these resources and we have to set them aside for that debt because we are likely to need them,” he said of the $10 million in reserves.

Schreiber said the city needs to keep working through legisIation that saves it money and communicating the problems it faces to the state level.

"I don't know if there isn't a municipality that doesn't have a doomsday scenarios in four years," he said.

Neither candidate will be in attendance for a facilitation session with developer Stewart Beal and his attorneys ordered by Judge Shelton for Aug. 10 because they will be on vacation. Schreiber voted for a plan presented by Beal to rehabilitate the Thompson Block property in April, while Murdock voted against it. The issue is now in litigation.

"I think it's clear city council should have accepted the plan in April," Schreiber said. "It separated safety versus development ... the judge is not taking the argument of Mr. Beal being in the right-of-way trumping his right of to keep his building up."

At the meeting with the senior citizens, Schreiber told the group each candidate has his strengths, and if Schreiber is re-elected, Murdock will remain on council. He said "the council table is big enough for both of us," and a vote for him keeps both in their positions.

Murdock called the assertion the “oddest campaigning” he has ever heard, and said if he wanted to be on council, he would have sought re-election when the time came.

“It’s nonsense. The mayor is slightly different, and what I’m saying is I would provide leadership better than he would. I think I’ve been showing that over the last two years,” he said.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.


Advance Ypsilanti

Fri, Jul 30, 2010 : 2:04 p.m.

Schreiber has worked to establish a broad spectrum of representation on boards and commissions. These appointments have many times included individuals who were certainly not avid supporters of the Mayor. Contrast this practice with recent efforts to hold the appointment process hostage based disingenuously on the Murdock agenda to consolidate power. Transparency and broader diversity will not occur by replacing the current mayor, rather it would be quite the opposite effect based on history.


Wed, Jul 28, 2010 : 8:17 p.m.

We have to spend our money judiciously and keep our city services, Schreiber said. The only reason our service level is as good as it is is we have an excellent group of employees, especially our police department. You need to have a good city council, a good mayor and good city manager in order to be able to keep a team together. I agree with most of Mayor Schreibers comments. City services are essential to the success of any municipality. All city services. For the Mayor to single out a specific department is an insult to all the other employees who provide services to the citizens of Ypsilanti. The secretaries,the DPW workers,the firefighters,the interns. We all provide a specific service to the city. The cities ability to steer through these trying economic times depends on all employees to perform to the best of their abilities and to make compromises and sacrifices if needed. As an employee of the fire department I can say without question that we have made both compromises and sacrifices. We are the only department that took an actual reduction in hourly wages, 5% to be exact,in order to avoid layoffs through 2012. This was an effort to maintain staffing levels and to be able to provide the same level of fire protection and EMS service to the citizens of Ypsilanti. Pete Murdock and Brian Robb were an integral part of this process.


Wed, Jul 28, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

Personally, I am so thankful that we are not referring to the festival as ypsitucky. This is exactly the image that we need to improve upon. I believe we need to treat ourselves and our neighbors with more respect. I would love to see Ypsilanti improve on simple life style changes. Keeping yards clean, keeping your kids close and just having respect for ourselves and our neighbors is the beginning of a great community effort. As simple as that may seem, we are lacking this in many neighborhoods.


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 4:45 p.m.

We clearly will get nowhere talking tucky. I believe that using the black-mail like tactic of threatening to remove a legal and binding contract over the use of a word that was disliked by a minority of residents (your estimate of hundreds is a little high don't you think?) would have made for a first amendment issue in the eyes of any judge. You disagree. To be honest, no, I don't care about the name any more, and the festival is back and growing despite the foolish and wrong headed acts of council and those in the city that would like to see it fail. But once again, you are choosing to ignore the real issue. The condition of Riverside and Frog Island Parks is the worst it has been in years. As for "finding the funds to care for the parks" what Brian Robb did was yet another case of money shuffling. They used $20,000 set aside for a ONE TIME expense of buying new microphones for city hall to try to cover what is an ANUAL expense of well over $20,000. Once again that's using ONE TIME FUNDS to pay for an ANNUAL EXPENSE. How does that work? If you take a walk in the park, you will see that it clearly does not work very well at all. It's a lot like paying the salaries of a couple police officers for two years, but also moving up the time table for the city becoming insolvent a couple years. In the short term the numbers seem to work, but a year or two later, not so much. As for saving a union job, yes, the city was supposed to be able to eliminate one DPS position because of the park contract, but they were never able to do so, mostly because what the CDC contract did was provide relief to an already overburdened and under resourced department. Council didn't hurt the CDC by taking away the park contract, they hurt DPS and the city budget! The tucky debate is over, but the debate about the consequences of council's overreaction is not. Right now, we are just dealing with poor conditions. If those poor conditions start leading to the loss of events like the Beer Festival, we're dealing with a loss of thousands and thousands of visitors and tens of thousands of dollars. So I ask again, how do you logically justify council's decision and Pete's position on it?

Steve Pierce

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 3:21 p.m.

Andy Y, The festival organizers could have held the festival at Riverside Park, called it Ypsitucky Jamboree and the city would have granted the permit. The festival organizers were never denied a permit. There was no restriction of free speech. When Mayor Bing fired the police chief over the his reality TV show, Bing wasn't saying he couldn't do the show. All Bing said was Evans was not going to do that show while Chief of Police in the City of Detroit. The Ypsilanti City Council was simply saying if they insisted on calling it the Ypsitucky Jamboree, the festival organizers put at risk their contract with the City to maintain the parks. We just saw a post from Glen S (hey Glen welcome back) and if I remember correctly Glen and his partner were both adamantly opposed to the Ypsitucky name as well. So it wasn't just a vocal minority, it was hundreds of people across the community with a large number of the opponents to the name also Schreiber supporters. Most of them were not happy when Schreiber voted to support the CDC contract. These citizens opposed to the festival name exercised their right to free speech, expressed their displeasure with the name and called for action. I know you are still unhappy with that decision, but the CDC was told that this could happen and then were stunned when Council took action. Yet some good things happened as a result of this decision. It led to finding funds to keep Riverside park maintained and that preserved good paying union jobs rather than having to lay off more city staff. Ultimately the festival organizers changed the name and we are all looking forward to a second, even more successful event this year. Cheers! - Steve


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 3:09 p.m.

Murdock's accomplishments, from his website: While serving as a City Council Member and Mayor, Pete worked with numerous governmental and non-governmental agencies, boards and commissions to accomplish the following: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Purchase of Freight House and development of Farmers' Market - Creation of the West Michigan Industrial Park - Adoption of the Main Street approach to Downtown Development - Creation of a faade grant program CO-OPERATIVE VENTURES - Establishment of the Ypsilanti District Library - Partnership with Ypsilanti Township and EMU to develop the corporate training center and hotel complex on Whittaker Road - Establishment of College of Business in downtown - Joint EMU-Ypsilanti Police Patrols COMMUNITY - Community policing - Mandatory rental inspection program - Huron River Corridor Park Plan for the development of the River Park System - Grants for neighborhood parks including Prospect and Parkridge - Expanded public transportation through AATA and what was then Dial-A-Ride ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES - Energy audits for City buildings - Referendum to allow for production of electricity at Peninsular Paper Dam - Provided site for Ypsilanti Recycling Project's recycling drop-off station - Utilized CDBG money for weatherization and energy efficiency for low income home owners - Organized the City's curbside recycling and compostable collection system and expanded the drop-off Station in Depot Town while with the Ypsilanti Recycling Project ANTI-DISCRIMINATION - Expanded anti-discrimination protection in City policies to include marital and student status and sexual preference - Vastly increased minority and women representation on City boards and commissions - Divested police and fire pension funds from the apartheid regime in South Africa - Opened up hiring process to attract more women and minorities to police and fire services FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY - Balanced budgets - Kept debt at a manageable level - Adapted to the loss of a million dollars annually from Federal Revenue Sharing and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program - Adjusted to the reduction of State Shared Revenues and loss of state fire protection money This should not even be a contest.


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

Steve, I guess you're right, I am leaving part of the story out, including the bit about how the city had no business telling the CDC what it could or could not call it's festival in the first place. The whole thing was a serious violation of the first amendment, and that was a thinly veiled excuse for Brian and Pete's actions to oust the CDC from control of the parks. The CDC had every right to stand by the name that they had already spent over 3 months promoting, and frankly there were likely grounds for a lawsuit over either a first amendment violation or the cancellation of the contract, if not both. The only real mistake the CDC did make was to agree to change the name and go back on that agreement. Just because a few people in the city didn't like the idea of a music festival called the Ypsitucky Jamboree doesn't mean the city had a right to say anything about it. There was no clause in the CDC contract stating that the city could dictated the names of events. Lots of people don't like using Ypsi when speaking about Ypsilanti, does that mean the the name of Wireless Ypsi should be changed? We won't even get into what a colossal waste of time the whole thing was. You also ignore that the festival and park maintenance were a totally separate issues. The truth is Brian Robb told a flat out lie when he said the city had the funds to take care of those parks and Pete stood right there with him. At the time Brian kept throwing around the $20,000 number, now he won't even talk about what it costs. Can you honestly say that the City is better off for this decision? Have you been in either park this year? Under the CDC, when the park was flooded, pumps were rented to clear the water. Now, the cash strapped city throws wood chips in the water and hopes to fill up the ponds. The weeds are not trimmed. There is more trash. There has been more graffiti. Ask anyone who went to beer fest over the past few years; the parks are in the worst shape they have been in for years. That's the point; the decision was not well thought out and like so many other things pushed through by Pete and Brian, it just doesn't pass the logic test. I'm glad you chose to make an issue of this one point from my earlier post (and also note that you don't seem to be disputing the others), because this one issue helps to illustrate the leadership differences between Paul and Pete, and a little of Brian too, as well as illustrate some of my other points. First, Brian and Pete refused to recognize the value the CDC contract was to the city. As you point out, Mayor Schreiber had every reason to be angry with the CDC, yet he voted against the cancellation of the contract, knowing the city could ill afford to lose the service the CDC was providing. Just like on other issues, Paul was able to separate what was truly important and try to salvage what he could, while Pete and Brian swung a broad ax at all in their path, despite the consequences. Per standard Pete/Brian operating procedure, the cancellation of the contract was brought up during the council meeting, with no chance for the CDC to defend it's work in the park (read: separate from the tucky issue) and no chance for the public to voice an opinion. And finally, it was Paul working behind the scenes to try to remedy the situation, even though in this case that didn't work out. Another fun fact: the CDC did choose to change the name of the festival, though after the cancellation of the park contract, they really had absolutely no reason to do so. That is to say the city could have easily wound up with our current terrible maintenance situation AND the Ypsitucky Jamboree. When you couple the contrasts in actions on this issue with the terrible conditions in the parks this year, I think you can get a pretty good feel for who was on the right side of this issue, and who has the leadership traits that Ypsilanti truly needs.

Depot Town

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 2:20 p.m.

That's a funny thing to say Glen S. since Schreiber is dragging out the same Cheryl Farmer garbage from 1999.

Glen S.

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

@ Steve Pierce In case you haven't noticed: It is 2010, not 2006, and this race is "Schreiber vs. Murdock," not a re-run of "Schreiber vs. Pierce."


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 12:35 p.m.

lorie: Is it ok when Paul "flashes" things in front of city leadership without building consensus? Surely you recall when Paul got up in front of council and announced he would preserve public transportation even if it meant cutting public safety. In response to that surprise, Murdock, Robb and others on council built a consensus to fix the problem, keep public safety positions and come up with a plan to fund public transportation. Why do you give Paul a pass on pitting public transportation against public safety? Your complaints come across as hypocritical. The CDC handled the whole Ypsitucky thing about as poorly as possible, and it paid the price. Murdock's fault? You have to be living on another planet to blame that one on him. Paul had his chance and his lack of meaningful accomplishments is troubling. If he couldn't get up to speed in the first four years, there's no point in giving him another four. It's time to hand the leadership role to someone who can get the job done. Pete will get it done.

Steve Pierce

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 12:15 p.m.

Lorie is taking a page from the Swift Boaters hoping if she keeps repeating the same set of tired mis-facts and untruths that somehow you will be convinced of her viewpoint. There is so much of what Lorie wrote in her last post that is flat out wrong, it is hard to know where to begin. So lets choose one; consensus building. What is consensus building? One website says: "Consensus Building is the building of agreement regarding decisions among government agencies, user groups, and local communities through informed discussion, negotiation, and public participation." The Ann Arbor News and Ypsilanti Press have written numerous articles and editorials over the last 30 years praising Murdock for his consensus building and communications skills in tackling difficult problems. For example, the merger of the two DDA's in 2009 which Murdock championed and Schreiber opposed. Merging the two DDA's was something from Lansing to the Chamber of Commerce to the Ann Arbor News and many more, have all said Ypsilanti needs to merge the two DDA's. Back in 2004 the DDA lost a major grant from Lansing, this was the one where Mayor Farmer, Jennifer Goulet and a group of some 30 other business leaders went up to Lansing for a huge pitch, wore the same outfits with Farmer wearing her white carny hat and pitched Ypsi for a major multi-million dollar grant. Ypsilanti lost and the report came back from Lansing very critical of Ypsi and the most damning criticism was the existence of two DDA districts for a town so small. The merger of the DDA's will save taxpayers 10's of thousands of dollars per year in overhead costs and make government more efficient and more responsive. Lansing said Ypsilanti should merge the two districts before coming back for more grants. So flash forward to five years later and Ypsi still has two DDA districts and the same old status quo. In 2009 Pete builds a consensus and gets support from business leaders, the Chamber, EMU, business and property owners and most importantly support from the vast majority of DDA Board members, all of them appointed by Farmer and Schreiber, in both Depot Town and Downtown to agree to merge the two DDA districts. There are public meetings, hearings, presentations at business groups in both districts and multiple meetings at the DDA and City Council all open to the public. By no means was this a shoe-in, there was serious debate and hard won compromises. Schreiber opposed merging the two DDA's from the very beginning. It was Schreiber on the campaign trail in 2006 saying he was opposed to the merger of the two DDA's saying the DDA's will lose control over their own districts if they merge. At the final public meeting before the DDA vote in 2009, Paul Schreiber famously said, "I don't have the votes to stop this merger." What Schreiber was unable to do was build his own consensus to stop the merger. Schreiber tried to stop the merger spending hours and hours and hours trying to convince people a merger would be bad for the community, but Schreiber failed. Now Schreiber is taking credit for bringing together the two DDA's as a positive sign of Schreiber's style of leadership. Hey, that is just politics, gotta love it. When something goes right, even if you opposed it, you always take credit. Sort of like "I voted for it after I voted against it." Yet Lorie is hoping you wont check the facts. Lorie is for Schreiber, I support Murdock. What Lorie wants you to believe is that when the decision goes against her guy, it is backroom evil deals and secret meetings. But when she likes what her guy does, it is open and transparent politics. All I can suggest to you is to get the facts, all the facts, from both sides and then judge for yourself. The merger of the DDA's is one of a hundred examples of Murdock's consensus building to solve difficult problems and bring about positive change for the community Cheers! - Steve

Steve Pierce

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 10:40 a.m.

Andy Y, You aren't telling the rest of the story. Remember, Paul Schreiber proudly announced that he personally had met and negotiated an agreement with the CDC whereby the CDC agreed to change the name of the festival. Less than 24 hours later, the CDC sent out a tersely worded press release saying the Ypsitucky Festival name would not be changed. Schreiber didn't find out until he saw the press release. The CDC never called him. The CDC made the Mayor look pretty foolish and Schreiber was visibly upset that night out Council when he learned the CDC had gone back on their word. You can't tell the mayor you are going to change the name and then go back on your word. The CDC dared the Mayor and City Council to cancel the contract and they did. Cheers! - Steve


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 8:04 a.m.

@Depottown...ahh - are you kidding? Pete is not a consensus builder and he has tended to communicate based on a script he came up with in backroom somewhere. Consensus? What consensus? Bus millage issue? While I know Pete wants that to pass and I appreciate whatever he is doing to help that campaign, the reality is he screwed up because he acted in his normal way: he came up with proposal, flashed it in front of of the city attorney at the last minute and got bad legal advice, jammed a faulty proposal through city council with allowing time for proper review. Now we get to vote twice, start and re-start a campaign on a badly needed tax increase ( Pete back in his SCIT leadership said we wouldn't need) for busing in Ypsilanti. No that is not leadership, that is gamesmanship and Ypsilanti doesn't need games.


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 12:05 a.m.

"Among his accomplishments....transforming the city from an industrial one to a city based in arts, entertainment and education." Yes, and the low wages and dead-end opportunites that come with the Arts and Entertainment.

Charley Sullivan

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 9:48 p.m.

Cash, in Ypsi, when the business is a good, well planned and thought out business, they do just fine... and the crappy businesses do crappy. There are plenty of people willing to come to Ypsi, or those of us who already live here, who are glad to spend money here. But not in crappy shops with poorly thought out business plans. But hey, last night, Sidetrack was full, there were people all over Depot Town, and business was good. Beezy's is doing well, so is the Ugly Mug. City Auto Body does great work; the coop stays above water, etc. Could we have more people come to Ypsi? Sure, but that won't save a marginally thought out business. A little off topic from the election, but it's not City Council or the Mayor's fault if your business isn't doing well.


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 4:24 p.m.

Captain, With that logic, there is no direction at all....which may explain why we are in such bad shape. I'd rather see someone have some sense of direction....and see positive movement for the downtown area. Business people are really suffering. This is no laughing matter.

Captain Magnificent

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

You people are so shortsighted it's making me nuts. Water Street IS West of downtown. Sure it's easier to get there by going east, but I will guarantee you that if you start heading west and you maintain your current latitude that you will end up at water street. There's a reason he said "Westward extension" of downtown- he's clearly talking about making Ypsilanti a truly global city by expanding downtown Ypsi all the way around the globe until it reaches Water street. I can't believe you didn't pick up on that. Let's see Pete Murdock or anyone the Mayor trounced the FIRST time he was elected (I'm looking at you, Steve Pierce) come up with something as visionary as what our current Mayor is proposing. While we're waiting I'm gonna start buying property in Shenyang, China and Lower Mongolia... or should I say Downtown Ypsilanti!


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 10:59 a.m.

Well said, AndyY.

Depot Town

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 8:44 a.m.

How can Pete get all of this great stuff done for the city if he doesn't communicate, build consensus, or cooperate? The Schreiber campaign is bitter over Pete's successes and is throwing around buzzwords trying to tarnish what he's done. Pete led the bus millage issue, led saving fire fighters and police officer positions, led finding funding for the freighthouse, led allowing people to own chickens, etc. etc. etc. Those issues passed overwhelmingly because Pete communicated, cooperated, and built consensus.


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 5:32 a.m.

Everything Else: Refusing to pass zoning to clarify the city's vision for Water Street so we can accommodate yet unknown development, but rejecting proposals from developers because they don't fit the vision. Tossing off casual insults to a local developer during a public council meeting, voting to reject any chance of agreement between the developer and city council against the recommendations of city staff, and choosing to sue, only to have the case thrown out and be scolded by the judge for canceling negotiations. Voting to cancel a contract with the Depot Town Community Development Corp. in which all maintenance and repair costs in Riverside and Frog Island Parks were covered by the DTCDC. The (supposed) cause? The DTCDC wanted to call their bluegrass themed music festival The Ypsitucky Jamboree. The justification? Transferring $20,000 set aside for new microphones for city council chambers, a ONE TIME expense, to the DPS budget. Minimum ANNUAL cost to maintain the parks? $20,000(their numbers at the time). The consequences? This year the park maintenance, already reduced because of budgetary constraints within DPS has been stretched to the limit by this summer's weather, leaving it a muddy mess for the festivals and car shows that drive the economic engine of the city. Voting to table voting on appointments of volunteers to city commissions until after the August election because there could be a change on city council after the election, and the new council might not like to work with those volunteers. That not only ignores the city charter mandate to fill those positions, but also the fact that council member's current terms, even if they loose, are not over until January. Calling for more transparency and openness in city meetings, but continually adding major issues to city council's agenda at the last minute, removing any real chance for public notification or debate. As for Paul saying Water Street is west of downtown; we all say something stupid now and again. Confusing east for west, left for right, National for American, for profit for non-profit. But what's important is the intention of your vision, right? And I don't think Paul telling people he like Pete and wants to continue working with him on council is that strange at all. Pete does do great work for the city. What he doesn't do well is cooperate, communicate, or build consensus. Those are the things that Paul has provided and helped Ypsilanti change, grow, and develop in spite of economic conditions and financial problems.


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 4:38 a.m.

Steve Pierce, Your posts are always priceless! I don't have great expectations for a mayor, but I do hope that he is eating at the fun places in Downtown Ypsilanti often enough (not just for a photo op) to know east from west.

Steve Pierce

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 2:09 a.m.

City fine for standing on the median on Michigan Avenue while having your picture taken by $50. Telling citizens Water Street is West of downtown. Priceless. For everything else, there is Pete Murdock. Cheers! - Steve


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 8:11 p.m.

again, no mention of the history we lived with during Pete's time as mayor - difficult relationships with all of our surrounding townships, terrible relationships with EMU almost killing the Business Building development. Voter fraud, and his current lack of respect for the whole of council by sending proposals for the agenda at the last minute without any time for public input or review. The transportation proposal being the worst of these by a) presented at the last minute b) faulty legal advice from the city attorney as to WHEN a Tax increase(Headlee override) could be voted on and no public input. sad really.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 4:24 p.m.

Justin, If you are referring to "The Thompson Block", it's not downtown. It is in Depot Town. And the only "reasonable" plan for that shell is demolition. Anything else is prolonging agony. That's just my opinion. The building has sat there, undeveloped and used by vagrants who torched it, for years. That was a public nuisance...long before it burned. I'm not in either candidate's camp, however these are facts: 1. Water Street Project is east of Downtown, not "westward". 2. The Thompson Block shell is in Depot Town, not Downtown.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 3:24 p.m.

"Murdock said he wants to make Ypsilanti a more attractive place for businesses..." and he goes on to mention three non-profit organizations. Murdock chased away a fast food firm from building on the Water Street project, because it didn't his vision of what Ypsilanti should be. What is that? Closed-up store fronts? He wants Ypsilanti to be safe? Well, that burn-out wreckage downtown is the only thing the city should be worrying about, and he refused a reasonable plan by Beal to start construction.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

I see it being more of an westward extension of downtown, he said. I think, ironically enough, when it was originally proposed it was thought it would bootstrap downtown, but I think the opposite is going to happen. Mayor Schreiber, Isn't Water Street east of downtown? Oh dear.