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Posted on Fri, May 7, 2010 : 6:02 a.m.

Margie Teall announces reelection campaign in 4th Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

Democrat Margie Teall has announced her campaign for reelection in the 4th Ward race for the Ann Arbor City Council, saying the city must keep moving forward despite difficult times.

Teall submitted signatures to the city clerk on Thursday from more than 100 residents in her ward who support her reelection bid. She is the first candidate to file petitions to run for council from the 4th Ward.


Margie Teall

“It has been a great privilege to represent 4th Ward residents on City Council,” Teall said in a written statement. “I’m running for re-election because every city, county, and school district in the state of Michigan faces great challenges. In Ann Arbor, we will meet those challenges by doing what we do best: forging partnerships with residents, business, labor, and other governmental entities, and by continuing to invest in our community’s future.”

Teall faces two likely challengers in the Aug. 3 Democratic primary — Jack Eaton and Jeremy Kennedy, who are both attorneys from Ann Arbor.

In addition to being on City Council since 2002, Teall has served on the Environmental Commission, City Council Community Events Committee, Michigan Theater Foundation Board, FestiFools START Board and First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor Board. She also is a volunteer for the Burns Park Players and organizer of the Million Mom March.

Teall has worked as a photographer and assistant director of religious education at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor. She and her husband, Graham, live in the Lower Burns Park area with their two daughters, Clara, a graduate of Pioneer High School, and Gillian, who attends Community High School.

Teall’s campaign has been endorsed by residents from throughout the 4th Ward. She relayed their statements of support in a press release.
“When I e-mailed Margie for help on getting a safer pedestrian walk sign in our neighborhood, she immediately went to work," said Heather Robinson, who lives with her husband and two children in the 4th Ward. "My voice was heard, and ultimately my request was granted. It may seem small, but it will make a real difference to the families in our neighborhood."

Teall also sponsored an initiative to down-zone the Lower Burns Park neighborhood to prevent an influx of high-density rental housing. 

“Margie Teall works with neighborhoods to help them negotiate difficult situations,” said Nancy Leff, a member of the Lower Burns Park Neighborhood Association. “For our neighborhood, the issue was single-family homes, which were being expanded and backyards graveled to accommodate more renters and their cars. Margie worked with us and led the effort to down-zone the area and protect our neighborhood. She is also working to stop the proposal to park cars in Frisinger and Allmendinger parks on football Saturdays.”

Michael Dushane, a 25-year resident of Ann Arbor, said Teall helped his neighboring street get traffic calming measures in 2003.

“When traffic then shifted to our street, Margie played an active role with our neighborhood by attending onsite meetings," he said. "Thanks to Margie, our street now has traffic calming, and residents are very pleased."

Washtenaw County Commissioner Leah Gunn, who has lived in the 4th Ward for four decades, also is supporting Teall.

“Margie is a great asset on the Urban County Executive Committee,” Gunn said. “She provides a strong voice for the city of Ann Arbor on this important endeavor in regional cooperation, which brings together city, county, and township leaders to provide housing and human service resources to our most vulnerable residents.”

Teall listed some of her accomplishments on council:

• She led the effort to create Dicken Woods by working with area residents and sponsoring legislation to purchase the property, which had been slated for development. The property was added to the city's Natural Area Preservation program. 

• She created a neighborhood working group regarding the closed Georgetown Mall to address safety issues and monitor disposal of the property. 

• She supported new downtown height limits to protect neighborhoods from inappropriate development.

• As chairwoman of the city's Senior Center Task Force, she helped unite residents and city staff to develop a plan to save the senior center from closure.

• She pushed for the City Council’s recent development of commercial recycling and single-stream recycling programs, which she says will expand Ann Arbor’s recycling system, reduce landfill waste and save taxpayer funds. 

• She co-sponsored a partnership with Washtenaw County and local non-profit agencies to reduce home foreclosures. 

• As a member of the Washtenaw Metro Alliance, she pushed successfully for regional partnerships, including a fire protection alliance with Ypsilanti and a countywide consolidation of affordable housing and human service programs.

• She now is working with Congressman John Dingell in attempts to secure federal and state funds to rebuild the East Stadium Boulevard bridges.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.



Sun, May 9, 2010 : 9:41 p.m.

Maybe I missed something but has anyone ever heard of an Ann Arbor councilperson trying to lower our taxes? I hear a lot about pet projects they support but never anything about doing something productive that will help the average citizen. I am certainly not a Tea Party proponent but our taxes and spending are just way out of control and this art project is just about the most ridiculous waste of money I have ever heard of. Anyone who voted for it should be voted out just for that. If possible I think the Mayor should be impeached. It's a shame they could not support Michigan artists.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 7:10 p.m.

She should add "Promptly answers all email" to her list of accomplishments. Now that's an accomplishments that I could get behind if I knew how to email.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 7:17 a.m.

The one thing I will say is that on the five or six occasions I've e-mailed council with concerns that she has responded *every* time. Contrast that to the exactly zero responses I've received from Marcia Higgins.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 7:13 a.m.

Yeah - our biggest problem is that traffic isn't "calm" enough. Know what "calming" does? It just reroutes traffic to another street/neighborhood. My favorite calming example are the bumps they put on Rosewood. They are easily the smoothest part of the entire street.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 2:25 p.m.

I am not voting for M. Teall..... We need a new face on council, one that provides 4th ward residence communication about council plans and actions and seeks out our input rather than just that of DDA!!! Shows more concern for citizens over mass development and the developers that push same....

Vivienne Armentrout

Fri, May 7, 2010 : 11:20 a.m.

Ms. Teall left out her accomplishment in being part of the council majority that pushed through the building of the city hall addition (aka police-courts building). The city's deficit has been much enhanced by that action. She has also been a notable supporter of a conference center on the Library Lot, though that decision has not been made.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 9:59 a.m.

" Margie is a great asset on the Urban County Executive Committee, Gunn said. She provides a strong voice for the city of Ann Arbor..." Ms Teall's "accomplishments" are the same kind of boilerplate back slapping we hear from Leah Gunn and almost every other politician when referring to their friends. Those are "accomplishments"? She's a follower, not a leader. NEXT!

Ted Annis

Fri, May 7, 2010 : 9:01 a.m.

This woman should not be returned to City Council. Among her serious failures while on Council is that of ignoring the collapsing Stadium Bridges.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 8:06 a.m.

That's a really nice list of accomplishments. Teall "supports", "led" "helps", "pushed", "co-sponsored", "is now working" etc. A list that anyone could agree is commendable and could have easily been done by any of us. It's like a politician saying "I support good education" Who could disagree? But what has she "done" other than go along to get along, be part of the council clique and spout the same old election time platitudes that she and her supporters tout as "accomplishments"? Where's the beef, Margie?


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 8:01 a.m.

I agree with cyclochemist, Margie has not been able to get her story out. She is a workhorse on council and does everything she can to solve issues and problems for her constituents. She is not a grandstander who likes to have sound bites spread throughout the news media on a regular basis. She just does the job without fanfare. She is just a hardworking resident who wants to do a good job. represent her constituents effectively and puts 150% effort into the job. She is exactly the type of person I want to represent me on council.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 7:58 a.m.

After reading what she has done for Ann Arbor, most voters should vote her out of office. She spends others peoples money like a congressperson, she is anti-business, she does not support the people who are most vunerable i.e. the taxpayer.

The Picker

Fri, May 7, 2010 : 7:13 a.m.

She's been around too long, time for a change. She is part of the problem!


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 7:11 a.m.

"Thanks to Margie, our street now has traffic calming, and residents are very pleased." She has been especially effective in the calming of traffic on Stadium Bridge...


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 6:30 a.m.

In my experience Ms Teal has provided excellent constituency service and has served the city and the residents of the 4th Ward well. My only negative criticism is that, in the past elections, she hasn't gotten her story out to the public. Running unaposed in several election cycles hasn't required Margie to inform the public of all the good work she's accomplished. As voters get to know her better this election, voters should support her continued service as our 4th Ward city council rep.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 6:28 a.m.

Ryan, your story is fine up until you print Ms. Teall's self-disclosed list of "accomplishments". I believe something of that nature needs to be scrutinized for veracity, embellishments, possible contentions, etc...lest it look like has actually done so and is comfortable with Ms. Teall's assertions.