So far I haven’t written about the candidates running for mayor of Ypsilanti. However, after reading what people have been saying over the last couple of days I think it is time for me to jump in here. First let me say I have been a liberal all my life. I grew up in Canada as the son of a steelworker who live through 3 strikes including 2 protracted ones. I was a supporter of the NDP (the New Democratic Party) I believe that government should work for the improvement of the community and the common good. Serving the common good does not necessarily preclude and in fact I think demands some fiscal responsibility. There are times when a government needs to spend more than it takes in, but even this needs to be done with care. The reality of the situation today in Ypsilanti is that they have limited revenues and opportunities for short-term revenue growth. They also don’t have the resources to run any kind of deficit. This means that whoever the next mayor of the city is must find a way to minimize costs while maintaining the services that are needed by the people of the city. The new mayor must also find a way promote growth and improve the revenue basis of the city.
Based on what I have heard from the candidates, I would have to say that Steve Pierce is the best of of the choice for mayor. I have heard criticism of Steve, accusing him of being a Democrat in name only. He is being accused of being a Republican running in a Democratic town under the only banner with which he could be elected here. To this I say Bullshit! Steve Pierce has demonstrated repeatedly his commitment to this community. He has demonstrated a belief in civil rights. My friend Cam Getto uncovered to documentation about what really happened with the DDA (of which Steve Pierce was a member) during the campaign to amend the city charter to protect the civil rights of all members the Ypsilanti community so I will not reiterate the whole story here. Steve Pierce has some good ideas about how to improve the fiscal stability of the city in both the short term and the longer term. Consolidating administrative services with the surrounding region makes sense for the city and the region. The health of the city has an effect on the health of the region. Neither exists in isolation from the other. It is vital that the city, the townships and the county find ways to cooperate and make the best use of the resources that each possesses.
Steve has also been accused of being too “eloquent”. This is also ridiculous. Being eloquent is no sin and is certainly not antithetical to being a democrat. There are many “Democrats” who claim the title but clearly don’t walk the walk (witness Joe Lieberman, Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton). I don’t think that Steve Pierce is one of them. No doubt he is not perfect. If I were him I would not drag out that shirt I saw him wearing on the 4th of July and Memorial Day quite so often. I don’t know the man personally and my knowledge of him is limited, but from what I have seen he is definitely the best candidate for the job. I think with Steve Pierce as mayor, the city stands a fighting chance. I think the voters of the city should give Steve Pierce a chance.