The City of Ypsilanti Deserves Better

Many years ago I learned that you cannot control the events that happen to you only how you respond to them. The way that you respond to events is a reflection of who you are. Someone who stands back and declines to respond when others launch attacks on your behalf is not worthy of respect in my opinion. Until a few months ago I had not really heard of either Paul Schrieber or Steve Pierce. I still don’t know either man personally. However, what I have witnessed in the course of the recent mayoral primary campaign and in some personal communications leads me to think that Paul Schrieber would not be the best person to be mayor of the city. Mr. Schrieber to my knowledge did not personally attack either of his opponents during the course of the campaign. However, supporters of Mr. Schrieber did attack Mr. Pierce. To the best of my knowledge Mr. Schrieber never publicly disavowed of their actions. By declining to condemn the actions of supporters, he tacitly approved of those actions. Now his wife Penny Schrieber has written a very nasty letter to Mr. Pierce attacking him and his supporters. In a post on his blog today Eric Touchberry wrote about contacting Mrs. Schrieber to confirm whether she had written the letter, she not only confirmed it, she also called all of us local bloggers “idiots”.

I don’t deny Mrs. Schriebers right to express her opinion of myself and other members of this community. Make no mistake, we Idiots are members of the Ypsilanti community and most of us have been involved in trying to make this a better place to live and work. If Paul Schrieber is to be mayor of Ypsilanti, he needs to step forward and tell the whole community exactly where he stands, on this and also on the actions of his other supporters. If he decides that he will continue to sit back quietly and let others do the dirty work than maybe the voters of the city should reconsider who should be mayor before the election. Maybe if Mr. Schrieber decides that being honest with the community is not important, there should be a write-in campaign for the November general election.

Ypsi Mayor 8

The 2006 Ypsilanti Mayoral election is now effectively over. Since there is no Republican candidate, the winner of the Democratic primary is effectively the new mayor. I have a few suggestions for the candidates.

To Mr. Schrieber:

Please don’t wait until November to get you 2020 committee going. Do it now! Ypsilanti can’t wait. Even though you think it is pointless don’t ignore the idea of regional cooperation. The city and the township need each other, now more than ever. Pursue the idea please. Bring in Mrs. Richardson and Mr. Pierce and ask them to work with you to help solve the problems. Encourage them to be involved in solving the city’s problems. Maybe even include them in your 2020 committee. They are both committed to helping the city. Take advantage of the opportunity to create unity in the city. Also it is time for you to disavow the actions of some your supporters during the preceding campaign. Finally, cutting into food lines at fund raisers is rude. Don’t do it anymore.

To Mr. Pierce:

Please continue your work to make Ypsilanti a better place. Please stay involved, particularly in the Google effort. I know you are committed to the city, and if Mr. Schrieber does ask you to participate in the revival I hope you will take up the opportunity.

To Mrs Richardson:

I hope you will also stay involved in the city revival efforts. I hope you will continue to push for some good retail in Water Street particularly a grocery store. If Mr. Schrieber asks you participate in his efforts please step up to the plate. And don’t forget the chickens.

The campaign was hard fought and now it is time for all the people of the area to work together to solve the problems.

A Democrat for mayor of Ypsilanti 4

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.

Audio of the Ypsi Mayoral Debate 4

I have posted the audio of the Ypsilanti Mayoral Debate held tonight at the McKenny Union at EMU. If you are bandwidth challenged I will be posting another lower bit-rate version tomorrow. This first version is about 36MB The lower quality version should be quite a bit smaller. I will also do a multi-part version that can be burned to audio cds for anyone who who doesn;t have a portable mp3 player and doesn’t want to listen on the computer.

BTW Congratulations to Mark Maynard and all the other organizers. The ballroom was packed with probably over 300 people and there were excellent questions. It was a great event and demonstrated that the people of of this community do care about its future.

Bittorrent test for the debate 6

I am going to be recording and then posting audio and video of the Ypsilanti Mayoral debate tomorrow. In order maximize availability and conserve bandwidth (video is large especially when you are talking about a 90 minute debate) I’m going to make it available by as many channels as possible. This includes ourmedia.org, google and bittorrent. If you are not familiar with bittorrent it is a peer to peer file sharing technology that works extremely well for very large files. It is perfectly legal and ideally suited to distributing something like this. This will be my first attempt at hosting a torrent tracker. When you use bittorrent you download a small torrent file that points to a tracker site. It then gets the information about the file to download and starts getting pieces of the file. As more people download pieces they also share those pieces. The more people who are downloading and seeding a file the faster everyone can get it. I would like to request your help in testing my setup.

If you are already setup to use bittorrent then please download this torrent file for Azureus, a very good bittorrent client. The file is only 7.6 MB. If it downloads OK please let me know.

If you are not setup for bittorrent and you are running windows, and you want to get the debate this way, please download this setup file for Azureus, install it and then download the torrent file and test the setup. If you are not running windows you can find Mac and Linux versions of Azureus here

Please let me know if this works or if you have any problems. Once I post the video and audio files I’ll put the links here. thanks

Ypsi Mayoral Debate 2

You may have noticed the little banner in the top left corner, about the debate for the Ypsilanti Mayoral candidates this Thursday at McKenny Union at EMU. My friend Mark Maynard is the instigator. I will be recording and videotaping the event and putting it on line after the event. I am planning on putting the audio up here on this blog as a podcast. If you listen to podcasts already, you can just subscribe to my RSS feed (the orange icon) over on the left sidebar and as soon as I post the audio it will show up in your podcatching software (iTunes, Doppler, Juice, etc.). I’ll put up the link to the video as soon as it’s ready.