Reader offers alternative
factoids about Hieftje

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Congratulations on another great issue of The Ann, December 2014. It keeps getting better and better.

The 'numbers' page Libby Hunter references

The ‘numbers’ page Libby Hunter references

As someone who’s aware of the lack of participation in local government, and hardly thrilled with the way local government works here in A2, I saw red flags when I read the numbers and facts beside the photo of Mayor Christopher Taylor in “From the pages of The Michigan Daily” (about Taylor winning with 84 percent of the vote, Mayor John Hieftje’s reign lasting 14 years, and the standing ovation he received at his last meeting).

For some residents, this may be just about the only information they have on these crucial political figures. Here are some numbers and facts to round out the picture:

  • 13.61 percent: Of 99,531 registered voters, the percentage who turned out in August.
  • 7,073: Number of votes Taylor received. The vote was split, so more voted against than in favor.
  • $125 million and $500 million: Approximate municipal debt loads when Mayor Hieftje took office and left office, respectively.
  • Yes: How Mayor Hieftje voted on City Hall ($50 million), the underground parking structure on Fifth Avenue ($50 million), Wheeler Service Center ($35 million), The Varsity 13-story apartment highrise at 425 East Washington and the 14-story apartment highrise coming to 413 East Huron.

My concern would not be great if we had a highly involved electorate.

But for those of us searching for what’s really going on, and then spreading the news amongst our friends and acquaintances, this is an example of the media making local elected officials look good.

Again, I really enjoyed reading the whole December issue.

Libby Hunter

(Editor’s note: The author has famously made her opinions known in person; she’s sung at City Council meetings 11 times. Don’t believe us? Check her out on YouTube.)


Usually, this just means Jim, one of our partners, uploaded the article. There's an off chance it could be an intern, though, so be nice.