ANN ARBOR – Dylan Manna recently filed paperwork to run as an independent write-in candidate in the race for Ann Arbor mayor.
His name will not appear on the Nov. 8 ballot alongside fellow challengers Christopher Taylor (incumbent) and Eric Lipson.
Manna is a visiting scholar of physics at the University of Michigan and recently returned to the city.
The following interview was conducted via email.
Why did you decide to run for mayor?
When I moved back to Ann Arbor in May, I was asked by old friends if I would get involved in local politics. It was suggested that I could become a write-in candidate for the office of Mayor. After seeing a debate between the two candidates on the ballot, I felt motivated to broaden the perspective of the dialog on the issues facing the city.
What do you feel are the biggest issues that Ann Arbor residents face right now?
The rapid development of Ann Arbor in conjunction with a high rate of violent crime as well a housing shortage makes zoning and city planning of the built environment the most urgent issue of the city. The issues of water, both drinking and waste, are both on the near horizon in terms of urgency. I also believe that an issue that gets very little service is the relationship of the University of Michigan and the City of Ann Arbor: A symbiotic relationship is necessary for both to thrive and the time to forge a greater relationship is now.
What are some problems that the city will need to tackle in the next few years?
Housing, water and the increasingly strained relationship between the City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan are the three most pressing problems that the city must tackle in the next few years.
How do you think Ann Arbor can get closer to its carbon neutrality goals?
The most astounding failure of Ann Arbor in terms of carbon neutrality is the lack of weekend and late night public transportation. In a city with so many surrounding communities that supply its workforce, a much greater commitment to commuters, with and without cars, is essential. Also, for a population moving toward electric vehicles, charging stations need to be a more prodigious feature of the city.