ANN ARBOR - Jeff Hayner (D) is running for the Ward 1 city council seat. This is his third time he is seeking a seat on Ann Arbor City Council.
He has lived in Ann Arbor for over 35 years. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he is a small-business owner and is an active member of the community.
He is married with two teenage children.
The following interview was conducted via email.
In your opinion, what are the main issues in your ward? How do you propose to solve them?
Overdevelopment, traffic, land use decisions that don't follow our master plan, poverty, homelessness, poor city services. By working with and empowering the people, from the bottom up -- to find solutions. By evaluating all land use decisions against the potential to harm the quality of life of existing residents, who have invested so much in our city.
What do you feel are the biggest issues in Ann Arbor?
Ward 1 is a microcosm of the larger Ann Arbor, so many of the same things. We have a City Council that desperately clings to power, ignores the concerns and wishes of the residents, and generally has done a poor job of advocating for the people and managing the city. We have expensive, poisoned water. We have crumbling roads, and some of the highest wealth disparity in the nation.
What do you love about Ann Arbor?
The genuine people, the river, the parks, the schools, the (rapidly diminishing) local small businesses, and the ability to quickly reach other urban centers or natural areas in Michigan. Under a decade or so of corporate democratic leadership our city has lost it's authenticity.
What could Ann Arbor do better?
Be better partners with our neighbors, and the University of Michigan. We could do better fixing our roads, in caring for the Huron River watershed, and in lending support to those who need it most.
Why did you decide to run for City Council?
To give people a qualified choice in August, and to serve the residents of our city.
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Describe what you think it means to be an Ann Arborite.
Someone who knows and respects people from all walks of life, who cares about the environment, who cares about improving our community, and who is committed to making the best of their lives.
For more information about the upcoming election, including polling place locations and voter tips, read: What you need to know ahead of Ann Arbor's Aug. 7 primary.
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