Reporting of city budgets needs to be simplified and made available online in a more accessible.
Empowering the residents of Ann Arbor to be involved and have knowledge about the important decisions being made by city officials is something I strongly believe in. It is important that residents have an understanding of the impact that these decisions have on the community and their families. It is just as important to also discuss the decision making process, rules and regulations that guide the Council and other city officials, especially when it comes to allocating and cutting resources that impact certain expenditures and revenue sources in the city.
A great way to do this would be having a series of town hall meetings, increased communication and public broadcasting of what is being discussed when it comes to the plans and decisions being talked about. I plan on discussing further ways in which this is possible, especially with the residents of Ann Arbor.
A website with a dashboard similar to the states with a detailed break down of the budget would be required. Color coding funding sources and expenditures to simplify how things are broken down would be beneficial. The public criticism of current expenditures indicates that the public is interested and frustrated with the current way the city finances are reported.
Maintaining or expanding fiscal support for community services is essential.
The City of Ann Arbor is one of the most welcoming and safest communities in the nation. Community leaders and citizens of this city work very hard to maintain this reputation. Recent talks and continued cuts to police and fire put this reputation at risk and it could impact the security of our neighborhoods and businesses as well. I am a proponent of allocating as much resources as possible to ensure that police and fire have enough financial support to carry out their duties and most of all, protect the residents of Ann Arbor. It is vital that our city maintains a welcoming environment for our current and new residents and new economic opportunities.
Dedicate a liaison in city government to help businesses work with the University of Michigan.
Our local businesses and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are vibrant and some of the best tools our city currently has at the moment to provide job and development opportunities. As a small business owner, the city offers a wonderful environment for economic growth and development. My family and I have taken advantage of this and choose to invest in local businesses, and development opportunities that impact the community. This support needs to continue and it is important that we continue to offer incentives to attract and maintain strong and healthy economic development in the city.
Parks and Recreation
Maintenance of parks is declining due to lack of funding. A budget review should be done to find the finances to keep up these city services.
Ann Arbor is a healthy community; and I understand how important parks and recreation contributes to that. I will be strongly advocating for the maintenance of our parks so that they are clean and welcoming, and protect wildlife. I will be in support of volunteer programs that help engage and educate the community about the importance of the parks for their and health and our environment, and ways in which they could get involved to help protect our parks.
Recreation facilities play an important role for the health of our senior citizens and youth. With childhood obesity climbing, we must do everything possible to get our kids energized about being healthy. I will work closely with community organizations and the city to discuss ways in which this is possible. Youth programs designed to promote healthy lifestyles is something I will work to support and increase funding for. I also believe it is important that we continue to offer and expand programs that assist our senior citizens when it comes to recreation facilities in the city.
Welfare and Housing
University of Michigan subsidized healthcare for residents who can show proof of hardship.
The economic changes in our country and state are challenging the city and many of our residents. It is important to offer and find ways in which we could provide affordable housing and assistance programs for healthcare. Important programs like these face cuts in the state. If elected, I will be in full support of getting the city to supplement these cuts by establishing programs and working with local community organizations to help provide to the city’s residents in need of help. We must be resourceful as possible and this will require extensive collaboration, but I am up for the challenge.
Freezing gas reimbursements and travel reimbursements. These funds could be used to maintain the parks and community services like police and fire.
Ask U of M for subsidized education for residents who can show hardship and meet entrance requirements.