In the News

“Sturgis’ positivity makes him stand out from other candidates”
Ann Arbor native Eric Sturgis is clearly the best candidate for City Council in the 1st Ward.

It’s no surprise that he supports efficient city services, governmental transparency, well-funded public safety, safe and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods, city parks and natural areas. Those are givens! I also very much like his strong commitment to historic preservation. But Eric offers more than that. He will provide a fresh voice, backed up by intelligence and an open mind that will support City Council’s movement beyond the naysayers on every issue and help create an exciting future for this town. Eric is no accountant, but he has an excellent grasp of the financial and governmental requirements that will make progress possible. At the same time, he is well aware of the dangers — including the kind of negativity expressed by some candidates that would limit our future community possibilities. Eric’s positive approach to the future has won him — among a long list of others — the endorsement of former City Council Members Eunice Burns, Pat Vareen Dixon and Jean Robinson. I have had the opportunity to talk at length with Eric. He has won my strong support. Vote for Eric Sturgis on Aug. 7!

Ray Detter

Letter to the Editor: Passion to better Ann Arbor makes Sturgis ideal for Council

Eric or Sumi?

Ann Arbor City Council candidates debate trust and transparency in city government (

Kailasapathy said she’d bring a healthy sense of skepticism to city government, which she doesn’t think is open and transparent enough. Sturgis said he has trust in the city’s current leadership and thinks the city goes out of its way to be transparent.

“We should be on the premise that everybody here is doing this for the right reason,” he said. “I definitely think this is one of the most transparent governments in Michigan.”

candidate_forum_071412_RJS_Eric Sturgis.jpg

First Ward candidate Eric Sturgis is taking on Democratic opponent Sumi Kailasapathy in the Aug. 7 primary.

Sturgis pointed out, for example, that eight public meetings were held to give citizens an opportunity to give input on the 618 South Main apartments project before it was approved.

He also noted every City Council meeting is televised and replayed, and every detail of the city budget is available at city hall and online.

Kailasapathy said she still doesn’t think the city puts out enough information before decisions are made. She referenced the debate over putting a hotel and conference center on the Library Lot, which came out of a public process that lasted nearly two years from 2009 into 2011 and included numerous public meetings and a city website dedicated to posting information.

“Decisions were made behind the scenes whether there was going to be a conference center or hotel,” she said. “And then you put that out and ask the people, ‘Do you want a conference center?’ That’s not transparency. That is not public debate.”

Teall took issue with Kailasapathy on that point.

“There’s a great deal of transparency on City Council,” she said. “The process for the Library Lot was very open and transparent, and I don’t know how many times I can say that and people will still say that it wasn’t. But there were public meetings throughout this process.

“There were no closed meetings about it. It was all open.”

Sturgis said he wouldn’t want to come to meetings with his mind made up or ever be indebted to anyone.

“I want to listen to what people say. I’ve offered to do once-a-month community meetings, going out, reaching out,” he said.

Closing statements from Saturday’s Ann Arbor City Council candidate forum:

1st Ward candidate for Ann Arbor City Council

Sturgis vs. Kailasapathy: 1st Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council is a choice between two new faces


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