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Sally Hart Petersen becomes fourth sitting council member to announce mayoral bid

By Will Greenberg, Daily News Editor
Published January 15, 2014

Get ready everybody; this fall is going to be a mayor-a-thon.

Ann Arbor City Council Member Sally Hart Petersen (D–Ward 2) announced Wednesday she too will be running for Mayor of Ann Arbor in November.

Petersen is now the fourth sitting council member to announce the intention to run, joining Sabra Briere (D–Ward 1), Stephen Kunselman (D–Ward 3) and Christopher Taylor (D–Ward 3) in the race.

The current mayor John Hieftje (D) will not be seeking reelection.

In a press release, Petersen said she plans to emphasize responsible economic development in the city, maintaining a balance between growth and preserving Ann Arbor’s originality and landmarks.

Petersen also credited the University as an economic resource for the city, providing revenue, talent and jobs through the recent recession. With the University’s upcoming presidential transition and a new mayor, she said she hopes to capitalize on the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the school and city.

“I am committed to finding avenues for shared interests with University of Michigan leadership and I believe economic growth is one of them,” Petersen said in the release. “It is an opportune time to strengthen our collaboration and actively seek ways to promote purposeful growth.”

Petersen has substantial management experience in both the private and public sectors. Her experience includes positions at CFI Group, a customer feedback organization; ABN AMRO Mortgage Group and HealthMedia, Inc., and past positions include president of the Tappan Middle School PTSO, president of the Junior League of Ann Arbor and co-president of the Angell Elementary PTO. She also serves on the boards of the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Racquet Club of Ann Arbor, the Neutral Zone and Ann Arbor Huron Athletics Booster Club.

Petersen also said she is looking to increase transparency and cooperation between elected officials and residents. She said she wants to keep people informed and give them a chance for their voice to be heard and involved.

All four candidates have been deeply involved in the legislation process of the past year’s biggest proposals, including fossil fuel divestment for the pension board, amending the city’s crosswalk ordinance and expanding the Ann Arbor Transit Authority, among others.

Petersen stood out during the pension debate, being one of the two council members to vote against the proposal. She suggested methods to promoting environmental safety other than divestment, such as investment in green technology, fearing the consequences of tampering with the city’s pension fund.


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