Last summer, former MSA Rep. Stuart Wagner passed out earplugs at a City Council meeting to symbolize the deaf ear that the Council’s members turned to student issues.
Wagner’s “protest” was in response to a parking restriction that City Council passed, which turned open parking spots near a number of fraternities and sororities into parking places that required annual for-fee passes.
Elections for City Council members are being held today, and students have a chance to be heard by casting a ballot.
Students can vote at the polling location for the ward in which they are registered to vote. Polling locations are at the Michigan Union, Bursley, Mary Markley Residence Hall, East Quadrangle, South Quadrangle and at Jefferson and fifth streets. Polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
There are several election issues that could have a significant impact on students in Ann Arbor and voting for one candidate or the other could determine the future direction of these issues.
For instance, many candidates have expressed uncertainty about a housing ordinance proposed by the mayor that aims to control the housing rush that usually takes place in early fall when students try to lease the most desirable properties.
In its current draft, the ordinance puts limits on landlords and requires them to wait a certain amount of time before showing and leasing property.
Among the candidates running in today’s elections, Stephen Rapundalo (D-Ward 2) has been one that has expressed support for an ordinance that would try to buy students more time when signing a lease.
Another issue of concern to students is the newly created committee composed of two Council members appointed by the mayor and five student representatives appointed by the Michigan Student Assembly.
The committee was formed in hopes of improving communication between students and the Council.
Both Rapundalo and Leigh Greden (D-Ward 3) have been the most vocal about their support for the committee.