Mike Eller, Democrat for Council 

 

   MikeEllerforYpsi.com

Mike Eller's Position on Important Issues

As your City Council representative, I promise to fight all future proposals for a city income tax.

Creating and maintaining a pro-business and pro-homeowner environment is key to Ypsilanti’s success. Investors, employers, and homeowners want to be where costs are under control. Business-friendly governance will bring the jobs that our residents need. Homeowner-friendly taxes will prevent flight across city borders.

Similarly, I will fight to control property taxes.

We cannot afford to increase the property-tax burden if we expect families and businesses to locate in Ypsilanti. High property taxes are a disproportionate burden on the poor and moderate-income residents of Ypsilanti. They diminish the ability of businesses to reinvest in future growth - most importantly, the type of development that brings more jobs and opportunities to our people.

I support cooperation, not confrontation, with Eastern Michigan University.

Yes, EMU staff and students use city services supported by Ypsilanti homeowners. But the simple fact is that EMU brings tremendous benefits to Ypsilanti. EMU is an essential part of our municipal fabric. EMU fosters an educated populace, enhances culture, stabilizes property values, and draws customers for our businesses. For both businesses and residents, EMU makes an important contribution to our quality of life. As your council representative, I would work hard to find win-win opportunities for the City and EMU, in the area of policing and fire protection, to deliver maximum value to both residents and EMU stakeholders.

I will work hard to develop a specific plan to return the vacant Water Street property to the tax rolls.

I will insist on marketing the site with a local commercial real-estate broker - one that can provide the same national exposure as other brokers, but who understands Ypsilanti, its people, and City Hall. The agents we choose must have Ypsilanti’s best interests at heart, as the place he or she lives and does business. Currently, the property is listed with a national brokerage firm (with poorly negotiated contractual terms), which has thousands of listings and no roots in Ypsilanti. Why use a company with no skin in the game, when we have a number of local agents who could get the job done?

I will assemble a cross-section of local movers, successful businesspeople, and motivated citizens, to put their expertise to work on solving city issues.

Good government is inclusive, and what better way to overcome our challenges than by leveraging our local talent and resources? This group of dedicated volunteers would systematically study a wide range of issues, whether exit strategies for Water Street, or ways to ensure good police and fire protection. As your City Council representative, I would use my management experience and connections in the community to build these teams and get things accomplished – by defining goals, identifying tasks, and setting deadlines. A plan, momentum, key people, and a winning attitude are the tickets to success.

I will never support gambling with taxpayers’ money on development schemes.

The Water Street development project spent $30 million on bad advice and unrealistic dreams – creating a huge debt that is currently taking police officers and fire fighters off our streets. In the deal, City officials removed tax paying businesses from the city in exchange for hopes - not guarantees. In the business and real-estate world we call this “speculation.” In Las Vegas, they call it gambling! Gambling might be cool with your own money, but not with the taxpayers’ money. My position: No more speculative schemes.

As your City Council representative, I will say “NO” to burdening taxpayers with additional debt due to misguided priorities.

The city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest every year paying for pet projects. Water Street, streetscapes, brick crosswalks, brick dumpster corrals for parking lots, new parking lots (which effectively reduced parking flexibility), and so on. Yet city leaders continue to threaten police and fire-protection service, residents no longer enjoy curb pickup of leaves, and we must cut tree limbs into 4- foot sections and bundle them with rope before receiving service. How does this work out for the elderly who have been here for decades, are on fixed incomes, and cannot do this work for themselves? The folks of Ypsilanti are frustrated with skewed priorities, and the disconnect between City Council and residents’ needs. As your City Council representative I will work hard to serve the interests of the residents first, keeping Council focused on the basics, and providing real value for everyone.

As your City Council representative, I pledge to stop using police and fire as the scapegoats for fiscal irresponsibility.

If there are genuine reforms needed to provide a safe community, we should examine them; but we should stop with the constant threats of cutting police officers and fire fighters if the folks don’t fork over more taxes!

I believe City Council should return tax dollars to the residents of Ypsilanti, as promised.

In the early 2000’s we passed a millage to pay for paving all local streets in Ypsilanti. I supported this measure. The bonds for this will be paid off in the next few years, at which time this millage should be removed from residents’ tax bills, not rolled into some other “project.” I will fight all City Council attempts to hold on to that money for other “projects.” The voters entrusted City Council to use their money for a specific purpose, and that trust should be honored by returning that money when that purpose is served.

As your City Council representative, I will work hard to keep home equity high.

This is done through maintaining safety in our neighborhoods, reliably providing core services, and keeping taxes as low as possible. Staying focused on these goals requires the discipline to keep our eye on the ball, and not become distracted by the thousands of other things that might be put before Council. City Council’s job is to provide direction and set policy, much like a board of directors, and then to ensure that paid city staff faithfully executes the policy set forth.

As your City Council representative, I will support all measures that make Ypsilanti more business friendly.

Business is the lifeblood of any community. Without business, we lack jobs, lose tax revenue, and risk flight and declining property values. Business brings employment opportunities, increased hustle and bustle, customers, tax revenue, opportunity, and a vibrant community. Success breeds success.

As your City Council representative, I will be willing to put everything on the table with one goal in mind: providing the maximum value to the people of Ypsilanti at the lowest possible cost.

The City of Ypsilanti and its City Council has an obligation to serve its residents - first. My job will be to make that happen.

I am asking for you, the voters of Ypsilanti’s 3rd Ward, to give me the opportunity to serve you. I am asking for your vote, Tuesday, August 7th