The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area held a debate for both democratic candidates running for the city of Ypsilanti's 2nd Ward council seat.
The 2.3 Water street debt millage was a main topic of discussion at the debate. Over 60 voters attended the event at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti. Candidate Jennifer Symanns is in favor of the mill.
"There are a lot of people who, you know, have some issues with us and some concerns, whether they're on fixed incomes or either it's just out of principle that they have a problem with the millage, and I do understand that. And so, even though I do support it, if I was elected to council, that's something I want to be really mindful of and make sure we're mindful of as a city council of the high tax rate that we pay."
Her opponent, Beth Bashert, hopes to win the seat that is currently occupied by council member Anne Brown, who is not seeking reelection. Bashert says the millage is a way to get Ypsilanti out of debt.
"I think the current city council has done a magnificent job of paying down the debt, refinancing it with a lower interest rate, and setting it up so that it's a relatively painless way of taking care of a painful debt. It's money we owe. We can't avoid it."
Kittie Kelly-Roach was among the voters in the crowd. She now has a better idea of who she will vote for.
"I thought it was very educational. It was informative. I wanted to find out a little bit about what they felt about the millage."
If the millage is not approved, council will have to make cuts in the near future.
— Jorge Avellan is the Ann Arbor beat reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org