In just three weeks voters head to the polls to decide a variety of races. In Ann Arbor this includes voting on the first new mayor in 14 years. It's a low key race between a political newcomer and a three term city council member that won the heavily contested Democratic Primary.
This spring Bryan Kelly was working on research for a novel about a shoe salesman running for mayor. He also saw the winner of the Democratic Primary for mayor was going to be unopposed. So the 28 year old University of Michigan grad decided to step up and run as an independent.
Kelly has a lot of respect for how well the city has been run, but thinks more should be done to reach out and get community input. This includes having a vote on a city income tax. "Which would be a big property tax cut for people and you'd be able to have you know, a one percent income tax on residents, a point five percent income tax on non-residents, and at the very least this might satisfy some of the agitation out there about the university kind of getting around it's obligations as far as the resources that it draws from the city," Kelly says.
Kelly would also like to see voters decide if city elections should remain partisan affairs.
When Kelly was deciding to run in June, Christopher Taylor was already in the middle of a campaign against three fellow city council members. A race he ended up winning with over 47 percent of the vote.He's still campaigning on basic services done well combined with some of the extras that make Ann Arbor a great place to live. "Affordability and affordable housing, environmental protection and watershed protections, you know we can't solve climate change here in the city but we can do our part, and we aught to. Parks are also obviously critical to people's quality of life and you know a vibrant active downtown that still has a character," Taylor says.