Kirk for City Council

Vote Kirk Westphal for City Council on August  5, 2014

Dear Neighbor,

Nine years ago, my wife, Cynthia, and I made one of the best decisions of our lives — to live in Ann Arbor. Since then, we have immersed ourselves in the fabric of this amazing city and have chosen to raise our two boys, August (7) and Harry (5), in the beautiful Second Ward. We love our neighborhood, schools, parks, downtown, and above all, the welcoming, progressive community.

Ann Arbor is nationally known for its outstanding quality of life, and that’s why now is the perfect time to be proactive about strengthening the city for the decades to come.

I am running for City Council to continue our great tradition of taking the long view and planning for the future. Whether it’s economic development, enhanced transit, or lasting infrastructure upgrades, I will thoughtfully seek opportunities that will benefit us in the long run. Making a great city even greater takes both efficient service delivery today and a long-term vision of tomorrow.

Since completing my masters degree in urban planning at the University of Michigan, I’ve been honored to serve on the city’s Planning Commission for the past seven years (which I now chair), the Environmental Commission, the Glacier Area Homeowners Association, and as a steward for Glacier Highlands Park. All of these experiences — in addition to my professional life as a best practices consultant to local governments — have inspired me to deepen my involvement in the community.

Like many of you, I feel fortunate to live in this remarkable place. In the face of Michigan’s challenging economy, Democrats on City Council have been able to keep Ann Arbor heading in the right direction — and maintain the qualities that make us unique. There are plenty of communities that provide “the basics” to their citizens. I live in Ann Arbor because it is exceptional.

I hope to earn your support on Election Day, August 5th,, 2014.

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LONG-TERM PROSPERITY

Ann Arbor has risen through the ranks of national “Best Of ” lists over the past decade, attracting new residents, businesses, and tourists. This is not only a source of pride, but it has also helped the city’s bottom line.

Economic development is a critical part of the city’s financial health — it funds the growing costs of our core services and helps maintain a healthy budget. As your representative, I will work relentlessly to improve the quality we expect from our safety services, infrastructure, transit system, and parks.

PROACTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD ENGAGEMENT

I have led the Glacier Area Homeowners Association for the past several years. We have a superb “human infrastructure” of neighborhood associations already in place across the Ward and city.

I believe City Hall could be more nimble by reaching out proactively to citizens and neighborhood associations. On Council, I will strive to formalize an ongoing dialog with these groups to brainstorm neighborhood improvements, troubleshoot problems early on, and help cultivate the next generation of city leaders.

BUDGETING FOR RESULTS

City Council must always think about “bang for the buck” when discussing changes in spending priorities — especially in this economic environment.

As your Council member, I will use national benchmarks and objective analysis in my conversations with you about budget priorities. I will fight for city-wide service enhancements when there is 1) a demonstrated need, 2) an agreed-upon goal, and 3) the ability to pay for them over the long term. Our future relies on rational budget choices now.

What are your priorities? Let’s talk: (734) 845-9220 kirk@kirkforcouncil.org