Hoffert For Council
EXCELLENT & EFFICIENT SERVICES:
As Ann Arbor weathered the recession, City Staff was cut nearly in half. Now, as we move forward in our current economy, we need to have a vision of how to use our resources wisely. We need to be smart about our staffing needs and continue to expand on the use of technology to track service needs such as: road maintenance, water and sewage issues, trash and recycling services, and snow removal. We also need to maintain an active dialogue with our excellent fire and police chiefs to ensure the community has what it needs.
PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE SAFETY:
Our picturesque city of Ann Arbor naturally lends itself to pedestrians and bicyclists. Whether it’s our children or grandchildren learning to ride bicycles, or students getting to school, or a seasoned bike commuter, we need to take proactive measures to ensure their safety. We must continue to make strides in standardizing crosswalks, lighting, school traffic zones, separate bike lanes, and safe sidewalks to ensure the safety of all — no matter what form of transportation they use.
Ann Arbor has increasingly become financially out-of-reach for many to call home. For the sake of our city’s growth, vitality, and diversity, there must be more choices than expensive downtown high-rises and expensive single-family homes. Affordable and middle-income housing touches on multiple benefits for our city – decreased traffic congestion, improved carbon footprints, increased tax base for needed infrastructure improvements, and slowing urban sprawl.
Ann Arbor must continue to take the lead on pressing environmental concerns. Proactively addressing the Gelman Dioxane plume, improving our recycling facilities, properly maintaining our waste treatment infrastructure, increasing reliable mass transit to cut down our emissions carbon footprint, and finding ways to work with the University to move forward with the Allen Creek/Tree Line Trail are necessary steps to addressing these needs.
STRONG HOME FOR THE ARTS:
Theater, music, and visual arts play an important role in Ann Arbor’s culture, and frankly it’s good business. It also helps give our residents another source of pride. According to the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the region attracts 5.6 million visitors annually. In a recent AAA/ CVB survey, visitors indicated that arts & cultural programs, events and festivals are the No. 2 reason they travel to Washtenaw County.
We need to work with local, county and regional organizations to help broaden our status as a cultural hub. Supporting quality infrastructure like smooth roads or cultural amenities like public art is not an either/or question. Cities succeed when they are strong. How many great cities do you know that lack arts and culture?
What does this mean for Ann Arbor?
Regional Economic Vitality: According to Americans for the Arts, “arts businesses and creative employees stimulate innovation, strengthen the region’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.”
Job Creation: Employment in the creative industries includes companies (establishments) and individuals engaged in employment in the creative arts (shown as non-employer establishments). The creative sector represents 7.6% of all Washtenaw County jobs as measured by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data.