Editorial: Ypsilanti Twp. could be a powerful player, and Jamnick is best for leadership role
It's difficult to overestimate the importance of Ypsilanti Township for this region. Other than Ann Arbor,
it is the largest municipality in Washtenaw County, with nearly 50,000 residents. Township officials could play a leadership
role within the county, if they were so inclined.
Yet rather than lead, the township has been at the center of a dispute with Washtenaw County over funding
for sheriff patrols. Unlike other large municipalities like Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township, which have their own police
forces, Ypsilanti Township has relied on sheriff's deputies for its public safety needs. Township officials have bitterly
opposed the county's request for townships to pay a larger share of funding for those jobs. They took the battle to court
- joined by the much smaller Augusta and Salem townships - but have lost on all counts, and are now appealing the ruling.
Ypsilanti Township alone has incurred about $1 million in legal expenses related to the dispute - a burden ultimately borne
A growing community with a changing demographic, Ypsilanti Township deserves leaders who vigorously represent
township residents and, at the same time, can work constructively with the rest of the county.
Both Ruth Ann Jamnick and Brenda Stumbo care passionately about their community - of that
there's no doubt.
Stumbo has been township clerk since 1992, and was a trustee for four years before that. She describes
herself as a fighter, and that's certainly true. But we believe that some of the fights she takes on - like the rancorous
dispute with the county over sheriff patrol costs - are a detriment, ultimately, to township residents. With Stumbo, politics
is intensely personal, often making it difficult to work through issues and move past differences with others who aren't aligned
with her views. This reduces her ability to work effectively on behalf of her constituents.
Jamnick, the incumbent, combines decades of experience in Ypsilanti Township government - she served as
treasurer from 1976 to 1999, in addition to being supervisor for the past four years - with work at the state and county levels.
She was elected a state representative in 1998, serving through 2004, and has worked on the boards of Ann Arbor Spark and
the Michigan Townships Association, among other groups.
Her broader experience and proven ability to represent the township at regional and state platforms makes
Jamnick a better candidate for this crucial position. What's more, Jamnick's politics aren't always personal and that makes
her a much more effective leader. We strongly endorse her for another term as Ypsilanti Township supervisor.
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