Live blog from tonight’s meeting.
YPSILANTI, Mich. – Annie Somerville, a legislative aide and former campaign manager, was appointed to city council’s 3rd Ward seat on Tuesday, June 4 at city hall. The appointment comes a week after four candidates interviewed for the position.
Somerville, an Eastern Michigan University graduate, spoke on her experience living in the city and hopes to increase the number of jobs available for students.
“The world it changing,” Somerville said. “We’re using more technology and if we don’t get a head start . . . we’re not going to have a lot of opportunities for people to work in the actual city.”
She would encourage graduating students to explore the possibility of a business start up in Ypsilanti by providing grant opportunities and working with the county. There are multiple city properties that are available for rent or purchase.
Somerville encouraged students to focus on local issues and pay attention to city issues, regardless of their excitement.
“People get really pumped up about federal and state issues but city and county issues are equally as important,” Somerville said. “They all feed off one another.”
One of these issues is regarding the calming of traffic on Armstrong and Washington Street. Most residents and council members supported the action with only one resident speaking against it.
“If folks in the community think they are necessary, we should always consider them,” Somerville said. “I think that [city] council’s job is also to consider the children that are affected by it and don’t get the opportunity to petition and lobby city council.”
Many supporters turned out for Desiré Simmons, a former candidate for the appointment, during the interview process last week and some spoke against the councils decision.
“I know how many people came out to advocate for Desiré Simmons,” said Amber Fellows, a resident of Ypsilanti, during public comment. “You don’t respect the voices of your constituents.”
Somerville will hold the seat until Nov. 2020 when her term expires.