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Ward 1 Incumbent’s Loopy Fundraising Letter Includes Outlandish Claims

Ward 1 City Council incumbent Sabra Briere has started her re-election campaign, and if her fundraising letter is any indication, this campaign is going to be a doozy. Her fundraising letter made its way to A2Politico via a third party who found her claims in the letter sufficiently outlandish to merit passing it along to A2P for comment. Among those claims, Briere tries to alarm prospective donors by claiming her opponents in the November general election could be funded by “big out of town developers” and by “major financial and political interests” who, Briere claims, “she hasn’t supported.” (A2P Notes: To download and read the fundraising letter in PDF format click here.)

One wonders just how much interest big out of town developers and major financial interests will have in the 20-something University of Michigan undergraduate running as an independent candidate from the Mixed Use Party in Ward 1. Jaclyn Vresics is an honors student majoring in Screen Arts and Cultures. While Briere suggested to AnnArbor.com that the Mixed Use Party might be more accurately identified as the Beer Pong and Red Solo Cup Party, the student candidates are interested in expanding affordable housing, protecting parkland and open spaces and making common sense changes to the city’s zoning regulations.

Vresics, whose LinkedIn profile reveals she “designed a commemorative rubber duck for Wal-Mart, which was then manufactured” will no doubt be receiving a large donation from the Walton family PAC, if we believe Briere’s take on her race. All Vresics needs to do is to lock up the support of the NRA first. Making Change at Walmart, a group of advocates, Walmart workers and others aimed at transforming the company analyzed the Walmart PAC’s donations and found that the PAC supported candidates backed by the NRA 78 percent of the time. Why? Because Walmart is the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammo. Then again, the Walmart PAC has a proud history of funding candidates who support regressive environmental policies. Briere’s votes to zone the city’s parkland for transit uses, including but not limited to bus stations, train stations and municipal airports, her votes to use parkland for parking, her support of single-stream recycling, which has resulted in more garbage going to the landfill and not less, as well as her refusal to support a proposal to allow voters to weigh in on whether parkland should be leased for development, make her just the kind of candidate the Walmart PAC loves to support.

In her fundraising letter, Briere tries mightily to make it appear as though the federal government is to blame. She writes, “I made certain that, if the federal government recommends we change the use of Fuller from park to transportation, the voters will decide, not Council.”

photoBriere (left) voted to zone parkland for transit in July 2010. Then, she went on to vote in favor of using Fuller Road parkland to build a 900 car parking tower next to the Huron River. She also supported spending General Fund money on John Hieftje’s train station to nowhere, money that could have been used to fund services. She has voted repeatedly to allocate money on the Fuller Road project despite the fact that neither City Council nor the city’s voters have ever voted in favor of using the parkland for anything other than, well, parkland. In July 2012, Briere voted to kill a resolution intended to protect parkland from de facto sale through leasing—a strategy being used by John Hieftje and his Council pals to try to “repurpose” a several acre parcel of fragile river-front parkland on Fuller Road. Briere not only voted against parkland protection, against giving voters the right to decide whether to include leasing as a part of the Charter protection that requires a public vote, she did so despite the fact that a few days before she voted to torpedo the parkland protection proposal, she asked to co-sponsor it.

AnnArbor.com’s government reporter has written about “tension” between Briere and her Ward 1 Council colleague Sumi Kailasapathy. Political insiders have noticed that Briere now regularly votes with the Hive Mind Collective. When presented with an opportunity to take back road repair and sewer fund money from the Percent for Art Fund, Briere voted against the proposal. Kailasapathy voted to return the money to the road repair and sewer funds. When a proposal to reinstate leaf collection was put forward, Briere sided with Hieftje and voted no. Kailasapathy voted yes.

Briere’s other challenger, Jeff Hayner, is just as unlikely to draw big dollar donations from the make believe “major financial and political interests” whom Briere tells prospective donors are lining up to toss her out of office. Rather than pretend bug-a-boos, it has been Briere’s refusal to behave collegially, her anti-neighborhood, anti-environment, anti-safety services voting record that have Ward 1 residents, her own Council colleagues and political activists across the city looking to toss her out on her ear.

Council colleagues have described the Ward 1 3-term incumbent as a “library lady” who has a “knife hidden under her skirt” which she will not hesitate to plunge into their backs.

That’s exactly what she did to Ward 3 Council member Kunselman in April 2013. AnnArbor.com revealed that a Freedom of Information Act request for emails sent to Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Susan Pollay turned up emails between Pollay and Briere in which Briere counseled Pollay and the Board of the DDA on how to best thwart Council efforts to slow the DDA’s capture of tax dollars, and to impose term limits on DDA Board members. The push for greater accountability is coming from Briere’s Ward 1 Council colleague Sumi Kailasapathy, Ward 2 Independent Council member Jane Lumm and Ward 3 Council member Stephen Kunselman. Ward 4 Council member-elect Jack Eaton spoke in favor of the efforts to slow the DDA’s capture of tax dollars, as well as term limits for DDA Board members during his recent successful campaign. In August 2013 he ousted 14-year incumbent and Mayor Pro Tem Marcia Higgins in what can only be described as a political round-house punch that leaves John Hieftje reeling with just four reliable allies on City Council. Those allies include Briere, Ward 3 Council member Christopher Taylor, Ward 4 Council member Margie Teall and Ward 5 Council member Chuck Warpehosk.

Like Ward 3 Democratic challenger Julie Grand, who promised to “listen,” Briere earnestly assures prospective donors, “I respond to calls and emails.” Ann Arbor is the 5th largest city in Michigan, and home to one of the most well-respected public universities in the world. What we need are candidates for local office who can offer up intellectual gravitas, economic insights and/or creative public policy initiatives. We need candidates who realize that U of M faculty, staff and students who live in the city are important members of our community. U of M expanded its own recycling program recently, and that’s a crying shame. Ann Arbor taxpayers invest $11 million every year in solid waste and recycling; our MRF is losing money and contracts to surrounding facilities. The amount of garbage U of M generates has risen steadily since 2005, and its overall recycling rate has dropped significantly and steadily since 2000. The Council Committee dedicated to town-gown relations has not met a single time since November 2012.

This is a pressing environmental challenge and a financial opportunity to increase city revenues.

Briere’s “I respond to calls and emails” is akin to throwing one’s unqualified support behind blinking. “I respond to calls and emails.” Blink. Blink. Blink. Isn’t responding to constituents what elected officials are expected to do? She sends out an electronic newsletter. Blink. She has helped “hundreds” of constituents. Blink. Blink. This is the best she’s got? These are the reasons a six-year incumbent offers to voters in support of re-election? The Ward 1 incumbent may as well include among her accomplishments: “I don’t Tweet nude photos of myself to U of M undergraduates, and “I haven’t ever used taxpayer funds to pay an escort service.” There. Don’t we all feel better?

The most absurd claims she leaves until the very end of her fundraising letter. She writes that her opponents “could” be funded by “big out-of-town developers and major financial and political interests.”

The truth is more interesting albeit less convenient for Briere.

According to 2007 campaign finance forms filed with the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office, Briere raised a little over $3,900 from donors, the majority of whom resided in Ward 1. In 2009, Briere committed a campaign finance violation by taking $1,000 from local developer Dennis Dahlmann (She also took $300 from Dahlmann’s attorney, not a violation, but perhaps a not-so-subtle attempt to circumvent campaign finance rules). She also took a $150 donation from Charles Gelman, whose company (prior to its sale) was responsible for the contamination of the groundwater in and around Ann Arbor with 1,4 dioxane. In five years representing Ward 1 she has not crafted any resolutions regarding the 1,4 dioxane contamination or the lackluster clean-up efforts that have frustrated city residents.

By 2011, Briere was playing the campaign donation game, albeit rather ham-handedly. She took a donation from state representative candidate Adam Zemke and then subsequently endorsed Zemke’s candidacy. In 2011, she took $500 from Dennis Dahlmann, the legal maximum donation. In September 2011, Council members voted a 10-0 vote to appoint four members, including Council Member Sabra Briere, to the city’s new Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana Advisory Board board. One month later, Briere took a $500 campaign donation from Mark Passerini, a University of Michigan graduate and co-founder of the OM of Medicine (medical marijuana) dispensary on Main Street.

If anyone has taken money from developers, financial and political interests, it has been Sabra Briere. Her fundraising letter hides a simple fact. Over the past 18 months, Sabra Briere has been sucking up to Hieftje like a calf to the teet. Here’s what she told AnnArbor.com about Hieftje in February 2012: ”John raised the visibility — he increased people’s awareness — of this role. John has a national awareness and people on the national scene are aware of him. He’s gone to the national conference of mayors. He’s worked with people in Washington. Those are not necessarily things that previous mayors did and that’s an important aspect. It’s not the ceremonial position it was when Ingrid Sheldon or Ed Pierce were mayor.”

Sheldon’s supporters roll their eyes at Briere’s efforts to puff up Hieftje’s thin educational and mayoral record at the expense of his predecessors. A Sheldon supporter pointed out that, “While mayor, Ingrid served on the board of the Michigan Association of Mayors. She was president of the Michigan Municipal League.” Mayor Ed Pierce was a doctor who served as a state senator prior to his run for mayor. In Lansing, Pierce was the chair of the Health and Social Services Committee.

Briere’s votes in favor of using parkland for parking, against the resolution to protect parkland from leasing, against using surplus funds to hire more police and firefighters, in favor tax increases, in favor of layoffs for firefighters, among others, have put her in Hieftje’s good graces, but at odds with neighborhood activists.

Her latest turn at the Theater of the Absurd? Two weeks after a University of Michigan student was killed using one of the new pedestrian crosswalks on Plymouth Road, Briere grandstanded at Council meeting claiming that “Most accidents between pedestrians and cars are downtown at a stop light or stop sign, and most of the time the driver simply didn’t see the pedestrian who was legally in the crosswalk.”

A comment posted to AnnArbor.com in response to Briere’s pontificating was to-the-point: “More importantly – the statement distinctly gave me the impression of justifying the crosswalks and not addressing the problems with them. And that this comes a mere 2 weeks after a young lady has died, I find distasteful in the least. I would have hoped council had the tact to perhaps first examine closely what is wrong with the crosswalks.”

A week later, AnnArbor.com posted a piece titled, “Number of pedestrian-vehicle crashes up in Ann Arbor since adoption of crosswalk ordinance.” In that piece, a city staffer was quoted as saying, “It’s difficult for city traffic engineers to know where pedestrian-car crashes take place the most on the city’s roadways. Pedestrian and bike crashes are a lot less frequent. We have a hard time really tracking them and seeing where hot spots are. With vehicle crashes, it’s easier because there are more of them and we can trend them a little better.”

If city officials have a hard time tracking pedestrian-car crashes (which is outlandish enough), one is left wondering exactly how Sabra Briere managed to conclude “Most accidents between pedestrians and cars are downtown at a stop light or stop sign, and most of the time the driver simply didn’t see the pedestrian who was legally in the crosswalk.”

An AnnArbor.com commenter picked up on the fact that Briere’s mid-Council meeting defense of the pedestrian crosswalk ordinance was based, perhaps, on spurious data. The commenter writes, “Thank you, Kyle. Now we have the other viewpoint in contrast to Mrs Briere’s comments the other day, which did not seem to be accurate to me. The picture does seem to point to certain factors such as the responsibility of City Council in designing these walkways and then the lack of enforcement. I would not like to see the City sued, but on the other hand I think such a suit might be justified.”

Another commenter was less diplomatic: “Eli Cooper, Sabra Briere, and John Hieftje need to be replaced. Traffic engineers need to be consulted before City Council closes down any more traffic lanes to cars or creates any more ridiculous pedestrian/crosswalk ordinances.”

Sabra Briere’s fundraising letter talks about her vision for Ann Arbor, and the fact that her opponents’ visions for Ann Arbor are “much different” than hers. She’s right. Hayner supports protecting parkland from development and repurposing, wants to fund safety services so that citizens once again have proactive policing and a fire department whose response times meet national standards. He supports sensible spending, crafting and implementing an ethics policy for Council members, and increasing transparency when it comes to mayoral appointments. If these ideas sound appealing, it’s because newly-elected Council member Jack Eaton built upon them in his successful bid to unseat the 14-year incumbent in his Ward. Sabra Briere’s “vision” for Ann Arbor is simply out-of-step with what voters have indicated they want, and with Ward 1 residents’ main challenges and concerns (crumbling roads, property values, rises in property crime and larceny, long-term blight, safety services, parks and the infrastructure, particularly the storm water and sewer systems).

Sabra Briere’s severely myopic campaign website lists her voting record on development projects around the city, all of which she categorizes as “controversial.” However, the chances are very good few Ward 1 voters could identify The Moravian, City Place or even 413 E. Huron as development sites, much less roiling controversies.

Just months former Ward 2 Council member Stephen Rapundalo was defeated by Independent Jane Lumm for saying the same thing, Sabra Briere told AnnArbor.com in 2012 ”Yes. We need a new train station.”  She was doing her part to support John Hieftje’s delusions of grandeur and rail.

In 2009, Briere expressed “disappointment” that the Library Lane underground parking garage wasn’t going to be bigger and cost $6 million dollars more.  In 2010, she voted in favor of extending a no bid contract for Recycle Ann Arbor, and in 2011 supported a $10 million dollar taxpayer bailout of Recycle Ann Arbor. If Sabra Briere joins the growing list of long-term City Council incumbents whom Ann Arbor voters have chosen to replace, if she loses her bid for re-election to City Council, it will be because of her votes and her inability to listen to the electorate. Briere has chosen to undermine and alienate many of her Council colleagues, her political allies and to ignore many of the important issues that matter to Ward 1 residents. If there were any better evidence of this fact, you’ll find it in the final sentence of her fundraising letter in which she characterizes herself thusly:

“I not only listen,” she writes, “I hear.”

After a 2012 Hieftje-backed proposal to raise taxes to fund the Percent for Art program was roundly defeated by voters, in order to justify voting against a resolution to end the Percent for Art program, Briere was quoted by AnnArbor.com as saying,  ”When we represent our constituents, we don’t represent only those who agree with us. We represent those who disagree with us. We don’t just represent the majority. We represent all the minority voices as well. I would really like an opportunity to hear those minority voices.”

She was brutally mocked in the news blog’s comment section: “Beautiful. Ms. Briere, why don’t we put the Per Cent For Art up for a public vote? If the Councilwoman doesn’t think the recent millage failure was a direct result of the fiasco of the recent projects slipped through under this program (City Center Water Fountain, City Center Shiny Glass Project Behind A Metal Detector), both of which were championed by the Ann Arbor Public Arts Commission supporters like Margaret Parker and Marsha Chamberlin, then she needs to get out and talk to the voters of the 1st Ward. She’s beginning to sound like the Mayor.”

Ward 1 residents will tell you that in addition to sounding like the Mayor, Briere has been “listening” to the public like John Hieftje, as well. 

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Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=15288

19 Comments for “Ward 1 Incumbent’s Loopy Fundraising Letter Includes Outlandish Claims”

  1. [...] Ward 1 incumbent Sabra Briere’s fundraising letter in which she claimed her U of M student opponent (who has since dropped out, but whose name will [...]

  2. We who love Ann Arbor and would like to save it from further destruction to the point where we don’t recognize our home any longer,, sure hope you’re wrong, Mr. Koroi. Sabra had voted in lockstep with Highrise 90% of the time. Yes for the subterranean car park, yes for the easthope/greden courts bldg., etc. That’s a drop in the bucket. Sabra’s about Sabra.
    Jeff’s about the city, it’s residents, and the land. FIRST. Before his own agenda, which I believe doesn’t exist.

  3. [...] Ward 1 incumbent Sabra Briere’s loopy fundraising letter in which she claimed her U of M student opponent (who has since dropped out, but whose name will [...]

  4. Thank you for another revealing blog post. Although I have contributed to Council Member Briere’s past campaigns, I did not receive this solicitation. Thanks for linking to a copy of the fund raising letter.

    I think the First Ward race will be interesting. I do not know much about Mixed Use Party candidate Jaclyn Vresics. I look forward to learning more about her and her positions on city issues.

    I have had the pleasure of talking with Independent candidate Jeff Hayner a couple of times. Mr. Hayner supported me and campaigned with me during the primary election season. I find Hayner to be bright, capable and sincere. I think he would support neighborhoods well. I also think he would approach budget issues with the common sense approach promoted by Jane Lumm and Sumi Kailasapathy, much as I intend to do. I will watch him with great interest as the campaign unfolds.

    Like many neighborhood activists, I have worked with Sabra Briere repeatedly on matters regarding the protection of neighborhoods. I also have respect for her efforts regarding citizen participation and open government. These last couple of years I, however, have been disappointed with some votes cast by Council Member Briere. I have mixed feelings about her reelection bid and have not endorsed any First Ward candidate.

    It is my hope that over the next two months we will see Council Member Briere demonstrate that she should be reelected. I foresee at least three crucial votes that may determine that for me. First, recent concern overt the failed pedestrian ordinance provide an opportunity for Ms. Briere to help correct (ie: rescind) this extremely unpopular and unworkable ordinance. Second, the Council will be considering the Kunselman/Kailasapathy DDA resolution that seeks to impose very reasonable restrictions on the Downtown Development Authority. Finally, I am hopeful that the Council will put an end to all planning for the misuse of Fuller Road Park for an Amtrak station site. Council is unlikely to revisit questions of public safety spending prior to the November election and therefore I do not see a chance for Ms. Briere to show support for the Council’s number one priority before the election.

    Many of us are just looking for reason to support an old ally. Votes cast in the few meeting between now and the election will likely establish the differences between theses candidates. And those differences may determine the outcome of this race.

  5. The fundraising letter while somewhat disingenuous doesn’t say her opponents will be funded by developers and political interests, it says they *could* be funded by those kinds of donors. I suppose you *could* say that is semantics. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what all of the candidates have to say and what they hope to accomplish.

  6. It’s morning on Earth.

    People get up, open their shutters on their houses, pluck the chickens, wash their children’s faces and hands, and go about their day-to-day. Over time, that ordinariness creates the wealth that makes the overlay, of “civilization” possible, with all of the face-to-face chatter and jostling, and seems to tend to eventually produce a tolerable level of “slack”: that variable tolerance of differences, the shrugging off of pettty and larger corruption, the ebb and flow of fellow-feeling that makes community and over centuries has even most of the Irish on the same page, for the time being. In a condition of felt legitimacy and stability, or meta-legitimacy and meta-stability, that being “the behavior of certain physical systems that can exist in long-lived states that are less stable than the system’s most stable state.”

    Seems like the trick is always figuring out how to keep those whose skills lie in self-advancement, by sharp dealing, promotion of conflict, aggravation of differences, plain old random or planned self-aggrandizement, and ability to organize or promote for their cause, or jus obscure wishes from nudging the political gyroscope from its bearings, sending it off in some quantum direction that can’t be anticipated by our limited Newtonian perceptions.

    And of course, the field is now citywide, with lots of players who don’t walk the streets and have to greet their neighbors every day. Possible moves in the Great Game:

    (A)Give these or those “insider” guys board or commission seats;

    (B)Dole out building permits or development approvals to that business;

    (C)Flower sme DDA money in that business area so those owners can give back campaign contributions to perpetuate the Powers That Be;

    (D)Put out this or that “policy cover” for this or that strategem that serves interests unrelated, except via the political network that can be uncovered via diligent use of FOIA and the Open Meetings Act or even the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

    While some citizens, cursed with the larger empathy and a wider view of what keeps the species going day-to-day, promote reading programs, literature drops, voter registration drives, homeless shelters, microloans or virgas of other ligatures of the people in ways that promote social homeostasis.

    We are all increasingly and mutually vulnerable, though the asymmetry of vulnerability is also increasing, to the point that elements that control our wilder exuberances in smaller spaces and ocales are attenuated to the point of insensibility, leading in the recent past and still on the books to the Tammany Hall-like endgame planning where our much-heralded political elite goes off to their smoke-filled conference rooms, to formulate, debate, and implement their notions of “piblic policy that they indelibly foist to the “little people” who dress up in their suits or uniforms, kissing their wives in kids and driving off to their offices, trailers and jobsites to earn the monetary income that perpetuates their homeostatic place in a cruel society.

    Remember in November.

    V for Victory!

    • “Smoke-filled” conference rooms? In Ann Arbor?

      Maybe if the building were on fire.

      • Touche, Larry. LOL. However we might look at the term figuratively, as well.

  7. I just finished reading the fundraising letter. CM Briere needs to focus on her achievements. If her list is short, well then perhaps it’s time for her to move on. Six years is quite a long time to be in elected office and I think we’ve seen exactly what happens when people put being in office over serving in office. She’s had ample time to tell us about her ideas, to work on her projects and move Ann Arbor forward in some constructive way. If she needs to frighten donors into giving, and paint her opponents as representatives of “big” development and “big” money this tells me she didn’t make good use of her time in office. It also leaves me with the feeling that it’s time to give someone else an opportunity to serve.

  8. Thanks much for linking to the letter. Loopy is one word for it. I can think of a few others.

  9. Very interesting piece. Putting aside the letter – I haven’t seen it – the comments about the quality of the candidates leave me wondering why we get stuck with people who think answering emails is a reason to be reelected. The bar has been set very low indeed when helping constituents becomes something to brag about.

  10. Our opponent in the November general election IS funded by “big out of town developers” and by “major financial and political interests.” The opponent of ordinary citizens is Briere.

    Look about: The city skyline is seeded by the development that Briere has enabled and facilitated. Furthermore, during her tenure Briere demonstrates that she is:

    . Against public safety expenditures in staffing police and fire personnel, to minimally accepted benchmarks.

    . A creator of pedestrian “safety” ordinances, that virtually nobody (resident or not) understands. Her nonsensical, nonuniform ordinances feature illegible miniature signs in pedestrian-hiding “safety” islands, low-visibility crosswalks over five lanes of traffic with 45-mile-per-hour traffic, and seizure-inducing YELLOW caution strobes that apparently mean “stop.”

    . A pothole proliferator. Recently reconstructed roads receive zero maintenance, quickly pocking to need of reconstruction. Cost-effective maintenance is abandoned for exorbitant reconstruction. The onus of identifying bad roads is placed on citizens with the “99(billion) holes” program. “If citizens do not report holes, they do not exist.” The problem is that Hieftje-hole-filler last about three days before it flies out of the hole. How many times must a hole be filled until it is repaired?

    . A dead tree diva. Our treasured canopy grows untended, dies, rots, and falls on whatever/whoever is beneath. Meanwhile artsy trees of metal and concrete are born from misappropriated tax dollars. They remind us of our former nickname of “treetown.” Instead, we have become “fee town.” Fees for services have burgeoned. Taxes are high. Collected revenues increase while the Briere team moans, “Poverty.”

    . Representative of many local governments acting of itself, for itself, and by itself, representing no interest except its own, or its cronies. Hidden agendas, disregard for voter mandates, and abdication of responsibility of preserving of civic service and infrastructure, are the characteristics of Briere’s contribution to the Hieftje hoopty. Welcome to Heiftje-hoopty-ville. Another go for Sabra? No thanks. See you at the polls. . .

    • “Fee Town USA” I think I see a slogan in the making. It’s time to rearrange the furniture over at city hall. Anyone who can talk up the damn pedestrian crossing death traps right after someone was mowed down using one of them is just begging to get the boot. The first candidate who promises to work to get rid of the pedestrian crossing law gets my vote.

    • Wow!

      I wish David Cahill still posted on this blog so we could have a comprehensive rebuttal to your probing issues. Sabra tells me she does not read this blog – so she is unlikely to respond here.

      To give a counterpoint:

      (A)Jeff Hayner has no campaign website, signs, endorsements or ads that have appeared anywhere;

      (B)Jeff will have to raise BIG contributions like Ms. Grand did to be competitive in the race;

      (C)Jeff has Jackie Vresics diluting the anti-Briere vote;

      (D)Jeff will have to give published interviews to create exposure – which has not happened so far;

      (E)many voters will simply blindly vote for the Democratic Party nominated candidateover an independent – as they re-elected the ineffectual and invisible Marcia Higgins in 2009 over Hatim Elhady, an independent;

      (F)Sabra Briere has a record of over 40 years of visible community involvement in Ann Arbor – Jeff’s persona in Ann Arbor is relatively minimal.

      Sabra has generally been anti-development – which has gotten her public adulation.

      I am likely one of the few persons who is personally acquainted with all three ballot candidates. I cannot say that I am inclined to believe Sabra has any reasonable chance at coming lose to losng her seat in November.

      I predict a 70% voter showing for Briere and a distant second going to Jeff.

  11. I was surprised when I read CM Briere’s fundraising letter and saw that she described her opponents as backed by developers and serious political money. Who know what’s in anyone else’s mind, but the first thought I had was that Ms. Briere was trying to frighten her base into coming up with some campaign donations. Looks like the gloves came off early in this race.

    • @Peter, she is definitely trying to frighten people into thinking that out-of-town developers and serious political interests and money may be aligned against her in this race. There is a reason her Council colleagues refer to her as “Hieftje-lite” and it has to do with her manipulation of the truth to suit her purposes. This fundraising letter is a perfect example.

  12. Everyone in Ward 1 needs to read this.

    • I hope you will help make sure they do when AA.com and AAChronicle post their pieces about the Ward 1 race.

    • I second the money&buildings comment that everyone in Ward 1 needs to read this. Any chance A2Politico could provide a link to the letter? It would be nice to read the whole thing.

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