Hearing incumbent Ward 4 City Councilman Jack Eaton talk about his background and accomplishments over the course of his standing tenure on council that he hopes voters will extend for another two-year term on August 8 evokes images of a picturesque residential neighborhood and the broad range of practical issues that people living in such a setting would have on their minds.
Eaton moved to Ann Arbor in 1985 to attend U of M and stayed for the atmosphere in the city’s residential areas and the beautiful green spaces and features. In 1998 he moved into the Dicken neighborhood on the west side of Ward 4 so his children could attend Dicken Elementary school.
The relationship and rapport he’s built with his neighbors is his reason for originally seeking a position on council.
“When I first ran for city council I promised to keep improving our basic services and maintaining our essential infrastructure,” Eaton said. “I promised to represent the common sense point of view of Ward 4 residents.”
Eaton has served as president of the Friends of Dicken Woods, founder of the South Maple Group, and co-founder of the Neighborhood Alliance. Those experiences form the foundation upon which his service on city council rests, while also acting as a source of understanding to prioritize those issues most relevant to his constituents.
Watch Jack Eaton’s full public pitch produced and broadcast by Community Television Network.
“I’m kept my promises,” Eaton said, before ticking off a simple rundown of the things he’s done on council, which include:
— Supporting additional funding for police and fire staffing.
— Restoring bulk leaf pickup.
— Expanding the city’s food competing program.
— Voting to continue the city’s deer management program.
— Supporting development of a road maintenance and repair plan.
— Advocated for expanding the stormwater management system.
— Sponsored an ordinance that would limit development in floodways.
Aside from being a supporter of the kind of bread and butter policy that most neighbors would chat about over a picket fence, Eaton claimed competence where designating budget priorities in concerned, pointing to his vote against spending $4 million to re-skin city hall.
When safety is the issue, use of city money is seen as a worthwhile investment to Eaton, who supported additional funding for safety services including street light and crosswalk improvements.
“In my two terms I also championed transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and community values,” he said. “In pursuit of improved transparency I sponsored a resolution asking the city administrator to revise our FOIA policy. I also sponsored a resolution to disclose information about a proposed train station that city staff had withheld from the public.”
Eaton also pushed on the city’s Council Rules Committee for greater accountability by taking such measures as drafting ethical rules for council members that deals with matters such as conflicts of interest and accepting gifts.
As a man who draws his support from quaint neighborhoods, Eaton says he has pushed for greater responsiveness by the city when residents bring concerns to council.
Bringing people closer to government was also on his mind when he and his council colleagues were dealing with the sale of the Library Lot. He sponsored a resolution to place the sale of the property on the ballot after a public petition to do so didn’t have the minimum number of signatures to be implemented “due to technicalities,” according to Eaton.
When protecting fellow members of his community, that circle includes everyone, as evidenced by Eaton’s drafting and co-sponsoring of a resolution prohibiting city employees from collecting immigrant status information when coming into contact with residents.
“I have a positive vision for our town’s future that’s about protecting what’s good and unique about our community,” Eaton said. “We must promote restoration over demolition. We should value financial responsibility over indebtedness. We must work to protect our environment.
” have always emphasized common sense priorities.”
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