Eastern Michigan University Professor Susan Moeller confirmed, to The Eastern Echo June 11, she has decided to run for the seat on Ypsilanti City Council currently held by Michael Bodary in the Second Ward. Bodary announced in May that he would not seek re-election, citing the amount of time required to serve on council, especially considering the city’s current and continuing financial difficulties.
Moeller, who has lived in Ypsilanti since 2004, said she wants to serve on City Council because she is “very concerned about the way council has threatened to get rid of police and firemen, especially firemen.” Also, she said, “I am a finance professor and I’d like to get in there and help fix the budget.”
“All they’ve been doing is cutting. Have they considered other steps, such as renegotiating terms, conditions, and length of the Water Street bond?” she asked.
Moeller also said she had not supported the proposed income tax two years ago, and did not support either the income tax or Water Street millage proposals that Ypsilanti voters rejected in May.
The Ypsilanti City Council held public special budget sessions on May 10, 17, 22 and 29, and discussed the proposed budget on June 5. The second and final reading of the budget, which will be adopted as an ordinance, will be on June 19th.
Prior to those special sessions, Mayor Paul Schreiber and council discussed a five-year budget plan that, as the mayor’s April 3 State of the City address put it, “would replace lost property tax revenue with a city income tax and a Water Street debt millage.” Further, he said, “General fund property tax revenue is projected to fall 30 percent, from $7.2 million in 2010 to $5 million in 2017; the state is projected to reduce revenue sharing from a high of $4 million in 2002 to $1.3 million in 2017.”
The mayor’s March 4, 2011 State of the City highlighted “Ypsilanti’s shrinking tax and state funding revenues and collaborative initiatives to meet that daunting challenge.”
Moeller said she had not examined the city’s budget documents.
“You can’t tell from a piece of paper, you need to see how cash is being used and talk to people doing the work,” she said.
Moeller also said she had not attended any of the council’s budget meetings this year, because “you don’t know what’s going on until you are part of the organization.”
Moeller said the city has a $10 million reserve fund.
“They haven’t had a deficit,” she said. “How can they ask for more money from taxpayers?”
Moeller is currently president of the EMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, as well as a professor of finance in the College of Business and program coordinator of finance.
She has been at EMU since 1990, and served as the associate dean of the College of Business and the director of academic budget and operations in the provost’s office, from 1993 to 2002. She teaches intermediate financial theory, problems in financial management and financial administration policies.
Moeller’s B.S., M.B.A. and Ph.D. are from Michigan State University. Before coming to EMU she taught at Northeastern University and the University of Michigan Flint. She also has corporate experience with Ford Motor Company, and publishes in the areas of corporate and international finance.