Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 5
Charles "Chip" Smith is a senior planner in the Environmental Design and Planning Group of Wade Trim, a Detroit-based firm. He is running for his second term on the Ann Arbor City Council. On Aug. 8 he faces David Silkworth in the Democratic primary.
In his role on council, Smith serves on several advisory committees and commissions, including the Environmental Commission, Transportation Commission, the Medical Marijuana Ordinance Review Committee and the Liquor License Review Committee.
Smith has sponsored or co-sponsored over three dozen resolutions, including ones that relate to pedestrian safety, prevailing wage requirements, the 1,4 dioxane plume and the 2016 Regional Transit Authority ballot proposal, among other issues. He voted in favor of the sale of development rights on the downtown Library Lot and in support of the city's deer management plan – though he recently co-sponsored a budget amendment to defund that program, and to shift those funds to climate action and pedestrian safety programs instead. (It drew criticism from Silkworth, who called it a "political maneuver." The proposal failed on a 3-8 vote.)
Smith has stated that he supports sustainable funding for affordable housing and climate adaptation programs, as well as the need to address the city's housing shortage. He also supports improving roads to make them safe for all users. He has made pedestrian and bicycle safety a bedrock issue since initially running for council in 2013.
Smith was first elected to council on November 2015 after defeating incumbent Mike Anglin in the August Ward 5 Democratic primary. In November 2013, Smith had been an official write-in candidate for the Ward 5 seat but lost to Anglin, the incumbent.
Smith holds a masters degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan, an undergraduate degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a graduate certificate in Local Government Management from Eastern Michigan University. At Wade Trim, he works with municipal clients on redevelopment issues, planning and policy. He is an AICP certified planner and is responsible for project management.
Smith lives on Ann Arbor's Old West Side. He is married to Courtney Piotrowski and has two young daughters.
His campaign treasurer is Samantha Brdek, an accounting and finance employee at Benevolent, a fundraising site focused on connecting donors with low-income recipients.
Chip Smith: In The News
Ann Arbor urges residents to use solar energy – Detroit Free Press, June 3, 2017
City votes to keep deer cull in the budget – Michigan Daily, May 15, 2017
Ann Arbor council feeling heavy weight of decision on 17-story high-rise – MLive, April 17, 2017
City Council passes ordinance protecting undocumented citizens – Michigan Daily, April 3, 2017
Council votes 10-1 to negotiate contract with Recycle Ann Arbor – MLive, March 7, 2017
The dog days of Ann Arbor's final odd-year election cycle – MLive, Feb. 16, 2017
First Steps: With more vehicle deaths than murders, the city tries to change a car-centric culture – Ann Arbor Observer, July 2016
Ann Arbor has lofty goals for solar energy, but can it achieve them? – MLive, June 21, 2016
Chip and Chuck – The Ann Arbor Observer, December 2015
Candidate Comment (Smith's segment starts at the 8:41 mark) – Community Television Network, Oct. 9, 2015
League of Women Voters Ward 5 Candidate Forum – Community Television Network, Oct. 8, 2015
Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum – June 13, 2015 video posted on YouTube
City Council Candidate Interviews – Chip Smith: Ward 5 – Damn Arbor, Nov. 3, 2013