Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 5
UPDATE: Incumbent Chip Smith defeated David Silkworth in the Aug. 8 primary. Smith prevailed with 52.52% of the vote compared to 47.16% for Silkworth. Smith will advance to the Nov. 7 general election. Click here for all election results.
David Silkworth is a claims representative for an insurance company, working with homeowners and businesses. In 2016 he ran for a Ward 5 seat as an independent, but lost to incumbent Democrat Chuck Warpehoski. This year he is running in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary against incumbent Chip Smith.
Silkworth has advocated for council to be more responsive to residents' concerns, to be more transparent and fiscally responsible, and to better promote broad public engagement and participation in the process. He supports pedestrian safety infrastructure improvements and opposed the sale of development rights on the city's Library Lot.
Silkworth also is a strong critic of the lethal component to the city's deer management plan, arguing against a deer cull and accusing some councilmembers of unethical activities. However, speaking during public commentary at the May 15, 2017 council meeting, he opposed a proposed amendment to the 2017-2018 city budget that would have shifted $260,000 in funds from the deer management plan to support pedestrian safety improvements and the city's climate action budget.
Noting that he had proposed doing just that in public commentary in early 2016, Silkworth called the amendment "nothing more than a disingenuous and irresponsible political maneuver intended to endear its sponsors to both anti-cull activists, ardent cyclists and anyone concerned about pedestrian safety issues." Chip Smith was one of the amendment's co-sponsors, along with mayor Christopher Taylor and Jason Frenzel (Ward 1), who is also a candidate in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary. [The amendment was defeated by a 3-8 vote.]
Silkworth received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1998, and served in the U.S. Navy and the Navy Reserve. He lives on Ann Arbor's west side.
Silkworth's campaign treasurer is Tanya Ridella-Mehlos.
David Silkworth: In The News
Chip Smith wins 5th Ward Ann Arbor council primary – MLive, Aug. 8, 2017
Ann Arbor City Council incumbents face slate of anti-high-rise challengers – Michigan Radio, Aug. 7, 2017
City Council elections to take place Tuesday (Roundup of races) – Michigan Daily, Aug. 7, 2017
What should Ann Arbor be doing to fight climate change? – MLive, Aug. 7, 2017
Campaign finance reports show political alliances in Ann Arbor races – MLive, Aug. 1, 2017
Ann Arbor's gentrification becomes a City Council election issue – MLive, July 28, 2017
Ann Arbor council candidates greeted by protesters at Dems forum – MLive, July 26, 2017
League of Women Voters Ward 5 Candidate Forum (video) – Community Television Network, July 13, 2017
Candidate Comment: David Silkworth (video) – Community Television Network, July 7, 2017
Ann Arbor council votes 8-3 on how it'd use millions in new tax money – MLive, July 4, 2017
Public commentary at Ann Arbor City Council (Silkworth's commentary starts at the 00:07:15 mark) – Community Television Network video, May 15, 2017
City votes to keep deer cull in the budget – Michigan Daily, May 15, 2017
Silkworth to challenge Smith for 5th Ward Ann Arbor council seat – MLive, March 7, 2017
Chuck Warpehoski wins 5th Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council – MLive, Nov. 8, 2016
Development is top issue in Ward 5 City Council race – Michigan Daily, Oct. 27, 2016
Ward 5 Candidates Comment (video) – Community Television Network, Oct. 7, 2016
Ann Arbor council candidates disagree on big issues facing city – MLive, Sept. 28, 2016
League of Women Voters candidate forum (video) – Community Television Network, Sept. 26, 2016
Public commentary at Ann Arbor City Council (Silkworth's commentary starts at the 00:20:00 mark) – Community Television Network video, May 2, 2016
"I Love the Deer”: Rebuked in court, animal-right activists turn to politics to fight the cull – Ann Arbor Observer, April 2016
Council member's emails about deer cull scrutinized by critics – MLive, April 5, 2016
Public commentary at Ann Arbor city council (Silkworth's commentary starts at the 00:24:47 mark) – Community Television Network video, April 4, 2016