Not everybody agrees with the advice the city attorney gives council, and his conservative position on medical marijuana once prompted one of the herb's advocates to threaten to burn him in effigy. But most of the city attorney's opponents respect him, and some even like him. "I don't agree with him about practically anything, but I like him as a person," says Dennis Hayes, a local attorney and marijuana advocate who's tangled with Postema. "He's been very reasonable and fair in large part."
Even councilmembers who have issues with Postema admit he has his good points. "He is competent and does a really good job of defending the city in court," allows Sabra Briere. "A lot of people think he's really excellent at his job."
One person who doesn't is Dave Askins, the editor of the Ann Arbor Chronicle. Askins writes in an email that if he were in a position to do so, "I'd be inclined to thank Postema for his work and wish him well as he pursues endeavors other than public service for which he might be better suited."
Years ago, Postema suggested to Observer profiles editor Eve Silberman that the magazine write an article about him. The angle, he said, would be "local boy makes good."