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Lansing's Mayor


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I am not suprised by the mayor vote, although I liked Benevides. I am EXTREMELY suprised by Geneva Smith's and Debbie Miner's loss, and also by Kathy Dunbars win, I was hoping for anyone but her :( . But as you said, thats just the way things are and we can now only hope for the best. With projects such as the Stadium District, Printers Row, On the Grand condos, and the Arbaugh coming up next year and projects such as the Abrams Lofts and Shiawassee & Grand apartments coming soon Lansing is looking good for the next couple years no matter what.

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Well, I'm pleased with how the mayor's race went, but am disappointed by city council.

I, too, can't for the life of me see how Kathie Dunbar sneaked her way onto city council, last night. Heck, I would have even liked to see John Pollard over here, and I was sure Bob Johnson was going to win with all of the endorsements he had behind him, and his connections to Mayor Hollister.

Kathie seems like a nice enough person. She just doesn't seem to inspire me AT ALL, though. It just goes to show how much weight the southside carries.

Also, what's up with everyone voting for Jeffries? He's another candidate that has never seemed too dedicated to Lansing (he works in East Lansing). He's certainly capable, though.

What worries me is that Lansing is 60-65% white, but the council doesn't reflect that. I want to see more ethnic and cultural diversity, personally. I'm usually against playing up race, but with the ousting of Geneva Smith and Benavides gone, the current makeup of city government does not reflect the general populace in either ethnic make-up or the cultural differences in the city. This is what happens when the minority vote is low, which I can assure you it was.

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I would think with incite Lmich. and Hood seem to have that you would have seen the election outcome.

Brian has been attending a large number of neighborhood association meetings across the city. He has been working behind the scenes and I was not surprised to see him win.

As far as Smith was concerned the writing was on the wall. She had shot her self in the foot too many times playing the race card in committee meetings. If Tim had not defeated her I would have had to rethink my opinion of the Westside neighborhoods. If it were not for Smith, the Alamo would still be available for commercial redevelopment. As it is now a small fundamental evangelical church is purchasing the property on land contract for less than $200,000.

I found John to be as big a bigot as Smith during the Alamo fight. When asked why he supported the church over the neighborhood, he said in not so many words they were black. He lost all my respect when he said this. To add insult to injury, the group that he uses as support in the council meeting stated the same thing. Oldham and friends went even one-step further by asking if the neighborhood would rather see a gay bar move into the property. It became very clear not only is this group bigoted, but homophobic as well.

Do not hold your breath regarding major changes in the city with Virg as Mayor. There are three huge elephants on his back right now, which include the principal shopping district, the Lansing neighborhood council, and all of the I.O.Us he wrote to win this time. Just look at who he pick as his transition team, and remember how disconnected Hollister was from the neighborhoods and residents when it came to making decisions. Unless Virg is a better facilitator than I have seen in his efforts at the State level, we may be disappointed.

As far as the racial makeup of the city and the racial makeup of the government, look at those who are active in the community. Very few of people active in the neighborhood associations, neighborhood watches, non-profit boards (Friends of Hunter Park, Old Town Commercial Association, REO Town Board, Farris Development, etc) are minorities. Until more minorities get involved at the grass root level on a continual basis, minorities will not find strong representation at the higher levels of government.

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Ok, you may not like John, but come on, Kathy? I don't care how nice of a lady she is (and she seems to come off that way), she doesn't look like she has what it takes to lead Lansing in this very tough times. She reminds me of a Smith, but even more incompetent. The only reason I was worried about losing Smith is because I've heard very little about Tim. What I've heard is that this wasn't so much a vote for him, as it was to spite/remove Smith who has been controversial.

I'm just disappointed in the council, because we had a chance to truly change it. I'm tired of the demure politics of a Sandy Allen, or a Williams, or even Meyers, who wasn't their half the time, anyway. We needed some loud-mouths, some movers, some shakers, and what we got was the status quo.

I'm tired of Lansing going in the direction of "business as usual." These are not the times to sit back and through up your hands as if failure is in inevitability.

And the council and mayor wonder why Lansing is bleeding so much population. Why do you expect citizens to stay, when you can't even keep people on the council from moving out?

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Unfortunately Lansing has decided to have a strong mayor and weak city manager system. This allows politics to play a greater roll in the development of the community. Hopefully, with a charismatic person like Virg we will see some movement in the right direction. I agree that Kathy will be out matched by most on the Council, and the fact she has four small children will keep her from doing the best job possible. However, Joan will most like get Michael Murphy's seat, and Harold will not make it through his next run for office. With two more new faces on council we might get moving in the right direction.

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I will miss Joan. She is an amazing council person, and one of the only ones to routinely and regularly reply back to my emails, even if I'm just ranting. I really wish she'd stay her for ever, but she's ready to move until bigger things. I sure hope her impact in the community isn't lost, because we still need her.

I'm very optimistic about Virg. Even if other's have low expectations of him, they must admit that there is no way he could do any less than Tony. I really expect him to cheerlead the city like Hollister did, even if it much isn't improved. What Hollister did, that was more important than any project he ever spearheaded, was giving people pride in living here. When you realize that the council makes the day-to-day decisions of livability, the mayor's job really is a bit more symbolic than other's or you may realize. Even in this strong mayor system, the outside economic forces will continue for quite a few more years, here, and there is little any mayor can do to change that. Hollister and Benavides have placed the preliminary base and building blocks, all Virg has to do is keep building upon that.

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