Thank you, East Lansing!
Thank you so much for electing me to the East Lansing City Council. As I listened to you, I promised three things: more transparency, respecting the Master Plan and residents' input on development, and to always be honest with you about my decisions.
I was sworn in Tuesday, Nov. 12, along with fellow newcomer Jessy Gregg and returning council member Mark Meadows. Our first order of business was to elect a mayor and a mayor pro tempore ("for the time being," as Latin nerds know, or substitute mayor).
Ruth Beier was elected mayor unanimously; Aaron Stephens was elected mayor pro tem unanimously.
Voters clearly wanted change when they voted in November, and I had concerns about electing two members of the former council to the leadership posts. Mayor Beier assured me that there would be more transparency and a "council of equals," meaning that she will restore the normal practice of allowing all council members to place items on the agenda.
She vowed to not negotiate with developers behind closed doors. She is committed to having developers -- and others -- bring their ideas to the council for public discussion.
I respect Mayor Beier and believe that she will keep her word.
There was no public discussion before the vote, and I apologize for that. The meeting was structured so the new mayor and mayor pro tem were elected at the beginning of the meeting (so they could run it). Unfortunately, that meant public comment came *after* their elections.