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Wednesday, August 5,2009

Kids in the Hall

by Neal McNamara

 


 


Mayor Virg Bernero, it appears, jumped to a conclusion on at least one of his endorsements.


In his campaign literature, Bernero was counting former Mayor David Hollister as a political supporter, but Hollister says that’s not the case.


Hollister said Tuesday that a Bernero campaign worker had come to his house and asked to put one of those green “Keep Virg” signs in the lawn. Hollister agreed, but later realized that his “liberal” attitude with campaign signs might lead some to believe he had endorsed the mayor. But, since Hollister is the head of Prima Civitas, a local nonprofit, he felt he should not appear partisan, so he took the sign down.


“Part of it was my allowing the sign to be put up initially. Someone interpreted it as an endorsement,” he said.


Hollister said he called Bernero, who apologized and corrected the mistake (we could not find any campaign literature left at Bernero HQ with the error). Hollister also called At-Large Councilwoman Carol Wood and apologized.



“I’m not into politics anymore, I’m not going to run for office, I’m going to support the mayor or the new mayor and the City Council, but I’m not going to endorse anybody,” Hollister said. (Prima Civitas, it should be noted, is in the midst of a project to steer Flint back on course and the nonprofit is not endorsing in the race for mayor in that city, which had a special election Tuesday.)


In a somewhat unrelated note, some staff at City Pulse were invited via Facebook to a Tuesday night party called “Carol Wood for Major.” Given the proximity of “Y” and “J” on your standard American keyboard, we assume this is a typo, and that Wood is not trying to get into the MSU marching band.


Who knew that Lansing City Council was the most meeting-happy municipal legislative body among the larger cities in Michigan?


Last week, City Clerk Chris Swope did some research on the city charters of Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, aggregator of Lansing government happenings Ann Arbor, Warren and Battle Creek to see how often the legislative bodies in those cities are required to meet. Only the City Council of Detroit came close to Lansing, being required to meet weekly for 10 months out of the year, which equals out to roughly 44 meetings. Lansing’s City Charter requires the Council to meet 50 times per year.


Swope’s research was related to a somewhat disjointed discussion that took place in the Council’s July 23 Committee of the Whole meeting. Second Ward Councilwoman Sandy Allen brought up the issue, pondering aloud whether it would be better to have CoW meetings every other week, since it seemed like the agendas of that particular committee had been thin.


At-Large Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar suggested that having fewer meetings might save some money and First Ward Councilman Eric Hewitt decided that it would be best to leave the decision on holding CoW up to the presiding officer, Council President Derrick Quinney.

Swope, too, reasoned in his report that Council could save the city some money with fewer meetings. Swope noted that the Council could amend the charter to have less meeting by a majority of five voting in favor.

Speaking of Committee of the Whole, last Thursday’s meeting was canceled due to a lack of quorum — for the record, Quinney, Dunbar, Hewitt and At-Large Councilman Tim Kaltenbach were there, but no one else. And, on Monday night, Quinney canceled this week’s CoW meeting. (Ironically, Swope’s letter will be up for discussion at the next CoW meeting, whenever that is.)


On a romantic note, it was reported by Kaltenbach at Monday’s meeting that At-Large Councilman Brian Jeffries would be having his 29th wedding anniversary this Sunday. Apparently, some 29 years ago, Kaltenbach set Jeffries and his wife, Ellen, up at an Oktoberfest celebration downtown.

“Tim was instrumental in setting Ellen and I up,” Jeffries reported.



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