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Wednesday, August 12,2009

Kids in the Hall

An aggregator of Lansing government happenings

by Neal McNamara

 


As far as City Council races, last week’s results were no surprise. Incumbent Second Ward Councilwoman Sandy Allen got about 1,200 votes compared to newcomer Tina Houghton, who got 567 votes. Mayor Virg Bernero, it should be noted, backs Houghton — Houghton literature is available at Bernero’s campaign office, and also at his victory party last Tuesday at Perspective2 in Old Town.


Is Bernero making a Council enemy if he is reelected and Houghton can’t pull through? When asked, he says he doesn’t worry about hypotheticals. Local PR magnate Kelly Rossman-Mckinney says, “It’s risky,” but “the responsibility of being mayor is to bring on a Council that will help your goals.”



To some, Tom Truscott’s losing the Fourth Ward race to Chris Lewless and Jessica Yorko was interesting — he had endorsements, and did much ground work, but has a Republican last name. “He’s a Republican, and the Fourth Ward is very Democratic,” political consultant Mark Grebner said. Outgoing Fourth Ward Councilman Tim Kaltenbach thought Truscott would win because he saw him so frequently knocking on doors.

The Monday City Council meeting was mobbed Monday night with supporters of the “complete streets” ordinance. The crowd, overall, was supportive of just getting the thing passed — but they did make clear they don’t want it changed. The ordinance was moved to Committee of the Whole, which will meet on Thursday, and it will likely be up for a vote Monday.

Also Monday night was discussion of changing Council rules to place a public comment section at the end of the meeting, and turn off the televised broadcast of the meeting after the “mayor’s comments” — the ones that come at the end of the meeting, not the ones near the beginning.


This issue, too, will likely be brought up at CoW on Thursday, and Kaltenbach made a motion Monday to put the changes on the floor, which means they are up for discussion for one week and then will be brought back for a vote. It’s all part of a long-standing effort bring more order to Council meetings.



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