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Monday, March 18,2013

Kids in the Hall

Deadlock: Council has a hard time agreeing on a new president

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Jan. 5 — 2:25 p.m. It’s like the Twilight Zone on the 10th floor of City Hall today.

The Lansing City Council keeps voting down the same three Council members to lead the legislative body for 2012 in 4-4 votes, expecting different results. The Council can’t agree on whether to elect Kathie Dunbar, Brian Jeffries or A’Lynne Robinson for president.

In the first Committee of the Whole meeting of each year, the eight-member body nominates members for president and vice president. Third Ward Councilwoman A’Lynne Robinson has served as president for the past two years and is chairing today’s committee meeting.

For the first 20 minutes of today’s meeting, Robinson asked members for nominations for president. At-Large Councilman and former Council president Derrick Quinney first nominated At-Large Councilman Brian Jeffries, also a former Council president. Next, 4th Ward Councilwoman Jessica Yorko nominated At-Large Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar.

Council members Jody Washington, Carol Wood, Jeffries and Quinney voted yes for Jeffries; Council members Tina Houghton, Jessica Yorko, Dunbar and Robinson voted no.

Then came the vote for Dunbar for president. The vote was 4-4 along the same lines. Those who voted for Jeffries voted against Dunbar and those voted against Jeffries voted for Dunbar.

After that, Houghton nominated Robinson for president. Again, same voting lines for the Dunbar vote.

The Council went on to nominate Jeffries and Robinson two more times and Dunbar once more. The votes went the same way each time as before.

After 20 minutes of this, Robinson called for a 10-minute recess. Each of the members left the Council chambers on the 10th floor for private discussions. No discussion on working out the kinks took place publicly.

And a nomination for vice president hasn’t even started.

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