Lansing had two big losers in Tuesday's election � but one left with class.
Sandy Allen was nothing but smiles as she accepted the voters' decision to turn her out of her 2nd Ward seat on the Lansing City Council after 16 years of service. The grandmotherly Councilwoman � her knitting needles were often in sight at meetings � was prepared to serve a fifth term but equally ready to "win my life back," as she cheerfully put it.
Contrast that to Carol Wood's ugly concession speech after being delivered a lopsided defeat by incumbent Virg Bernero. Talking to supporters at Sir Pizza in Old Town, she sounded like she was still campaigning.
We have stood up to a bully in our community, Wood declared. Let's give him hell and finish out this party! She also ranted about Bernero's lies and mudslinging.
The mayor, meanwhile, told reporters he's willing to bury the hatchet and hopes Wood is, too.
Wood appears ready to bury it, all right in Bernero's head. As she returns to the City Council to finish out the last half of her four-year term, look for more of the same: Bernero proposes, Wood opposes.
But Wood may find herself increasingly isolated on the Council with the election of two smart and energetic newcomers, Jessica Yorko from the Fourth Ward and Tina Houghton, who replaces Allen. Most important, Brian Jeffries shows signs of independence from Wood. He broke with her over the sale of the city parking ramp to LCC, and last night he wasn't to be seen at her election-night party.
On the other end of the ticket was the closest race of Election Day for three seats on the LCC board. Faux Democrats helped Larry Meyer, a Republican with the endorsement of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, narrowly defeat Thomas Morgan, who was solidly backed by the unions in his first attempt at elective office. (Morgan's slate mate, incumbent Robert Proctor, kept his seat, as did chairwoman Deb Canja, who was slated with Meyer.) Bernero and City Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar turned their back on their fellow Democrat to support Meyer, a former president of the Lansing City Council whose sympathies lie with developers, not the unions and perhaps one developer in particular: Joel Ferguson, one of Meyer's biggest supporters. We doubt Ferguson will be bragging about his support for a Republican the next time he attends a National Democratic Committee meeting.
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