18 Charter Commission candidates outline changes they would support


WEDNESDAY, May 1—In mid-April, City Pulse asked the 36 candidates for Lansing's Charter Revision Commission to outline specific proposals they would consider implementing if they were elected to the nine-member commission on Tuesday. Eighteen responded. Their full statements are printed below. 

Click on a candidate's name below to jump to their submission:

Layna Anderson

Dedria Humphries Barker

Joan Bauer

Elizabeth Boyd

Randy Dykhuis

Monte Jackson

Brian Jeffries

Samuel Klahn

Guillermo Lopez

Heath Lowry

Derek Melot

Jerry Norris

Mitch Rice

Lori Adams Simon

Corwin Smidt

Julie Vandenboom

Ross Yednock

Nick Zande

Layna Anderson:

Layna Anderson
Layna Anderson

Lansing has been my home for my entire adult life. After attending Michigan State University, I fell in love with Lansing's vibrant and diverse communities, its resilient spirit, and its potential for growth.

I love cities. I love visiting, exploring, and discovering cities. I love learning about cities. The history, the culture, the infrastructure – I want to know it all. I enjoy reading Jane Jacobs books, following Strong Towns on social media, and attending guided tours while on vacation in a new city. I love all cities, but I love Lansing the most.

And that's why I’m committed to making a difference here in Lansing. After working for an agency of the City of Lansing for five years, I learned a lot about how our city government works and the challenges and obstacles the current city charter is creating. I believe I have the experience and knowledge to improve the way our city operates.

When redrafting the charter, my focus will be prioritizing three main concepts: inclusion, transparency, and efficiency. These may sound like buzzwords, but when considering a change to the charter, I will first consider if the change makes our government work more efficiently, is transparent, and/or removes barriers for participating in government, therefore enhancing inclusion.

Getting into the specifics, I have three main priorities in a charter revision:

First, I advocate for maintaining a strong elected mayor system, but only with important modifications. We need to ensure that the powers of the mayor are restricted, preventing any potential abuse of authority. One modification would be to change the way department heads are selected. Currently, the mayor nominates one person for the job, and it goes to the city council for approval. I’d like to see these jobs treated as the important positions that they are, with job postings, interviews by committee, and proper vetting. This way, we can ensure the best and most qualified people from the region are serving in these roles, and not just folks who have connections in government.

Secondly, I would like to see a restructuring of the city council to create a more inclusive representation of Lansing by increasing ward seats. Expanding the number of wards we have in our city could increase representation from historically underrepresented communities and make running for city council more accessible. A restructuring could also make it more feasible for the council to override a mayoral veto, further balancing the powers between the mayor and city council.

And thirdly, I think the charter commission should take a critical look at all the city’s boards and commissions. We need to reevaluate how long folks serve and how they are selected. By promoting transparency and accountability in these appointments, we can ensure that these commissions truly serve the interests of the people.

The purpose of the city charter is to build the structure of our city government so that future council members, department heads, and citizen participants are set up for success. A new charter will not be a magic wand that solves all the problems Lansing faces, but if done well, it will ensure that the right folks are leading departments, and that city council, boards, and commissions are comprised of diverse voices.

I humbly ask for your input, your support, and your vote. I know that we can build a Lansing where every resident is empowered to thrive.

Dedria Humphries Barker:

Dedria Humphries Barker
Dedria Humphries Barker

The last Charter Commission met half-a century ago. Much has changed. The princess phone was hot in 1978, but in 2024, smart phones rule.

Change is why I am proposing the five specific proposals below. I want to update the Lansing City Charter to the 21st century.

  1. I will propose a statement on communication under Article 1 - General. This statement will emphasize communicating with residents and holding elected officials responsible and accountable for getting information to residents. This change will stress sharing information with residents is at the core of elected officials’ 21st century duty and responsibility to build and maintain trust in our government.
  2. I will propose a statement under Article 1 - General the value and importance of bridging gaps in access to resources in neighborhoods, specifically to food, recreation, public transportation, and jobs. This change will guide and direct the Planning Board in particular, and development efforts in general, to aim for availability of resources in every neighborhood.
  3. I will propose to change the number of members of City Council, and Boards and Commissions to an odd number. This change will help to avoid tie votes.
  4. I will propose a change in the number of signatures to be collected on nominating petitions for city-wide offices. This change will increase access to the ballot. The current Charter requires 400-600 signatures, which poses a steep challenge for candidates who collect signatures in winter for Special Elections held in May. In our post-COVID era, it is extremely difficult to find locations where people congregate in large numbers and to find people who will allow a person to breathe in their face while asking for a petition signature.
  5. I will propose that the City Council be primarily responsible for the appointment of residents to advisory boards. This change represents a reduction in the duties of the mayor, specifically in the mayor appointing persons to advisory boards. And this change supports the statement in the current Charter Article 5 Boards and Commissions: “Appointments to each board, commission and committee shall be made with regard to the diversity of Lansing citizens, their variety of interests and the experience and expertise that each can contribute to the common good of the City." 

Joan Bauer:

Joan Bauer
Joan Bauer

The charter commission provides the opportunity to thoroughly review the current charter and make any recommendations for changes that could better serve our residents and strengthen our city.  I continue to believe that it is important that the elected commissioners do not begin the review with set ideas and personal agendas but keep an open mind, do a thorough charter review and give thoughtful consideration to all issues. For this reason, I have not identified specific changes at this time.

We are fortunate to have Michigan State University and Lansing Community College in our region and should avail ourselves of their expertise.  The Michigan Municipal League and the National League of Cities can provide extensive information and analysis of the many governance models that are used by other cities.  In addition, the commission should seek input from current and former Lansing city council members and mayors, department directors, city employees and members of boards and commissions.  Most important, it is imperative that there be public input sessions which are well publicized and where all are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts about our city's governance structure. The commission should also seek the input of stakeholder groups including (but not limited to) neighborhood groups, the business community, the labor community, nonprofits, community organizations, the faith community, etc.   After this thorough review and considering all the input, it will then be time for the charter commission to make specific changes and recommendations.

The charter commission has a daunting and important task ahead of it.  It is our city's opportunity to ensure our governance model will help Lansing move forward in the years to come.

Elizabeth Boyd:

Liz Boyd
Liz Boyd

Q: City Pulse would like to hear your proposals for specific changes to the Lansing City Charter that you would seek to make if elected to the Charter Revision Commission. What would you add, delete, reword, etc.?

A: Thank you for the opportunity to respond. While I am certain the City Pulse and others would like my thoughts on what should be changed in the city charter, I believe the answers are yet to be found.  First, I have to be elected to the charter commission.  I am fair-minded and believe the commission's review should be thorough, thoughtful and transparent.  IF ELECTED that is how I will conduct a review. 

As the campaign has evolved, I have heard other candidates give specifics, particularly on the makeup of the city council and the leadership of our city.  I, on the other hand, do not presume to have the answers - yet.  I believe the commission should hear from people on the front line, both inside and outside of city government, past and present.  Has the current city council makeup of four ward council members and four at-large council members worked or not worked? For those who believe Lansing needs a city manager, as opposed to a strong mayor, why?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system?

Of course, there are going to be some housekeeping-type issues to address.  For example, the current charter was approved in 1978 and since then how society defines equity and inclusion has changed dramatically.  References to the LGBT&Q community are a case in point.  Certainly, references that are out-of-date will need to be updated.

All in all, the commission will have its work cut out for it when it convenes on May 21. I believe I have the experience and wisdom to address those issues head-on and that is why I am a candidate for the commission.

Randy Dykhuis:

Randy Dykhuis
Randy Dykhuis

I believe the charter is basically sound and do not advocate an extensive rewrite. That said, I think there are a few changes that the commission should consider.

  1. Review the process for appointment to boards and commissions. The current process is opaque and vests most authority for appointment in the mayor. City Council should be more involved in reviewing and selecting nominees. I am open to ideas about how best to accomplish that. I think the names of all those who are being considered for a board or commission should be made public before the nomination is sent to city council for confirmation.
  2. Appointed commissioners should be term-limited. I would advocate for no more than 2 terms with a year between appointment to another board or commission.
  3. The composition of the Board of Water and Light Board of Commissioners should be altered to make sure that the city is adequately represented on the Board of Commissioners. One way to do this would be to replace 4 at-large seats with 2 at-large & 2 city council members.
  4. Every member of every board and commission should be a voting member. At present, there are three members of the BWL Board of Commissioners who are not allowed to vote. This should be changed. Every board member should have the right to cast a vote on the issues that come before that board or commission.
  5. The charter commission should consider creating a Sustainability Board. It is vital that Lansing have a body that has the authority to review policy related to the environment, hear from other departments, and make recommendations directly to City Council.
  6. Change ineligibility criteria for local elected office or appointment to board/commission. Right now, someone convicted of a felony, no matter what it is, is ineligible to serve for 20 years. If a person has served his/her/their time for a crime & the crime is not related to a violation of election laws, he/she/they should be eligible for an elected or appointed position.
  7. I would be open to modifying the structure of city council. Expanding the number of wards to five is an idea that I'd like to explore. I am wary of eliminating the at-large positions. If that were to be a topic of discussion on the charter commission, I would want to conduct a thorough investigation about the advantages and disadvantages. I think there is a strong possibility of significant unintended consequences if the at-large seats were eliminated.

Monte Jackson:

Monte Jackson
Monte Jackson

Retain the "Strong Mayor" System: A major topic of conversation among candidates and residents is whether Lansing should move away from the “strong mayor” structure of government in favor of a "council-manager" format. Under a strong manager system, the mayor is responsible for political, policy, and administrative leadership, while the city council is largely a law-making unit with major influence over budget adoption. It is my belief that a strong mayor system is the best structure for Lansing because (1) it allows for greater efficiency, (2) it enables the mayor to respond swiftly to the public needs, (3) it keeps the selection of the mayor in the hands of the public. Under a council-manager system, the mayor is selected by the city council and serves at a diminished capacity. Furthermore, under a council-manager structure, the mayor does not have the ability to veto legislation proffered by the council, which removes an additional safeguard against bad policy.

City Council Structure:  We currently have an eight-member council, with four ward seats and four at-large seats. I propose the creation of one additional ward seat, creating a nine-member council. Creating an additional ward creates smaller districts, allowing council members to have greater interaction with members of their district. Additionally, an odd number of seats avoids gridlock from ties.

Housing: Access to safe and affordable housing is critical. I've consistently heard complaints from friends, family, and other residents of Lansing about deceptive practices and unfair dealing with landlords. To be sure, this only represents a minority of landlords, but the city charter should address this issue by creating an ordinance that protects tenants and makes living in Lansing more hospitable. I propose the creation of an ordinance requiring (1) each lease contain a disclosure of tenant rights, (2) prevents lease agreements from containing clauses that the landlord knows to be deceptive and which purports to take away a right of a tenant, which cannot be taken away by contract under Michigan law, and (3) provides for a fine or misdemeanor for violation.

City Budget: Budget management & fiscal discipline is important for any city seeking to improve core services for residents. I propose an ordinance in the charter requiring that the mayor provide quarterly reports to City Council that show the relationship between the estimated and actual income & expenses to date. Furthermore, if it appears that the income of the city is less than anticipated, the Council should be permitted to reduce appropriations (with exception for amounts required to pay debt and interest charges).

Brian Jeffries:

Brian Jeffries
Brian Jeffries

I believe the Commission’s work and decisions made should be completed after we have heard from all interested parties, studied the relevant material, and completed our due diligence. I have been consistent in describing how I would carry out my role and responsibilities as a member of the Charter Commission. My focus is not so much on revising or creating a specific provision or process, but to support changes that ensure the revised Charter will empower our residents and earn their trust. My role will be to listen, with an open mind, to create common sense changes. Transparency and openness should guide our process. This can be done working with existing neighborhood and community organizations including Faith-based and marginalized groups as well as other community stakeholders. This would include meeting with the Mayor, City Council members, City Department Directors, and representatives from the City Boards and Commissions. The Charter Commission should also review and study existing City charters from other municipalities to learn what works. I will require a fiscal analysis be conducted of all proposed changes to ensure we understand their cost and affordability. I believe the Revised Charter should incorporate the best practices as determined by what we have heard and learned after an extensive, thoughtful, and engaged process.

During the campaign, I have indicated that I would consider the following:

  1. This will be the first revision of Lansing’s Charter in over 45 years. Many changes in law have occurred since then, so I would begin by reviewing the Charter by eliminating or amending any provision that does not conform with the requirements of the Home Rule City Act and the Michigan Constitution. I would amend the Charter language to make it easier to understand and eliminate outdated references to include gender-inclusive language.
  2. I would review Lansing’s existing ordinances to determine if the subject matter of a specific ordinance should be included in the Charter. For example, I would add the protections found in our Human Rights ordinance to the Non-Discrimination and Civil Rights section of the Charter. In that regard, I would also review Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive (2019-9) regarding non-discrimination protections in State Employment and Services as well as the recent amendments to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act that expanded protections against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, for possible inclusion in our Charter. Additionally, I would embed The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Board (which was created by an ordinance) into Article 5, Boards and Commissions of the Charter.
  3. I would review At-Large Council positions. This issue has received a lot of discussion during the campaign. I remain open minded as to a final decision and plan to adhere to my promise to support a revised Charter that empowers our residents and earns their trust. I analyze the issue this way: as a former At-Large Council member, I would always explain to my constituents (individual, neighborhood organization or other group) when they had an issue that needed to be addressed by the City. Since Council consisted of 8 members, it took 5 votes (a majority) to get something passed. I explained that at the outset, they already had 5 Council members that directly represent them and whom they voted for.
  4. At-Large Council members and 1 Ward Council member. Of course, that did not always result in a favorable vote, and it still required a lot of work to get the issue to a conclusion, but the fact remained that each individual/group had 5 Council members out of 8 that were elected to represent them. My concern is that by eliminating the At-Large Council member positions and replacing them with Ward members, it would effectively dilute the voting power of each individual/group from 5 out of 8 votes to 1 out of 8 votes. This disenfranchisement would lessen the ability of each individual/group to hold elected officials accountable, take away the tools they need to improve their quality of life to a point where they will now become more reliant on government to make those decisions for them, and would further marginalize groups that are already pushed to the margins of our society and rendered powerless. Obviously, this goes against my principle of a revised Charter that empowers people and earns their trust and, as such, it will be a hard sell for me to support eliminating the At-Large City Council positions. That said, I remain open to the idea so long as the empowerment and trust issues can positively be addressed. In that regard, I look forward to learning how other municipalities address this issue in their Charters.
  5. I would review the Review Strong Mayor vs Council-Manager form of government. This has also been a hot topic during the campaign. Although my personal experience under the current strong Mayor form of government as a Council member was not always positive, I remain open-minded as to a final decision, especially in light of my promise to support a revised Charter that empowers our residents and earns their trust. I analyze the issue this way: under a strong Mayor form of government, the mayor is elected by the people and is directly accountable and responsible to them. Individuals/groups have direct access to the mayor to propose ideas or address grievances. With a strong Mayor form of government, there is a check and balance between the Mayor and City Council where the ultimate decision makers are the voters. Although discord and power struggles may occur between a Council and Mayor, one group cannot unilaterally eliminate the other. Under a Council-Manager form of government, the City Manager is hired by, and works directly for, the Council. There is no direct line of responsibility or accountability of the City Manager to the voters and individuals/groups would have no direct access to the City Manager. By applying the principle of empowering people and earning their trust, the lack of accessibility, accountability, and the inability to select (vote for) the City Manager under a Council-Manager form of government makes it hard for me to get behind. That said, I remain open to the idea so long as the empowerment and trust issues can positively be addressed. In that regard, I look forward to learning how other municipalities address this issue in their Charters.

If I am elected to serve on the Charter Commission, I would review the Charter and consider other revisions utilizing the same analysis as I did with the above issues, and that is to support changes that ensure that the revised Charter will empower our residents and earn their trust.

Samuel Klahn:

Samuel Klahn
Samuel Klahn

The people of Lansing are being presented with a rare opportunity - to examine power at its source.

All of the conversations I've had with people echo the main question I spent my undergraduate degree answering: which direction does power flow? In a top-down model, we have a handful of leaders who create agendas that go downward through all other offices of the city. In a bottom-up model, we have residents, neighborhoods, and community groups with actionable oversight to change things. We can't afford to answer this question wrong, because everyone who calls Lansing home will be influenced by the results for decades.

My main commitment is to you all: the people. My commitment if elected is to talk to everyone as frequently and vulnerably as possible. We all deserve to be empowered and educated about this process from start to finish. Your feedback will always matter. Your questions will always be answered - even if the answer is "I don't know let me find out."

  1. Lansing is the only major city in Michigan with an equal number of ward and at-large council seats. Kalamazoo is all at large, but most other major cities have more direct ward representation than at-large seats. Establishing 9 seats on city council will help keep government working. An odd number should mean less ties. Secondly, increasing ward representation will make your voice more directly heard more often. This could be 2 people per ward with one at large. We could do 6 wards and 3 at large. At the beginning of the 20th century, we had 8 wards. I'm open to any iteration that gives your neighborhood a more direct voice.
  2. I'd like to see more power in the hands of diverse groups. Boards and commissions are all appointed by the mayor currently. If we moved the 140+ board and commission members from mayoral to council appointments, we would see more diverse representation from across the city. Each member of the city council appointing one person to each board and commission should give direct neighborhood representation at more levels of city government.
  3. Boards and Commissions should have more actionable power. Right now, most of the boards and commissions are advisory, and only a handful have the capability to take any action for regulation, oversight, or change. I'd like to see these boards and commissions empowered to participate in meaningful change. For example, if the park board has an idea they agree on, they should be empowered to tell city council "We want this change to our ordinances or our budget, add this to your next agenda." Our current system only considers language from a few places. Council, the mayor, or an expensive ballot proposal among them. Giving more direct power to demand agenda consideration will result in more responsive and accountable direct governance. Boards and Commissions should be given more authority to participate, to hold other city officers accountable, and to more directly advocate for the diverse perspectives of the city. We shouldn't expect city council to be the experts on everything including zoning, veterans, and the electrical commission. Lansing has the professionals, the experience, and the talent to have all of our boards and commissions filled with experts. We should entrust those experts to engage thoughtfully and robustly.

Lansing's been so great to me. I've had every opportunity in my life given to me by the people of Lansing who believed in me, educated me, coached me, inspired me, mentored me. I don't have all the answers, but I believe that the people who live, work, and raise their families in this city deserve ownership over this process. Government needs to work for us, not for politicians, and not for business or profits.  It would be an honor to give back and to serve give back a fraction of what Lansing gives to me. Please regardless of who you want to vote for, remember to vote on May 7th. Thank you.

Guillermo Lopez:

Guillermo Lopez
Guillermo Lopez

My reason for wanting to serve on the Charter Commission is to help create a City Charter that has the necessary checks and balances for good governance which protects the rights and responsibilities of city residents and their prosperity. So how do we get there? For one thing, we should come with an open mind to this work and a willingness to hear every point of view. 

I believe that a deep dive needs to be had on the following areas of the charter. In no particular order:

-  The number of wards or at-large council positions 

-  The power of city boards and commissions and requirements one must meet for an appointment recommendation.

-  Strong mayor/weak mayor form of government and the pros and cons of each

-  Update and upgrade the civil and human rights language found in the charter

-  Clarify and update language in the current city charter.

I am sure that there will be other suggestions from the nine-member commission and from community input which I would advocate for.  Also, we should understand that any recommendations made must not violate state law.

Heath Lowry:

Heath Lowry
Heath Lowry

As I’ve interacted with neighbors during the election process, I’ve consistently heard that the people of this city desire a government that actively listens and responds to their community. As a commissioner, my focus would be on implementing changes that enhance the representative nature of our government. Ultimately, the people of Lansing deserve a city government that serves all our neighbors.

  1. Ward Representation Enhancement: To foster greater diversity and community engagement, I propose increasing the number of wards while reducing at-large seats on the city council. This adjustment would shrink the existing ward sizes, therefore lowering the cost of running for council seats. By doing so, we can encourage a broader range of individuals to serve their communities. Additionally, this change would enhance direct accountability to neighborhoods and their residents.
  2. Reforming Board and Commission Appointments: I recommend amending the appointment process for city boards and commissions. Specifically, we should allocate seats to each ward, allowing the corresponding council member to select representatives. This approach would strengthen community connections and ensure closer representation by those serving on these important bodies.
  3. Budget Process Streamlining: The charter should initiate the budget process with the city council and incorporate boilerplate language. Under this structure, the mayor would retain line-item veto power. However, any vetoed funds would require another appropriation by the city council for use. Furthermore, public input should be sought early and consistently throughout the budgeting process.
  4. Criminal Convictions and Candidacy: Aligning the charter with Constitutional mandates, I propose revisiting the limitation on candidates with criminal convictions. The current restrictive guidance in the charter disproportionately affects formerly incarcerated residents of Lansing. Ultimately, the people of our city should decide whether an individual’s criminal record is relevant during elections.
  5. Transparent Department Head Appointments: To enhance transparency and public trust, I suggest modifying the appointment process for department heads. This could involve requiring appointments from a list presented by the city council or increasing the number of candidates submitted for council approval. Either change would elevate public awareness and ensure that appointments are based on proper qualifications."

Derek Melot:

Derek Melot
Derek Melot

My two primary points of emphasis would be:

  1. Changing the number of City Council seats from an even to an odd total. The most obvious method to do so would be to increase the at-large seats from 4 to either 5 or 7.
  2. Eliminating the advisory boards for the fire and police departments, as they only serve to give citizens the illusion of resident oversight of these departments.

Below is my general statement:

A governing document requires periodic review and potentially alterations. The charter is overdue for such a comprehensive review. Should I be elected to the commission, my three principles would be: Transparency, Responsibility and Accountability. A major factor in the disengagement of many city voters – as reflected by municipal election turnout rates – is they do not see who is responsible for city action (or inaction) and do not think they can hold anyone accountable. The goal for the commission should be to answer questions: Who is responsible? How are they held accountable?

The purpose of city government is to deliver public services efficiently. It’s important for voters to understand what a charter review is – and is not. Reviewing the charter isn’t a transformational event. The charter provides structure for public life, but it does not create culture. Lansing’s challenges are considerable but not unique. In a best-case scenario, Lansing is functioning as a hub of economic and lifestyle activity for the entire region. A well-designed charter can contribute to that goal; it can’t create it, though.

As has befallen many governmental structures in the U.S., the city has lapsed into a culture of “procedural-ism” that elevates veto points over responsibility and accountability. The purpose of elected government is not to be shoved about by the 30-50 people who show up at public meetings, but to discern the general public’s preferences, devise policies to meet them, implement said policies and then accept responsibility for consequences. An effective charter commission will create a document that advances such goals.

Jerry Norris:

Jerry Norris
Jerry Norris

As a lifelong resident of Lansing and the founder of The Fledge, I, Jerry Norris, have dedicated my career to fostering a community where every voice is heard and every potential is realized. Through my engagement with diverse groups across Lansing—from grassroots organizations to business leaders—I have gained unique insights into the needs and aspirations of our community.

It should be noted that I am not dogmatic and have room to learn. These are my current thoughts on the issues that I think would have a substantial impact on the success of our citizens. The changes listed below are in order of clarity, e.g. the first one should change, the last one, I currently think should change. I also have other ideas to document a shared vision, access to information, and citizen participation that are not included in this list (I am still trying to figure it out).

**Overview of Proposed Charter Amendments**

 **1. Change of Terminology from “Marijuana” to “Cannabis”**

Reflecting modern understanding and reducing historical stigma, this proposal aims to update our city's legislative language, aligning it with scientific terminology and broader social progress.

 **2. Revising Eligibility Restrictions for Returning Citizens**

Proposing adjustments to the city charter to allow more inclusive participation of Returning Citizens in civic duties, aligning local laws more closely with progressive state standards.

 **3. Increasing the Number of Wards**

This change aims to enhance local representation and ensure that city council members can effectively manage and respond to the needs of smaller, more focused constituencies.

 **4. Revising Board and Commission Appointment Procedures**

This proposal introduces a more decentralized approach, enabling ward-specific council members to appoint board members, thus fostering greater accountability and alignment with local community interests.

 **5. Establishing a Hybrid Executive Structure**

Combining the strong leadership of an elected mayor with the administrative efficiency of a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), this model is designed to balance visionary leadership with professional city management.

**Personal Commitment to Lansing**

 Rooted in my experiences as a native, entrepreneur, and community advocate, these proposals are driven by a commitment to make Lansing a model city of innovation, inclusion, and effective governance. Each proposal is crafted from direct community feedback and a deep understanding of our city’s diverse needs.


These charter amendments are intended to create a governance framework that leverages our collective strengths to address our shared challenges. They are designed to ensure that Lansing's governance is responsive, transparent, and equitable, making our city a beacon of community-driven innovation and progress.

**Proposal to Amend the Lansing City Charter: Change of Terminology from “Marijuana” to “Cannabis”**

 **Purpose of Proposal:**

The purpose of this proposal is to update the terminology used in the Lansing City Charter from “marijuana” to “cannabis.” This change aims to align our city’s legal language with modern, scientifically accurate terminology and to mitigate the historical stigma associated with the term “marijuana.”

 **Background and Rationale:**

Historically, the term “marijuana” has been associated with negative stereotypes and racial prejudices, which were amplified during the anti-drug campaigns of the early 20th century. The term “cannabis,” however, is scientifically accurate and is derived from the Latin name of the plant species encompassing both hemp and marijuana. Changing the terminology used in our city charter will:

  1. Reflect current scientific and medical standards which predominantly use “cannabis”.
  2. Support efforts to destigmatize the plant in the context of both medical and recreational use.
  3. Ensure consistency with emerging state and federal legislation, which increasingly favors the term “cannabis” over “marijuana.”

**Proposed Amendments:**

The following amendments are proposed for the Lansing City Charter:

 - **Section**: All instances of the word “marijuana” shall be replaced with “cannabis” throughout the Charter.

 **Example of Current Text:**

> “The cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana shall be subject to regulation by the City of Lansing…”

 **Proposed Change:**

> “The cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis shall be subject to regulation by the City of Lansing…”

 **Justification for Amendments:**

Using “cannabis” in our city charter would not only modernize the language but also align it with a broader legislative trend towards legalization and regulation of the plant. This change would help in educating the public and shaping perceptions towards recognizing the medical and economic benefits of cannabis.

**Impact Assessment:**

The proposed change is expected to have a positive impact on community relations and city regulations concerning cannabis. It will also aid in clarifying the legal framework for potential businesses and consumers within the city limits.


This proposal to amend the Lansing City Charter reflects our commitment to progressive governance and social justice. By updating our language, we can contribute to a broader movement towards the acceptance and normalization of cannabis for various legal uses.

 **Proposal to Amend the Lansing City Charter: Alignment of Returning Citizen Eligibility Restrictions with Michigan State Law**

**Purpose of Proposal:**

This proposal seeks to amend the Lansing City Charter to align the restrictions on felons holding public office with those stipulated in Michigan state law. The proposed amendment will adjust the current 20-year disqualification period in the Lansing City Charter to more closely match the state's 5-year disqualification period after sentence completion.

**Background and Rationale:**

Under the current Lansing City Charter, individuals convicted of a felony are barred from holding any city office for a period of 20 years from the date of their conviction. This is significantly more stringent than Michigan state law, which generally disallows Returning Citizens from holding elective or certain appointive offices for only five years following the completion of their sentence, provided the felonies are related to dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust.

**Proposed Amendments:**

The following amendments are proposed for the Lansing City Charter to realign our local laws with state standards:

- **Section**: Amend the disqualification period for holding any city office from 20 years to 5 years following the completion of their sentence for individuals convicted of felonies involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust.

**Example of Current Text:**

> “Any person convicted of a violation of the election laws of the United States, a violation of a public trust, or any felony shall not be eligible to hold any City office for a period of 20 years from the date of conviction.”

**Proposed Change:**

> “Any person convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust shall not be eligible to hold any City office for a period of 5 years from the date of completion of their sentence.”

**Justification for Amendments:**

Aligning our city charter with state law will:

  1. Provide a fair opportunity for reintegration into civic life for individuals who have served their sentences and demonstrated rehabilitation.
  2. Maintain public trust in city governance by ensuring that only individuals convicted of felonies directly impacting their ability to perform public duties are restricted.
  3. Streamline our legal framework to avoid confusion and potential legal challenges due to discrepancies between local and state laws.

**Impact Assessment:**

This amendment is expected to enhance civic engagement and inclusiveness without compromising the integrity of public office. It is also anticipated to positively impact individuals who are working towards rehabilitation and community integration.


Amending the Lansing City Charter in this manner reflects a commitment to progressive governance, justice, and the principles of rehabilitation. It aligns our local laws with state standards and supports the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals in our community.

**Subject:** Proposal to Increase the Number of Wards, Adjust the Composition of the City Council, and Modify the Mayoral Veto Override Threshold

**I. Introduction**

This proposal aims to amend the Lansing City Charter to:

  1. Increase the number of wards from 4 to 8.
  2. Adjust the composition of the city council to include ten members, with eight elected from the wards and two elected at-large.
  3. Adjust the mayoral veto override requirement from a two-thirds majority to a three-fifths majority.

**II. Background and Rationale**

As Lansing continues to grow and diversify, the need for a governance structure that adequately reflects its changing demographics and addresses its evolving challenges becomes increasingly critical. The proposed amendments are designed to enhance representation, improve legislative effectiveness, and ensure a balanced distribution of power within city government.

**III. Proposed Changes**

**A. Increase in Number of Wards**

  1. **Details**: The number of wards will be increased from 4 to 8.
  2. **Justification**: This change will allow for smaller, more manageable wards, enabling council members to better serve and respond to the needs of their constituents, fostering stronger connections and more direct representation.

**B. Restructuring the City Council**

  1. **Details**: The council will be expanded to ten members, with eight representing the individual wards and two elected at-large.
  2. **Justification**: This configuration balances localized attention with citywide perspectives, ensuring comprehensive policy-making that incorporates diverse viewpoints.

**C. Modification of the Mayoral Veto Override Threshold**

  1. **Details**: Change the veto override threshold to a three-fifths majority.
  2. **Justification**: This modification promotes a more dynamic legislative process, enabling quicker responsiveness to changing conditions while still maintaining a robust check on executive power.

**IV. Impact Assessment**

The proposed amendments are expected to significantly benefit Lansing by:

- **Enhancing Citizen Engagement**: By reducing ward sizes and increasing the number of representatives, constituents will have better access to their council members, promoting greater civic participation and engagement.

- **Improving Public Safety, Economy, and Social Determinants of Health**: More tailored and localized governance can address specific community needs more effectively, from public safety strategies to economic development initiatives and health services, leading to improved overall community well-being.

- **Cultivating Future Leaders**: The increased number of council positions and the diverse roles they entail will serve as a platform for nurturing and training future leaders, equipping them with the experience and knowledge needed for larger roles in governance.

**V. Conclusion**

The proposed charter amendments are designed to refine Lansing's governance framework to better reflect its present and future needs, fostering a more inclusive, responsive, and forward-looking city government.

This revised proposal ensures that the changes in the city charter directly address the evolving needs of Lansing's population, promoting a more engaged and effectively governed community.

**Proposal for Amendment to the Lansing City Charter: Revising Board and Commission Appointment Procedures**

**Subject:** Revision of Appointment Processes for Members of City Boards and Commissions to Include Automatic Approval with Veto Option

**I. Introduction**

This proposal seeks to amend the Lansing City Charter to revise the current procedures for appointing members to city boards and commissions. This change aims to streamline the appointment process by introducing an automatic approval system with a veto option, thus enhancing efficiency while maintaining accountability.

**II. Background and Rationale**

Given the need for a more dynamic and responsive governance framework, it is proposed that the appointment process be expedited to encourage participation and reduce bureaucratic delays. This proposal removes the appointment role from the at-large council members to simplify and localize the process to ward-specific council members, ensuring that appointments are closely aligned with local needs and interests.

**III. Proposed Changes**

  1. **Appointment Process**:

            - Each ward-specific city council member will appoint one member to each city board and commission directly.

            - These appointments will automatically take effect unless vetoed by at least one-third of the City Council within a 30-day review period.

  1. **Roles and Responsibilities**:

            - Remove the role of at-large council members in direct appointments to streamline and clarify the appointment responsibilities.

            - At-large members will continue to provide a citywide perspective and can focus on legislative oversight and strategic city governance issues without participating in individual board appointments.

  1. **Veto Process**:

            - After a ward council member makes an appointment, there will be a 30-day period during which any council member can review and, if necessary, initiate a veto of the appointment.

            - If one-third of the council members agree to veto an appointment, a full council vote will be required to confirm or deny the appointment.

            - If no veto is initiated within the 30-day period, the appointment automatically takes effect.

**IV. Impact Assessment**

The proposed changes are expected to:

- **Increase Efficiency**: By reducing the steps involved in the appointment process, the city can fill board and commission positions more quickly, enabling a faster response to governance needs.

- **Enhance Responsiveness**: Direct appointments by ward representatives ensure that board members are closely aligned with the needs of the constituents they serve, increasing the responsiveness of city boards to local issues.

- **Maintain Accountability**: The veto option provides a necessary check, ensuring that appointments are subject to council oversight and that only suitable candidates are approved.

**V. Conclusion**

This proposal for amending the Lansing City Charter is designed to enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of city governance by simplifying the board and commission appointment process. It balances efficiency with accountability and aligns board composition with local community interests.

**Proposal for Amendment to the Lansing City Charter: Establishment of a Hybrid Executive Structure with Enhanced Procedures for CAO Accountability**

**Subject:** Implementation of a Hybrid Executive Model and Enhanced Removal and Replacement Procedures for the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

**I. Introduction**

This proposal seeks to establish a hybrid executive governance model in the Lansing City Charter that combines the leadership of a strong mayor with the professional management of a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Additionally, it aims to define clear and fair procedures for the removal and replacement of the CAO, enhancing accountability and maintaining governance integrity.

**II. Background and Rationale**

Adopting a hybrid model enables effective city management by leveraging strong political leadership and professional administrative operations. Establishing transparent and equitable procedures for the potential removal and replacement of the CAO will ensure that this key position remains aligned with the city’s needs and governance standards.

**III. Proposed Governance Model**

**A. Roles and Responsibilities**

  1. **The Mayor** will oversee setting policy agendas and represent the city, with veto powers over council decisions. The mayor also participates in the nomination of the CAO.
  2. **The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)** will manage day-to-day operations and implement council policies, ensuring professional public administration under the dual oversight of the mayor and the city council.

**B. Selection Process of the CAO**

  1. **Nomination and Approval**: Initiated by the mayor and requiring a supermajority approval from the City Council, ensuring both executive initiative and legislative oversight.

**IV. Procedures for CAO Removal and Replacement**

  1. **For Cause Termination**: Initiated by a formal investigation into potential misconduct or non-performance, followed by a council hearing and a decisive vote.
  2. **At-Will Termination**: The CAO may be dismissed without cause, provided such action is in accordance with employment agreements and includes appropriate notice and severance.
  3. **Performance Reviews**: Regular assessments of the CAO’s performance, potentially leading to termination if standards are not met.
  4. **Mutual Agreement**: Negotiated departure terms beneficial to both the city and the CAO.
  5. **Term Limits**: The CAO serves fixed terms, with reappointment contingent on satisfactory performance evaluations.

**V. Impact Assessment**

Implementing this hybrid model with clear removal and replacement procedures will:

- Enhance leadership effectiveness and administrative accountability.

- Foster transparency and fairness in managing the city’s top administrative officer.

- Support dynamic governance through regular oversight and performance-based tenure.

**VI. Conclusion**

This amendment to the Lansing City Charter is intended to strengthen governance through a balanced executive structure and robust accountability mechanisms for the CAO. These changes will ensure that city management remains effective, responsive, and aligned with the best interests of Lansing’s residents.

Mitch Rice:

Mitch Rice
Mitch Rice

I am in favor of adding sexual orientation as a protected class, eliminating the restriction on the formerly incarcerated, the 20-year felony conviction history, to be an elected official. Ending the felony restriction would increase diversity in elected officials and provide a fair chance for the formerly incarcerated to be active productive citizens in government and political life.

I am in favor of an extensive review of the legislative and administrative balance. Our strong Mayor system could use modification and/or change. One option could be adding a charter position of a Chief Administrative Officer, who has expertise in running a city and have responsibilities and/or powers to do major city administrative duties. These are currently given to the mayor. I am willing to take an extensive look at having a City Manager as well.

As for Boards & Commissions, I advocate for required training for appointed citizens. I have been on the Lansing Board of Zoning Appeals for 10 years, and previously on the City of Coldwater’s Zoning Board of Appeals 12 years. Without adequate training, I could not have been a knowledgeable, experienced, and effective member of that critical city board.

I believe that better citizen engagement, City Councilmember availability and responsiveness would occur if we changed council at-large seats to ward only positions. It also would reduce campaign costs and political groups and PAC influence, which rarely is citizen friendly. PACs usually have a special interest that is not oriented to Lansing’s best overall interest.

Lori Adams Simon

Lori Adams Simon
Lori Adams Simon

A Charter Commissioner needs to be an independent thinker, needs to maintain an open mind, and needs to be culturally competent to engage with the public effectively during this process.

The decisions made during the revision process will impact all city residents, so it is critical to possess these attributes to ensure that all residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds, especially underrepresented and marginalized communities have a voice in this process and their voices are heard.

I entered this election with no agenda related to changing the governance structure, but I will work through the revision process and advocate for solutions that represent the best interests of the entire community while fostering collaboration, respect, and transparency between the commissioners and our community members.

The first question I was asked by many residents was: “Do you prefer a strong-mayor or council-manager form of government.” I’ve researched the pros and cons of both, but I prefer a strong-mayor form of government. I want to elect the CEO of the city I live in because it’s more democratic. Switching a form of government based upon whether you like or dislike the mayor is a visceral response. Our form of government should be based upon what works in the best interest of the city. You don't have to dismantle an entire system to have good leadership. The remedy for that is called an election.

In the end, it will be important to understand how any revisions to the charter will impact the city's growth and development. It is imperative that we operate as good fiscal stewards so we must take into account any costs associated with implementing the proposed revisions.

The following are some key areas I will be focusing on:

The removal of unintended biases, exclusionary language and outdated terminology. I would propose adding inclusive language and increasing transparency of/and accessibility to public records. Case in point, Chapter 3 RIGHTS OF PUBLIC 1-301 City Records To Be Public reads as follows:

  • All records of the City shall be public, in accordance with State law, and shall be kept in City offices, except when required for official reasons to be elsewhere, and shall be available for inspection during regular business hours.

With the advancement of technology and the importance of transparency, I would propose that the Charter includes a provision that requires the City to publish a comprehensive list of all data sets in a digital format that is easily accessible and searchable, and establish a definitive timelines for response time and associated fees for public record requests which would include language delineating a clear process and response time for submitting FOIA requests and complaints from citizens online. Also, the Charter could create a Transparency Commission to ensure the city's compliance with open data and public records.

Chapter 3 RIGHTS OF PUBLIC 1-302 Non-Discrimination And Civil Rights reads as follows:

  • In the exercise of its powers or in the performance of its duties the City and all of its agencies shall ensure that no person or group engaged in the conduct of official business or seeking to do business with the City is discriminated against because of race, creed, political orientation, color, national origin, marital status, sex, age, handicap or for any cause not reasonably related to the accomplishment of a legitimate governmental purpose, and shall take whatever action is necessary to accomplish this purpose.

This section should be in alignment with federal and state law to include all protected classes, i.e., ensure that no person or group engaged in the conduct of official business or seeking to do business with the City is discriminated against based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, height, weight, marital status, pregnancy, disability or veteran status.

I would also propose that the charter is translated into the most common languages spoken in Lansing, ensuring that all residents have access to understand the foundational document governing our city. Coupled with that proposal, I would suggest that the city provides language interpreter services for public meetings and official documents whenever necessary.

I would be very interested in having a dialogue around term limits, Mayoral appointments, and the structure of Departments, Boards and Commissions. Removal of departments and agencies that no longer exist such as the Civic Center and the City Market would be obvious corrections.

As a commissioner, it will be important to research and analyze current challenges faced by the city of Lansing, and then look for areas where the charter can be improved to address those issues.

Research of cities similar in size as Lansing should be done to see how other cities address similar challenges through their charters, and I would seek advice from experts in local government, law, and policy.

I’ve been seeking input and listening to the concerns and priorities of the city residents, and I will continue to do so through public hearings, forums, online surveys, and outreach to diverse community groups. During this process clear and transparent communication about the revision process, any proposed changes, and their potential impact must be conveyed and made accessible and understandable to the city residents.

Lastly, I would propose a Charter Review Commission. The Charter should be regarded as a living document that should be reviewed every 3-5 years if not annually to ensure that it evolves with the many changes our city will experience in the future.

By focusing on these areas, I would be contributing to a revision process that is inclusive and well-informed, and the end result will be a stronger, more effective and equitable city charter.

Corwin Smidt:

Corwin Smidt
Corwin Smidt

I have more information here as to why, but here are some specific proposals:

  1. Move to even-year elections (saves money, increases turnout, reduces the influence of special interests)
  2. Add one seat to city council to make it an odd number. Odd numbered legislative bodies get more work done and would make Council less anti-majoritarian (at this point I favor making that at-large because I believe it has greater benefits for diversity)
  3. Strengthen the conflict of interest policy that is fixed in the charter. Lansing's current policy is not necessarily bad, but it is entirely developed by the Mayor's office (https://content.civicplus.com/api/assets/2717e908-e6f1-4b48-9bbe-8dcb18779281?cache=1800) and can be revised without Council or voter input. Like other cities (look at Detroit's), the charter should list basic prohibited conduct and standards that would be grounds for ethics board review and not be vulnerable to the mayor's whim.
  4. Provide City Council with charter amendment proposal powers (say with 2/3rds vote) instead of just costly petition drives.
  5. Update financial amounts and make them inflation adjusted (property sales of $50,000 in 1978 would be worth about $240,000 today).
  6. Modernize the language to be more inclusive (e.g., replace himself with "oneself").

More broadly, the Charter needs to strengthen the reliance of Council and Mayor on each other so that they have incentives to work better together. Move toward sharing of some powers rather than separation of powers to grease the wheels a bit more. The exact nature of this change depends on an equitable balance of added powers. For instance, if we have an odd-numbered council, provide Mayor a tie-breaker vote in case of recusal or absent council member. And expand City Council's confirmation authority beyond city attorney for a select few more positions with Mayoral appointments.

Julie Vandenboom:

Julie Vandenboom
Julie Vandenboom

Here is one change to the charter that I am absolutely advocating for:

The current charter prohibits an individual who has committed "any felony" within the past twenty years from serving in an elected office in Lansing. This is far more prohibitive than the Michigan Constitution requires. (The Constitution refers to "a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust and the conviction was related to the person's official capacity while the person was holding any elective office or position of employment in local, state, or federal government.") I see no need to unnecessarily bar returning citizens from participating in city government if chosen by the voters to do so.

Some changes I am leaning toward and would like the commission to research, consider, and discuss:

- Moving city elections to the even years. Voter turnout is 3 or 4 times greater in even years than in odd years so we would be involving more voters in decision-making around city government. It would also save the city money.

- Increasing the number of wards in the city to 8 or 9. Smaller wards mean that residents would have better access to their council representative. It would allow people with more limited resources to be able to afford to campaign for a council seat.

- Change the way boards and commissions are appointed - balance the power to appoint more equally between the council and the mayor.

Ross Yednock:

Ross Yednock
Ross Yednock

First, I would like to thank the City Pulse for offering this opportunity to expand on my comments from earlier this year. While I do not expect this to change any of the nine candidates you chose to endorse, I am curious if you had asked for more detailed positions on changes earlier, would the outcome have been different based on the responses (or lack thereof) or your chosen candidates. In full disclosure, in the weeks since you recommended a group of candidates to your readers, my understanding of the issues impacting Lansing voters has grown, so what I will write below is more refined than it was a month ago (and will continue to be more developed a month from now as I continue talking with Lansing residents).

As it has been mentioned in some of your coverage, I began talking with Lansing residents in November after the Charter Revision Commission passed. From these conversations it became clear to me that far too many Lasing residents were not aware of the charter, the election and its impact, which led me to the conclusion that the work of the Commission needed to be done the right way.

Specifically, the Commission would need to 1) actively and intentionally engage Lansing’s residents, especially those in from diverse communities and neighbors; 2) be open and transparent and not be used to push a particular agenda, or as a launching pad for any commissioner’s personal gain; and 3) the final product of should ensure that appropriate and adequate checks and balances are in place that hold Lansing’s elected officials and branches of the government accountable to the people of Lansing.

With that in mind, and per your request, below are some specific changes that I think could make sense and would pass a vote of the majority of Lansing voters. Please note that these ideas are things I think should be part of the discussions by the Charter Commission and while I am supportive in concept, Lansing voters ultimately need to weigh in before a final product is adopted by the Commission.

Greater Proportional Representation on the City Council: Lansing residents do not feel they are well represented by the whole of the City Council. With some exceptions, many do not feel they are as well represented by the at-large members, as they are by their ward representatives. To that end, and for other reasons, I would like the Commission to look at the makeup of the council and strongly consider revisions to its proportional representation resulting in greater ward representation on the City Council and fewer at-large seats. Using the current makeup of the City Council, six wards and two at-large seats would accomplish this without going to full ward representation. A discussion on whether or not eliminating all at-large seats is merited, however, at a minimum, there is a great deal of desire to increase proportional representation because it may make it less expensive for people of modest means to run for council and there is the perception that it will hold city council members more accountable to voters.

Balance the Appointment of People to Boards and Commissions: Currently, the Mayor appoints people to serve on the city’s different boards and commissions. All appointments “shall” be confirmed by the City Council and the members of the boards and commissions reflect the proportional representation of the council. A change worth considering would be having council members representing wards appoint the people representing the different wards on the different boards and commissions.

Move City Elections to Run Concurrent with state and federal elections: Moving elections to even years so that city candidates run at the same time as county, state and federal candidates would decrease the cost of holding elections for the city, while also increasing voter participation. 

New Department: The Office of Financial Empowerment is one of the offices I would like to be either codified in the city charter or become a department. Additionally, I would look at establishing either an office or department of Equity and Inclusion, the purpose of which would be to review policies and ordinances and look for inequitable outcomes to marginalized communities and neighborhoods. Using such an equity lens for policy and program review would help to ensure more equitable outcomes for all Lansing residents.

Budget process: I’d like to look at the budget process and increase the time the City Council has to review the mayor’s budget recommendation. Under the current charter, the City Council must provide its policy priorities to the Mayor by October 1. The mayor then must submit their proposed budget to the City Council by the fourth Monday of March. The City Council then has a little over one month to pass a budget and return it to the mayor. This is not enough time for an appropriate review by the City Council. I would look at moving up the timeline for the mayor to present their budget to the City Council in January, providing more time for the City Council to do its work.

Updating Procedure to Qualify for the Ballot: Currently, a candidate may either submit a certain number of petition signatures to place their name on the ballot, or pay a $100 filing fee. While I do not want to make it more difficult to get one’s name on the ballot, the low burden is one of the reasons there are 36 people running in this election. I tried to collect the necessary number of signatures (for this election it was a minimum of 400 with a maximum of 600) to get my name on the ballot. In the short window of time, I had (I had roughly 60 days, whereas the normal time is twice that), I received just shy of 300 signatures, but the process did require me to talk with prospective voters and hear their ideas. I believe every candidate should collect signatures, and while I don’t believe that should be mandated, I do think a new, hybrid system could work. Using this election for example where 400-600 signatures were needed to file, or a $100 filing fee, I would like to consider increasing the filing fee to $500, or filing between 400-600 signatures with no fee, or reduce the amount of the fee for filing with fewer than 400 signatures by $100 for each 100 valid signatures filed. In my case, having collected 280 signatures, I would have had a filing fee of $300 under the proposed scenario. Had I reached 300 signatures, my fee would have been $200. I think this would encourage engaging the public in the process.

Transparency of the Commission: If allowable under state law, I would consider prohibiting anyone serving on the Commission from running for any city office in the first two elections after a new charter is adopted to avoid any appearance of impropriety, potential conflict of interest or personal benefit from participating on the Commission.

Nick Zande

Nick Zande
Nick Zande

Definitely changing it so that we get rid of the At-Large and increase the number of wards. We are the only major city in Michigan that has half of our seats as At-Large, and it causes some parts of the city to have too much representation, and others to have too little representation. And, we also need to consider making the City Attorney elected rather than appointed, as it'll make him or her more accountable to the people, and less of the Mayor's lapdog like they are now, and also go for a mixed approach to our Executive Branch, by having both an elected Mayor singing laws and making appointments, as well as a City Manager or Deputy Mayor running day to day operations in each department the city runs, and term limits for the Mayor of Lansing to prevent them from serving for life. Those are what I want to accomplish as a Charter Commissioner should I be elected to it on May 7th, and I hope to do so in an open and fair process, to allow the people to present their ideas for the City Charter to us.


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