Lansing mayor tracks more turnover as neighborhood chief is replaced

At least 8 top city officials have quit the Schor administration in three years

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MONDAY, Dec. 21 — Another top city official has announced her departure from Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s administration as staff turnover and reorganization continues at City Hall.

Schor announced today the appointment of DeLisa Fountain to serve as the city’s next director of the Department of Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement. The current director, Andrea Crawford, is leaving the job at the end of the year “to pursue other opportunities,” officials said.

“Andi Crawford has done an outstanding job standing up the department,” Schor said in a press release. “She brought in the right team to serve our neighborhoods and I thank her for her incredible service to the city. I am confident that DeLisa Fountain will build on Andi’s work.”

Before Schor took office and elevated Crawford to the department’s director, she previously worked as a city neighborhood resource coordinator from November 2014 to December 2017.

Last June, Crawford was also hired into a dual role of chief innovation officer, which had her working closely with national fundraising entities like Bloomberg Philanthropies, among others. 

A spokeswoman for Schor’s office also confirmed that Crawford left her post in September for an unpaid “educational sabbatical” — the reason for which was “personal to Crawford.” She returned on Friday, just days before announcing her resignation.

It’s also unclear what’s next for Crawford. She wasn't available for comment on Tuesday. 

Crawford is set to become at least the eighth city official to leave their job since Schor took office in 2018. That list includes Finance Director Angie Bennett; Chief Information Technology Officer Collin Boyce; former fire chiefs Randy Taliffaro and Mike Mackey; former Deputy Mayor Samantha Harkins; former Chief Strategy Officer Shelbi Frayer; and Joan Jackson Johnson, former director of human relations and community services. 

Fountain will replace Crawford in January after having worked in the department since its inception. She has also worked as the mayor’s community outreach coordinator since 2014.

“She is a lifelong Lansing resident, and I am thrilled to welcome her to my executive team,” Schor said in a statement. “DeLisa has been instrumental in the success of the department.”

Fountain has also worked for One Love Global and Nurturing Early On is Necessary, touting more than 10 years of experience in professional community engagement and outreach. 

“Born and raised in Lansing, I know firsthand how important it is to have neighborhoods and civic organizations thrive in our city and I know how vital it is to continue thriving for my children, my family and my community,” Fountain said in a press release sent from the Mayor’s Office. 

Fountain will have a $98,000 annual salary. Crawford earned $104,000. 

This year, the Department of Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement has provided staff support and administrative oversight to more than $65,000 to 71 different projects designed and executed by local civic organizations through neighborhood grant programs, officials said. 

The department also regularly hosts in-person events, like Walking Wednesdays and the Citizens Academy, that have since shifted to a virtual format this year amid the pandemic. 

As of earlier this month, 394 clients have also received 741 financial counseling sessions, resulting in more than $400,000 in non-mortgage debt reduction through the department. 

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