Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2005

Resident mulls write-in run

March 10, 2005

A Lansing resident says he's open to a write-in effort to unseat Ward 4 City Council member Kenneth Ketchum.

Mike Schwind, in a letter to The Current, said Ketchum's comments about the Lansing school bond issue were shortsighted and archaic. During a joint study session of the City Council and the Lansing School Board on Feb. 17, Ketchum told board members,

"I've been in the school up there, and I don't see anything wrong with it. When I went to school, I went in a school worse than that."

The comments pushed Schwind to write, "If I had known of his archaic opinions prior to the candidate submission cutoff date, I would have thrown my name in the ring. We need change for the better, not a push for the past. If the fine citizens of Ward 4 want to start a write-in campaign for a new council member to oppose the backwards thinking of Mr. Ketchum, I would proudly serve."

Contacted this week, Schwind said he'd wait to see the response from others in Ward 4, which is in the northwest part of the city, before determining whether he would mount an active write-in campaign.

"At this point, today, I probably won't actively campaign," he said Tuesday. "But if something happens within the next week or two, we'll see."

Schwind is retired from the military and now is a software project manager with Cubic Applications at Fort Leavenworth. He has lived in Lansing for a total of 10 years, including the past seven after an earlier stay.

He said he grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio, a town that at the time was much like Lansing: on the verge of a growth boom, and he wants to see Lansing prepared when the boom hits.

"If Lansing doesn't take charge, it's going to take charge of Lansing," Schwind said of growth.

Ketchum has been a council member for 20 years and is unopposed on the ballot.

"I'm sorry he disagrees with my comment," Ketchum said, "but it's the truth."

Ketchum said he went to school in a building much like the current Lansing Activity Center and received a "fine education."

He said he was an ardent supporter of Lansing schools and would support whatever voters decide on the bond election.

"If the voters support it, I will be for it 100 percent," Ketchum said.

City Council, School Board and the school bond elections are April 5.

¢ Read Mike Schwind's letter on page 4A.

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