Myth vs. fact
To the editor:
You can certainly tell it's political season once again. It seems that the rumor mill is churning. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a few matters of fact.
MYTH: There's no movement on the development of Lansing Towne Center.
FACT: There is actually a lot of commercial development currently pending in the city of Lansing. The council has discussed these matters in executive session and cleared the way for the mayor to enter into negotiations with certain developers. Just because you haven't heard about these developments or seen them, please be assured that substantive discussions are being held. Watch for signs of construction to begin very soon!
MYTH: The mayor makes all the decisions.
FACT: The mayor does not have a vote on matters brought before the council; he only votes to break a tie, and that has only happened once since I've been on the council. It's easy to point fingers at the mayor, but he is executing the will of the council. The mayor can introduce an ordinance (law) but only the council can approve an ordinance. The mayor sets the agenda and runs the council meetings. He represents the city locally, statewide and nationally, and because of his seniority and his contacts, he has considerable political clout that he exercises on our behalf.
MYTH: Mayor Bernard pushed annexation over the objections of the council.
FACT: Lansing has a long-range plan, and that spells out in considerable detail the natural growth area of the city. When the issue of annexation was mentioned, every council member supported annexation and gave the mayor permission to proceed.
MYTH: Council members rarely have the opportunity to express their views.
FACT: Anybody who has attended a council meeting knows this is not the case. Council members are free to express their views, and they do.
MYTH: Lansing is stuck in the past and is not oriented toward the future.
FACT: Mayor Bernard has managed a thoughtful approach and positive direction for the city, and he maintains tight fiscal reins. The council approves the policies and direction, and most have been unanimous. Many of the complaints I've heard recently by certain council members are simply not supported by the facts or their votes.
In conclusion, I urge citizens to educate themselves about the issues and candidates and then vote. Since being appointed, then elected, to the council, I have realized how much the local elections influence our day-to-day lives. This is the one time when you and your neighbors can directly influence the future, the flavor and the face of your city and our school district. There's an old saying, "The people get the government they deserve." We've made some good progress, and we've been careful with your money and your city. Our quest for appropriate economic development has been the overriding factor, and EVERY council member has been in lock step with the mayor. It is disingenuous for certain council members to break ranks now and attempt to separate themselves from their voting record and the FACTS.
Council member, Ward 2