The campaign for the Lansing city council this year is beginning to take shape. WKAR will talk with the candidates as they emerge, and we begin today with Jim DeLine. He retired last year as Lansing’s internal auditor, and he hopes to bring what he calls his “deep financial background” to the council.
If elected, DeLine would replace incumbent Tina Houghton. He says residents of Ward 2 are looking for the basics: good sidewalks, filled potholes, snow plowing and nice parks.
Having served as a city auditor, DeLine is concerned with Lansing's unfunded liabilities. "We have more city of Lansing retirees than we have city of Lansing employees," DeLine explains. "That's an issue that really needs to be addressed. I think the city is (addressing the problem), and we're doing it in small steps. Steps probably need to be bigger."
DeLine says he likes incumbent council member Tina Houghton, but he thinks he can do a better job representing the people of the second ward. "Tina Houghton has spent a lot of time and a lot of votes approving developments along Michigan Avenue," he says, "and the people of the second ward are saying 'what about us?'"
As challengers to incumbents on the council file to run, DeLine says he would resist the notion of running as a slate. He cites the recent series of leadership votes that ended in 4-4 ties, adding that "it does not behoove city council to have two slates up there."