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East Lansing Mayor To Step Down And Attend Graduate School at Harvard

Aaron Stephens photo
Scott Pohl
East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens is submitting his letter of resignation to the city clerk today.

Updated Wednesday, July 14 at 1:10 p.m. ET


East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens is submitting his letter of resignation to the city clerk Wednesday, effective August 11.


He made the announcement Tuesday night at a city council meeting.

Aaron Stephens Zoom image
Credit Zoom image
East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens


Stephens says he'll be enrolling in a graduate program at the Harvard Kennedy School for Public Policy as his reason for leaving. 

A year ago, then-mayor Ruth Beier and former mayor and councilmember Mark Meadows both resigned during a city council meeting over a decision to terminate the city attorney’s contract. That elevated then mayor pro-tem Stephens to the mayor’s post.

He says he explored many options including deferring his education, but his personal financial situation makes deferment untenable. 

Based on the circumstances, Stephens expresses pride in the job he’s done, saying "We passed incredible legislation on police oversight and reform, while all the time working on that we were managing a pandemic.”

Mayor pro-tem Jessy Gregg will become mayor, and the council will appoint another member. Until the November election, only two of five council members will have been elected by East Lansing voters.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Megan Schellong is the local host and producer for Morning Edition on WKAR.
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