New Mayor and Council Members Begin New Era in Lansing
Despite the frigid temperatures outside, there was warm sense of optimism inside the Lansing Center as the city’s inaugural issued in a new era for the city on the first day of 2018.
New Lansing mayor Andy Schor's inagural ceremony speech struck a positive tone as he transitioned from being a state representative to Lansing's 52nd mayor.
"Today we usher in the next Lansing," said Schor. "Excitement is in every corner of this city."
After thanking his family, the Democratic mayor thanked U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters for giving him his start in politics. Both were in the audience. Schor worked on Stabenow's congressional campaign. Schor said Peters gave him his first "official" job.
Mayor Schor repeated "This is Lansing's time" and later elaborated what he meant when he spoke to reporters after the ceremony.
We're not always going to agree but we're going to have good communication. - new Lansing mayor Andy Schor talking about relationship with city council
"Working on creating stronger neighborhoods, ensuring safety, building throughout the city, our corridors, our downtown, our commercial areas," said Mayor Schor.
One issue Mayor Schor and the city council will have to tackle is the future of city hall and whether it moves from across the street from the State Capitol. Former mayor Virg Bernero started te process on turning the current city hall into an upscale downtown hotel.
"I'm supportive of having a hotel right across from the capitol," said Mayor Schor. "I think it would do tremendous things for our economy. We have to figure out where the police building is going to go, where the courts are going to go, where the lock-up is going to go."
The new mayor said he's met with new and continuing council members and there's a sense they will work together.
"We're not always going to agree but we're going to have good communication," said Mayor Schor.
New at-large council member Peter Spadafore said he's heard loud and clear what Lansing residents want him to focus on.
"Roads and sidewalks, its infrastructure," said Spadafore.
Union leader and new Ward 2 council member Jeremy Garza wants the council to look closer at its open spaces.
"I'd like to revitalize our parks," said Garza. "We have to make the city attractive to bring new residents and to keep them here. And I think if they're driving by a lot of eyesores, it's not going to happen."
New 4th Ward council member Brian T. Jackson is focused on communication with residents.
"Involving the people completely and trying to bring some of the resources to the neighborhoods," said Jackson.
The first council meeting of 2018 is Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Electing a new council president is among the first order of business.