My reaction: Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero State of City speech-part #1
January 31, 2006
Last night, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero gave his first State of the City speech and this morning I was anxious to see the details when I took the paper from my front porch.
Reason for my interest is simple. I live here and what happens here is important to me and my family. Our city, the State Capital of Michigan, faces some pretty dramatic challenges. Its future is being shaped by decisions being made now by both our city leaders and by its residents.
Since I moved to Lansing in the early seventies, I have lived in three different parts of town, my first apartment was an efficiency just a few blocks north of the State Capitol, then a house on the near eastside in the inner city and then to where we live now on the city's southwest side. My wife and I have raised two kids while living here. So, we have a history here and we have a vested interest in what happens.
I need to add that I have no political axes to grind. I knew Virg when he and I were both staff members in the Michigan House of Representatives and worked closely with him when he was a member of that body. And, I voted for him.
His speech last night was important. It sets the tone for his Administration. It also lists his priorities during his term and it shows how he regards those he works with and those he serves.
I do have reaction to what was reported. But I hesitate to share it because I know how defensive politicians can get. They don't like criticism and they usually shut their ears, their brains and their hearts when they hear it.
I share my thoughts because I want to see Mayor Bernero succeed, but more importantly, I want Lansing to excel as a place to live and work. For that to happen, there needs to be a community-wide conversation where there's both talking and listening.
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