Lansing City Council: I only need four votes to represent the Third Ward
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City of Lansing, MI has a new city councilman and it's not me

I'm glad that I applied for an open position on the Lansing (MI) City Council.  I was interviewed twice for the sixth-month position in our third ward, the southwest side of our city of more than 100,000.

Even though I was not selected to fill the vacancy, I can say I'm glad that I experienced the process.  After working more than 30 years in and around politics and then retiring from it, I feel like I'm reentering the world from a program for recovering political types.

I applied for the city council position without having an agenda driven by the needs of a boss that I was working for.  I'm just a baby-boomer who likes the city he lives in and wants to see it prosper as a place to live and work.

The exercise forced me to look at city government and many of the issues that drive it.

The issue that comes to mind most readily is a shortage of information about the issues in city government and the people involved with them.

As a citizen where do I go to learn about the activities of the mayor, the council and all the other groups involved in setting priorities and involved in governing?

Local news media seems to have a hit and run attitude about city news.

The city's website seems to offer many of the primary source documents like the mayor's budget recommendation, but there's little to explain it  or to compare it to other years.

In my interviews with the council, I mentioned that if I was selected that I would blog about my official activities and that I would seek out constituent interaction.

Tomorrow, it's back to cutting my lawn and taking Snoopy, our aging beagle, on neighborhood walks.  However, I will be adding a meeting to my schedule.  It's time to get involved in our neighborhood association.

Congratulations to Bill Matt who was selected as the new third ward council member.

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