I like Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. We've worked together as staffers in the Michigan Legislature and we worked together again when I served as a staffer on a committee where he served in the Michigan House of Representatives. He was always cordial and respectful to me.
But when he got frustrated on the House Family and Childrens Services Committee, he would lash out at the chair and at the Republican majority. It got to a point where they would seem to stop listening when he carped about his frustrations.
Then he changed his attitude. He became a valued team member on the committee. He showed respect for other viewpoints and respect was shown towards him. When he was a state legislator, he played a positive role in helping to get significant child protection legislation through both house and signed by the governor.
Now he's mayor. Reading the scant coverage of City Hall by the local media, he seems to be trash talking those who question him. Here's an example from what he said about City Council member Carol Wood:
“I’ve never heard a good thing out of her,” he continues.
“She is irresponsible as hell. She’s the greatest obstacle to progress in this city. She is mired in the status quo. And guess what? The status quo isn’t working for us.”
Do you think she's going to be wearing a "Virg is our mayor t-shirt and I'm proud of him." I bet not.
Mr. Mayor, you need to throttle back. You're a good guy. But learn to appreciate questions and accountability and even somebody who might get under your skin.
You're not the only one who wants to make Lansing a better place to live. It's going to take a lot of people, including Councilmember Carol Wood.