It's time for a change of leadership in Lansing (MI). That's why I'm voting for Carol Wood for mayor.
I didn't come to that decision easily as I tried to look carefully at city government and at both candidates. I've known the incumbent Virg Bernero for a longtime. We worked together when he was on the staff of the Michigan Senate and we worked together on various issues when he was in the Michigan House of Representatives.
He was always very open with opinions and he usually wore his passions right on his shirtsleeve. And when you disagreed you could be open with him.
I've watched the downtown development that's taken place since Bernero has been mayor. There's the condos across from Oldsmobile Park and there's the promise of the unfinished Accident Fund Headquarters. And there's a whole lot of tax breaks given to various businesses. And that's it.
For Bernero life seems to start and end downtown with the exception of when there's an emergency in a neighborhood, an ugly homicide, a block party gone wrong, a shooting in a school yard. That's when you see him.
Meanwhile problems and challenges in the neighborhoods persist and it's downtown that gets the biggest chunk of Bernero love.
I've also seen evidence that he's grown into being a bully of scary proportions. Part of me hesitates to state publicly that I'm for Wood because of backlash from him and from city hall. That's not right.
Carol Wood has demonstrated her ability to lead and she's been attacked for it. In her role on the city council she has provided accountability to Bernero and to city departments and she has done it in a professional way.
She has a consistent presence at neighborhood meetings and she participates with ideas built on her experience on the city council.
I've questioned her publicly in a pointed way about the charges made against her and she replied in an informative way without getting defensive.
Wood lives right in the heart of the city and she understands its people and that joys and the challenges that come from city living.
I feel that she has the best chance of bringing people together in our city and to help maintain and raise the quality of life in the town where I've spent most of my adult life.
That's why I'm voting for Carol Wood on next Tuesday, Nov. 3.