East Lansing might be under new leadership come November with the majority of city council seats up for grabs.
As of Tuesday’s filing deadline, four candidates will be competing for two full-term seats at the city council table, and two candidates will be vying for a partial two-year term.
Current councilmembers Kevin Beard and Vic Loomis chose not to run for reelection this fall, leaving two open seats with four-year terms. The candidates running for those positions are Sam Artley, Ruth Beier, Ben Eysselinck and Susan Woods.
East Lansing attorney Kathleen Boyle’s seat is up for a vote as a partial two-year term. She is being challenged by Joanna Bosse, an arts and humanities professor at MSU.
Boyle was appointed after former councilmember Don Power resigned in August 2012.
Sam Artley, a 2012 MSU graduate and former campaign manager for 54-B District Court Judge Andrea Larkin, said she brings the ability to bridge the gap between the city and students by being able to connect with campus groups.
She said her experiences working in both private and public capacities such as ASMSU have taught her communication skills and provided an understanding of fiscal responsibility.
“I think this is the best way I can give back to the community,” Artley said. “I can be a younger voice and some people are going to view that as inexperience. I don’t think you characterize someone based on their age.”
Beier, an MSU alumna and economist for the Michigan Education Association, said she plans on focusing on the Park District project with emphasis on offices, rentals, homes and green space.
She said her experience will also aid in one of the “biggest daily issues” at the local level — public finance.
“The city is on the verge of becoming an vibrant and attractive city to students, professors and residents,” Beier said. “It can either go forward or backward and it can go either way right now. I want it to go forward.”
Eysselinck, an implementation project manager for software company Vertafore and former chair of the Community Development Advisory Committee, said he plans on taking a more technological approach with the city by improving Wi-Fi distribution downtown.
Eysselinck said he also hopes to increase interaction between MSU students and permanent East Lansing residents.
“It’s a two-way street,” Eysselinck said. “The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out (of it).”
Woods started the East Lansing Film Festival 16 years ago and hopes to see more emphasis on arts within the community. She also wants the city council to watch development projects more closely in the wake of the failed City Center II Project.
“I think that a few of the past projects have not been scrutinized and have not been clearly watched — it’s one of the city council’s greatest responsibilities,” Woods said.
Bosse is Boyle’s lone challenger for the partial term. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Boyle said she thinks East Lansing needs a framework in which the city runs smoothly and the budget remains balanced.
“East Lansing has worked very valiantly with limited finances and still provides services to everyone,” she said. “I want to keep East Lansing a safe place for everyone to work in.”
The election is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Staff writer Dillon Davis contributed to this report
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