Jennifer Shuster balances new city clerk job, Leslie mayor position
The City of East Lansing has a new city clerk — and she’s “always been intrigued by election work.”
Jennifer Shuster stepped into the role of city clerk on Jan. 17.
“Being able to be the new city clerk for East Lansing is kind of a dream come true because I’m able to go back to a community that I love and at such a grand scale work with all the residents in East Lansing and the students in East Lansing is kind of a dream come true,” Shuster said. “If I had to pick a jurisdiction within Ingham County to be the city clerk it would be East Lansing.”
Shuster, an MSU alumna, also serves as the mayor of Leslie, Michigan.
“My position as the clerk of the city of East Lansing definitely takes the priority. If I do have to miss a meeting here or there as mayor, that is fine,” Shuster said. “We have a mayor pro tem set in place for things like that.”
This is her ninth year on City Council, and members missing meetings because of work obligations is nothing new, Shuster said.
While working as the city clerk and the mayor of Leslie will be a balancing act, she’s done it before as the chief deputy county clerk for Ingham County, Shuster said.
“Her experience is obviously, she’s the mayor of Leslie, and she’s been working under arguably one of the best county clerks to ever live for a long time,” councilmember Aaron Stephens said. “I’d say she’s doing amazing.”
Shuster credited her husband for helping her balance both jobs and life with four children.
“I have a very supportive husband who helps with our family tremendously and that allows me to handle both positions,” Shuster said.
Shuster met her husband at MSU, and they’ve always felt a strong connection to the East Lansing area. It’s one of the reasons Shuster said she was excited to take the job.
“I’ve always kept a connection with East Lansing and the community as a whole,” Shuster said. “Our family visits there all the time, especially on campus, so it’s always had a special place in my heart.”
Shuster said she was hoping for a smooth transition after former city clerk Marie Wicks left, which happened, Stephens said.
“To step into that role, especially such an important role, and for her to learn the ins and outs and get acquainted with the staff so quickly is honestly a very, very good sign. Everyone seems to love her,” Stephens said. “Marie was an amazing clerk and we were lucky to have her for the time that we had, but Clerk Shuster is stepping into her role perfectly.”
Planning, Building and Development Director Tim Dempsey said Shuster’s experience made her perfect for the role.
“To have somebody with her experience, she’s got excellent experience running elections,” Dempsey said. “I think that’s obviously pivotal to have her be here, very important to have someone with that level of experience.”
Working in East Lansing means working with MSU, which is a great opportunity, Shuster said.
“The community in conjunction with the university is just a wonderful thing,” Shuster said.