Tuesday, December 1, 2020

East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier and Council Member Mark Meadows resign mid-meeting

July 15, 2020
<p>The East Lansing City Council holds a meeting on March 11, 2020.</p>

The East Lansing City Council holds a meeting on March 11, 2020.

Photo by Jack Falinski | The State News

East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier and Council Member Mark Meadows resigned from their positions on City Council following a vote Tuesday night calling for the termination of City Attorney Tom Yeadon’s contract, effective Oct. 1.

"I'm humiliated to be a part of this council. ... I'm going to leave this circus to the fools that are left," Beier said, warning City Manager George Lahanas that he should begin searching for another job as well.

Council Member Lisa Babcock proposed the termination on the agenda, and Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens and Council Member Jessy Gregg supported it.

Babcock said under the contract, no reasons are necessary to propose a termination.

"I think we've had many experiences on this council that speak to the need for change," Babcock said.

Beier denounced the potential liability of the council's actions, stating that by conspiring with council members outside of a public meeting is in violation of the Open Meetings Act.

"It's been great working with two of you, the rest of you — sayonara," Beier said.

Meadows underscored the potential for a violation of the Open Meetings Act and announced his resignation, stating the process for firing Yeadon was "unprofessional, improper and demeaning" after alleging Babcock told him last week there were three votes to terminate Yeadon's contract.

"I love this city ... today though, I'm closing this chapter," Meadows said.

Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens closed the meeting stating that now that he is in the mayor's seat this will be his first and only term as mayor.

"I do not intend on running for reelection," Stephens said. "While I will take this role and do my absolute best to serve the people of East Lansing, I do not intend to run for reelection for this role."

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