QUESTION: Should Lansing department heads live in the city?

Lansing City Council-member Carol Wood

Lansing City Council-member Carol Wood

Note:  Scroll down to see a short video clip of Council-member Woods and her promise if elected mayor to appoint top city officials who live in the city.

Lansing City Council-member Carol Wood says about half of Mayor Virg Bernero’s department heads and top staff live outside the city.  She says that leaves those upper echelon employees without a vested interest in city issues.

She raises the question as city voters get ready to cast their ballots next Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the polls to select a mayor, for either the incumbent Bernero or her, a ten-year veteran on the city council.

In expressing her concerns about city department heads not living inside city limits, Wood promises that if she is elected she will appoint qualified people who live where they work.  She emphasized the large number of qualified persons who live here.

During the televised city council meetings, many of the comments from the public have centered around Bernero cabinet members who live in outlying areas and who don’t experience daily city life and its challenges.

Leave a comment:  Is it important for city department heads, top cabinet members and other employees to live where they work?

Wes Thorp, an experienced blogger, blog coach and student of social media, is a former newspaper reporter and a retired staffer from the Michigan Legislature. He has served as the manager of the State Capitol press corps from the 1970s to the 90s where he was a conduit between the news media and the legislature, the executive branch and interest groups. He also worked for newspapers in Illinois and Michigan after graduating from the Michigan State University School of Journalism where he was a part-time adjunct instructor teaching basic newswriting.

One response to “QUESTION: Should Lansing department heads live in the city?”

  1. Jason Wilkes

    Without a doubt I believe that they should now more than ever. With what Lansing is and will be continuing to go through, I think that Department Heads should live through what the rest of the residents live through. From street getting plowed twice in a winter, to flooded streets when it rains because the City does not plow or street sweep any longer. Why would someone have the concerns of the residents in mind when they make decisions when they do not live in Lansing? Do they truly have what is best for the residents in mind if they are not one?

    Is Lansing not good enough for these people? If not, I do not want them making decision for me. I want people that have a vested interest in this City and its people to be leading the Departments period.

    Last night the person that was sitting in for Virg, since he did not show again for the Candidate Forum, stated that they tried to find the best people for the positions and that sometimes you have to look outside Lansing to get those. Kudos to Carol for chiming in….Lansing does have qualified people to fill any spot, you just have to look!!