State Lawmakers Wants To Add More Demographic To BWL Board - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

State Lawmakers Wants To Add More Demographic To BWL Board

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - It's called the Lansing Board of Water and Light, even though the utility also serves customers in East Lansing and several local townships.

After the fiasco at the end of 2013, they say those customers need to be on board in 2014.

"We simply don't think enough is being done."

We - would include Senator Jones, Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, Senator Joe Hune and State Representative Sam Singh. All want more outside influence on the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

"38 percent of the customers for the Board Water and Light come from places like Delta Township and Dewitt Township and East Lansing,” said Senator Rick Jones (r), 24th District.

These four are calling on Mayor Bernero to add six additional board members from these regions to provide oversight to the board.

"We want a strong Board of Water and Light, a water and light that's going to deliver the services and when there is another crisis to be there."

Jones says that can only happen with changes to the board. "As of right now we have eight members.”

The members were recommended by the mayor and approved by city council. Chair Sandy Zerkle says the addition of members would require city hall to change the charter and put the issue before Lansing voters on the ballot.

"I don't have an issue with them having an input, but I'm not sure exactly how that should be formulated, nobody has come up with a plan.”

Zerkle says yes those who sit on the board are mainly from Lansing, but she feels it's a diverse makeup.

"It's an eight person board, so it's not just one person's opinion. And we're all from different backgrounds.”

Now board chair Zerkle says the mayor has offered to discuss the idea of changing the board makeup in the past, but there hasn’t been a concrete plan.

Meanwhile Senator Jones says they have legislation ready, but for now are simply asking Bernero to recommend the additional members.
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