EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — East Lansing City Council members and community leaders are weighing in about the new city manager hire.

Many aren’t sure about the new hire, Robert Belleman, because he was fired from his last position in Saginaw just two months ago.

Belleman will likely be East Lansing’s new city manager; he got picked in a 3-2 vote.

Those in favor include East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon. But some in the community feel differently.

The choice of Belleman prompted some community members to walk out of Sunday’s City Council meeting and neighborhood activists don’t know if he’s a good fit.

This past June, Belleman was removed as the controller for Saginaw County, after county officials say he created a “toxic work environment.”

“The community is quite anxious,” said Nick Wright, president of the Southeast Marble Neighborhood.

Wright says the wave of resignations by top city staffers and Belleman’s work history is concerning.

“East Lansing is going through a lot of transitions with a lot of leadership loss. And they’re worried that this individual who might actually have come with a toxic work environment — may or may not, I cannot judge, I don’t know — might bring that to the city of East Lansing,” Belleman said.

Former East Lansing councilman and mayor Mark Meadows believes the transition for Belleman might be difficult, and that interim director of Planning and Development and former deputy city manager, Tim Dempsey, is more qualified.

“We’re a university community. The employees are going to feel a little bit like they have to do the teaching. And we wouldn’t have that with Tim Dempsey,” Meadows said.

But Belleman does have support, including from East Lansing’s mayor.

“The work done [by Belleman] in Bay City, Michigan was herculean. And the ability to redesign a city that is also in similar landlock scenario,” Bacon said.

Even with Belleman’s history, Wright and his community still send kind regards.

“I would just say, engage the community; meet with the community; work with the community; gain their trust and I’m sure he’ll do fine,” Wright said.

The city issued a statement:

“We don’t have a start date for Mr. Belleman, pending a satisfactory background check and contract negotiations. And the city staff are committed to providing quality services for a quality community.”

Officials say Belleman should start in the next couple of weeks.