EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — East Lansing is getting a new mayor. This week Mayor Aaron Stephens announced he’d be stepping down to attend Harvard and next month Jessy Gregg will take his place.
Gregg will spend only 3 months as mayor, but she tells 6 news she’s ready to start working on keys like a police-community relationship, more housing options, and create a safe space for MSU students. She says she’s nervous but excited about her new position.
Gregg is currently the city’s Mayor Pro-Tem and in August she will become the Mayor of East Lansing.
“I guess my leadership style is to really empowerment of other people and so really I’m just kind of hoping to help to my fellow council members find their strong voices for the things that they want to do,” Greggs tells 6 news.
As a small business owner, mother, and having served her city for the past two years, Gregg said her life is full, but with the help of her team, she’ll be able to take on the challenges as mayor.
“I’m confident that they can give me the assistance that I need to go through and we’ll just see what happens,” she says.
One of many issues Gregg plans to focus on is appointing the first member of the police oversight committee.
“I’m very cognizant of the fact we do not want to rush that, that we want to make sure we honor the hard work that was done by our city committee by appointing a strong body to that board,” she says.
Another is ensuring a safe space for students as they return back to campus in larger numbers this fall.
“We’re going to try to build those relationships where we can and really try to get through the fall without a lot of rowdy behavior which is probably optimistic. I’m expecting that it would be a little bit wild,” she says.
Gregg also wants to work on offering more housing options. According to a recent student, right now there’s a lot of student housing but not much else.
“Our student housing is very unbalanced in terms of the amount of space that it takes up in our town. And that does push out the middle part of the market, it’s very difficult for young adults, recent graduates, young professionals, young families to find a place where they fit in East Lansing,” she says.
While also trying to expand the number of home loan renovations offered in the city.
“It’s important to me that the people that are in our community aging can age healthfully and happily in their homes if that’s what they want,” Gregg says.
Although her style may be different from current Mayor Aaron Stephens, she’s ready to build trust with the East Lansing community.
“I will continue to work with our police department and county health and the ways that I feel most effective working. So I don’t think I’m going to try to copy Aaron’s style because that’s just not going to be natural to me but I’m certainly inspired by the way he embraced his responsibilities. So I will be trying to at least honor that part of his administration,” Gregg says. “I’m just going to show up everywhere, and be as present as I can and as genuine as I can. Hopefully, that will resonate with our community.”
Gregg will be sworn in after the current Mayor Aaron Stephen resigns on August 11th. Gregg says Stephen will remain in East Lansing for a few weeks and assist her if needed before his big move.