EAST LANSING (WLNS) – It’s a new day for East Lansing city government as new council members are sworn in and a new mayor is selected.
One by one, new city council members Erik Altmann, Kerry Ebersole Singh and Mark Meadows took their oaths of office in a packed meeting room.
Their election wins come after a turbulent year in city government. In January, city manager George Lahanas was ousted by city leaders.
In February, City Clerk Jennifer Shuster and Deputy City Clerk Kathryn Gardner resigned.
Deputy Chief of Police, Chad Connelly soon followed them out the door in March, citing “unethical” city government.
It was in the backdrop as sitting member George Brookover was unanimously chosen as East Lansing’s new mayor.
“I feel honored and privileged and gratified that my fellow council members voted me in as mayor,” said Brookover.
The new job comes nearly a week after the city finished its investigation stemming from an anonymous letter sent to city leaders earlier this year– accusing some of mismanagement along with interference of day-to-day operations. While the investigation found no violations of city rules, officials say the report will be kept secret, citing attorney-client privilege.
Mayor Brookover declined to comment on the report and the turnover issue.
Newcomer Kerry Ebersole Singh was voted as Mayor Pro-Tem over member Dana Watson thanks to support from other new councilmen. she says trust and keeping key jobs staffed — is on top of the list.
“We know how important supporting our city’s workforce, rebuilding trust as it relates to leadership for the community but really ensure we have the capacity that we need to make sure our city services are delivered in an optimal way,” Ebersole Singh says.
She says she’s interested in knowing what’s in the city’s final investigation report– and the reasons for it being left under lock and key.
Former Mayor Mark Meadows is back on the board and says he wants to understand what was behind the resignations.
As for the city report, he says he has to be convinced that it’s part of attorney-client privilege.
“It hadn’t been billed that when it was talked about,” he says. “I’m going to take a look and if I disagree with that, I’m going to publicly state it. “
Meadows says transparency will be critical moving ahead while also balancing the need to do the jobs of the city council. He says it’s something all the members can agree on.