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Voters to decide how often the Lansing City Council should meet

Lansing voters will decide Tuesday how often they want their city council to meet.

The Lansing city council is required to meet 50 times a year.  That’s far more often than most councils.

City Clerk Chris Swope pushed Tuesday’s ballot question, which if approved, will reduce the minimum number to meetings to 26.  He says meeting nearly every week of the year is wasteful, both in time and money.

But Tuesday may be the first time most Lansing voters will even know about the ballot question.  And Swope is concerned many will vote against it.  Simply because they don’t understand why the change is needed.

“There’s not been a full out campaign. So it’s possible it will die an ugly death,”  says Swope,  “In which case, we will just continue on with 50 meetings a year the status quo. I would prefer to take a different path, but either way the city will continue to function.”

Critics says the nearly weekly meetings give city residents a chance to speak their minds on local issues.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.