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Lansing City Council chooses Carol Wood as its new president

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council chose a longtime critic of the capitol city’s mayor as its next leader.

Carol Wood was selected as the city council’s new president at a meeting today.

Wood has frequently criticized the way Mayor Virg Bernero has run Lansing’s city government, both as a councilwoman and when she ran against him in 2009’s mayoral election.

Wood says she wants to “start on the right foot” with the mayor this year.

“My goal is to start off fresh with this new year and to encourage the mayor to set up weekly meetings with council leadership,” says Wood. 

Wood says tackling Lansing’s city budget deficit is a top priority.

The selection of Carol Wood as the new president of the Lansing City Council goes against a deal that was cut last year.

The city council struggled last January to pick a new president.   The 8 member council divided a dozen times on votes to pick the president. 

Finally, councilwoman Kathie Dunbar agreed to vote for councilman Brian Jeffries.  In exchange, Dunbar secured Jeffries’ promise to support her bid to be president this year. 

Dunbar says she learned last month that the deal was unraveling.  

Dunbar received three votes for city council president today.  Jeffries voted for Carol Wood.

Dunbar says she’s disappointed, but says she will continue to serve her constituents.

“I think leadership is the least of the city’s worries,” says Dunbar.    She says budget issues should be the priority.

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.
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