LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero took the podium at the Niowave Radioisotope Production Facility in Lansing for his annual State of the City address.
“As we begin 2016, the state of our city is strong and getting stronger,” Mayor Virg Bernero said.
Mayor Bernero’s 11th State of the City address is now in the books.
After being in office for a decade, he say’s Lansing is thriving.
“Employment is at its highest level since 2007, GDP is up, growing 3.6 percent over the previous year; foreclosure filings are down 41 percent, we have reversed the 40 year trend of population loss and replaced it with population gains,” Bernero said. “Lansing has become a safer city. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, over the last 20 years, violent crime is down 21 percent and property crime is down a whopping 59 percent.”
He says the city is stronger than it’s ever been, not only because of its achievements in 2015, but what he wants to accomplish in 2016.
“We have to keep growing metro Lansing, adding people, creating jobs, attracting new investment,” Bernero said.
Laying out his plan for the future, Bernero says he’ll make strategic investments when dealing with the city’s budget, including announcing a proposal to move Lansing City Hall in order to save millions of dollars.
“We need a comprehensive and robust county plan that focuses residents’ new millage money on major maintenance, connectivity and public safety,” he said.
He also announced the deployment of more than 100 body cameras for Lansing Police officers.
“It’s going to validate the work that our men and women in the Lansing Police Department do every day, that we’re not afraid of the technology, we embrace the technology and I think it’s a community tool that’s going to show again that day in and day out, good work that our police officers do,” Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said. “It will help us with prosecutions; It will also keep the behavior of not only our police officers, but our community, in check.
“Tonight we’re going to make it official, for the first time in the history of our sister cities program,” Bernero announced.
The mayor also declared that Flint and Lansing become sister cities. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, along with other Flint officials were in attendance tonight.
“He really stepped up and so did the city of Lansing and it means a lot to Flint, because for a year and a half nobody really heard our story,” Mayor Weaver said. “And so for this partnership to form, we know it’s going to mean other things as well, other partnerships, we were talking about Michigan State and what we can do there.”
“It drives me every day as mayor, and I promise you I will keep my foot on the accelerator every hour of every day, to keep pushing Lansing forward, leaving no one behind,” Bernero said.