LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Third time is supposed to be a charm but as far as the Lansing City Council is concerned, that isn’t proving to be the case.
The council has met three times to attempt to elect a President and Vice-president for 2017 and can’t reach a decision.
It’s been a straight 4-4 vote and city officials say personality and politics are the stumbling blocks.
“I’m embarrassed by what is happening,” said First Ward Lansing City Councilmember Jody Washington.
“It’s frustrating but you know leadership is not always easy and I appreciate that they’re working at it and I hope that the fourth time will be the charm,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero stated.
“Clearly something’s got to give, some agreement has to be made,” said Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope.
Swope says in order for the council to stay up to speed on city issues, the council needs to elect a President and Vice-President by January 30th or it will put them behind.
“We really kind of start running into some road blocks for the whole year if we don’t get this settled very soon,” Swope added.
Jody Washington says issues can still be discussed but through “Committee of the Whole.”
“That would be just all 8 members deliberating and voting on every project and the research would be done in ‘Committee of the Whole’ and not in the individual committees,” said Washington.
Washington understands the situation is tiresome but stresses the decision is vitally important for the city.
“This is not just to lead the meetings…they set the tone, they set the agenda, they decide who’s on committees,” Washington added.
Swope says a mediator will be brought in if they can’t settle the issue next week but only if the council votes for that to happen.
“We’re looking at how we can have that available if it seems to still be needed Monday night,” said Swope.
City officials say there are more issues behind closed doors that people do not see…but insist the council will eventually reach a consensus.