LANSING, MI (WLNS) – “As we enter the final year of my final term as your mayor, Lansing is on the right track and moving in the right direction,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said.
In less than an hour, Mayor Bernero laid out more than a decade’s worth of accomplishments the city of Lansing has achieved under his leadership.
From job growth, to population growth, to financial growth, Mayor Bernero said Lansing is moving on the right path.
“Our jobless rate has now dropped to its lowest level in 15 years,” he said. “The Lansing Metro added 4,500 new jobs last year, led by solid growth in manufacturing, construction, education and health services.”
He also said the city will begin its next budget year with a surplus for the fourth straight year.
“The economic rebound an growth of our city didn’t happen by accident. It happened because we relentlessly worked a strategic plan to bring back jobs and grow our population. We worked to attract new investment, leverage our assets, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
He touched on immigration, saying despite actions in Washington, everyone is welcome in Lansing.
He followed that by introducing his plans to kick-start a new initiative called “A City of Kindness.”
“To remind us who we are and to inspire acts of kindness,” he said.
Mayor Bernero praised his administration, Bob Trezise the CEO of LEAP, and former Mayor David Hollister.
“David Hollister laid the foundation. Today, we are building “Lansing Strong” on top of that foundation,” he said.
Looking ahead into the future, Mayor Bernero outlined a bold vision for the city, it’s infrastructure, and it’s leadership introducing plans to re-develop City Hall.
“My administration will soon release a national RFP for the redevelopment of the current City Hall site. It is one of the most valuable parcels of land downtown, but it’s in a bad location for our customers,” Mayor Bernero said. “We will request proposals for a new City Hall, which we believe can be done for the same or less than fixing the existing City Hall.”
He also said city leaders need to invest in our local economy, and called on our state’s leaders to fix our infrastructure.
“Like every Lansing resident, I am beyond frustrated with the condition of our local roads,” he said.
The mayor says he’s still ready to roll up his sleeves, as he rolls out the last nine months in office.
“We’ve come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. It will require each of us pitching in, with our unique talents to keep Lansing Strong,” he said. “I believe in all of you, and I thank you for believing in me for all of these years.”
Following the mayor’s address, 6 News caught up with city leaders and asked them what they thought about Tuesday’s speech.
“As Mayor Bernero has guided us through his 12 years here and given us the tools and the equipment to be one of the best police agencies in the State of Michigan.” Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said. “We cannot be successful without our citizens, without our businesses working side by side hand in hand with us.”
“I think it’s always fun to see a fresh new set of ideas what are we going to do next in the neighborhoods and the downtown Michigan Avenue,” Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP said. “I mean you know it shouldn’t be an either or we can do many things at one time it’s not south verse downtown or neighborhoods verse economic development we have to do it all and any fresh ideas are, are always needed and welcome as the city should reach another height.