LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - January 1st, 2018 marks a historic day for the city of Lansing as they swore-in a new leader after 12 years. "I went from mayor-elect to the mayor. And I'm talking about our time is now, Lansing's time is now," said Mayor Andy Schor. He replaced Virg Bernero who spent the last 12 years in office.
News 10's Alani Letang was at the inauguration ceremony Monday morning and got a chance to talk to the new mayor about his upcoming plans. The Mayor said that you don't just start with one specific task. Under his leadership, he will have to divide up the tasks to those that are "going to make it happen" said the mayor.
The mayor said he is confident that the different views of his city council member can work together as one. "We are going to agree or disagree respectfully and we are going to move ahead together. I think I have a great relationship with all eight of them. I look forward to working with them, they're all leaders in their own right. And we'll move forward." said Schor.
When asked where he would like to see the economy in a year from now, Mayor Schor answered: "I would like to see the economy chugging away, I'd like to see cranes in the air, I'd like to see our neighborhood growth, people who want to move back into the city, people who want to live downtown, who want to live in any of our neighborhoods." Continuing to make Lansing shine is a goal that the mayor has on his agenda. That includes making Lansing more aesthetically pleasing and boosting the economy.
In order to get people back into the city, city council member Jeremy Garza said we need to focus our attention on some of the abandon areas. "I think I'd like to revitalize our parks, we have to make this city attractive to bring new residents and keep them here, and I think if they're driving by a lot of eyesores it's not going to happen. So I think we need green spaces for our kids to play."
Another piece that is hoped to draw people in, is the change from city hall to a hotel. Mayor Schor said he is in support of the change because it will be good for the downtown area's economy. However, with the specific proposal, Mayor Schor would like to figure out some of the missing pieces to that proposal. For example where the police building, courts, and lock up will go. He will be working with county friends quickly, so they can figure out what the costs are because "I don't want to break the bank," said the mayor.
But citizens shouldn't expect everything to move quickly. For example roads and infrastructures. City council member Peter Spadafore said that long-term planning is very important so that plans can transcend mayors and city council members. "People are hopeless right now in terms of they think it's never going to get tackled or its never going to get done, so we need to come together a five to ten year plan on roads and infrastructures and start letting the folks know 'they're coming soon to a neighborhood near you, road project X.'"
The next step is for the city council to appoint a president and vice president during their first meeting of 2018. That is set to happen Wednesday night, January 3, 2018, at City Hall.