Mayor Prepares for State of the City Address

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"Our downtown is becoming the hub of the wheel instead of the hole in the donut," the Mayor said as he practiced his State of the CIty speech for his staff.

Mayor Virg Bernero says his plan for the city of Lansing is starting to take shape, but his goals are far from accomplished. On Monday, Bernero will deliver his second State of the City address, this time with a primary focus.
"It begins and ends with the economy."

Michigan's economic woes are no secret but Bernero says Lansing has turned the corner -- a prominent theme in this year's speech.

"Lansing is on the move," he said. "We're on the move, we're making progress. The numbers don't lie. The numbers are there. The economic investment, level of business interest, the activity downtown. There are great things happening in Lansing."

The mayor references improvements to the downtown region like Washington Square where the enterntainment industry has flourished. His plan for 2007 will now focus on growing the city's population by attracting college graduates to new jobs.

"If we could just get a small amount of students that graduate to stay here, that would end our population loss," he added.

Bernero hopes new high-tech businesses will attract the students as well as more traditional jobs.

"Lansing is still a GM town."

And with the expansion of area GM plants, Bernero says the city is on the right track.

"That's why the focus is the economy. It affects so many other aspects of the quality of life."

Bernero's speech will air on WILX on Monday.