Bernero Optimistic in State of the City Address

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

Virg Bernero delivered his 6th State of the City speech as Lansing's mayor and his first following a failed gubernatorial run last year.

But Bernero stayed away from himself and focused on the city of Lansing's recent accomplishments and a future he sees as bright. The speech's title was "It's Happening in Lansing" and the Mayor stuck with a positive can-do tone throughout.

"We're not completely out of the woods, but I can tell you Lansing is leading the way," said Bernero.

Bernero pointed to GM's planned expansion of the Grand River plant and the approximately 600 jobs coming with that expansion as signs that jobs and money are coming back to the city even as it faces a multi-million dollar budget deficit next year.

"Those 600 jobs at Lansing Grand River will generate thousands more in the GM supply chain," said Bernero. "It will create a ripple effect of millions of dollars in payroll being spent at local restaurants and grocery stores and other small businesses."

The mayor also acknowledged the inevitability of consolidation and cuts. He announced Monday that he was forming a panel of local and regional leaders that will advise him and his staff on the business of reinventing local government and sharing services.

Although the speech was positive in tone, city council member Carol Wood says she's still waiting to see more details on programs and the upcoming budget before jumping on board with Bernero's rosy outlook.

"Many of these programs on paper haven't come to fruition yet," said Wood. "We have to continue to look at those and make sure that they're doing what they say they're going to do."


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