The East Lansing city council appointed Kathy Boyle to fill a vacancy on the panel last night.
She replaces Donald Power, who resigned his council seat last month. She’s an attorney with an Okemos law firm.
Boyle will be sworn into office next week. In 2013, the seat will go up for election for the unfilled balance of the term.
WKAR’s Scott Pohl asked Boyle why she wanted to serve on the East Lansing city council.
KATHY BOYLE:You know, I’m really very supportive of the city. I have an interest in its continuing to flourish and be the very special place that it is. A friend and neighbor of mine suggested that I put my name in for the vacancy when it occurred, and so I did.
SCOTT POHL:Initially, there were a total of 16 applicants. That was whittled down to 14. How did you, do you think, make the cut?
BOYLE:Well, I think that it was a pretty astounding group of candidates. I don’t know if you listened to the interviews at all, but I was really, really surprised and pleased by the number of people who shared the same love of the city that I have, and had a lot enthusiasm and optimism for sitting on the council and working for the best interests of the city. So, how I rose to the top, I can’t say, but I’m really glad that I did.
SERVICE ON HOUSING COMMISSION
POHL:Well, your resumé does include service on the East Lansing Housing Commission, including chairing it. What do you think that brings to the table as, now, a member of the council?
BOYLE:Well, I think my work on the Housing Commission really deepened my understanding of the different groups of people who are involved in the decision making process in East Lansing from day to day. In the Housing Commission, the groups that you saw tended to be property owners, long time residents of East Lansing; landlords; and renters. So that’s three separate groups whose interests didn’t always coincide. On the Housing Commission, we worked, and I know they still do, to do our best to serve all of them and make sure that the neighborhoods are maintained and there’s good rental property available for those who want to live in East Lansing.
When you get to the city council level, then you have even more constituencies, if that’s the word we want to use, to consider and serve. So, I think the Housing Commission background helps me towards that.
POHL:One of the big challenges facing the city of East Lansing is what to do with the former City Center II properties. The community has begun a new dialogue about how to move forward there. Were you any part of that discussion? What do you think? What are some of your thoughts about development there?
BOYLE:Well, I attended one of the charettes that was held, very interested to hear the presentation about the property that’s available and other people’s ideas. There are a lot of ideas about the property. It’s going to take some time to work out what’s going to work there and who’s going to want to build there, I think.
POHL:Being an attorney: what do you think that skill set brings to serving on the council?
BOYLE:Well, I would hope that my work as an attorney makes me a good listener, and that it brings some analytical skills to problem solving on the council.
POHL:Now that you’re about to be sworn in as a member of the council, what might be your first goal?
BOYLE:I think that my first goal as a member of the council is to get up to speed on the issues that are before the council right now, to get the background that the other council members have so that I can understand the issues and help make good decisions.