With Lisa Babcock likely to be attending what will be her last City Council meeting as a member on Dec. 13, the City of East Lansing is sending out the call to those who wish to apply to be appointed for next year to fill her seat. Elected to City Council in 2019, Babcock was elected last month to serve as judge of 54B District Court alongside Molly Hennessey Greenwalt.
East Lansing’s City Charter states that Council will appoint a councilmember in the event a seat is vacated. The deadline to apply for the seat is Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5 p.m.
The Council expects to interview and choose the replacement in January. The appointee will serve until someone is elected to fill the seat on Nov. 7, 2023. (Jessy Gregg’s seat will also be up for election at that time.)
To be eligible, a person must live within the city borders and be registered to vote in East Lansing.
Because some people live in the 48823 zip code but not in the city’s legal borders, and that has in the past caused confusion, the City Clerk’s office will check every application for residency eligibility. The clerk also will check for active voter registration.
The application is now available online. Those wishing to use a paper form can go to the clerk’s office at City Hall (410 Abbot Rd.) to obtain one, fill it out and return it by the deadline.
East Lansing is a city manager form of government. The elected council chooses and contracts with the city manager, who is the C.E.O. of the municipality. The council chooses a mayor and mayor pro tem (substitute mayor) from among its five members.
The council functions as the legislative branch of the city, passing and revising laws, approving the city’s budget and any contracts over $20,000, hiring and firing the city attorney, changing zoning, and much more.
The position pays about $8,000 per year. Whomever is elected by the council to be mayor is paid more, about $10,000 per year. The public service job comes with no benefits other than a city-issued cell phone and computer device, plus free parking in city garages and lots.