With 23 Residents Applying for 2 Open Seats, Council Will Not Interview All

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Jessy Gregg, Aaron Stephens, and Lisa Babcock remain on City Council and will choose two new members.

This story was updated. See note at end.

East Lansing’s City Council will begin its review of 23 applications for two open council seats at tomorrow’s 7 p.m. meeting.

The two vacancies on the Council of five were created when Ruth Beier and Mark Meadows abruptly resigned on July 14 in protest of the termination of City Attorney Tom Yeadon’s contract.

The remaining three members of Council – Mayor Aaron Stephens, Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg, and Lisa Babcock – are planning to finalize interview questions and select which of the 23 candidates will be interviewed as the appointment process moves forward.

Stephens had hoped throughout the process to interview all candidates, but the large number of applicants has changed that plan. 

This was confirmed in a Tuesday afternoon City press release reading, in part, that “due to the high number of applicants, Council will be selecting the candidates they would like to interview” at Wednesday’s meeting.

To be eligible, an applicant must be an East Lansing resident and registered to vote. 

The current schedule to fill the vacancies, as laid out by City Council at its July 20 meeting, is as follows and was designed with the aim to have a full five-person Council by the regularly scheduled August 11 meeting.

  • July 29: On Wednesday evening, the Council will finalize questions for the public interviews, which will then be shared with the candidates. They will also discuss and determine which of the 23 candidates will be selected for interviews. They will also hear from the public during this meeting.
  • July 30 and 31: Council will hold public interviews, via Zoom, starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, and resuming at 9 a.m. the next day, Friday, July 31. A public comment period will come at the end of each meeting.
  • August 1: A 10 a.m. meeting is scheduled for Saturday for the Council to decide who to appoint, assuming the interviews are done. If they are not finished, Saturday will be used for more interviews. There will be a time for public comment at this meeting.

The 23 applicants are listed below, alphabetically by last name. Included are the professions listed on their applications and any East Lansing government boards or commission they have served on or are serving on. (Employment dates are only included here if the candidate is not still working the listed job.)

  • Effie Alofoje-Carr: Project Specialist for the Ingham County Intermediate School District
  • Matthew Anderson: Chief Brand Officer for Engaged Education
  • Ron Bacon: Therapeutic Area Manager for Genentech Roche; recently named to East Lansing’s Study Committee on and Independent Police Oversight Commission and is former Chair of East Lansing’s Human Relations Commission
  • Nichole Biber: Library paraprofessional at the Pinecrest Elementary School for East Lansing Public Schools
  • Daniel Bollman: Principal for East Arbor Architecture, LLC; currently serves as Chair of the City’s Planning Commission and has Chaired East Lansing’s Historic District Commission
  • Janeile Cannon: Senior Technician for the State of Michigan (April 1992 to October 1996); served on East Lansing’s Age Friendly Community Taskforce
  • Jennifer Carrera: Assistant Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science & Policy for Michigan State University
  • Adam DeLay: Department Analyst with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Peter Dewan: Insurance Agent for Lyman & Sheets Insurance Agency; currently serves as Chair of East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority; previously served on East Lansing’s Zoning Board of Appeals and East Lansing’s Planning Commission
  • Donovan Golich: Teacher for the Grosse Pointe Public School System (August 2016 to January 2018)
  • Chuck Grigsby: Administrator for the Great Lakes Learning Academy – East Lansing; currently serves on East Lansing’s Human Relations Commission and recently named to the Study Committee on and Independent Police Oversight Commission
  • Flemming Mathiasen: Retired; currently serves on East Lansing’s Officer Compensation Commission
  • John Monberg: Academic Specialist for Michigan State University
  • Rod Murphy: Presenter in the OK2SAY program and in the Consumer Affairs Bureau for Michigan’s Attorney General (July 2018 to November 2019); former President of East Lansing Public Schools’ Board of Education
  • Andrew Neumann: Senior FOIA Coordination Officer for the State of Michigan
  • Eric Pardini: Director for Public Sector Consultants
  • Joshua Ramirez-Roberts: Dasher for Doordash, currently a student at Michigan State University
  • John Revitte: Professor Emeritus of Work, Leisure and Labor Studies for Michigan State University; served on East Lansing’s Parks & Rec Advisory Commission and the Farmers’ Market Planning Committee
  • Sarah Savage: Certified Surgical technologist for Sparrow Hospital;
  • Bezil Taylor: Co-Facilitator of Racial and Social Justice Collaborative for Michigan State University;
  • Dana Watson: Health Educator-II for the Ingham County Health Department and currently serves on East Lansing’s Planning Commission; she has also served on East Lansing’s Human Relations Commission and Community Development Advisory Committee (disclosure: Watson is the Chair of ELi’s Community Advisory Board)
  • Jill Young: Consultant for Young Medical Consulting, LLC
  • Simon Zagata: Staff Attorney for the Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service

Council has asked for input from the public on the candidates throughout the process — both during the public comment portions of the meeting and prior to public interviews. You can view the applications here.

Council has also invited the community to suggest interview questions prior to Wednesday’s meeting.

If you’re looking to share feedback, you can reach Council by emailing council@cityofeastlansing.com or you can speak during the public comment portions of meetings. Information about the meetings is available here.

Update: This article was updated on July 29 at 9:30 a.m. to add Adam DeLay as a candidate, and the total number was updated to 23 candidates as a result. Delay tells ELi, “I was left off the first list as there was an issue with verifying my voter registration, but that was cleared up [yesterday] afternoon and I am now on the list.”

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