Four years ago, Ruth Beier was elected to the East Lansing City Council. On Nov. 7, East Lansing voters will decide if they want to keep her there. It’s no doubt to her — she’s ready to continue to serve the people of East Lansing and carry on the promises she has made.
“I originally ran because I wanted to do two things,” said Beier. “I wanted to make sure that the city took its financial obligations seriously, and I wanted to make sure that the developments were done in a financially responsible way.”
Beier said four years ago the council commissioned a financial health team to look at all of the issues in the city and to make people aware of what was going on. She also said that for the past two years, they have had a majority in agreement that developments must pay for themselves.
“I want to stick around for another term to make sure that continues to move forward and we start to move out of this debt,” said Beier.
For her, one of the biggest priorities is an income tax for the city.
“I hope that the income tax passes,” said Beier. “If the income tax passes, then we can start putting $3 million a year against that debt.”
One of her original campaign promises was the demolition of the old Citizens Bank building on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road. As of Oct. 7, she can consider that endeavor an accomplishment.
“My campaign goal was to get those buildings knocked down and to get rid of them,” said Beier. “So I’m very excited about that and I call that a victory.”
As someone who has studied economics, Beier believes that it’s the financial conversations that can move things forward.
“The most important issues in my opinion are financial,” said Beier. “I mean everything else is important, like all the questions we have are important, but the ones that I focus on are the financial ones because nothing else can happen.”
City council member Erik Altman said having someone who is so well versed in finances and can help explain things is great for the council.
“Ruth inspired me to run,” said Altman. “It is good for the council to have someone with that kind of clarity.”
As inspirational as she might be, Beier doesn’t do all of this out of enjoyment.
“I didn’t expect to like it and I don’t do it because I like it,” said Beier. “I do it because it’s important to me and I think I do it well.”
Mayor Mark Meadows said he believes in Beier and her value to the city.
“It’s great working with Ruth,” said Meadows. “Her expertise has played well in economics and she is a very valuable member. She helps a lot with financial issues.”
That’s one vote she is sure to get.
“I’m hoping she’ll win,” said Meadows, “I’m voting for her.”