By Erin Hampton
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
After the vigorous campaigning for the Nov. 5 East Lansing City Council election, winners Ruth Beier, Susan W. Woods and Kathleen Boyle are relieved to be finished with campaigning and ready to get to work.
Boyle, winner of the partial-term seat to complete a full 4-year term, said that winning the election was a good feeling, especially after all of the campaigning it took to get there.
“I was just really pleased it was over,” joked Boyle. “It was a tremendous amount of work.”
Boyle said that her campaigning tactic was to go door-to-door to get supporters.
“The people of East Lansing are very inviting, even when you come to their homes as a total stranger,” said Boyle.
She said that she didn’t target any particular kind of voter to gain her support.
“I didn’t pick out old, young, home owners or any particular kind of group,” said Boyle.
She also sent out emails and attended neighborhood functions to gain support and learn more about what East Lansing needed.
“I try to understand as much as I can and read written material, listen to comments at city council meetings, questions, emails…that’s my promise.”
She added that she is excited to work with Beier, Woods and the rest of the council to collectively improve East Lansing.
“I am looking forward to moving forward,” said Boyle
Susan Woods, 4-year-term seat winner, said that campaigning was a lot of work but attributed her success to having good managers and supporters who had done it before.
“People I worked with were politicians and former mayors,” said Woods. “I was very fortunate to have a campaign manager who was savvy in these kinds of things.”
Woods also said she is looking forward to working together as a council to execute ideas for the city. She said this aspect of the job will be one of the most challenging parts of working on the council.
“Personally, this will be an enormous challenge for me,” said Woods. “I will have to learn from other people and compromise. It’s a challenge to learn issues, discuss, and arrive at a conclusion, but I look forward to the challenge, even at the age of 61.”
When Woods was asked about the promises she made to voters she said that despite what she promises, it takes the entire council to make something happen.
“I can promise anything, but that’s not how it works,” explained Woods. “We all have to confer with each other. Not one person can make something happen, not even the mayor. It certainly is a democratic process.”
Beier, 4-year-term seat winner, said that campaigning was more difficult than she anticipated.
“It really is pretty hard,” laughed Beier.
She said that she thinks what got her elected was her credentials on paper and her involvement with the city and not a matter of popularity.
“I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently,” said Beier when asked why she thinks residents voted for her. “I am no more well-known than any of the other candidates.”
Beier said she promised she would make neighborhood issues her top priority.
“I live in a neighborhood very opposed to downtown,” said Beier. “Every development downtown is taking away from the maintenance in neighborhoods. I said I would work on the blighted rentals in neighborhoods.”
Beier said she was pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback and continuous support from voters, many of whom she had never met or known.
“There were people that I didn’t even know that emailed me saying that they believed in me,” said Beier.
In the final count, Beier had 38.43% of the votes, 1,291. Woods came in just below Beier with 33.64%, 1,130. Boyle had 70.20% of the partial-term votes and, 1,298 votes.