The election of three new members in City Council took a surprising turn as Mark Meadows, Shanna Draheim and Erik Altmann swayed votes and won over residents with their experience, rapport and dedication to the city.
Meadows, who has served on City Council for 11 years and as mayor for eight, said he is eager and prepared to get to work on resolving issues the ity is facing.
Meadows said this familiarity stems from his involvement in many local government committees. These committees include the New Economy Committee, the Local Government Committee and Tax Policy Committee. Meadows also chairs the Health Care Reform Committee with a focus on retiree health benefits, which he says is a huge problem that the city is struggling with.
“I came to East Lansing as a young attorney, a single parent with three children. East Lansing citizens made me welcome and helped me in too many ways for me to describe,” said Meadows. “I became involved in local government in order to pay back for a great life here.”
Meadows says his interest in local government was sparked by parents who actively took part in planning committees, charitable organization, and even City Council in Grosse Pointe Woods, where he grew up.
“My parents came from families that struggled financially and were very appreciative of their own success,” said Meadows, “They preached to my siblings and myself that we had a responsibility to our community to give back, to volunteer, to help those who may be less fortunate.”
In his spare time, Meadows says he likes to be outdoors.
“I am almost finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, said Meadows. “I like to kayak, fish, play golf, camp, bike and hike.”
Draheim said her varied skills set applies to public policy issues where the city needs her fair and successful service.
“I have worked for 20 years in the public policy realm as a federal employee, state employee, private sector consultant and local government volunteer,” said Draheim. “Through these experiences I have developed significant expertise in related public policy issues, including community planning, environmental planning, regional economic development, as well as government finance/budgeting and community engagement.”
Draheim said public service ethic was instilled young while watching her father serve City Council of Tustin, California, and her mother working for local and regional organizations and volunteer boards.
“I come from a family of public servants and I think that has shaped my lifelong gravitation toward leadership positions within the organizations I work and the communities I live in,” said Draheim.
Draheim served on the City of East Lansing’s Environmental Commission for seven years, including some time as Vice Chair. Draheim says this experience allowed her to understand some of the city’s priority public policy and budget issues, develop relationships with leadership staff, and work with the public on important environmental issues.
“Since my husband, kids, and I moved to East Lansing eleven years ago I have been actively involved in community and school issues and my passion for this community is what ultimately led me to run for City Council.” said Draheim.
Draheim says she looks forward to applying her creativity, leadership, vision and thoughtfulness to the continued betterment of the community.
“I love the City of East Lansing and I’m excited to bring my passion for its future growth and success to this position,” said Draheim. “My vision for East Lansing is that we continue to build on our community assets and become a world class university town.” said Draheim.