By Grant Essenmacher
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter
The Lansing Township Board of Trustees has made changes at its supervisor position. Kathy Rodgers, who served as the supervisor for three years and held public office for 30 years, retired on Feb. 29.
The board has elected Trustee Diontrae Hayes to serve the remainder of Rodgers term, which ends in November. They now have an open trustee position, and are accepting applications for that position until March 18.
Hayes has served as a trustee on the board since May 2012. She has been instrumental in assisting the community in rebuilding. She was one of the board members who worked with the public works in putting together a plan to redo the roads.
“You can expect me to continue our excellent public safety record, and look for opportunities to improve our communities infrastructure and planning,” Hayes said.
According to Hayes, Rodgers reason for retirement was to spend more time with her family, and specifically, her grandchildren. Hayes was also complimentary of the job Rodgers has done serving the community.
“She was passionate about the issues that affected the community,” Hayes said. “She cared deeply about the community and worked extremely hard and was dedicated to serving the community well.”
Changes are to be expected when new leadership is elected. However, local resident Kris McCallum has been pleased with what the township has done in recent years.
“Living in Lansing Township as opposed to Lansing means there are less community events,” McCallum said. “However, I feel like our township does a good job with rebuilding and remodeling, and it seems like whoever is in charge cares about that issue.”
McCallum said she was aware that an interim supervisor was appointed, and she does not expect much to change under the new leadership.
“I feel like it is pretty obvious what our township needs, and I can’t imagine much will change. I would like to see an improvement in neighborhoods and roads, but I’m sure every citizen wants that” McCallum said.
The vacant trustee position is said to be filled sooner rather than later. Michigan State University local politics expert Laura Ann Reese discussed the costliness of elections, and how appointing a new trustee for the open position is usually the most effective way to go about filling the void.
“In terms of special elections, it seems more effective to allow for an appointment to fill the vacancy until the next election,” Reese said. “Elections are expensive and if you have them more often than the terms allow it can cost a lot of money.”
Reese also discussed that this is a popular method used by local governments for special elections, due to its effectiveness.
“Rules for special elections are set out by the township, so their are regulations they have to follow,” Reese said.
The township is accepting applications until March 18, and the person who is appointed will serve the remaining of Hayes term, which is said to expire on Nov. 20.
“We have posted information about the vacant position on the township website, and have been trying to spread the news throughout the community,” Hayes said.
Applications can be turned into Clerk Susan Aten at the Lansing Township office or emailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.