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Most years the Village of Lansing elections have been uncontroversial, with Community Party candidates running uncontested and going on to do the business of the Village.  This year a disagreement about rezoning a plot of land on Bomax Road set off the nearby neighborhood (see article links below) sparked the formation of the Village of Lansing Preservation Party, which got enough signatures to get its three candidates on the ballot.

All six candidates graciously agreed to talk to the Lansing Star, each answering more or less the same ten questions.  Click on a candidate's picture to read the interviews to read about how their answers on important Village issues differ (Mayoral interviews will be published next week, so check out the Trustee candidates now.  All six will be live in the Star next week).

Community Party Preservation Party
Donald Hartill Lisa Bonniwell
Ronny HardawayPat O'Rourke Greg EellsJohn LaVine

What The Candidates Say: Key Issues

Community Party Preservation Party

  • Preservation Party candidates are running on one issue, to repeal the rezoning of a parcel on Bomax Road near their neighborhood *
  • The candidates make decisions based on the best interests of the Village as a whole, not just one neighborhood
  • The Village has been well maintained, maintaining low taxes, with all projects paid for in cash to avoid interest on loans or bonds
  • It costs less to maintain the Village by providing services such as plowing by itself
  • The candidates listen to constituents, research issues before voting

  • Rezoning the Bomax Road parcel hurts current residents of the Village while favoring developers who do not live in the Village *
  • Community Party candidates have governed the Village for too long and it's time for new eyes and ears
  • Community Party members have spent too much
  • Taxpayer money could be saved by merging services such as plowing -- and eventually, possibly the Village itself -- with the Town
  • The incumbents do not listen to the people who live in the Village, especially owners of single-family homes

Proposed ApartmentsProposed Apartments for the Bomax Road plot.* The Lansing Star asked each candidate about the hot issue that both sides agree sparked the Preservation Party challenge to the incumbent Community Party members.  In short, after a developer who proposes to build a 140-unit upscale apartment complex, requested a zoning change from Business and Technology to High Density Residential use for a plot of land on Bomax Road, the Board of Trustees passed a law changing the zoning over the strong objection of neighbors in the Lansing Trails and nearby neighborhood.

While mayoral candidate Lisa Bonniwell, whose father conceived of and developed Lansing Trails and the Janivar Road neighborhoods, has a business interest in the outcome, she also lives in the neighborhood and shares other residents' concerns about increased traffic, decreased property values and related issues.  Preservation Party John LaVine has pledged that if his slate is elected, repealing the zoning change will be the first order of business.

The current board has argued their decision benefits the entire village, rather than just one neighborhood, and disputes neighbor's argument that it will negatively impact their property value, saying it will actually increase it because residences will buffer their exposure to the industrial district.  They say business/technology development has flattened out and the rezoning will increase village tax revenue, which will help stabilize or reduce current villagers' taxes.

For more information on the Bomax Road rezoning issue, read:

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