For the general election, City Pulse asked all the candidates to answer a series of general questions. In Ward races, candidates were asked to answer Ward specific questions and concerns. Here are the responses from Carol Wood, candidate for one of the two At-Large seats:
1. Lansing is in the midst of a "surge" or "epidemic" of heroin related overdoses and deaths. How should the city address the increase in heroin use in the city?
Engage with agencies and programs along with helping with funding to address the strongest risk factor for heroin addiction.
Engage with agencies and programs along with helping with funding to increase access to substance abuse treatment services, including Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), for opioid addiction.
Work with LFD and LPD to expand access to and training for administering naloxone to reduce opioid overdose deaths.
Work with Ingham Health Department & Eaton Health Department to ensure that people have access to integrated prevention services, including access to sterile injection equipment from a reliable source as well as non-profit organization.
2. Chief Yankowski, with support from the Mayor and the Prosecutor, has announced an immunity of sorts for heroin addicts seeking treatment. Do you support this? Why or why not?
Yes. Ensuring such programs must include accountability and data to help determine whether successful or not.
3. If elected to council what will you do to address the burgeoning heroin crisis?
Supporting budget request to fund programing.
Work with County partners to establish programs within the Ingham County Health Department, Prosecutor and other agencies.
4. Ingham County has one of the highest HIV rates in Michigan; however, despite the surge in heroin overdoses, there is no needle exchange program. Does Lansing need a needle exchange program and if elected are you willing to revisit paraphernalia laws in order to prevent those providing clean needles from being charged with a crime? Why or why not?
We must be willing to look at all avenues together with our regional partners to determine what best practices will save lives.
1. Over 30 percent of Lansing's housing stock are rentals. Is this too much, too little or just the right mix of rental properties? Why?
Increasing homeownership should be a goal of Council likewise ensuring that rental properties are maintained and safe.
We are very close to the tipping point which will have an impact on property levels within a community.
2. Landlords continue to report significant lag times between paying for and obtaining inspections on rental properties. How should Council address this problem?
It is critical that we have sufficient staff to reduce the lag times as well as ensuring that landlords are compliant with current registrations.
3. Landlords are currently allowed to send a letter to code compliance acknowledging having fixed identified violations. Do you support this action? Why or why not?
This should be on a limited to only minor issues. This will require the ability to fund positions to allow for follow-up visits by a combination of fees and the budget.
1. Lansing roads are in significant disrepair. The state is unlikely to increase revenue sharing -- which has been declining for a decade. How you propose fixing Lansing's roads?
The City is limited on how we can fund our roads. One of the few opinions we have would be to bond for local roads.
1. Do you support marijuana legalization?
2. Lansing has a comprehensive human rights ordinance. Is that law working, or is it broken? If it is working, please explain why you believe that. If you believe it is broken please explain how and how you would fix the problem.
As chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity & Inclusion the City has not done a good job in educating the public about the ordinance and training City employees on how it works. We recently have created a tri-fold and added additional information on the City’s website on the ordinance.
The Ad Hoc Committee is also reviewing and updating the ordinance to reflect changes since its adoption.
3. Do you support a woman's right to choose?
1 Name the three largest issues facing the city (for at large candidates) or the ward.
Quality of life and sustainability of neighborhoods which is the tax base for the City
Creation of job with responsible accountable development
Filling vacant positions as soon as possible to maintain essential services. Securing short and long term financial stability through prudent management of city resources. Creating a more transparent government that is inclusive of all residents and listening to their voices as we make decision for Lansing.
2. What are the three most significant things that have happened in the city or Ward in the past four years?
Ice Storm of 2013
Expansion of Grand River and Delta GM facilities and the creation of additional jobs Redevelopment of BWL Power Station for the Accident Fund, Mutual Building & Knapp’s Building
Passage of the Public Safety & Road Millage and grants funds which allow the City to rehire laid-off police officers and firefighters.
3. What are the qualities of your opponent you most admire?
Harold Leeman—devoted to neighborhoods
Emily Dievendorf—community engagement