By TODD HEYWOOD
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17 — Lansing City President Carol Wood has been working her Council post on a full-time basis for nearly two decades, despite being paid part time, but that’s changing. Wood has been hired as the full-time executive director of Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties.
RSVP a local nonprofit that connects retirees with volunteer community opportunities like foster grandparenting. The organization has a budget exceeding $750,000, mostly from through federal grants, Wood said. She’ll be paid $65,000 a year. That’s nearly triple what she receives as President.
Wood is replacing Linda Sanchez Gazella, who will become Schor’s director director of human resources. Before working for RSVP she worked for the Lansing School District and as the Mayor’s Youth, Family and education specialist for former Mayor David Hollister. She also served as chief of staff under Mayor Tony Benevides. Her bicultural background and focus on community has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities, such as with Hospice of Greater Lansing and the Lansing Police Commission.
Wood will continue on the Council. She agreed in December to accept the presidency this year while in discussions with the incoming administration of Mayor Andy Schor about how she might join him team.
“I won’t be there 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. like people are used to,” said Wood. “But I will have my city cellphone with me. Staff knows to email me phone messages and I will be returning calls and following up as necessary.”