It’s Boles and Brown Clarke

By Andy Balaskovitz

Sources say Council leadership has already been decided: Boles for president, Brown Clarke for VP

Friday, Jan. 10 — A’Lynne Boles and Judi Brown Clarke will lead the Lansing City Council in 2014, two sources familiar with the deal say. Boles would be the Council president, while newcomer Brown Clarke would hold the vice presidential spot.

The deal may signal a compromise between the Wood/Bernero factions on the Council. Boles has been aligned with Carol Wood, the outgoing president. Brown Clarke was elected to her first term in November with the backing of Mayor Virg Bernero.

Boles, who represents the 3rd Ward in the southwest quadrant of the city, was the Council president in 2010 and 2011. She dropped her married name of Robinson last year after a divorce.

Brown Clarke is wasting no time in moving to a leadership role on the Council. She came in first in a four-way race for the two at-large seats for the Council in November, defeating incumbent Brian Jeffries.

The deal also means At-Large Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar is cut out of the presidential spot for the third year in a row. The showdown for this year’s top spot was between Dunbar and Boles.

Dunbar, who was vice president in 2012, expected to ascend to the presidency last year as part of a deal that she made with Jeffries in 2012.

That deal fell apart after Jeffries alleged Dunbar had poor performance issues related to attendance and personal use of her Council computer.

Sources say the Boles/Brown Clarke team is a lock because there are five votes to make it happen. In addition to Boles’ and Brown Clarke’s presumed support, Council members Derrick Quinney, Wood and Jody Washington support the deal, sources say.

Quinney could not be reached for comment today. Wood and Washington earlier this week declined to say whom they’re supporting.

Dunbar, a close ally with the Bernero administration, has had the support of Council members Jessica Yorko and Tina Houghton, but it appears she’s unable to muster two more votes for the top spot.

The Council is scheduled to vote on leadership Monday during its first meeting of the year.

The president can call special Council meetings and also appoints members to various committees. Council members are paid $20,200 a year for the part-time job. The president receives an additional $2,000 a year and the vice president an extra $750. Also, if the mayor vacates office, the Council president fills the position until Jan. 1 following the earliest November general election for mayor, according to the City Charter.