Bob Nelson Likely to Be Our BWL Rep

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 3:50 pm
Ann Nichols

In November, Lansing ciitzens voted to change their City Charter to allow East Lansing to have representation on the BWL Board of Commissioners. BWL is the major electric utility for residents of East Lansing. The East Lansing representative, who will start this work in July of this year, will have a non-voting role on the BWL Board. (A Lansing City Charter Amendment was necessary to provide East Lansing this representation because BWL is owned by the City of Lansing.)

Yesterday morning by email, ELi reporter Alice Dreger asked East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett when City Council would take up the issue of who would fill the position created by the Charter Amendment. Mayor Triplett did not respond, so Dreger posed the question again during Public Comments at last night’s City Council work session. During his “Councilmember Report" four hours later, Triplett responded that “last week Council received a letter from me recommending an appointment” for this position. This letter (and its existence) had not been made public before this. ELi obtained it today via FOIA and it is available here.

The letter suggests that the representative seat be filled by Bob Nelson, an East Lansing native who has previously practiced law at a major local firm. Nelson has also served as President of the Michigan Electric and Gas Association and in various roles on the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus.

Tuesday’s City Council meeting was, to ELi’s knowledge, the first public discussion of a candidate for BWL representative. From the letter, it is now clear that Triplett has indeed picked a candidate, that it is Nelson, and that Council is likely to vote next Tuesday to approve the appointment.


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