Citizens Recognized for Public Service

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Thursday, February 18, 2016, 7:09 am
Michael Teager

This Tuesday’s East Lansing City Council meeting began with a special presentation to recognize citizens who had recently completed serving two full terms on a City Board or Commission.

East Lansing’s municipal government encourages the active participation of its citizens through appointments to its 23 boards and commissions. These groups have varying scopes and responsibilities, with some meeting frequently and others annually or only as needed.

Six individuals were recognized on Tuesday for their service through a variety of boards and commissions. Each honoree received a certificate of service as well as a personalized keepsake.

Michael Koppisch of the Arts Commission was recognized by Councilmember Susan Woods, the Commission’s council liaison. His six years on the Arts Commission included a role in drafting the City’s public art guidelines and formalizing the grants process, among others. He most recently served as the Vice Chair.

Marcia Van Ness served on the Board of Review and was acknowledged by staff liaison David Lee and the Board’s Chair Scott Schrager, who said that Van Ness had participated in “well over 1200 taxpayer reviews” during her tenure, praising her for shaping a “kindler, gentler Board of Review.” Van Ness called her experience a “privilege” and “an honor.”

Alan Fox of the Building Authority was acknowledged by Finance Director Mary Haskell, who said that Fox “ran a very efficient meeting.” Fox joined the Authority in 2003 and was appointed chair in 2004. He also served on City Council from 1977 to 1981.

Kevin Sayers of the Commission on the Environment  was recognized by Council liaison Shanna Draheim, who praised Sayers’s service as being “crucial to [the commission’s mission] of sustainability.” An urban forestry expert who works for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, Sayers also served on the Commission’s water subcommittee.

Sue Warrens of the Commission on the Environment was also recognized by Councilmember Draheim. Draheim called Warrens a “prepared and resourceful advocate” who helped the city in its move toward renewable energy. She played an important role in establishing the new solar leasing program.

Konrad Hittner of the Transportation Commission was recognized by staff liaison Steven Roach. He served from 2007 and as Chair since 2010. Roach commended Hittner’s involvement with Safe Routes to School and his knowledge of the non-motorized transportation plan. Hittner commented about his “enduring admiration for the professionalism of city staff.”

John Larson of the Seniors’ Commission was recognized by Council liaison Mayor Mark Meadows and staff liaison Kelly Arndt. Arndt praised Larson’s service to the community, particularly his role in facilitating the Prime Time book discussion group, his helping to launch the Prime Time art studio, and his volunteering as an office aide each Wednesday morning at City Hall.

All community members are welcome to apply to serve on a board or commission, and current vacancies are listed at the City website. Such an appointment, which must be approved by Council, is a volunteer position that allows for a service of up to two full terms (not counting partial terms to fill vacancies).



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