Draheim Will Not Seek Re-Election for Council

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 4:48 pm
Alice Dreger

Shanna Draheim announced on Tuesday that she will not be running for re-election to East Lansing’s City Council on the November 5 ballot.

Draheim said in a statement on Facebook, “I have decided I need to return more time and attention to my family, day job and other interests. My son Joe is already away at college and the twins leave in two more years. I want to make sure I’m truly present and enjoying my family to the fullest during this important transition period.”

Draheim also said she was taking on “a new role” in her job at the Michigan Municipal League “and want to give it my full brain power and focus – it’s important work!”

Draheim’s four-year City Council term is expiring in November, along with those of Mark Meadows and Erik Altmann, who currently serve as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem of East Lansing. (In East Lansing, the offices of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem are filled by Council members in a vote by the five Council members.)

Meadows and Altmann have both filed for re-election.

So far, three additional candidates have thrown their hats in the ring: Audrey Yonkus (below, left) Warren Stanfield (center), and Jessy Gregg (right).

ELi reported on Stanfield’s candidacy in May and will be bringing a report soon on Yonkus's and Gregg’s campaigns. (Disclosure: Gregg has worked for ELi but stopped working for us in advance of filing for candidacy.)

That brings to five the number of candidates for November’s three open at-large seats. The filing deadline for candidacy is next Tuesday, July 23. Filing requires a nominating petition signed by at least 50 registered East Lansing voters and an affidavit of identity.

Responding to Draheim’s announcement on Facebook, Meadows praised Draheim’s work on Council, saying she is “extremely creative and knowledgeable about what modern cities and local governments are doing.” He added, “Plus you are fun to be around.”

But on City Council, Meadows and Altmann have frequently voted in opposition to Draheim on major policy decisions, including on the reappointment of Tom Yeadon as the City Attorney with a 25 percent contract pay increase, allowing taller buildings downtown than those currently being constructed, instituting a strict rental restriction for a portion of the Shaw Estates neighborhood, and creating a new Freedom of Information Act policy that handed more power to the mayor.

Below: Altmann, Draheim, and Meadows at City Council.

In all those votes, Aaron Stephens voted with Draheim, and Ruth Beier voted with Meadows and Altmann. Stephens and Beier have over two years left on their terms.

Draheim has not yet indicated who, if anyone, she will be supporting in the November election.


Note: This story was updated on Friday, July 19, to include the news that Yonkus has filed to run.


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