William P. Matt

Are you involved in your local neighborhood association?  How long?  If not what other local volunteer/civic organizations have you been involved with.  If you have, name one accomplishment.  I have worked with the Association dating back to about 4 years ago when the CSO and Traffic Calming projects came through our neighborhood.  I have primarily served on the Ingham County Parks Commission for the last 4 years working on projects such as trail extensions, the playground, and splash pad at Hawk Island.  The major accomplishment I am most proud of is helping the transition of Potter Park Zoo from the city to the county parks.

In what capacity have you ever worked with  those who are economically distressed?  or people of color?  While working at the Lansing Center and South Cedar K-mart, I had the opportunity to work with economically distressed employees, and helped guide them towards opportunity to advance and become prosperous.  I worked with people struggling with addiction and personal problems and gave them a real opportunity.

How will you encourage voters that don’t typically vote?I will speak to the power of voting at neighborhood meetings, door to door, and through the city council broadcasts.

Do or did your children attend school in Lansing?  If they don’t why.  My two older boys attend Our Savior Luthern School on Holmes Street in Lansing.

How do you plan to build relationships with churches, businesses and residents? By following through on their concerns, and representing their views on council.  Honest, transparent government is central to my values, and by doing this I will build trust and relationships with associations, neighbors, business, and churches.

What are your plans for the Southside, especially the Pleasant Grove and Holmes  intersection?  I have already asked code compliance to ensure the buildings, signs, and parking lots are maintained by the business owners.  I regularly shop at QD and Little Caesar’s. In addition, there is a traffic plan scheduled to start next year to make Pleasant Grove from Holmes to Jolly safer, and to install a left turn light at the intersection. I have also passed along resident concerns about open alcohol and unsanitary living conditions to the proper authorities to ensure residents feel safe and secure.

What is your  opinion regarding the Southside Community Center? combining the Capital Area District Library with the Impression Five museum?  plans for Oliver Towers?  I think Lansing should identify a site and bond the construction of a new facility that is modern and more importantly, centrally located.  The bond could be paid back over ten years with a commitment from the Parks Millage at $500,000.00 per year.  Programs at the Hill Vocational Center in collaboration with the Lansing School District should be encouraged and expanded, but this should not be the plan for the South Side Community Center.  Our Community Centers should be modern and allow for a computer center, the South Lansing library, and various civic youth and senior programs to be housed in one location.  This center could be a real draw for new families looking for housing.  Through various agencies including Planning, EDC, and Health and Human Services, a comprehensive plan could be utilized that would rehabilitate empty business sites such as the old Ford Dealership on MLK between Holmes and Cavanaugh.  Any plan should include long term funding for programs and an extensive field for athletic programs including baseball, softball, football, track, soccer and swimming.  A state of the art facility would be a draw for families, and could be used to attract national tournaments and visitors to the heart of the city.
I think combining the I5 and CAD Library is a great idea, where educational programs can share resources.  As a MSU Museum employee, I see the value of both education and entertainment.
     I think Oliver Towers mixing low income or homeless tenants is a bad idea.  I think the group that is interested in managing this type of program should focus on rehabilitating red tagged homes for use for the homeless, tackling two of Lansing’s problems at once.  The priority should be given to families, and to homes near schools.

Where did you candidates attend K-12?  I attended Lansing Public Schools.  Little Everett, Elmhurst, Dwight Rich, and graduated from J.W. Sexton.

What is your educational background?  What is your professional back ground? I am a non-traditional college student (read: old), attending MSU part time.  I am a Junior in the MSU Broad Business College with a 3.8 GPA.  I have worked at MSU for 6 years at the Museum coordinating educational programs including the Great Lakes Folk Festival, and free event celebrating diverse cultures.  Prior to that I was the Operations Manager at LEPFA (Lansing Center & Oldsmobile Park), and worked in retail management at Meijer, K-Mart, and Quality Dairy.

What is your favorite recreational spot?Hawk Island Park, for the variety of recreational opportunities including swimming and trails.

Do you feel that Lansing is on the move and why? Yes.  Lansing is seeing tremendous development growth and new projects underway in lots of areas.  Both Sparrow and Ingham are expanding.  New housing and mixed use properties are being constructed downtown.  I’d like to see more newer stock housing in neighborhoods, particularly along the Miller Road corridor.