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BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Grad student to run for city council

Guy Batterson doesn’t feel the student body’s wishes are being spoken for in the current city council, so he’s doing something about it.

“There is an under-representation of the student body on the council,” Batterson said.

Batterson, a University grad student, will be banking on his experience in public service as he runs for an at-large seat in the city council elections later this year.

“I’m running for an at-large seat because there are students living in Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3. I want to be able to represent the entire student constituency,” Batterson said.

He cites his experience in his hometown of Garden City, Mich. as preparation for his possible election duties. Batterson, a music education major, was appointed cable commissioner in Garden City which entailed supervision of the city’s two cable operators.

Being a section leader in the Falcon Marching Band as well as his work as vice president of the Kappa Kappa Psi chapter has also taught him about leadership.

“He’s hard working,” said Amanda Lovett, a close friend of Batterson’s. “Once he puts his mind to something, he gets it done.”

Zoning laws are Batterson’s number one priority. Having attended Central Michigan University for a year, Batterson saw firsthand how a college town has adapted its regulations to accommodate students.

“Obviously, there needs to be a change, especially with the current housing crisis. These laws force landlords to limit housing to three people in a four bedroom house,” Batterson said.

He points to Mount Pleasant, home of CMU, as a model. Batterson remembers visiting friends’ homes and seeing eight people living together in a four-bedroom house.

As far as housing values go, Batterson is not worried that an increase in the number of tenants will decrease the value of the city’s neighborhoods.

“This would not cause housing values to decrease. Landlords cannot allow houses to be run-down,” Batterson said.

However, the other main issue to the student body — the nuisance party ordinance — is not so black-and-white to Batterson.

“My personal opinion is that if your party is getting out of hand, you should be able to recognize it,” Batterson said.

He said that police should not be able to enter the property without a search warrant or permission from the resident, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

“If a party is spilling out onto the street, that’s cause for concern because now you are talking about safety issues,” Batterson said.

Batterson, 25, will be running as an Independent because he doesn’t like to be lumped into a category, he said. He describes himself as conservative and is not afraid to admit it, but doesn’t uniformly identify with the Republican Party.

“I feel I’m more open to liberal ideas than most Republicans,” Batterson said.

Along with his political experience, Batterson has some political veterans in his corner as well. Matt Lyons, a friend of the candidates, said Batterson has a lot of good ideas. Lyons, who ran for Wood County clerk of courts last November, has some campaign advice for his friend.

“Talk to any and everyone. That is the key. It is the only way to find out what the constituency wants,” Lyons said.

Lyons added that Batterson would be a good public servant precisely because he would be out in the community.

Even though he is a grad student, Batterson plans on attending the University and living in the city for the next three years. The term for a seat on city council is two years.

“I will be here for the full-term. This won’t be a case where I graduate and lose touch with the student body,” Batterson said.

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