This week's decision on who would be Battle Creek mayor revealed some differences in perspectives on the commission.

But, Mayor Mark Behnke and Commissioner Lynn Ward Gray - who also vied to be mayor - are downplaying any overall divisions on the body.

Gray lost a bid to be mayor to Behnke Tuesday, November 14, 2017 on a 5-4 vote. Former mayor Dave Walters was elected vice-mayor by commissioners.

Gray asserts that the process by which the mayor is chosen is not always representative of the community make-up and puts minorities and the economically challenged at a disadvantage. She resurrects a call to allow Battle Creek residents to vote for the mayor they choose.

On 95.3 WBCK, Behnke disagreed with Gray's viewpoint, though said he is open to a study of the feasibility of a separate mayoral election in Battle Creek. While largely a figurehead position, Behnke said the Battle Creek mayor is often called upon as a city representative at many functions and events.

Still, both Behnke and Gray downplayed what might appear to be divisions on the commission, paying respect to one another and their fellow commissioners.

Click the player above to hear the interview.


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