City Attorney

Council Gets Update on Demolition, Discusses Crowdfunding Infrastructure, Authorizes Sidewalk Charges

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Above: Some of the vacant buildings downtown set to be demolished this year.

Every week, East Lansing Info (ELi) sends one or more reporters to City Council to bring you a complete "Council Capsule."

Permit parking debate reaches some resolution: Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was again dominated by the issue of residential parking permits (RPP), the only item on the Business Agenda. See our special separate report on that.

East Lansing Missing Out on Millions a Year from BWL

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

 

The City of East Lansing has been missing out on income that could have amounted to millions of dollars per year because—unlike every other municipality that has electric service provided to it by the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL)—East Lansing has been lacking a franchise agreement with BWL. While required by state law, that franchise agreement has been missing for East Lansing for over a hundred years.

Anti-Drone Ordinance Causes Controversy

Thursday, April 14, 2016

 

On February 16, 2016, East Lansing’s City Council passed an anti-drone ordinance that has since become controversial. Ordinance 1369 restricts ordinary citizens’ ability to fly drones within city limits, especially around police and fire activity.

Council to Decide on Next City Attorney

Monday, March 14, 2016

Image: The offices of the current City Attorney

Tomorrow at 4 p.m. marks the deadline for law firms to submit their proposals to become East Lansing’s latest legal representative. As ELi reported earlier, on February 2, absent public discussion of the matter, East Lansing’s City Council passed a resolution instructing the City Manager to issue a request for proposals.

State Finds City Manager Violated Campaign Finance Law

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Above: City Manager George Lahanas and City Attorney Tom Yeadon, courtesy City of East Lansing

Michigan’s Department of State has determined that East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA) when he used his column in the City’s Dialog newsletter to encourage voters to vote “yes” on a ballot initiative in the fall of 2014. In a letter dated March 2, 2016, a representative of the Bureau of Elections advised Lahanas, “you are not entitled to use public resources to solicit a favorable vote regarding a ballot question.”

Council Restricts Drones, Appoints Financial Health Team, Revisits Permit Parking

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Logistical update: All Council members were present at tonight’s meeting, including Mayor Mark Meadows, Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier, and members Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Susan Woods. Before the meeting’s official start, Meadows noted that Tuesday’s meeting was being recorded and broadcast via fixed-position cameras in accordance with Council’s new schedule and frequency of video recording meetings, as previously reported by ELi’s Coleen Moyerbrailean.

State Legislation Could Undo EL Historic Districts

Friday, February 12, 2016

Following the lead of other Michigan cities like Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, the City of East Lansing is gearing up to fight back to retain local control of its historic districts, even while some believe the districts impede productive redevelopment in East Lansing and elsewhere.

City Attorney May Change as Position Opens Up

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Above: Tom Yeadon and the McGinty firm offices along Abbot Road

Without discussion, last night East Lansing’s City Council passed a resolution authorizing City Manager George Lahanas to put out a call for proposals for a new City Attorney. This follows the City maintaining no-bid contracts for counsel with the East Lansing-based McGinty firm since the 1960s. Tom Yeadon of the McGinty firm has acted as our City’s chief counsel since 2012.

Council Considers Controversial Chesterfield Hills Parking Issue

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Above: map showing in cross-hatch where parking may be restricted to cars with resident-only permits

Tonight, East Lansing’s City Council will consider whether to add parking restrictions in the Chesterfield Hills neighborhood. If approved, the plan would expand the area where only Chesterfield Hills residents with pre-arranged permits may park. (See full map of plan.)

Council Capsule: December 1, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Each week, ELi brings you a summary of what happened at City Council. Our “Council Capsule” allows you to stay on top of what’s happening in our local government.

All present: Mayor Mark Meadows, Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier, Councilmembers Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, Susan Woods (5 minutes late because she was coming from Austria).

Council Amends Code of Ethics to Address Campaign Contributions

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Above: Pat Wolff of the Tamarisk Neighborhood testifying during the public hearing last night.

Last night, East Lansing’s City Council unanimously approved a change to a portion of the City’s Code pertaining to Ethics. The change aims to make more transparent when someone with active financial business before Council has made a relatively recent campaign contribution of more than $100 to a seated Councilmember deliberating on the matter.

Dangerous Buildings Demolition Ordinance Passes

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Image: Back of vacant, blighted building at Grand River and Evergreen Avenues, just east of the Peoples Church memorial garden.

Last night, East Lansing’s City Council voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 1360, which makes it easier for the City to decide to tear down a dangerous building when “the cost of the repairs would exceed 100 percent of the true cash value of the structure as reflected on the city assessment tax rolls.” The ordinance’s passage could ultimately lead to the City moving to demolish dangerous vacant buildings.

Council Likely Moving to New Meeting Style

Monday, November 30, 2015

East Lansing’s City Council met for its first work session last Tuesday, November 24. One of the topics discussed was operating procedures for the coming Council term, including changing to fewer meetings per month, with all meetings video-recorded and broadcast live.

Traditionally, each month Council has held approximately two work sessions and two regular business sessions.

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