The following is a compilation of campaign contributor information for the currently-seated East Lansing City Council (2015-2017). On this Council, Ruth Beier and Susan Woods were elected in November 2013, and Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Mark Meadows were elected in November 2015.
Recently, an ELi reader asked what the state of marijuana law was in East Lansing, and whether or not it really was legal to possess small amounts of the substance. ELi's Managing Editor, Ann Nichols, J.D., worked on finding out.
This week’s meeting of East Lansing’s City Council was a summer classic: short in length, with a driving rain pounding on the roof, and with the minimum number of Councilmembers needed for a quorum in attendance (three). Mayor Mark Meadows and Councilmember Susan Woods are away on vacation, so Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier led the meeting. She stumbled a bit with the procedures for voting on items, but was provided friendly help by Councilmembers Shanna Draheim and Erik Altmann.
East Lansing’s Department of Public Works will continue for at least another week to pick-up trees and tree limbs downed by Friday’s storm according to City Manager George Lahanas. Speaking at City Council’s meeting last night, Lahanas praised City employees and residents for coming together to deal with the aftermath of the storm. He asked residents to continue to get downed vegetation to the curb.
Above: Fiesta Charra restaurant, behind which Costco plans to build a store
Following the reaching of an agreement between the City of East Lansing and Meridian Township, Costco is likely to soon be building a new store in East Lansing along Saginaw Highway just east of Park Lake Road on land adjacent to the Fiesta Charra restaurant.
At the East Lansing City Council meeting held on May 17, 2016, East Lansing Police Chief Jeff Murphy and Supervisor Eldon Evans of Parking and Code Enforcement (PACE) took questions from Council about the writing of tickets by PACE. Some members of Council suggested that PACE should be giving more warnings and fewer tickets, but when I contacted ELPD to follow-up, it appears the rate of ticket-writing is unlikely to slow.
When East Lansing’s City Council voted unanimously to offer a much less lucrative tax abatement than the developer of a local solar project asked, some were worried that the Council’s decision would kill the project. But asked by ELi about whether the project proposed by Inovateus Solar is going forward, the City Manager’s office confirmed this morning that it is.
Do you have an interest in technology? Have you ever wanted to join a panel that will directly help the City? The City of East Lansing is creating a Citizen Innovation and Technology Panel, and they are looking for eager community members to help them out.
The question of whether a new Bailey-neighborhood rental apartment complex can have balconies has been sent back to City Council, as the developer has explained to ELi why the balconies didn’t go to Council for approval in the first place.
Plans to demolish the publicly-owned commercial building at 303 Abbot Road, known as “the little bank building,” are moving along. According to City staff, the current plan calls for a contractor starting asbestos abatement next week and the major demolition of the building starting the week of July 11.
Above: Councilmember Ruth Beier (right) talking to ELPD officers at the Zemer root beer stand last summer
The controversy over a vendor’s display of the Confederate flag at last year’s downtown Folk Festival arose at East Lansing’s City Council again last night, as Council members discussed how the City might push MSU to select only vendors unlikely to display such a politically-charged image.