Image: The six candidates: top row, Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, Mark Meadows; bottom row, Steve Ross, Jermaine Ruffin, Nathan Triplett.
More than $112,000 was spent in total by the candidates in the very costly November election for East Lansing City Council, according to post-election financial statements filed last week. And this amount does not include the cost of unprecedented involvement in an East Lansing election by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Above: Screenshot of the presumably satirical "Steve Meadows" Facebook page.
This coming Tuesday evening, I will be representing ELi at the Ingham County Board of Commissioners’ meeting. We are appealing the County’s response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request related to the “Steve Meadows” mystery.
Mayor Mark Meadows’ handling of an appointment to Planning Commission this week is receiving sharp criticism because Meadows failed to interview all three candidates or to do so cooperatively with the Chair of the Planning Commission, as is standard practice.
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.
East Lansing’s City Council’s meeting this coming Tuesday night will include three public hearings that touch on “hot” issues in town: vacant, blighted buildings downtown; campaign finance disclosure; and the protection of trees.
East Lansing’s City Council voted tonight to withdraw from the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, naming as the reason the attack mailers put out by the Chamber against Councilmember Erik Altmann during the election.
Image: Some of the blighted buildings downtown that may be demolished if a new "dangerous buildings" ordinance passes.
The new East Lansing City Council meets for the first time this evening, and their first agenda indicates this Council intends to move quickly on a number of politically hot issues, including blighted vacant buildings downtown, the ethics of campaign contributions, and a question of whether the City or the State should have say over whether landlords can make certain changes to nonconforming rental houses.
ELi has learned—and has confirmed with multiple sources—that East Lansing’s Mayor Nathan Triplett has been pushing a landlord-friendly bill at the State level for many months and that now, since being voted out of office on Tuesday, Triplett has been working with East Lansing landlords to push the bill through quickly.
Editor’s note: A lot of folks in East Lansing love Nate Silver’s analyses of national election data. Well, East Lansing no longer has Nate Silver—he graduated from East Lansing High School in 1996—but we do have Chris Root, who spent much of today geeking out on the voting data charts available at the Ingham County Clerk’s website for yesterday’s East Lansing City Council election. Only ELi brings you this kind of drilling-down of the data!
Image above: Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Mark Meadows, the winners of the East Lansing City Council race
Mark Meadows, Shanna Draheim, and Erik Altmann have won the election for East Lansing City Council. They will join sitting Councilmembers Ruth Beier and Susan Woods on November 17, 2015. (There is no meeting of City Council before then.)
At that meeting, the new members of Council will be sworn in, and the first order of business will be for the five to elect the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem from among the five.