Each week at ELi, we take a question from a reader, investigate the answer, and bring you the result on Friday.
This week’s question from a reader: Did the failure of the parking lot sale authorization on Election Day cause Hotel Indigo to pull out of its plan to be a tenant in the proposed “Building A” in the Park District?
Above: Photo of the City Manager's controversial Dialog column.
A complaint has been filed with the Michigan Department of State alleging that East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. The complaint, filed against Lahanas on November 3 by East Lansing resident Donald Power, relates to Lahanas’s decision to use the September issue of the City’s Dialog newsletter to encourage voters to vote “yes” on the parking lot sale authorization question.
This week’s “Ask ELi to Investigate” is a follow-up to last week when we looked at why people voted “no” on the question of authorizing City Council to sell three parking lots. Today we’re looking at why 4,858 people (about 56.6% of those who voted) voted “yes.”
What were the 3,728 people who voted “no” thinking? That’s the question we’re tackling this week in “Ask ELi to Investigate”—why enough East Lansing voters said “no” (to authorizing City Council to sell three parking lots) to cause the measure to fail. We think gathering answers to this question could help citizens, City officials, and developers understand what happened as the City goes forward from here.
This article was updated to add the final three paragraphs at 4:45 pm, Thursday November 6.
Results are still somewhat unclear concerning the November 4 East Lansing School Board election.
At 3:03am, MLive posted an article indicating that “East Lansing races [were] too close to call” at the time, but named Kate Powers, Karen Hoene, Yasmina Bouraoui and Nell Kuhnmuench as the winners of four open seats.
Tonight at City Council, Mayor Nathan Triplett spoke with disappointment about yesterday’s failed vote to authorize City Council to proceed without the need for further direct-voter-approval on developer DTN’s Park District proposal. But City Manager George Lahanas said he saw the vote as sending an important reminder or message to City Council and the City planning staff.
With 100% of the East Lansing Clinton County votes counted, and 94% of East Lansing Ingham County precinct's (16 of 17) votes counted, the parking lot sale ballot initiative appears too close to call. Note that this means 94% of precincts have reported votes, and NOT that 94% of the votes have been counted.
The vote count at this point is 5,163 Yes (57%) and 3,891 No (43%). A 60% Yes vote is required for the initiative to pass.
A more detailed article will be published shortly. ELi is awaiting word from the City Clerk with a final vote tally.
In a very close election, preliminary results (16 of 17, or 94% of the precincts reporting) show that Kate Powers, Yasmina Bouraoui, Karen Hoene, and Nell Kuhnmuench have won the four available seats. If this result holds, it would mark a clean sweep by the four female candidates.
An article with complete covereage of these election results will be published shortly. For now, here are the answers we received from the four apparent winners when we asked them "What about education in the East Lansing School District excites you the most?"
A major point of contention between proponents of “yes” and of “no” votes is whether the Park District project put forth by DTN Management will go forward if the voters vote “no” tomorrow on the authorization of City Council to sell three parking lots. (ELi has explained separately why the blight at the corner of Grand River and Abbot is not the development at issue in this vote; read more here.)
In an effort to provide the community of East Lansing a closer look at candidates running for School Board in the upcoming November 4 elections, ELi gave every candidate the opportunity to answer a list of questions regarding their goals and ideas for improving education in East Lansing.
On Saturday, November 1, 2014, the Oakwood Neighborhood Association held a formal meeting at which votes were tallied, officially adopting bylaws and asserting the boundaries of the neighborhood. Those boundaries are in accordance with maps provided by the City of East Lansing. About 25 neighbors gathered at the home of Alice Dreger, Aron Sousa and Kepler Domurat-Sousa for a potluck.
The involvement of Neighborhoods 1st, a local Political Action Committee (PAC), in the East Lansing school board elections is raising questions, including questions about the slate of four candidates endorsed by the PAC: Yasmina Bouraoui, Karen Hoene, Nell Kuhnmuench, and Jeff Wrey.