Voters who want more information about the ballot question regarding the possible sale of East Lansing-owned parking lots in the Park District area can attend a free educational forum to be held on Thursday, October 23, 7:00-9:00 pm, at Hannah Community Center, Room 235.
ELi’s weekly Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” gives you a quick run-down of what happened at City Council the night before. Capsules include major votes including tallies and reporting (and non-reporting) of potential conflicts-of-interest.
Note: This meeting was a “work session” so it was not recorded or broadcast. As a consequence, there is no video record available to the public.
Advocates of a “yes” vote on the November ballot question—a question about whether the City Council should be authorized to sell three parking lots—say that this is necessary for development to proceed in the Park District (Valley Court) area. But it is possible the City Council could decide to long-term lease City-owned land, essentially bypassing direct-voter input on the question. A long-term land-lease was employed with the University Place (downtown Marriott) property almost 30 years ago.
As reported for ELi yesterday, dueling “yes” versus “no” campaigns have emerged over the November ballot question asking East Lansing citizens whether the City should be allowed to sell three parking lots in the Park District planning area. Today we report on what we have learned regarding who is behind the “yes” and “no” campaigns.
In a memo to City Council today, City Attorney Thomas M. Yeadon has advised that the City Manager may use taxpayer-funded City publications to try to sway voters on ballot measures and even elections. According to Yeadon during a discussion at City Council this evening, the City Manager may even use his "Manager's Message" column in the City newsletter Dialog to endorse a candidate for governor if he so wishes.
On August 6, the City Council voted to put a question on the November 4 ballot asking the electorate to authorize the City to sell three parking lots needed for redevelopment of the west end of downtown leading down to Valley Court Park, an area being called “the Park District.”
This authorization will only pass if 60% of the voters vote for it; the City Charter requires that a super-majority of voters approve sale of public properties of this value.