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COUNCIL CAPSULE: November 18, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Each week, ELi provides a "capsule" of what happened at City Council.

Present: Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Absent: Mayor Nathan Triplett.

Campaign Finance Complaint Filed Against City Manager

Monday, November 17, 2014

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.

ASK ELi TO INVESTIGATE: Why Did People Vote Yes?

Friday, November 14, 2014

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.”

ASK ELi TO INVESTIGATE: Why Did People Vote No?

Friday, November 7, 2014

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.

Some EL Tree Experiences with BWL Are Positive

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tensions with electrical utility provider Board of Water and Light (BWL) remain high in parts of East Lansing, especially in old-growth neighborhoods like Oakwood (where I live) and Glencairn. But at a recent Oakwood potluck, I talked to a neighbor who has had overall a positive experience with BWL coming to trim his family’s trees. So I asked that neighbor, Nate Stevenson, to share his story with our readers.

Fall-Out from the No Vote

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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.

COUNCIL CAPSULE: November 5, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This week’s meeting happened on Wednesday because this Tuesday was Election Day. The meeting was a short half-hour.

Councilmembers present: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, and Kathy Boyle.

Councilmembers absent: Susan Woods.

Parking Lot Ballot Initiative Too Close To Call

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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.

Will Project Really End If Vote is No?

Monday, November 3, 2014

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.)

Voters Consider Cost to City from Park District Projects

Friday, October 31, 2014

Image above: Plan rendering provided by DTN, looking west across Abbot Road from above City Hall toward Valley Court Park. The largest building is a planned 7-story parking ramp with a 10-story building wrapped around it. (This does not show the entire Park District area plan.)

What would a “yes” vote on the parking lot sales ballot question mean to East Lansing residents in terms of changes to our city’s debt and our city’s real estate tax revenue? That’s a question on the minds of many East Lansing residents as they go to the polls.

ASK ELi: Why Parking Lots Ballot Question Is NOT about the Blighted Corner

Friday, October 31, 2014

This week's Ask Eli tackles a question we've gotten in conversation with several readers one that can be summed up this way:

Does redevelopment of the blighted area at Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road depend on the parking lot sale ballot question passing?

The answer: The answer is an unequivocal "no." That is simply a different project.

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