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Council Member Didn’t Know Her Mailer Was Paid for by Developer

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Council member Susan Woods says that when Mayor Nathan Triplett asked her to sign a letter going out to voters, she “had no knowledge that the mailer was financed by” a development corporation that stands to financially gain from the vote at issue.

City Doesn’t Know Who Will Occupy Park District Buildings

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An important question concerning the Park District proposals working their way through the City's Board and Commissions concerns who the tenants will be. The five buildings proposed by the Park District Investment Group and DTN Management Company would add approximately 600 beds of rental housing to an area between Valley Court Park and Abbot Rd. The demographic profile of this dense new residential community is likely to have a profound effect on how the downtown evolves over the coming years.

Four City Council Members Collaborate with Developer on "Yes" Campaign; "No" Campaign Criticized for Lack of Transparency

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In what appears to be a first, a group of sitting East Lansing City Council members has let a developer pay for a political mailing in which those Council members advocate for a “yes” vote—a “yes” vote from which the developer would likely financially benefit. The mailer apparently does not reveal that the developer, DTN, is funding this political advocacy letter from the Council group, instead only indicating that the letter comes from “East Lansing Park District Committee.”

COUNCIL CAPSULE: October 28, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ELi’s weekly Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” gives you a quick run-down of happenings of note at City Council the night before.

Last night's meeting was a work session. Next week’s meeting will be on Wednesday because Tuesday is Election Day.

Roll Call: All five Council members were present: Mayor Nathan Triplett , Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Council Considers Record-Breaking 60-Year TIF to Avoid Sharing Revenues

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Council is hastening to vote to extend the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan on the Marriott University Place property as much as 30 more years at a 100% level of tax capture, bringing the TIF plan at this location to a record-setting 60 years. The current 30-year plan is not set to expire until December, 2016, but City staff fear that if Council waits to extend it, new rules at the State level will restrict what they can do in terms of TIF at this location.

Urban EL Neighborhood Landlords and Homeowners Meeting

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Monday, October 27, at 7 pm, homeowners from five East Lansing urban neighborhoods and landlords who rent out houses in those neighborhoods will meet officially for the second time to discuss possible changes to property regulation in those neighborhoods. They will discuss a draft list of recommendations that may then be revised and sent “up” for discussion and approval by City government.

Mercury Contamination Investigation at Hannah Community Center Leads to Selective Notification of Citizens

Friday, October 24, 2014

The City is selectively notifying some East Lansing residents of an investigation at Hannah Community Center related to a mishap involving a mercury spill. An email message has gone out from the City addressed to “East Lansing Hannah Community Center Visitors.” The letter advises recipients that a vacuum hose that had previously been wrongly used to clean up a mercury spill at the water treatment plant was then also wrongly used at Hannah Community Center.

ASK ELi: Are We Really $185 Million in Debt?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Friday feature here at ELi is called “Ask ELi to Investigate.” We take a question from a reader and assign a citizen-reporter to investigate the answer, and then we bring you the results. If you’d like to submit a question for “Ask ELi to investigate,” use our contact form.

A reader asks: Is East Lansing really $185 million in debt? How did it get so large?

COUNCIL CAPSULE: October 21, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ELi’s weekly Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” gives you a quick run-down of happenings of note at City Council the night before. Capsules include major votes, including tallies and reporting (and non-reporting) of potential conflicts-of-interest.

Roll Call: All five Council members were present: Mayor Nathan Triplett , Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Council Differs in Opinions on Marijuana Charter Amendment

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

City Council tonight discussed and approved introductory language for a ballot item that is set to ask voters whether the City’s charter should be amended to limit the City of East Lansing’s regulation of “the use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, on private property, or transportation of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, by a person who has attained the age of 21 years.”

City Allows BWL to Cut Trees without Required Permits; Tree Resolution to Be Considered Tonight

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ELi has learned that City of East Lansing staff has been allowing BWL to trim and cut down trees in East Lansing without the permits and oversight required by the City’s own municipal code.

This news comes as tonight City Council will consider a resolution in support of the trees, raising the question of whether such a resolution would, in practice, also be disregarded by City staff.

COUNCIL CAPSULE: October 14, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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.

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