A Letter From Mark Grebner // Matt Kazmierski

Mark Grebner Letter - front

Long-time local political activist and consultant, and Ingham County Commissioner – Mark Grebner – recently sent out a mailer regarding the upcoming City Council election in East Lansing. The snail-mail was sent to around 1,300 addresses in East Lansing. Since it had limited reach, I thought others might be interested in hearing what Mr. Grebner had to say.

Below is the text of his letter, and a PDF of the actual mailer is attached as well.

-Matt Kazmierski
Public Response administrator

———-

If you care what I think . … Read more →

Failure to Reform // Eliot Singer

I thought it might be useful to provide some insights as to what reformers hoped to accomplish at the time of the 2015 Council election.

The context that was finally conducive to reform was: City Center II, St. Anne’s Lofts, and other public-private development fiascos; “retaining-wall-gate”; neglect of neighborhoods in favor of the downtown development agenda; the growing fiscal crisis, brought on by unfunded debt for big projects, tax diversion to development authorities, and legacy costs; and lack of accountability in city hall. Getting rid … Read more →

Albert Ave. // Alice Dreger

When the Center City District project was pitched, the idea was to institute a “woonerf” on Albert Ave. between About Road and MAC Ave. A woonerf is a European street style that has no markings and slopes from storefronts – basically there are no sidewalks, no lines, no lanes. In Europe, these are usually old-fashioned cobbled roads and everyone goes slowly on them. They’re not very welcoming to cars unless drivers are willing to go very slowly, and the visual cues tell drivers to … Read more →

The Quest for Answers on the Center City Ground Lease Payments // Alice Dreger

East Lansing’s City Council voted on Tuesday night to clarify the Center City District ground lease deal so the City can finally start getting paid for use of the public land. I explain the details of the deal in a  new report   up today at ELi . 

Readers of Public Response are often interested in the backstories of major stories, so I wanted to make sure you note you have the opportunity to see my correspondence with city officials and the developers in terms of trying … Read more →

The DDA’s Evergreen Avenue Debt: It’s Time to Think Creatively // Alice Dreger

Three of the EverGreen properties

Tomorrow night, Sept. 10, City Council will take up the question of whether to permanently rezone the DDA’s Evergreen Avenue properties (314-344 Evergreen on the east side) to B3. In a report published today at ELi, I explain what that would mean and list what are seen as the pros and cons of this rezoning: 

https://eastlansinginfo.org/content/rezone-big-redevelopment-near-park-complicated-question-coming-council

As a lot of Public Response readers know, these properties carry about $5.6 million in debt, a debt for with City taxpayers are ultimately responsible. 

That debt … Read more →

Red Cedar Elementary School Programming

East Lansing Public Schools [ logo ]

ELPS recently distributed a survey about programming in Red Cedar school.  I don’t know if the survey was designed to forecast enrollment for different types of programming but it has resulted in many parents getting wound up.  Below is a Public Response post I wrote on April 29, 2017 discussing Red Cedar programming if the $93M bond passed.  I believe the numbers have changed only slightly in the past two years.

Mike Conlin

April 29, 2017 PUBLIC RESPONSE POST

Punchline: If the bond passes, … Read more →

Mourning Loss of Mackerel Sky // Eliot Singer

Mackerel Sky - East Lansing - Street Shot

I was saddened to see that Mackerel Sky will be closing, after celebrating 30 years. I met Tom and Linda in 1980, right after we first moved to Michigan, when they were co-owners of Brother Gambit, back when downtown East Lansing had a vibrant small, locally-owned, business community, which we regularly patronized, despite, at the time, living in west Lansing. There was still such a community, as well as vibrant historic neighborhoods and the top local school system, when we chose to buy a … Read more →

Am I math challenged or is the fixmeridianroads group not talking to them selves // Don Bosman

Meridian roads bond proposal

Today we received a second brochure touting a vote to tax ourselves more.
The brochure lists taxes on a $200,000.00 home at $169.28

If you go to the website https://clerk.ingham.org/Department/County%20Clerk/Elections/Election%20Results/August%202019%20Proposal%20Language.pdf
through the link at https://fixmeridianroads.com/the-solution to read the sample ballot language, it states the millage will be for 1.9428, which by my math equals $194.28 on a $200,000.00 home. 

I’ve used a calculator to triple check my math. What am I missing?

Don Bosman
Meridian Township but East Lansing Schools

ELPS Bussing Costs // Mike Conlin

Back of a School Bus

EAST LANSING PUBLIC SCHOOL’S BUSSING COSTS

The recent controversy about the transition plans associated with ELPS implementing their elementary school reconfiguration made me curious about ELPS’s bussing costs.

I was shocked to find that ELPS spent $1,171,207 on student transportation in academic year 2017-18.  The graph below shows that this is a 61% ($443,478) increase in ELPS’s student transportation costs over the past eleven years.  Note that contracting out ELPD’s general education bussing to Dean Transportation, through the Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD), beginning … Read more →

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