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Response to Mark Lanedson re: implications // Eliot Singer

I purposely wrote a technical piece without offering concerns and interpretations. I hope ELi will be able to obtain a copy of the Bond indenture with numbers filled in, at which point it will be easier to ask questions and offer interpretations. The balloon payment I alluded to is speculation. We don’t know how Scottsdale Capital, associated with the father or the Harbor Bay principal, came up with $25 million to purchase the bonds. As far as I have ascertained, this is not someone with obvious access to that kind of cash. (DRW, the financier behind Core Campus, would have … Read more →

Fraud Lawsuit Involving City Attorney // Alice Dreger

for publication: Public Response has long been a location for ongoing discussion of concerns brought by East Lansing residents about governmental actions and policies. One of the stories that Public Response contributors and readers have tracked for years is of the use of taxpayer funds to reconstruct a retaining wall and sidewalk running along the east side of the City Attorneys’ property. Today at ELi (eastlansinginfo.org) we have a report up on a whistleblower suit brought on this case jointly by the United States and Phil Bellfy, and the City’s settlement of the case: http://eastlansinginfo.org/content/east-lansing-settles-fraud-lawsuit-involving-city-attorney Alice Dreger Facebook Email Twitter … Read more →

Fwd: Community Engagement on City Finances Is Needed and Welcomed, And An Offer of Snow Removal Help // Nancy Cuddeback

City Council Hosting Community Engagement MeetingsIn the face of ongoing, significant financial challenges, East Lansing City Council will be hosting community engagement meetings to gather public input on the City of East Lansing’s budget priorities this January. The meetings, facilitated by Public Sector Consultants, will take place on the following dates at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road: § Wednesday, Jan. 10 from 6-8 p.m. in the Executive Conference Room § Thursday, Jan. 18 from 7-9 p.m. in the Banquet Hall These meetings will provide East Lansing residents with an opportunity to share their input as we … Read more →

re: Technical Analysis of Non-Recourse Tax-Increment Bonds in Reference to Lot 1 Bond // Mark Ladenson

Just so I understand, is the point of your post to question whether the planned refunding in 2020 can actually be pulled off; and if it can’t, to alert us to the looming “major implications” of the city having to make a balloon payment in 2020 to redeem the December 2017 loan of $25,265,000? I ask because you make what seems to be a strong case for doubting that the refunding can be pulled off, but, except perhaps for your sentence that includes the phrase, “balloon payment”, I don’t see a discussion of the consequences of the failure of that … Read more →

Technical Analysis of Non-Recourse Tax-Increment Bonds in Reference to Lot 1 Bond // Eliot Singer

[I know most people, including city officials without CPA qualifications, find finance difficult. Please try to take the time to read through the details, including looking at the linked bond prospectuses. Understanding finance is not only crucial for holding governments accountable for how money is spent—this should be a bipartisan concern—but in your personal financial management. How many of you keep a budget? Do you do your own taxes? Do you manage your own investments and savings?] Non-recourse Versus Full Faith and Credit Tax Increment Revenue Bonds The reason city officials are not expressing concern over the commitment to redeem … Read more →

Comparables re Lot 1 Development // Eliot Singer

1) The East Lansing parking structure for Center City is going to cost ~$33,000 per space, according to the contractor. The Carl Walker Parking Structure Cost Outlook for 2017 report shows construction cost per space of parking structures in various cities around the country. Detroit was $19,873, Chicago, $23,634, Cleveland, $19,085, Minneapolis, $20,818, to give an idea about midwest cities. http://denver.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/10/2017-Cost-Article.pdf 2) The development project in which Harbor Bay is involved that most resembles Center City in East Lansing is The Hub in Minneapolis, near University of Minnesota. That project is now listing floor plans with costs (“starting at” for … Read more →

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