Do You Care About East Lansing?

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Public Purpose Must Be Commensurate with Cost // Eliot Singer

I am trying to push state legislators on development authority reforms, using East Lansing as the poster-child for how to do public-private development wrong.

One of the key reforms needs to be requiring all brownfield projects or DDA expenditures provide a detailed breakdown, including financials, of what the public purposes are in relation to tax diversion and other costs, and also requiring a strong procedure for objective assessment. Currently, all government has to do is wave a magic wand and say, there’s a public … Read more →

DRW Illegal Trade Case Still Undecided // Eliot Singer

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-21/for-legendary-chicago-trader-slow-justice-in-manipulation-case

I hadn’t check for many months, but someone asked me a few days ago, so I finally got around to it.

DRW is tied to Core Campus/Convexity.

After City Center II/Park District and the brownfield project with the developer with a felony fraud conviction, East Lansing government and MEDC needed an absolute no crooks and deadbeats for tax incentives rule to restore even a modicum of credibility and ethical standards.

They didn’t.

DRW should have been excluded from tax incentives for the … Read more →

Secret Fees for Lotto 1 Bond Are Outrageous // Eliot Singer

When the $25,265,000 for the Lotto 1 bond was announced, with only $24,389,518 going to pay for the $33,000 per space parking structure and other infrastructure, it didn’t make a lot of sense. Typically, the city pays the bond broker 1%, and this is to do the paperwork/bookkeeping and to sell the bonds on the open market. In this case, it was a private placement deal, so the origination (broker) fee should have been less, since there was no need to sell on the … Read more →

District Bond Implementation // Kathleen Edsall

As a member of the District Bond Implementation committee, I have attend monthly meetings where we receive progress reports as well as discuss input from the individual school committees and school forums and make recommendations based on this input and our combined experiences in this community. The committee consists of principals, the architect (GMB), Clark Construction, EL planning, ELPL, community members, board members, cabinet members and the superintendent. The committee structure is posted on the website.

The major focus, of late, has been Red … Read more →

Killing the DDA // Eliot Singer

I’m sure the usual suspects do not want to place killing their beloved, functionally obsolete, DDA and BRA at the top of the budget cut list. I don’t know exactly how much can be saved through cuts to planning staff and city attorney, probably on the order of 4 positions and 25% city attorney time (based on recent billing records). Preventing further expenditures on discretionary projects and programs, for example, piggybacking road reconfiguration on the Project Formerly Known as City Center Two, will save … Read more →

re: East Lansing or East Laggard? A vote for fossil fuels? // Maria Lapinski

For posting please –thank you!

I would like to echo the sentiment of James Anderson’s post. Our family came to EL because of its reputation as a progressive community; we stay here because we believe in many ways it is progressive-ish and that there is a shared sense of place that is lacking in the surrounding communities.

Yet, for 10 years, our community dialogue on education, including the school board, has been focused on buildings rather than the substance of our schools. Although Mr. … Read more →

City Financial Crisis: One Last Time, With Feeling // Eliot Singer

I feel a moral obligation to weigh in from afar on East Lansing’s mess, since I was one of the first to call attention to the city’s pending financial crisis and the need for new revenue. I also had carefully analyzed the budget, finding such hidden discrepancies as the DDA not paying fully for downtown maintenance, while it continued to embark on new, discretionary, projects, and huge deficits in self-financing for parking structures. With the help of Vic Loomis, I carefully examined all the … Read more →

Farm to School // Eliot Singer

Reading Jim Anderson’s post on school reconstruction reminded me (in a non sequitur way) that I’ve been wanting to urge East Lansing schools to get involved in the farm to school movement.

http://www.canr.msu.edu/farm_to_school/

I would also suggest looking at a city and MSU College of Education jointly sponsored charter school along the lines of Greenspire in Traverse City.

http://www.greenspireschool.org

 

Eliot Singer

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East Lansing or East Laggard? A vote for fossil fuels? // James Anderson

WHY YOUR SILENCE ON ENVIRONMENTAL VANDALISM AND EXTRAVAGANT WASTE OF BOND FUNDS ON RED CEDAR BOND FUND SPENDING?
AN OPEN LETTER TO BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS POWERS (PRESIDENT), CHAMBERS (NEW) , GRAHAM, HENDERSON, HOEHNE, KUHNMUENCH, AND MARTIN

 I challenge your public silence on the school bond expenditure plans, especially for the Red Cedar site plan, as I have challenged you in public comment at Board of Education and Bond Work Group meetings, so far in vain.  The public, which voted for the bond issue last May … Read more →

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