Do You Care About East Lansing?

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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 … Read more →

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 … Read more →

Responsible and Irresponsible Bond Financing for Public Works // Eliot Singer

Twenty years ago, East Lansing voters approved debt millages amounting to $10.5 million in principal to build the aquatic center and renovate Hannah Middle School into a community center. The exact city debt millage on tax bills depends on total taxable value of East Lansing properties, so how much this has cost the average single family home can only be an approximation: $2000 over 20 years would be in the right ballpark. (School debt is set at 7 mils, despite … Read more →

What Are the Financial Implications for City of East Lansing of New MIP Civil Infraction Law? // Eliot Singer

As many of you know, starting January 1, first minor-in-possession offenses will be treated as civil infractions not misdemeanors.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/01/07/new-laws-underage-drinking/1008889001/

http://news.jrn.msu.edu/2017/09/east-lansing-to-reduce-mip-penalties-fines-in-2018/

I simply want to raise the question of financial implications.

Fines for MIPs were $500. They will now be $100.

In FY 2013 budget, District Court Fines (parking fines are a separate budget item) were expected to be $2,000,000, in FY 2018 budget, $1,375,000. One factor is probably that community policing has already reduced the number of … Read more →

City Still Shirking Responsibility for Financial Woes // Eliot Singer

I looked at the PR for public input on city financial woes, and it appears they still want to blame others, without acknowledging any financial mistakes by city government. These mistakes, some outrageous, have come at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. Even if what is done cannot be undone, unless city officials are willing to admit these mistakes and take measures to prevent recurrence, they have and will recur.

1) More than $50 million in unfunded debt … Read more →

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, … 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 … 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 Meetings In 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 … Read more →

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