Do You Care About East Lansing?

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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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 →

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