Will the Chappelle Indictment Change City Hall? // Alice Dreger

It’s painful that Jim Cuddeback, the founder of Public Response, is not alive to read  the news  that real estate developer Scott Chappelle has been indicted for tax and bank fraud. When it was impossible for citizen watchdogs to convince any local news organization to report the truth about Chappelle’s history, Public Response provided the space to educate the community.

Eliot Singer, above all, worked doggedly to track and expose what was really going on with the developer with whom the City was looking to partner … Read more →

Don Power Celebration of Life / Gordon Taylor

We lost Don Power on December 27, 2019.  His celebration of life will be at  the East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Rd, on Sunday, March 15 at 10 am to 12:30 pm.  Guests are invited to share memories at 11 am.  For those who wish to donate, please consider the East Lansing Public Library or the Small Animal Emergency Clinic, MSU Veterinary Hospital,  736 Wilson Rd, East Lansing MI 48824-1314.

Always an advocate for the East Lansing Library, Don was instrumental in getting … Read more →

What Counts as Outside “The Boundaries of Normal Messing-Up”? // Alice Dreger

Historic District - Sunset Ln - Copyright Raymond Holt

As  reported at ELi today , City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday night to finally end the excruciating process of considering changes to the Oakwood Historic District boundaries. 

As was expected when this process started in 2013, the DDA’s Evergreen Avenue properties were removed to allow for redevelopment in order to deal with the looming $5.4 million debt on them. I’m happy to say the boundary was moved only two properties farther north, leaving largely intact the district I bought into in 1998 with the purchase of our … Read more →

11/5/19 City Election Results // Matt Kazmierski

Vote - East Lansing Elections Results, November 2019

If you haven’t already read / heard, here are the results from yesterday’s City election – taken from multiple sources – which included a race for three open seats on City Council, and a ballot question regarding the sale of land that the City owns at the southwest corner of West and Coleman roads.

City Council

1. Jessy Gregg – 2,944 votes

2. Lisa Babcock – 2,871 votes

3. Mark Meadows – 1,951 votes

4. Erik Altmann – 1,949 votes

5. John Revitte – 1,397 votes

6. Warren Stanfield III – … Read more →

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 →

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 →

Council’s attempt to dictate lease terms // Brian Hagan

Michigan Lease Drafting and Landlord-Tenant Law clip

While we’re mindful that the general public is not always sympathetic to issues involving landlords and the city, we think it’s important to provide some perspective on Ordinance 1444; which will appear on the council’s business agenda at it’s meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 12/4) night.  This ordinance is an example of council involving themselves in the contractual dealings of a private business.  Whether you’re business owner or not, you should be concerned that our council feels they have the right to do this.

For reference; … Read more →

Landmark: Deja Vu All Over Again // Eliot Singer

Public-private development in East Lansing is simple. Promise something to get lucrative tax breaks and bond financing. Then build what is most profitable, high priced student apartments and late night bars, which could have been built without tax giveaways or subsidized parking structures. Developers are never held accountable for bait and switch. No one is ever fired for aiding and abetting.

Next shoe to fall is the senior housing with the deck for the old folks with the Trump dye-jobs.

What amazes me is … Read more →

It’s official – the Landmark is “purpose-built student housing” // Alice Dreger

Landmark East Lansing - Student Housing!

The Center City District project was sold during East Lansing’s planning approval process as a project that would bring “market-rate rental housing” downtown. The claim by the project’s proponents was that the 12-story apartment building along Grand River Avenue would attract – in addition to MSU students – working adults whose downtown residency would in turn diversify retail and dining opportunities downtown.

The developer even produced a study purporting to support this claim, presenting it to East Lansing’s Planning Commission and City Council.

But now … Read more →

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