City Attorney

State Finds City Manager Violated Campaign Finance Law

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Above: City Manager George Lahanas and City Attorney Tom Yeadon, courtesy City of East Lansing

Michigan’s Department of State has determined that East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA) when he used his column in the City’s Dialog newsletter to encourage voters to vote “yes” on a ballot initiative in the fall of 2014. In a letter dated March 2, 2016, a representative of the Bureau of Elections advised Lahanas, “you are not entitled to use public resources to solicit a favorable vote regarding a ballot question.”

Council Restricts Drones, Appoints Financial Health Team, Revisits Permit Parking

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Logistical update: All Council members were present at tonight’s meeting, including Mayor Mark Meadows, Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier, and members Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Susan Woods. Before the meeting’s official start, Meadows noted that Tuesday’s meeting was being recorded and broadcast via fixed-position cameras in accordance with Council’s new schedule and frequency of video recording meetings, as previously reported by ELi’s Coleen Moyerbrailean.

State Legislation Could Undo EL Historic Districts

Friday, February 12, 2016

Following the lead of other Michigan cities like Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, the City of East Lansing is gearing up to fight back to retain local control of its historic districts, even while some believe the districts impede productive redevelopment in East Lansing and elsewhere.

City Attorney May Change as Position Opens Up

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Above: Tom Yeadon and the McGinty firm offices along Abbot Road

Without discussion, last night East Lansing’s City Council passed a resolution authorizing City Manager George Lahanas to put out a call for proposals for a new City Attorney. This follows the City maintaining no-bid contracts for counsel with the East Lansing-based McGinty firm since the 1960s. Tom Yeadon of the McGinty firm has acted as our City’s chief counsel since 2012.

Council Considers Controversial Chesterfield Hills Parking Issue

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Above: map showing in cross-hatch where parking may be restricted to cars with resident-only permits

Tonight, East Lansing’s City Council will consider whether to add parking restrictions in the Chesterfield Hills neighborhood. If approved, the plan would expand the area where only Chesterfield Hills residents with pre-arranged permits may park. (See full map of plan.)

Council Capsule: December 1, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Each week, ELi brings you a summary of what happened at City Council. Our “Council Capsule” allows you to stay on top of what’s happening in our local government.

All present: Mayor Mark Meadows, Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier, Councilmembers Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, Susan Woods (5 minutes late because she was coming from Austria).

Council Amends Code of Ethics to Address Campaign Contributions

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Above: Pat Wolff of the Tamarisk Neighborhood testifying during the public hearing last night.

Last night, East Lansing’s City Council unanimously approved a change to a portion of the City’s Code pertaining to Ethics. The change aims to make more transparent when someone with active financial business before Council has made a relatively recent campaign contribution of more than $100 to a seated Councilmember deliberating on the matter.

Dangerous Buildings Demolition Ordinance Passes

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Image: Back of vacant, blighted building at Grand River and Evergreen Avenues, just east of the Peoples Church memorial garden.

Last night, East Lansing’s City Council voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 1360, which makes it easier for the City to decide to tear down a dangerous building when “the cost of the repairs would exceed 100 percent of the true cash value of the structure as reflected on the city assessment tax rolls.” The ordinance’s passage could ultimately lead to the City moving to demolish dangerous vacant buildings.

Council Likely Moving to New Meeting Style

Monday, November 30, 2015

East Lansing’s City Council met for its first work session last Tuesday, November 24. One of the topics discussed was operating procedures for the coming Council term, including changing to fewer meetings per month, with all meetings video-recorded and broadcast live.

Traditionally, each month Council has held approximately two work sessions and two regular business sessions.

New Council Moving Quickly on Blight, Rentals Issue, Campaign Contributions’ Ethics, and Protected Trees

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Image: Some of the blighted buildings downtown that may be demolished if a new "dangerous buildings" ordinance passes.

The new East Lansing City Council meets for the first time this evening, and their first agenda indicates this Council intends to move quickly on a number of politically hot issues, including blighted vacant buildings downtown, the ethics of campaign contributions, and a question of whether the City or the State should have say over whether landlords can make certain changes to nonconforming rental houses.

Council Capsule: October 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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Council Capsule: October 13, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Present: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Kathy Boyle and Susan Woods.

Absent: Councilmember Ruth Beier.

City Changing Ordinance to Support Deer Hunt

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Image courtesy of USDA.

With plans in place to start killing deer in East Lansing starting late next month, City Council will be voting in November to change an ordinance to support the plan. Such a legal change may not really be necessary according to City Attorney Tom Yeadon. But Yeadon told City Council on Tuesday night that prudence suggests an amendment to the current ordinance involving restriction of firearms so that it will be straightforward in the future for the City or State to cull deer as necessary in the City of East Lansing.

Council Capsule: October 6, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Above: ELPD Officer Dave Dekorte and Crunchy’s, both subjects of Council’s work this week.

This week’s meeting of East Lansing’s City Council was videotaped. You can watch the meeting by clicking here. If there’s a particular item you are interested in, click on that item in the index shown below the video screen and the playback will jump to that part of the meeting.

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