Government

Mayor George Brookover Announces Preferred Charter Review Committee Members

Mayor George Brookover Announces Preferred Charter Review Committee Members

While council isn’t scheduled to make a final decision on members of the charter review committee until August, Brookover’s memo shows which candidates have an inside track to being appointed.

Council Sets Guidelines for Charter Review Committee Selection; Partners with Gun Violence Reduction Program

Council Sets Guidelines for Charter Review Committee Selection; Partners with Gun Violence Reduction Program

In addition to council settling on an August selection date, City Attorney Anthony Chubb explained the limited scope the committee will have at the June 18 City Council meeting.

City Officials Continue to Spar with Residents Over Proposed Charter Amendment

City Officials Continue to Spar with Residents Over Proposed Charter Amendment

Residents circulating a petition to change the city charter and two members of City Council have offered drastically different interpretations of what the amendment would do.

Deadline to Apply to Serve on EL Charter Review Committee Approaching

Deadline to Apply to Serve on EL Charter Review Committee Approaching

Applications to serve on the East Lansing charter review committee are due by June 15.

Drive Thru Rejected, Renaming Committee Approved, Judges Present at City Council Meeting

Drive Thru Rejected, Renaming Committee Approved, Judges Present at City Council Meeting

After being recommended by the Planning Commission in January, a proposal for retail spaces and a drive thru restaurant on Lake Lansing Road could not win over approval from City Council at the Tuesday, June 4 meeting.

DDA Talks Evergreen Properties, New Director and Responds to Councilmember’s Comments

DDA Talks Evergreen Properties, New Director and Responds to Councilmember’s Comments

The DDA is hopeful to soon find a firm to market its Evergreen Avenue properties.

New Emergency Alert System, Budget and Potential Charter Change Addressed at Council Meeting

New Emergency Alert System, Budget and Potential Charter Change Addressed at Council Meeting

The budget is finally set for fiscal year 2025.

Council Talks Budget, Establishes Charter Review Committee

Council Talks Budget, Establishes Charter Review Committee

There was a packed agenda for this week’s City Council meeting.

DDA to Once Again Take Pitches on Evergreen Properties

DDA to Once Again Take Pitches on Evergreen Properties

The DDA will again look to find the right development for its long-held properties.

Police, DPW and More Give Budget Presentations

Police, DPW and More Give Budget Presentations

City staff returned for the second straight week to present on budget requests, Tuesday, April 23.

Annette Irwin: East Lansing’s Leslie Knope?

Annette Irwin: East Lansing’s Leslie Knope?

Planning, Building and Development Director Annette Irwin still carries the reputation of a “Worker Bee” even after 27 years of service to the city.

Council Receives First Round of Budget Presentations Ahead of FY 2025

Council Receives First Round of Budget Presentations Ahead of FY 2025

The new fiscal year will start July 1, 2024.

Council Approves “Flexible” Albert El Fresco Plan

Council Approves “Flexible” Albert El Fresco Plan

Street closures allowing for Albert El Fresco starting April 29 were approved by City Council.

Council Approves Glencairn Overlay, Unhappy with El Fresco Shrinkage

Council Approves Glencairn Overlay, Unhappy with El Fresco Shrinkage

Council hopes to hear a plan that does not downsize the El Fresco area so much before it is scheduled to open on April 29.

Planning Commission Postpones B&B Plans, Recommends Energy Ordinance Changes

Planning Commission Postpones B&B Plans, Recommends Energy Ordinance Changes

The Planning Commission recommended approval on a pair of items, while tabling proposed rezoning that would allow for a Grove Street B&B.

Path to Healthy Pension Funding Laid out to Council

Path to Healthy Pension Funding Laid out to Council

For years, the city has struggled with its underfunded pension plan. Now, there appears to be a path forward – but there is work to do.

ELIPOC Amendments Approved by Council

ELIPOC Amendments Approved by Council

Though controversial, the amendments to the ordinance regulating the city’s police oversight commission are meant to provide clarity, and not change how the commission functions.

Council Not Sold on Proposed Short Term Rental Legislation

Council Not Sold on Proposed Short Term Rental Legislation

The city’s lobbyist spoke at the March 12 discussion-only City Council meeting to update Council on proposed legislation that would regulate short term rentals. Council was not in favor of the legislation in its current form, however.

Trees Dominate Discussion at Planning Commission Meeting

Trees Dominate Discussion at Planning Commission Meeting

Three public hearings were held at the Feb. 28 Planning Commission meeting. One regarded tree removals, another addressed a solar energy ordinance and the third revisited a B&B that is proposed for Grove Street.

Equitable Hiring, Modernizing Systems Among Priorities Set by Council

Equitable Hiring, Modernizing Systems Among Priorities Set by Council

City Council held a special meeting to narrow down a large list of priorities for 2024 and 2025.

Secontine Investigation Released, Finds One Charter Violation

Secontine Investigation Released, Finds One Charter Violation

A report from independent investigator J. Randall Secontine explores alleged charter violations and gives insight to some factors that stressed out city staff members.

City of East Lansing: Pay Up (Please)

City of East Lansing: Pay Up (Please)

Some East Lansing residents have been surprised to receive notices that they may owe the city income taxes.

Council Tackles Variety of Issues in Tuesday Meeting
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Council Tackles Variety of Issues in Tuesday Meeting

Glencairn rental restriction overlay public hearing set, rejected projects discussed and minutes of Nov. 2 special meeting finally approved during 90-minute session.

Glencairn Overlay, Mass Timber Discussed at Busy Planning Commission Meeting

Glencairn Overlay, Mass Timber Discussed at Busy Planning Commission Meeting

The rental restriction overlay proposed in part of Glencairn neighborhood was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission at its Jan. 24 meeting.

Pair of Major Road Projects Approved by City Council
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Pair of Major Road Projects Approved by City Council

City Council voted to approve projects that will have major impacts on two of East Lansing’s busiest roads at the Jan. 23 meeting.

Brookover Negotiates EV Charger at Car Wash; Gas Station and B&B Proposals Rejected
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Brookover Negotiates EV Charger at Car Wash; Gas Station and B&B Proposals Rejected

City Council heard another statement condemning the election of Singh as mayor pro tem over Watson.

Council Attempts to Outline Ambitions for 2024-2025 Term
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Council Attempts to Outline Ambitions for 2024-2025 Term

The last two city departments presented their priorities, while the strategic planning process was met with some resistance.

Council Will Consider Hagadorn ‘Road Diet’ Project
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Council Will Consider Hagadorn ‘Road Diet’ Project

The Transportation Commission unanimously approved recommending the plan be implemented for the stretch of road from Burcham Drive to Grand River Avenue.

Video of Nov. 2 Special Council Meeting Released On City YouTube Channel
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Video of Nov. 2 Special Council Meeting Released On City YouTube Channel

The video was uploaded to the city’s YouTube channel, but not added to the meeting calendar like other recordings. City manager tells ELi it was an “oversight.”

Police, Public Works and Other City Departments Lay Out 2024 Priorities
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Police, Public Works and Other City Departments Lay Out 2024 Priorities

City strategic planning will continue at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Hannah Center.

Lansing NAACP Speaks Against Perceived Bias from Council
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Lansing NAACP Speaks Against Perceived Bias from Council

Following statements by the NAACP’s James McCurtis and Councilmember Dana Watson, Council heard presentations from city department heads about 2024 priorities.

New Commission Gives Voice to Youth
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New Commission Gives Voice to Youth

“It’s a great way to bridge the gap between and learn what the commissioners see as important to their peers,” assistant to the city manager said.

Council Rejects Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Resolution
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Council Rejects Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Resolution

Despite emotional testimony from many personally impacted by the conflict, the resolution drafted by the Human Rights Commission was rejected 4-1.

Council Kicks off 2024 with Stacked Meeting Agenda
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Council Kicks off 2024 with Stacked Meeting Agenda

Tuesday’s meeting includes 10 items on the business agenda, 3 public hearings and a mysterious closed session.

Three to Be Interviewed for ELPL Director Position

Three to Be Interviewed for ELPL Director Position

The Library Board of Trustees will begin public interviews early this month.

Council Takes a Long Look at Finances
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Council Takes a Long Look at Finances

During public comment, speakers requested the city support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

City Leaders Urge Council to Move Forward with Charter Review Commission
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City Leaders Urge Council to Move Forward with Charter Review Commission

The letter signed by nine civic and school leaders supports putting the commission establishment on the 2024 ballot.

Overlay in Glencairn to be Considered After Widespread Confusion, Protest
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Overlay in Glencairn to be Considered After Widespread Confusion, Protest

The interim planning director and a Council member work to explain the overlay ordinances. But the debate is expected to continue.

Council Floats Regional Strategy Following Deer Management Presentation

Council Floats Regional Strategy Following Deer Management Presentation

The deer management plan and January cull were approved 4-1 at the Nov. 28 meeting.

Overlay Districts, Bias All Broached at Eventful Meeting
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Overlay Districts, Bias All Broached at Eventful Meeting

City Council heard from 20 members of the community during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting.

The Numbers: Analysis of Data From Nov. 7 Election

The Numbers: Analysis of Data From Nov. 7 Election

Kerry Ebersole Singh ran well ahead of other candidates in a City Council election that saw a strong turnout.

Following in His Father’s Footsteps, George Brookover Is Mayor of East Lansing

Following in His Father’s Footsteps, George Brookover Is Mayor of East Lansing

Erik Altmann, Mark Meadows and Kerry Ebersole Singh are sworn in, joining George Brookover and Dana Watson on City Council.

Ebersole Singh Runs Way Ahead of Pack; Meadows, Altmann to Return to Council
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Ebersole Singh Runs Way Ahead of Pack; Meadows, Altmann to Return to Council

In unofficial results from Tuesday’s election, Dan Bollman narrowly missed out on the third slot. Noel Garcia finished fifth, Joshua Ramirez-Roberts was sixth, Rebecca Kasen seventh and Chris Wardell eighth.

Hometown Boy Returns as City Planner

Hometown Boy Returns as City Planner

New Principal Planner Landon Bartley is eager to get to work back in the community that shaped him.

Special Council Meeting: Assertion Charter Was Violated Found to be Without Merit, City Attorney Will Settle Two Lawsuits
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Special Council Meeting: Assertion Charter Was Violated Found to be Without Merit, City Attorney Will Settle Two Lawsuits

The agenda for the Thursday meeting was added to the city calendar on Wednesday.

Mysteriously Delivered Packet Tells Story of City Raises and Promotions

Mysteriously Delivered Packet Tells Story of City Raises and Promotions

Councilmember George Brookover expressed discomfort with the actions taken by the outgoing interim city manager. Randy Talifarro, the new city manager and finance director respond.

Everything You Need to Know Ahead of Tuesday’s City Council Elections

Everything You Need to Know Ahead of Tuesday’s City Council Elections

Here’s a roundup of ELi’s election coverage leading up to the polls opening throughout the City of East Lansing on Nov. 7.

Campaign Expenses Reveal Big Differences in Resources Available to Candidates
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Campaign Expenses Reveal Big Differences in Resources Available to Candidates

ELi analyzes and breaks down financial records from the Ingham County Clerk.

Robert Belleman Easing into His Role as City Manager

Robert Belleman Easing into His Role as City Manager

The city’s new top administrator talks about his life, his priorities and gives his perspective on the end of his job in Saginaw.

Parks & Rec Advisory Commission Hears Updates on Local Projects

Parks & Rec Advisory Commission Hears Updates on Local Projects

Commissioners heard a presentations on lyme disease interventions, the aquatic center and city park upgrades.

Interim City Manager Randy Talifarro Reflects on Tenure

Interim City Manager Randy Talifarro Reflects on Tenure

After 228 days on the job, Talifarro said he is glad to have had the opportunity to step into the crucial city role during a sometimes tumultuous time.

City Council Denies 530 Albert Development in 2-3 Vote
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City Council Denies 530 Albert Development in 2-3 Vote

The communitywide debate has been ongoing since May. With the Tuesday decision, the surface parking lot will stay a parking lot.

People with Disabilities File Most Housing Discrimination Complaints in East Lansing, Analysis Shows

People with Disabilities File Most Housing Discrimination Complaints in East Lansing, Analysis Shows

The required analysis, presented during the Oct. 10 discussion-only City Council meeting, reviewed demographics, affordability and housing complaints.

Where the Eight City Council Candidates Stand on Ballot Initiatives

Where the Eight City Council Candidates Stand on Ballot Initiatives

Responses of “yes” or “no” to the ballot initiatives may give insight into candidates’ political views.

City Council Candidates Explain their Visions for Development, Affordable Housing

City Council Candidates Explain their Visions for Development, Affordable Housing

This is the third short-answer question posed to the eight East Lansing Council candidates.

What are Council Candidates’ Plans to Help Retain City Staff?

What are Council Candidates’ Plans to Help Retain City Staff?

ELi is providing a series of stories with candidate responses to questions generated by readers. This is the second of the series of four packages.

Where do Council Candidates Stand on Moving City Elections?

Where do Council Candidates Stand on Moving City Elections?

ELi is providing a series of three stories with candidate responses to questions generated by readers.

No Decision Made by Council on 530 Albert Ave. Project
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No Decision Made by Council on 530 Albert Ave. Project

22 people spoke to Council about the affordable housing project during the Oct. 3 meeting, with majority speaking against the proposal. Council expects to make a decision at the Oct. 17 meeting.

EL Council Candidates Try to Distinguish Themselves in Crowded Field at Public Forum

EL Council Candidates Try to Distinguish Themselves in Crowded Field at Public Forum

ELi brings you what candidates had to say about the city’s workforce problem, redevelopment, climate change, public safety and lots more.

ELi’s Voter Guide for the 2023 City Council Election

ELi’s Voter Guide for the 2023 City Council Election

All the information you need to be prepared for the upcoming Nov. 7 election.

ELi Voter Guide to the East Lansing Charter Amendment Proposals

ELi Voter Guide to the East Lansing Charter Amendment Proposals

Voters are being asked to consider three amendments on the Nov. 7, 2023, ballot.

Grove Street Rezoning Denied by City Council
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Grove Street Rezoning Denied by City Council

The proposal was defeated 3-2. Hagan Reality owners are not sure what their next steps will be for the properties but vow not to give up.

Special ELi Investigation: Why Have So Many Senior Personnel Quit the City of East Lansing?

Special ELi Investigation: Why Have So Many Senior Personnel Quit the City of East Lansing?

Divisions within East Lansing’s City Hall have led to complaints and resignations.

Robert Belleman to Serve as Next City Manager of East Lansing as Council Approves Contract

Robert Belleman to Serve as Next City Manager of East Lansing as Council Approves Contract

By Lucas Day Concluding a drawn out saga that stretches back to early August, the East Lansing City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday (Sept. 19) in favor of approving a contract for Robert Belleman to serve as the next city manager. Belleman comes to East Lansing following a recent controversy. He was removed from his previous…

City Releases Proposed Contract with City Manager Appointee Robert Belleman
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City Releases Proposed Contract with City Manager Appointee Robert Belleman

City Council will vote on the contract at their Tuesday meeting.

Council Expected to Vote Next Tuesday on Belleman Contract for City Manager

Council Expected to Vote Next Tuesday on Belleman Contract for City Manager

Investigation by ELi shows it’s been a rocky road to hiring a new city manager for East Lansing.

Documents Released Shed Light on Decision to Redevelop Bailey St. Parking Lot
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Documents Released Shed Light on Decision to Redevelop Bailey St. Parking Lot

Material just released under the Freedom of Information Act shows the Metzger/Fabian family chose to redevelop their portion of Parking Lot #11 after being told the city would not continue to rent it for parking.

City Council Hears Grove St. Rezoning Proposal
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City Council Hears Grove St. Rezoning Proposal

Hagan Realty says the project will be good for the city, while residents of the 600 block of Grove Street continue to disagree.

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Joshua Ramirez-Roberts

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Joshua Ramirez-Roberts

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the eighth installment in our series, Dustin DuFort Petty provides a profile of Joshua Ramirez-Roberts. Why is Ramirez-Roberts running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Mark Meadows

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Mark Meadows

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the seventh installment in our series, Lucas Day provides a profile of Mark Meadows. Why is Meadows running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Kerry Ebersole Singh

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Kerry Ebersole Singh

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the sixth installment in our series, Dustin DuFort Petty provides a profile of Kerry Ebersole Singh. Why is Ebersole Singh running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Dan Bollman

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Dan Bollman

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the fifth in our series, Dustin DuFort Petty provides a profile of Dan Bollman. Why is Bollman running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Rebecca Kasen

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Rebecca Kasen

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the third installment in our series, Mya Gregory provides a profile of Rebecca Kasen. Why is Kasen running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Christopher Wardell

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Christopher Wardell

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the third installment in our series, Mya Gregory provides a profile of Christopher Wardell. Why is Wardell running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Noel Garcia

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Noel Garcia

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the second installment in our series, Mya Gregory provides a profile of Noel Garcia. Why is Garcia running?

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Erik Altmann

Meet East Lansing City Council Candidate Erik Altmann

ELi is providing introductions to the eight East Lansing City Council candidates. In the first installment in our series, Lucas Day provides a profile of Erik Altmann. Why is Altmann running?

Council Could Change Voting Years from Odd to Even, But Mayor Says It Won’t

Council Could Change Voting Years from Odd to Even, But Mayor Says It Won’t

Mayor Ron Bacon says the Council won’t initiate a resolution to make the change, as he says the idea was to involve a “democratic sorting of that issue.”

Zoning Board of Appeals Approves Solar Variance for University Lutheran Church
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Zoning Board of Appeals Approves Solar Variance for University Lutheran Church

The variance was approved 4-3 after back and forth discussion at the board’s Aug. 2 meeting.

ELi and League of Women Voters Ask What Voters Want to Know about EL Council Candidates

ELi and League of Women Voters Ask What Voters Want to Know about EL Council Candidates

Responses will be used to generate questions for the public candidate forum set for Sept. 14 at the Hannah Community Center.

Calls to Dial Down Rhetoric After Contentious City Manager Hiring Process

Calls to Dial Down Rhetoric After Contentious City Manager Hiring Process

“I don’t mind dissent,” Councilmember Dana Watson said last night. “I do mind certain temperatures of it.”

Keeping Belleman ‘Would Have Paralyzed Saginaw County,’ Commissioner Says
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Keeping Belleman ‘Would Have Paralyzed Saginaw County,’ Commissioner Says

The meeting where Robert Belleman was fired from his job as Saginaw County’s controller included strong public statements for and against his termination, a recording obtained by ELi shows. Two commissioners who voted for termination spoke with ELi.

Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg Explains How Council Could Reconsider Hiring Belleman as City Manager
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Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg Explains How Council Could Reconsider Hiring Belleman as City Manager

Gregg doesn’t have the power to formally call for revisiting the vote. Only Mayor Ron Bacon and Councilmembers Dana Watson and Noel Garcia can do that.

Following Whitmer’s Ruling, Proposed East Lansing Charter Amendment Won’t Go to Ballot
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Following Whitmer’s Ruling, Proposed East Lansing Charter Amendment Won’t Go to Ballot

The controversial amendment proposing changing City Council elections from odd- to even-numbered years was ruled to conflict with the Home Rule City Act.

Controversial East Lansing Charter Amendment is Now in the Governor’s Hands
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Controversial East Lansing Charter Amendment is Now in the Governor’s Hands

Four other charter amendments have made it to the ballot, including one that’s confusing even to Council.

Candidates for City Council React to the Hiring of Belleman Over Dempsey
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Candidates for City Council React to the Hiring of Belleman Over Dempsey

Two candidates say they would have voted for Tim Dempsey, one shows disbelief, others are pragmatic and two haven’t yet responded to ELi.

In 3-2 Vote, Robert Belleman Chosen as Next East Lansing City Manager
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In 3-2 Vote, Robert Belleman Chosen as Next East Lansing City Manager

There was wide support for internal candidate Tim Dempsey in written communications and public comments. “This is a farce. This is an absolute farce,” one member of the community said after the vote.

FOIA Shows Landlord DTN’s Side of Ongoing Public Dispute
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FOIA Shows Landlord DTN’s Side of Ongoing Public Dispute

DTN’s attorney told the EL city attorney this was never about discrimination – it was always just about the money.

Finalist for EL City Manager Was Removed from Post as Cincinnati’s Director of Economic Inclusion

Finalist for EL City Manager Was Removed from Post as Cincinnati’s Director of Economic Inclusion

Cincinnati’s City Manager removed Collin Mays from his directorship following an HR investigation, documents show. Mays denied wrongdoing and subsequently resigned.

Council Interviews Four City Manager Candidates after Another Drops Out
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Council Interviews Four City Manager Candidates after Another Drops Out

All candidates responded to 21 questions from council members before going into interviews before city staff and then attending an evening reception at the Hannah Center.

Questions Arise about East Lansing City Manager Semi-Finalists, Vetting Process 

Questions Arise about East Lansing City Manager Semi-Finalists, Vetting Process 

The five semi-finalists’ applications raise a host of questions following investigative research by ELi.

Thanks to FOIA, You Can Now See the Application Letters of the EL City Manager Candidates
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Thanks to FOIA, You Can Now See the Application Letters of the EL City Manager Candidates

View the packages using the links provided in the story; the interview process begins Monday (Aug. 7) at the Hannah Community Center.

Released Records Show City of East Lansing’s Employment Losses Have Been Management-Heavy
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Released Records Show City of East Lansing’s Employment Losses Have Been Management-Heavy

Some departments have been hit harder than others after numerous key employees leave for other jobs or retire.

City Manager Candidates’ Names Released; Interviews Coming Monday
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City Manager Candidates’ Names Released; Interviews Coming Monday

The five semi-finalists were chosen from a pool of 14 applicants; only six of the applicants live in Michigan.