Three Important East Lansing Meetings Next Week

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East Lansing Public Schools Trustee Kate Powers at the Finance Committee meeting of April 29, 2020.

Next week will see at least three significant meetings in East Lansing and, as always, ELi wants to make sure you are informed about them and know how to participate. All three meetings will be held online.

East Lansing Public Schools’ Board of Education is set to meet on Monday, May 11, starting at 7 p.m. Information about how to watch and participate in this remote meeting can be found here.

The agenda for school board isn’t up yet, but it’s safe to guess that at least three big topics will be covered: (1) the coming budget cuts from the state; (2) the no-grade pandemic policy, which is proving to be controversial; and (3) the delayed construction of the new elementary schools.

Note that the district wants you to let them know in advance if you want to speak during public comment as explained here.

East Lansing’s City Council will be meeting Tuesday, May 12, starting at 7 p.m. There’s no agenda for that meeting yet either, but it will post here when available. 

We know at least this about the meeting:

  • There will be a public hearing on the downtown Principal Shopping District special assessment, which funds the activities of the Downtown Management Board; read more.
  • There will be a public hearing on the City’s FY 2021 budget and tax rate; read more here.
  • There will be a public hearing on plans to use the City’s funding from the Community Development Block Grant money coming from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including the supplementary funding for responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Council is expected to introduce a resolution related to citizen oversight of policing in East Lansing with a plan to hold a formal public hearing on that matter on May 26.

Information on how to participate in the public comment portions of Council’s meeting is available here. Note that City Council voted last week to allow members of the public to take up to five minutes for public comment during these remote meetings.

The Downtown Development Authority will meet on Thursday, May 14, starting at noon. The DDA is expected to vote on which 100 businesses will be receiving $2,500 grants from the DDA’s Project Development Fund, following recommendations from reviewers.

The DDA will also hold a public hearing at that meeting on the DDA’s property tax millage rate and proposed budget, after rescinding the April 23 approval of the budget and tax rate resolution.

At the April 23 meeting, DDA member Lynsey Clayton asked whether there was supposed to be a public hearing before the DDA voted on these matters, and she was told by Director of Planning Tom Fehrenbach that he had checked with City Attorney Tom Yeadon who said there was no legal requirement for a public hearing at the DDA on this. Apparently that was incorrect.

You can find information about how to watch and participate in the DDA meeting here.

ELi has reporters assigned to each of these meetings.

Meanwhile, there’s still no word on when many other East Lansing boards and commissions will meeting, including Planning Commission, the Parks & Rec Advisory Commission, and the Human Relations Commission.

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