What’s on the Docket in East Lansing Next Week?

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Gary Caldwell for ELi

Thanks to the pandemic, Grand River Ave. is less of a divider than it used to be.

With Thanksgiving on Thursday, it’s a lighter week of meetings than usual coming up in East Lansing. 

The Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission meets on Monday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. The Study Committee will hear a presentation from City Manager George Lahanas and staff about police oversight bodies in “comparable” cities (in terms of size, basic demographics, etc.) as well as a use of force presentation from ELPD. 

Two subcommittees of the Study Committee will also be giving reports. One will present on police oversight bodies in cities that are “non-comparable” to East Lansing, and the other will share research about how to ultimately present the Study Committee’s findings and recommendations to City Council. See the agenda here.

East Lansing’s Council of Neighborhood Presidents will be meeting virtually with Mayor Aaron Stephens at the same time. Economic development staff members Heather Pope and Adam Cummins will be making a presentation on a topic not specified on the agenda.

Also on Monday, starting at 7 p.m., the East Lansing Board of Education will meet. The Board will be holding a public hearing on “the need for added affirmative consent content to the high school sexual health curriculum” and potentially approve adding more of that content to the curriculum.

At the Nov. 9 School Board meeting, it was established that students struggled to discern if active consent had been given in various situations. If approved, the district will purchase supplemental books that present various scenarios that students can then discuss with teachers to determine if and how consent was given. 

Other action items for the Board include terminating a contract with Midwest Wall Company, approving the Religious and Cultural Calendar for the next four years, adopting a MIOSHA temporary remote work policy, approving changes to an agreement between the Board and the local chapter of the International Union of Operating Engineers, and recertifying the continuity of learning plan, which could allow ELPS students to return to school as soon as Jan. 4, should public health metrics suggest it is safe to do so. See the Board agenda here.

City Council will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 24, starting at 7 p.m. Council has a loaded consent agenda, including setting public hearings on a tax exemption for TechSmith Corporation and approving a conflict waiver for Foster Swift to represent the City in a possible real estate deal with River Caddis Development

Only one item — approving a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis — is on the business agenda. 

Also, Council will be given a presentation on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019-June 2020). Auditors from the Plante Moran accounting firm will break down the audit for Council. There does not appear to be any plan to cover at this meeting the state of this year’s budget, despite several potentially substantial revenue problems related to the pandemic. See Council’s agenda here.Before Council meets, at noon on Monday, the Arts Selection Panel will meet and do a first round of edits on the Greetings Tour mural. See that agenda here.

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