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Wednesday, March 10,2010

Payoff date

Members of boards and commissions still owe taxes

by Neal McNamara

 

A member of the Lansing Ethics Board is delinquent on his property taxes, in apparent violation of the city charter.

The Rev. Charles Bicy owes $373.25 in winter 2009 taxes on a home he is listed as owning at 501 S. Fairview Ave., according to Ingham County records. They were due to the city on Feb. 16 and turned over to the Ingham County Treasurer’s Office for collection on March 2.


Mayor Virg Bernero nominated Bicy to serve on the board and the City Council approved him. He was sworn in on May 13, 2008.


Bicy is the latest of several appointees who owe or have owed property taxes, despite a provision in the charter that disqualifies them if they are in default to the city. City Pulse and WLNS-TV reported on them last week.


Since then, two remain in default in addition to Bicy. Lansing Board of Police Commissioners Chairwoman Maria Olivia Mejorado still has not paid $1,889.37 in summer and winter 2009 taxes for her home at 1200 Climax St. Income Tax Board of Review member Gloria Nostrant has still not paid taxes on three properties she is listed as owning: $946.28 for a home at 1135 Cleveland St., $966.07 for a home at 1137 Cleveland St., and $1,614.90 on a business property located at 1240 Grand River Ave.


Neither Nostrant nor Mejorado could be reached for comment.


Bicy did not return several calls to his church, New Jerusalem, on Lansing’s south side, and no one answered the door at the Fairview Avenue home. Taped to the front door was a notice from a process server addressed to Bicy.


City Attorney Brig Smith said that the administration is establishing a process of notifying appointees found in apparent violation of the charter. He said they would be sent letters asking them to “cure” it. If they did not, Smith said, they may be asked to step down.


Smith
said Monday that he did not know of any appointees who had been
notified, but that it was not his office’s duty, but that of the
mayor’s office. Randy Hannan, Bernero’s spokesman, did not return calls
seeking comment.


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