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Friday, August 19,2011

Shaping the general election ballot

Three ballot proposals scheduled for City Council vote on Monday

by Andy Balaskovitz

Friday, Aug. 19
— The Lansing City Council is scheduled to vote on three proposals Monday that
could end up on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot.



Notably, two
administration-backed proposals ask voters permission to sell dedicated
parkland at the former Red Cedar and Waverly golf courses. Those two
resolutions will first have to be voted out of the Council’s Committee of the
Whole, which is scheduled to meet an hour before the Council at 6 p.m. Monday.



The
administration is asking Council a second time to support its idea of asking
voters permission to sell 12.68 acres of the former Red Cedar Golf Course on
Michigan Avenue for redevelopment purposes. The other 48 acres of the former
golf course would be reused as a public park after Ingham County Drain
Commissioner Pat Lindemann repurposes the land to act as a major drainage
system to prevent storm water runoff into the nearby Red Cedar River.



If voters
approve selling the 12.68 acres in November, which is worth $5 million, that
will set off a public Request for Proposals for development through the Lansing
Economic Development Corp. Its president, Bob Trezise, told the Council on Thursday
that there’s potential for $300
million worth of investment at the site. The resolution stipulates “any net
proceeds from the sale of the Parcel would be exclusively dedicated to capital
improvements within the remainder of the Park.”



On the first go-around,
the Committee of the Whole voted down the Red Cedar proposal 4-3 at its May 23
meeting. At-Large Council members Brian Jeffries, Derrick Quinney and Carol
Wood voted against it. 1st Ward Councilman Eric Hewitt was absent.
This time, however, Quinney is supporting, which should give the proposal the
support it needs to be placed on the ballot.



A second
proposal to be reconsidered Monday night asks voter permission to sell the
former Waverly Golf Course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park in Lansing Township,
totaling 120.48 acres. That resolution also failed in May along the same voting
lines. The Waverly idea is not tied to redevelopment plans.



In other ballot
proposal business, the Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution that asks
voters Nov. 8 for a “general revision” of the City Charter. The charter, which
was adopted in 1978, requires a vote by the people every 12 years after 1987 to
determine if it should be generally revised. The stipulation is similar to the
statewide constitutional convention that requires a vote every 10 years, which
was voted down last November.



If Lansing
voters say yes to a general charter revision, they then would vote in members
of a Charter Commission in the next scheduled election.

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