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Monday, March 18,2013

Council Night

Will Council move forward with plans to sell more parkland, reduce the number of its meetings?

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, Dec. 2 — Lansing residents could find out Monday night whether the City Council is on board with letting voters decide if the body should have fewer yearly meetings and if the city can sell 120 acres of parkland.

The Council’s Committee of the Whole is scheduled Monday to vote on a pair of ballot proposals intended to appear during the Feb. 28 election. One is a city-clerk backed idea to reduce the number of requisite Council meetings from 50 to at least 26 in a year in an effort to bring the city in line with most municipalities in the state and to cut costs. A second is a Bernero-administration backed idea to ask voter permission to sell 120 acres of city-owned parkland at the former Waverly Golf Course.

After Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting was cancelled due to potentially three Council members missing the meeting, the body will revisit the plans Monday. The Lansing State Journal has reported that Dec. 20 is the deadline for the Council to approve proposals to appear on the Feb. 28 presidential primary ballot.

The Council also has pending business scheduled during Committee of the Whole that would set Dec. 12 as the last Council meeting of 2011.

In other scheduled committee business, a third ballot proposal — brought forth from Bernero —seeks to sell the Vector Building and an adjacent parking lot on the east side near Shiawassee Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

If a majority of the committee approves any of these proposals, it would go before the full Council for final approval before appearing on ballots.

The Committee of the Whole agenda is far meatier than the Council’s regular meeting agenda. Committee of the Whole meets immediately after the full Council. The Council is scheduled to vote on three tribute resolutions and to set a public hearing for Jan. 9 for a waiver of the noise ordinance for the state Department of Transportation so it can work on the Saginaw Street bridge over the Grand River.
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