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Monday, March 18,2013

Kids in the Hall

Waverly moves forward and a Councilwoman’s husband sticks up for his wife

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Jan. 19 — In unceremonious fashion, the Lansing City Council today moved on a proposal to sell 120 acres of city-owned parkland.

The proposal to sell the former Waverly Golf Course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park — 120.48 acres in Lansing Township — has failed three times in the last year to make it through Council. Committee of the Whole approved the resolution 6-1, sending it before the full Council at Monday night’s meeting. At-Large Councilwoman voted against the proposal again. Second Ward Councilwoman Tina Houghton was absent.

If approved Monday, the ballot proposal would go before voters at the Aug. 7 presidential primary election.

In other parkland sale news, Committee of the Whole unanimously approved a proposal to sell an old maintenance building and parking lot in Oak Park — 1.4 acres — to Neogen Corp. The company is looking to expand its facilities on the east side.

Like the Waverly proposal, the Oak Park sale is subject to final Council approval Monday night and would go before voters at the Aug. 7 election. If voters approve of the Waverly sale, the city would issue a request for proposals to develop the old golf course.

An otherwise swift and uneventful session of Council took a turn for the lively when, during its five-minute break before Committee of the Whole started, Council regular Darnell Oldham Sr. was approached by Earl Robinson, 3rd Ward Councilwoman A’Lynne Robinson’s husband.

Minutes earlier during public comment, Oldham — who once tossed a hangman’s noose before the dais because he thought the Council was “lynching” his right to free speech — chided A’Lynne Robinson for seeking a third term as Council president, as Kyle Melinn reported in City Pulse last week. Oldham proceeded to call her the “wicked witch of the south,” which caused Council President Brian Jeffries to call Oldham out of order.

A few minutes later, Earl Robinson — who apparently heard Oldham’s comments — approached Oldham in the Council chambers, asking him to “step outside” and talk, in defense of his wife. Oldham refused and the two began arguing back and forth. Ultimately, a Lansing Police officer intervened. As A’Lynne Robinson tugged at her husband’s arm to leave, Earl Robinson (in a voice loud enough to hear throughout the chambers) called Oldham a “pussy ass motherfucker” for not wanting to step outside, and left.
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