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Wednesday, May 8,2013

The fees within

How Lansing fees would change under Mayor Virg Bernero's budget

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has introduced 33 new fees and proposes increasing 86 existing fees for various city services as part of his budget that would start July 1. The changes are projected to raise about $500,000 in new revenue for city coffers.
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Monday, May 6,2013

Kids in the Hall

Budget hearings round 6: A countywide economic development millage? Niowave-inspired ordinance passes unanimously.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Tuesday, May 7 — The head of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership said Monday night that Ingham County commissioners are considering a millage to support economic development activities countywide.
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Friday, May 3,2013

Market Place gets a timeline

City, Gillespie reach an agreement to get downtown project moving

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, May 3 — The Bernero administration has brokered a deal with developer Pat Gillespie to get his downtown Market Place development moving, which includes a timeline for when “substantial completion” of construction should finish.
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Wednesday, May 1,2013

Pot petition

Bernero "inclined" to support City Charter amendment to legalize less than an ounce of marijuana on private property in Lansing. Legal questions abound.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Should it be legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on private property in Lansing if you're over 21? City voters may get a chance to answer that question at the polls in November.
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Wednesday, May 1,2013

Market Place taking too long

Gillespie is in violation of development agreement, city exploring “legal remedies”

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, May 1 — Local developer Pat Gillespie is in violation of a development agreement for his downtown Market Place project, the head of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership said today. The city is looking at its legal options for moving forward.
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Friday, April 26,2013

Do we need LPD in schools?

Absolutely, Bernero says. Council member Jody Washington disagrees.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, April 25 — First Ward City Councilwoman Jody Washington and Mayor Virg Bernero are at odds over whether Lansing police officers should be in the city’s three high schools for security measures.
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

The mayor on pot

Mayor Bernero asks city attorney to look into how decriminalizing cannabis in the city would work, says pot enforcement is "not a priority for the Lansing Police Department."

by Andy Balaskovitz
Not long after voters in four Michigan cities elected in November to ease restrictions on possessing cannabis, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero got to thinking. In Flint and Grand Rapids, voters approved ballot initiatives to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. Bernero called Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell "on a lark" and left him a voicemail saying, "What is this, you crazy hippies decriminalized there? I didn’t realize Grand Rapids was like that."
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Money first, safety second

The Waverly Road Regional Network Connection does not get funding support from Lansing Township and Ingham County; city will press on with alternative plan.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing officials are "disheartened," "frustrated" and "disappointed" with Lansing Township and Ingham County for failing to support what they call an exemplary regional transportation project that would resolve serious safety concerns.
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Keep it clean

Sodomy, a clean campaign pledge and negative politics mark uneasy start to 4th Ward City Council race

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing City Councilwoman Jessica Yorko called on her election challengers last weekend to sign a "clean campaign pledge" to keep the race to represent Lansing's 4th Ward civil. The call is directed specifically to the campaign of Chong-Anna Canfora, who has declined, calling it a "political stunt."
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Monday, April 22,2013

Kids in the Hall

Budget hearings round 4: Fire, City Clerk and City Attorney. Also, Council unanimously approves GM tax abatement.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, April 22 — The Bernero administration wants to move the city’s Code Compliance Office into the Fire Department for what it says would allow for better enforcement of property issues.
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