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E.L. City Council to hold budget meetings addressing financials

January 9, 2018
The East Lansing City Council on Nov. 21, 2017 at the 54B District Court.
The East Lansing City Council on Nov. 21, 2017 at the 54B District Court. —
Photo by Carly Geraci | The State News

As the city of East Lansing navigates its financial crisis, two community meetings are scheduled for citizens to give input on budget priorities.

The first community engagement meeting is at 6 p.m. on Jan. 10 in the Executive Conference Room at the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Rd. The second meeting is at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Banquet Hall at the community center.

Both meetings will have the same information, so community members do not need to attend both, according to a press release.

“These meetings will provide East Lansing residents with an opportunity to share their input as we look to prioritize City services with a goal of financial sustainability,” Mayor Mark Meadows said in the release. “We as a Council will be continuing to look at a number of options to address the City’s financial challenges and we would like to hear from the community on what type of City government they want in the future. We invite all residents to join us for these important conversations about the future of our community.”

Public Sector Consultants will facilitate the meetings, according to the release. The company touts itself as an "independent, nonpartisan consulting firm" on its website. 

"(We'll) talk a little bit about how we got here and then we'll go into group activities which will let people talk about, negotiate, figure out what sort of cuts they would make if they were in our situation," City Manager George Lahanas said. 

In November 2017, East Lansing voters said no to an income tax that was supposed to raise revenue for the city.

Now, the city must find at least $3 million to fund unpaid pensions and keep city services. Though budget cuts are likely, according to the city council.

But even making cuts might not provide enough money, Meadows said in a previous State News article.

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