Thirty city residents, employees and elected officials gathered today (5/14/11) to learn how recent decisions by the governor’s office could impact the Lansing City budget.
At a regular third ward meeting hosted by council president A’Lynne Robinson and with council members Jeffries, Wood, and Quinney present city residents and city employees spent several hours on a Saturday morning in a thoughtful discussion and analysis of the city budget in developments regarding state statutory revenue sharing.
Members of the media and the mayor’s office were invited though none attended.
With new rules and clarification from the governor’s office, Robinson indicated the City of Lansing now has the potential, with the help of unions and department heads, to obtain the additional revenue sharing that was not factored into pre-millage budget proposals.
Even with those additional funds, significant budget cuts remain. Those in attendance discussed what priorities they would like to see funded in the revised budget.
Attendees discussed strategies outlined in the proposal put forth by Council President Robinson and Vice President Dunbar and the ideas Jeffries outlined in the document he co-authored with Council members Wood and Hewitt
When asked about that proposal Council President Robinson indicated that the Jeffries, Wood, and Hewitt proposal contained some “great ideas,” some of which were longer term and some of which could be implemented sooner. As president, she indicated she was working to incorporate everyone’s ideas into the budget and expected several budget amendments to come to the floor Monday night so that all ideas would be examined.
At the meeting residents initiated an effort to recognize the cooperation and efforts of the council. Many of the residents (other than those employed by the city and those residents who had already left) chose to sign this statement passed around the room:
The following residents in attendance at this meeting wish to express gratitude for the many hours of hard work, thoughtful, and careful analysis of the city budget by all of our council representatives.
We appreciate the consideration of all their ideas and efforts to respond to citizen requests and concerns.
We residents express outrage at Mayor Virg Bernero’s deputy chief of staff Randy Hannan characterizing any of council members’ ideas to increase revenues or cut city expenditures as “gum drops, lollipops and pipe dreams.”
[In response to the Jeffries-Wood-Hewitt memo of ideas for increasing revenue and cutting the budget, Mayor Virg Bernero's deputy chief of staff said of the memo“It’s gum drops, lollipops and pipe dreams masquerading as a serious proposal,” according to the 5-11-11 Lansing City Pulse. At the 5/16/22 city council meeting at which the FY2012 was discussed and passed, the mayor indicated he stood by these comments as noted in the 5-17-11 online version of Lansing City Pulse.]
We ask the mayor’s office to respond respectfully to the efforts of our elected ward representatives, especially at this critical time in our city when many are being asked to sacrifice jobs, to do the work of many, or to go without city services. This is a time for cooperation.
Signatures provided by the following in attendance (representing themselves) in order of appearance on sheet:
1. Anita Beavers, Colonial Village Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
2. Emily Horn, Ward 2
3. Claude Beavers, Colonial Village Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
4. Margaret R. Kingsbury, Averill Woods Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
5. Michael Morofsky, Colonial Village Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
6. Kathy Tobe, Churchill Downs community Association, Ward 3
7. John Wilcox, Churchill Downs community Association, Ward 3
8. Barbara MacBriar, Churchill Downs community Association, Ward 3
9. Dayle Benjamin, Edmore Park Neighborhood Association and Watch,Ward 4
10. Gary Casteel, Churchill Downs community Association, Ward 3
11. Earl A. Robinson, Jr., Lewton Rich Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
12. Gladys Thorp, Averill Woods Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
13. Wes Thorp, Averill Woods Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
14. Melissa Quon Huber, Averill Woods Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
15. Connie Doyle, Colonial Village Neighborhood Association, Ward 3
16. Linda Appling, Lansing Eaton Neighborhood Organization, Ward 3
May 22, 2011 - June 4, 2011 Edition