What was once a calm Williamston City Council meeting turned into a heated debate within the city hall chambers, pitting the Farmers’ Market Ad Hoc Committee and the Williamston City Council. A “spirited back-and-forth” is how the newly-minted council member Daniel Rhines described it. The Williamston Farmers’ Market is set to run for May 20 to Oct. 14. It’s an annual tradition many residents are fond of — including a number of council members.
The running for city manager at Williamston is coming to a close as the city council has narrowed the candidates to three. Larry Collins, Susan Montenegro and Corey Schmidt were all called for a second interview in front of the city council last week. The council’s decision on the next city manager will be made Thursday at Williamston City Hall. The new manager will replace Alan Dolley, who retired last month after a 20-year tenure. Collins was the first candidate interviewed. When asked about what he can bring to the job, Collins said: “A number of years of experience in the government, high-level education, the understanding of business and government, working together and being successful moving forward.
It’s official: Daniel Rhines is the final member of the Williamston City Council, as determined Feb. 26 by the council. He was sworn in after the council meeting, and now, the Williamston City Council has all seven of its members. “Feels good,” Rhines said. “I hope that I can do well for the city and be worth the confidence the board placed in me by picking me.”
As Mayor Tammy Gilroy and the city council moved to its action items on the agenda, the decision to appoint the new council member came swiftly.
Among the trio hoping for the vacant spot on the Williamston City Council, they all have one key aspect in common: They’ve been residents of the town for decades. They won’t hear back from the city council until the Feb. 26 meeting — when the council makes its final decision — so they’re on standby. Otherwise, the three know how the minuscule details of Williamston well; fine-tuned over the course of their tenure residing within the town. Stephen Bartig’s a fourth-generation resident.
On Saturday, construction crews began tearing down the former Citizens Bank building on the corner of Grand River and Abbot after many years of vacancy. That should make Grand River Avenue look better by the end of the month. The decision to move forward was made by East Lansing City Council after Convexity Properties committed to continuing demolition of the properties at 100-140 W Grand River Ave. as originally planned.
By Emily Elconin
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
Co-owners Brian Hamilton and Ronnie Sartain of Puff N’ Stuff dispensary located at 229 W. Grand River Ave. in Old Town share a passion for the legalization of medical marijuana. After sustaining personal injuries from a motorcycle accident and a broken ankle, Hamilton and Sartain made a decision to stop using opiates to alleviate pain and start using cannabis as an alternative painkiller. Although medical marijuana is considered by some experts to be a viable alternative to traditional painkillers, tensions continue to rise in Lansing regarding a new ordinance that addresses regulation and zoning for medical marijuana facilities. As dispensaries surrounding the outskirts of Old Town still remain unregulated, the amount of dispensaries open raises concern for public safety in the community.
By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter
Two of Grand Ledge’s most well-known parks are getting a makeover. Starting this construction season, Jaycee Park and Oak Park will be undergoing expansions. The motion was brought forward at the April 11 City Council meeting. The additions will be made to fit the needs of the community, according to City Administrator Adam Smith. “The acquisition will provide for the expansion of Jaycee Park and enhance a connector trail for the existing river walk and new non-motorized trail facility,” said Smith.
Concerns were raised by residents during the public hearing at the city council meeting on March 21, 2016, despite the confirmation of an assessment regarding proposed sidewalk improvements. According to the meeting agenda, the property was first announced at the city council meeting on December 21, 2015. At the meeting on January 18, 2016, the council agreed to make the improvements and ordered the Assessor to prepare estimated costs and provide notice of a public hearing. Mason City administrator Deb Stuart said the role of the city council on Monday was to confirm the assessment, as the council already voted in January that the sidewalk improvements will be completed. The assessment directs the treasurer to collect funds with the July taxes.
EAST LANSING – During a joint meeting of the East Lansing City Council and East Lansing Public School Board this past Monday, three residents advocated to update the city’s neighborhood schools and reopen Red Cedar Elementary at 1110 Narcissus Drive, which closed June 2014. “You get the sense that when people voted to close the school, or supported to close the school or opposed the reopening of the schools, they did it because they don’t believe in neighborhood schools,“ said resident Fred Jacobs, accounting professor at Michigan State University. “The actual reason they support closing a school is because they do value neighborhood schools and it’s not their school that’s being closed…It’s a self interest thing.”
Fred Jacobs’ wife, Kathy, said that since schools like Red Cedar and Central began to close, families have started to move out in search a home that could give them the “very safe, friendly and unique” feeling that the Flowerpot Neighborhood could no longer provide. “This has changed the dynamic of the neighborhood,” said Kathy Jacobs, East Lansing resident. “I’m afraid this trend is saying to families who especially care about the environment that no, you can’t live in the city, you must move to the suburbs and drive a car.”
The School Board agreed, with Board of Education President Nell Kuhnmuench immediately turning to Mayor Mark Meadows so they could discuss their approach.