East Lansing approves raise for city manager, building heights

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Portrait of George Lahanas

City of East Lansing

East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas

The East Lansing City Council approved a raise for City Manager Lahanas on Feb. 12, following seven years of pay restricted by city finances. His new annual salary will be $167,000.

When Lahanas was hired as manager, his salary was in a range that would move up as long as he had good evaluations.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Beier

City councilwoman Ruth Beier

Councilmember Ruth Beier said, “Unfortunately for Mr. Lahanas, we had severe revenue problems immediately, and he was never allowed to move within the range. He stayed at the base salary and received small increases, less than inflationary increases, like everybody else in the city. If you think about it as an increase for one year, that’s 12.5 percent, but if you think about it as the fact that he hasn’t gotten any increases through the range for the last seven years, then it doesn’t seem like a very big number at all.”

The City Council approved the contract for Lahanas’ term from Jan. 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.

Next, the council quickly approved Ordinance 1451, which prohibits the ignition, discharge and use of consumer fireworks as permitted by state law.

City Attorney Thomas Yeadon said, “This ordinance is entirely because of changes in the state law with regard to what the city can do and can enforce with regard to fireworks and personal fireworks being fired off …”

Citizens are allowed to ignite fireworks only under certain conditions and at specific times of year. A full list of the rules is available for residents.

The ordinance is the most restrictive the city can have under state law.

The Council then debated and approved, 3-2, Ordinance 1443, which allows 12-story buildings in the city.

Finally, the Council approved a lot split at 846 Touraine Ave. that will allow a house to be built in that historic neighborhood.

The next City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.

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