Lansing Marathon’s demise driven by debt, eroding support

By Jazzy Teen
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING — On Feb. 13, race director Dr. Owen Anderson announced the cancellation of what would have been the fourth annual Lansing Marathon and sponsored events. While Anderson called off the event without force from the public or city government, there is serious doubt the race would have continued due to the dropped support from the outside community and immense debt owed by the Lansing Marathon. When various media outlets and even Anderson himself claimed different challenges that were responsible for the termination, many details were left unmentioned, especially the financial baggage. “After seeing everything that has happened, I’ve decided to just tell you the whole truth,” Anderson said.

Lansing Infrastructure: Can Proposal 1 Save It?

By Emma-Jean Bedford
and Ian Wendrow 
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING-The question on everyone’s mind lately has been: “What’s happening with these roads?” But it’s not just roads that are troublesome. Lansing has recently been dealing with issues related to low residential population, a distinct lack of diverse businesses, and overall deteriorating infrastructure. An effort to address infrastructure funding is currently on the upcoming May 5 ballot, titled Proposal 1. Proposal 1 is a ballot initiative meant to raise funds, mostly for new road work, through changes in taxes. If passed, the House Fiscal Agency, a non-partisan agency within the House of Representatives that analyzes the financial effects of Michigan legislation, estimates that the tax increase would raise about $2.1 billion this fiscal year; of which $1.23 billion would go towards roads, $463.1 million to the state’s general fund, $292.4 million to schools and $89.9 million to local governments.

Lansing has a lot to say about Proposal 1 before May’s vote

By Asha Dawsey
Listen Up, Lansing

Proposal 1 has generated plenty of controversy throughout the state of Michigan before elections in May 2015 and Lansing has its foot in the conversation as well. The question reads, “A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to replace and supplement reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local units of government,” according to the official ballot question release. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said, “I’m not terribly enthused about it because I’m not a fan of the sales tax.”

Said Bernero: “It’s not that I disagree with where the money would go. The money would go to roads, school, and local government. Those are all good.

Lansing Mayor gives State of the City Address, acknowledges success and upcoming Red Cedar Renaissance project

In his State of the City address, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero focused on current success in the auto industry, acknowledged problems with the ice storm response and touted the future launch of the Red Cedar Renaissance project. Bernero delivered his speech Jan. 30 at Grand River General Motors Plant as a way of emphasizing the resurgence of the auto industry. “I am pleased to report the state of our city is strong, and getting stronger,” Bernero said in his speech. Bernero also noted the city has climbed out of deficit.

Lansing: “2 Legit 2 Quit”

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero cited the city’s achievements and laid out his plan for the upcoming year during his State of the City address at the General Motors Grand River Assembly Plant. Bernero began his address with M.C. Hammer’s song “2 Legit 2 Quit” blaring through the speakers near a pair of General Motors’ vehicles, signifying the resurgence of Lansing’s automobile industry. The hit song from the 1990’s coincided with Bernero’s message of perseverance. “The city of Lansing is roaring back,” Bernero said. “We’re a cool, proud, resilient city… When we get knocked back, we get up and come out swinging for the fences because that’s how we roll.”

Bernero stressed partnership as he talked from his podium, where he was flanked by local business members and the Lansing City Council.

Partnerships were reoccurring theme in Lansing Mayor’s State of City address

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said he wants to boost the local economy through creating business partnerships outside of the area. Bernero addressed a full house of more than 100 city officials, local citizens and reporters on Jan. 30 at the Lansing General Motors Grand River Plant where he delivered his annual State of the City speech. “The power of partnership will be a recurring theme in my remarks tonight,” said Bernero, who was making his ninth State of the City address. “…

Bernero announces proposed budget cuts

By Andrew Krietz
Lansing Star staff writer

In light of Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed across-the-board cuts to state government, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero followed up with cuts of his own. To eliminate the city’s projected $20 million budget shortfall for the upcoming following fiscal year, Bernero said at the March 28 city council meeting that drastic cuts are necessary while striving to preserve a quality of life citizens deserve and expect. “These are, without question, the hardest decisions that we’ve ever had to make,” he said. “We have to play the cards we are dealt.”

Under Bernero’s plan, residents could expect city officials to lay off 78 police department positions, 71 from the fire department, eliminate neighborhood watch programs, reduce 20 percent of available officers for street patrol and close three fire stations. The proposed, exhaustive list of cuts is something to face moving forward, said Jessica Yorko, Lansing 4th Ward councilmember.