The East Lansing City Council got a lot done in four years. We solved the big problems that defined the 2015 election: Fixing the blight downtown and stabilizing the city's finances.
I pushed for the ordinance that helped fix the blight downtown. After the 2015 election we had the votes on Council to tell owners of blighted buildings to tear them down. The new owner of the Park District properties finally demolished buildings that had been sitting there vacant and decaying and annoying everyone for over a decade (video from the LSJ).
I worked hard on the policy details and the campaign for the 2018 tax proposal, which stabilized the city's finances by growing the tax base. The new income tax is generating millions in new revenue from nonresidents who work in East Lansing, who use our roads and services but don't contribute through property taxes. The cut in property taxes helps offset the cost of the income tax to residents.
Not everything we do makes the news, but I try to make sure that everything we do is good for the city or makes a positive difference in someone's life. Here are other issues I took the lead on:
Government transparency. All regularly-scheduled City Council meetings are now televised, live-streamed, and archived on the Web. Public records requests are easier to make and logged online for accountability. New ethics rules require Councilmembers to disclose donations from developers with business before Council.
Revenue from the Center City project. This is the biggest project in the city's history and we had to get it right. I made sure that revenue from the project will cover its costs in terms of services and infrastructure.
New sidewalk along Coleman Rd. People were walking 500 feet in a busy street to get around a sidewalk gap. Now they can walk safely, and neighborhoods are connected that weren't before.
No smoking in city parks, plazas, and festival venues. We deserve breathable air in our public places.
Electric vehicle charging stations. New development projects are now required to have charging stations, which will help promote regional adoption of electric vehicles.
Please let me know your ideas for improving quality of life and government in East Lansing!