Team Formed to Help Prevent Lansing Financial Crisis

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

When it comes to Lansing's financial health, former Mayor David Hollister speaks in terms of arrows, which all point in the wrong direction. He says the population and property tax revenue are declining, yet there's an increase in health care and retirement costs.

"Even the best managed city cannot sustain that circumstance. This city will face a crisis probably five to seven years if they do nothing," Hollister said.

According to Hollister, the crisis could be bankruptcy, which means doing nothing is off the table.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero introduced a financial health team, led by Hollister, to recommend changes, possibly starting with local government. Hollister says the current form of local government is antiquated and that needs to change so the city can keep up with an international economy driven by technological innovation.

"You could go to county government. If you really want to be radical, have county school districts," Hollister said.

The idea is to save money through restructuring and sharing services. However, Hollister says these are just preliminary suggestions which may all change as time goes on.

The team will be looking at best practices from around the world and hope to make final recommendations within the next six months.

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  • by Mark Location: Okemos on Oct 2, 2012 at 09:58 AM
    Hang on to your wallets those of you who reside in Lansing. This the just the first step, and a relatively transparent and not too clever one at that, along the road to raising your taxes, AGAIN. That's always what incumbents want to do as a solution to every problem, and especially this one. It's easier that managing well what you have.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 2, 2012 at 09:06 AM
    Let them self destruct just like Detroit. Huge egos don't belong in city government. We'll just send in the Emergency Manager and clean house.
  • by Mike Location: East Lansing on Oct 2, 2012 at 03:36 AM
    In my opinion, this so called "Financial Health" Team is a joke. The fact is, most of this group is made up of the very people that seemed to have created the financial mess the City faces. In my opinion the school district will go bankrupt first, followed by the city shortly after. This will happen soon enough.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 2, 2012 at 01:17 AM
    The EFM law is working in this case. If it did not exist, they would not have addressed the problem so early.
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