brian jeffries en Lansing city budget review entering final weeks <p>The Lansing city council may soon face a critical test to see if it might be able to override the mayor&rsquo;s plans for how to spend property tax money earmarked for public safety.</p><p>The Lansing city council is expected to vote in two weeks on the city&rsquo;s budget for next year. But one major point of contention between the council and mayor Virg Bernero remains.</p><p>Voters last year approved a special public safety property tax. The mayor wants to spend part of the revenue next year on hiring back more than a half dozen laid off police officers and renovate a city owned building for police operations.</p><p>But Council President Brian Jeffries and other council members would rather all the money be spent on hiring laid off police officers. But in the end, he says it&rsquo;s a question of numbers.</p><p>&quot;It takes five votes to amend the budget on the floor,&quot; says Jeffries, &quot;and once its passed it takes six votes to override a veto.&quot;</p><p>Jeffries says he hasn&rsquo;t polled his fellow council members on how they will vote on the mayor&rsquo;s public safety budget.</p><p>The council has until the middle of this month to act on the mayor&rsquo;s budget plan. Tue, 01 May 2012 04:06:49 +0000 Steve Carmody 7260 at Lansing city budget review entering final weeks Lansing mayor highlights furlough days in his budget plan <p>Lansing&rsquo;s mayor says a combination of employee furlough days and union concessions are necessary to shrink a&nbsp;$4.7&nbsp;million&nbsp;budget gap&nbsp;next year. He laid out his budget plan to the city council last night.</p><p>Mayor Virg Bernero blames rising health insurance costs and declining property&nbsp;tax revenues for the budget gap.</p><p>&ldquo;We need&nbsp;to make some&nbsp;serious decisions,&quot; says&nbsp;Brian Jeffries,&nbsp; the president of the Lansing City Council,&nbsp; &quot;(The decisions are)&nbsp;going to be painful. &nbsp;&nbsp;Both in terms of the number of employees&hellip;as well as loss of services&hellip;and what does that actually means for the city.&rdquo;</p><p>The Lansing city council has until mid-May to come up with any changes to the&nbsp;mayor&rsquo;s spending plan. Tue, 27 Mar 2012 02:55:09 +0000 Steve Carmody 6798 at Lansing mayor highlights furlough days in his budget plan Lansing city council FINALLY picks a new leader <p>It took a marathon session Monday night, but the Lansing city council finally has a new council president.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The eight-member council is evenly divided into two factions. But after four hours of&nbsp; closed door talks, <a href="">Councilman Brian Jeffries&nbsp;emerged </a>as the next Lansing city council president. Councilwoman&nbsp;<a href="">Kathie&nbsp;Dunbar</a>&nbsp;agreed to&nbsp;drop&nbsp;her bid for the&nbsp;president&#39;s gavel, after&nbsp;receiving&nbsp;assurances that&nbsp;she&nbsp;will have support for&nbsp;council president&nbsp;next year.</p><p>After the council voted&nbsp;to confirm him as president, <a href="">Jeffries</a>&nbsp;admitted the&nbsp;process did&nbsp;take&nbsp;a toll.</p><p>&ldquo;Tonight was something we had to work through. I think we did&hellip;.we got to a place where everyone felt comfortable&hellip;and I think we can go from there,&quot; said Jeffries.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Jeffries admits work on the city budget may test the Lansing city council&rsquo;s strained relations. Lansing may face&nbsp;a $12 to 15 million&nbsp;budget deficit next year. Tue, 10 Jan 2012 07:09:27 +0000 Steve Carmody 5712 at Lansing city council FINALLY picks a new leader Divided Lansing City Council can't agree on new leader <p>A sharp division among Lansing city council members kept the council from&nbsp;taking its first required step this year during a meeting today.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The division threatens to keep the&nbsp;capital city&rsquo;s governing body from functioning.</p><p>The Lansing city&nbsp;council is so divded it can&rsquo;t even agree on who should chair its&rsquo; meetings.&nbsp;&nbsp; The council talked for nearly 90 minutes,&nbsp;mainly in sometimes animated one&nbsp;on one discussions, and still deadlocked 4 to 4 over who should be the council president.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Jan 2012 21:11:44 +0000 Steve Carmody 5660 at Divided Lansing City Council can't agree on new leader Lansing voters asked to increase property taxes (again) <p>For a second time this year, Lansing voters will be asked to decide if they want to increase their property taxes. There are fears of deep cuts in police and fire protection if the millage is rejected again.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;In May, Lansing voters rejected a millage increase. After that, <a href="">the city laid off 47 police officers and firefighters</a> to close a multi-million dollar budget gap.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 02:45:24 +0000 Steve Carmody 3956 at Lansing voters asked to increase property taxes (again) Lansing city council approves budget with deep cuts in public safety <p>The Lansing city council voted 5 to 3 last night&nbsp;to approve a city budget that deeply cuts police and fire in the capitol city.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Lansing, like many Michigan cities, is struggling with declining tax revenues and rising health care costs.&nbsp;</p><p>Last night, the city council approved a budget that lays off more than a hundred city employees, including dozens of police officers and firefighters.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Lansing mayor Virg Bernero says the cuts in public safety are&nbsp;unavoidable.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 17 May 2011 03:32:32 +0000 Steve Carmody 2523 at Lansing city council approves budget with deep cuts in public safety