May 3 election
11:23 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Lansing turns down "essential services" millage

Lansing city residents voted "no" on a millage that would have kept public safety services from facing deep cuts.  City residents voted 52 percent to 48 percent against the millage.

The millage would have increased city residents property taxes about four percent to raise about 8.5 million dollars over five years.

Virg Bernero is the Mayor of Lansing.

"With prices going up, with gas prices soaring, with home values going down, this was one price increase that people did have a choice about. This was an opportunity where they could say no, and they did. In a sense I can’t fault them for that. But this was the one that really affects their life, and their safety."

Lansing faces a $20 million dollar budget shortfall next year. Bernero says the City Council will now proceed with what he calls an “all cuts” budget. It includes the possible shuttering of three fire stations and the loss of about 120 jobs between the fire and police departments.

Tom Krug is the President of the Fraternal Order of Police.

"Obviously what’s going to happen is there are going to be major cuts at the Lansing Police Department and Fire Department. It’s going to impact public safety. And it’s more than just numbers, it’s people and families and it’s very disappointing… I think it’s a referendum on the economy. But you also have to vote your conscience, too. I think it was time to step up, and the voters didn’t."

Sarah Alvarez-Michigan Radio Newsroom