LANSING, Mich. — A four-page letter sent to Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum is stirring up a lot of controversy.
“I received a letter from the law firm representing Lansing Township, as it is my impression, the township doesn’t want those questions going on the ballot in November,” Byrum said.
The ballot proposal will be asking the more than 1,800 registered voters in Lansing Township’s Grosebeck neighborhood if they would like to become city of Lansing residents. This comes after the Lansing City Council unanimously voted to put this proposal on the ballot.
“The city of Lansing gave a resolution to put these questions on the ballot, and far as I am concerned, those questions will be on the ballot as of right now,” Byrum said.
Byrum received the letter Tuesday from the Thrun Law firm, who is representing the township. The letter is asking the county clerk’s office not to certify Lansing’s annexation proposal because of improper language and violation of the Charter Township Act 359, which allows for the whole township to be annexed and not just a portion. But Byrum said she didn’t see any legal violations with Lansing’s ballot request.
“So as far as I am concern, Lansing legally complied with the process to place these questions on the ballot, and I as county clerk, am required to place those questions on the ballot, and unless there is a court order, those questions will be on the ballot,” Byrum said.
We reached out to Lansing Township Supervisor Maggie Sanders for comment on this matter, but she did not get back to us.
We also reached out to Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and his communication director sent us the following statement:
“The city of Lansing has said from the beginning that if the residents of this area vote to join the city, we will welcome them and assume and pay off their portion of Twp debt. Our legal team worked to draft language that complied with state law to get this on the ballot."