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Documents show draft plan to restructure East Lansing government

City of East Lansing

An internal memo from East Lansing officials shows a proposed plan to restructure several city departments.

The plan became public following a Freedom of Information Act request fromEast Lansing Info this week.

It calls for consolidating staff and resources from the units that oversee city planning and parks management into a new Department of Culture, Equity and Placemaking. That department would serve the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion under its director Elaine Hardy to link economic development projects with inclusive programs and events.

The document may provide insight into why the city has seen a wave of departures this year. Several directors who left City Hall previously led departments that would have seen dramatic changes based on the proposal.

The restructuring was referenced in an anonymous complaint that criticized DEI director Elaine Hardy’s ties with Mayor Ron Bacon and other city councilmembers. The author alleged those officials were violating the city charter by acting outside their authority.

Officials have issued a rebuke of these claims and have said the complaint contained personal attacks they considered to be racist.

The council authorized an independent investigation to look into the allegations.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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