The Office of the City Attorney (OCA) has become a digitized and modernized "public law firm" for the City, and has accomplished some truly amazing things on its behalf. Here are some highlights:
City Attorney Continues to Push Forward with Enterprise Management Software (EMS)
- With the first phase of EMS, electronic routing and approval for Council's resolutions, now complete, the City Attorney has turned to extending EMS City-wide, beginning with electronic contract routing.
- The City Attorney will also be moving to implement EMS as part of paperless prosecution in conjunction with the ongoing "Courts, Cops, and Counselors" working group he established.
Collections and Bankruptcy
- During 2013 the OCA collected $121,479.00 in unpaid debts owed to the City.
- Assistant City Attorney Banu Colak continues to do yeoman's work in a difficult task and we are all indebted to her.
- In these tough times, when every dollar counts, this "found" money is helping to cushion the blow from structural revenue reductions from property and income tax and State revenue sharing.
The OCA is deeply involved in the economic development of the City. It negotiates and drafts comprehensive development agreements. It reviews and offers legal opinions on proposed economic incentives, including brownfields, real and personal property tax abatements, and other incentives intended to grow the City. It also reviews or drafts contract annexation (PA 425) agreements. The OCA provides legal opinions on zoning, variances, and special land use permits. It also negotiates and reviews proposed real estate transactions involving City property, including buy/sell agreements, deeds, leases, licenses, and easements.
- The OCA continues a proud tradition of responding to the most difficult neighborhood issues and has now taken the response online: forms for neighborhood complaints, as well as claims involving the City, are now available at the OCA website: http://www.lansingmi.gov/forms_and_documents.jsp
Courts, Cops, and Counselors Working Group
- The City Attorney's monthly working group consisting of the District Court, LPD, the Office of the City Attorney, and the Prosecutor's Office, has improved horizontal and vertical communication among the agencies, and streamlined the process of providing justice quickly and correctly to our citizens.
- Through such communication, and through simple but important tweaks to interagency coordination, the City has saved over a quarter million dollars on Officer OT as part of the "Cops on Streets, Not in Seats" Program.