Questions Continue to Mount After East Lansing Bailey Vote
In January, East Lansing City Council voted to close the Bailey Community Center Daycare, despite actions taken by residents and supporters on a plan that would see an independent organization take over operations of the center and alleviate the financial burden from the city. Allegedly assisting the parent group in this endeavor, was EC3, a Lansing-based child advocacy center, according to the website, East Lansing Info.
The controversy arises as Stephen Purchase, the Chair of EC3, just hours before the vote was to take place this past January, sent a letter to East Lansing Mayor Nathan Tripplet, effectively advising the mayor and council that EC3 would have no real interest in partnering with the parent group on taking over operations of the facility.
The contents of the letter came as a shock to the parent group, which includes members of MSU's faculty, as the group spent months researching and preparing their plans, all along, with the aid of EC3.
Following the disappointing decision to close the facility at that meeting, members of the parent group began delving deeper into the situation; discovering that, never disclosed and unbeknownst to any members of the parent group, Purchase and Tripplet are close friends and connected politically.
Further, in addition to his role at EC3, Purchase is Vice President of H, Inc., a business that basically rehabs historical buildings.
Does H, Inc. benefit from the Bailey closure? EC3?
Purchase says his company has no interest in the Bailey building. However, some Bailey parents say they've been pointed to EC3 for assistance after the closing by Tripplet.
The whole situation may be on the "up and up," but it does kind of play out as a juicy bit o' drama, and one does have to raise their eyebrows at the questionable nature of the situation.
As for the parent group, they maintain that there should have been disclosure of the relationship between Purchase and Tripplet, and if EC3 was never going to be as involved as the parents group asserts was discussed, the parent group says it could have sought a different partner to work with on the project.
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