Thursday, October 4, 2012

Any Bridge in Michigan

September 26, 2012

WHEREAS on June 15, 2012, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced an Agreement between Canada and Michigan to build a new publicly owned bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario; and

WHEREAS the crossing agreement establishes the framework for Canada’s and Michigan’s roles and responsibilities for the construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the new international crossing; and

WHEREAS the Michigan State Supreme Court has rendered a decision to place on the November 7, 2012, ballot a Proposed Constitutional Amendment Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels that would require approval of a majority of voters in a state wide election and in each municipality where “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” are to be located before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels; and

WHEREAS Michigan Government Finance Officers’ Association (MGFOA), an organization dedicated to the stewardship of government funds in Michigan, has reviewed the aforementioned ballot proposal and finds a serious flaw in the wording of the definition of “New international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” that could potentially have an adverse effect on every municipality in the State of Michigan that has, or contemplates having a bridge or tunnel construction to move motor vehicles over\under a body of water; and
WHEREAS the ballot language specifically states that “New international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” means, “any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012.” ; and

WHEREAS, should the proposed ballot question receive majority approval by the voting public, the consequences would be to establish a requirement for a statewide public referendum prior to construction of any new motor vehicle bridge or tunnel anywhere in the State of Michigan.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Michigan Governmental Finance Officers’ Association (MGFOA), by this resolution, recommends informing the Governor’s office, all members of the Michigan Legislature and all municipalities throughout the State of Michigan of the potential adverse and unintended consequences that could result from approval of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels.

My thoughts:  A good reason to vote NO on proposal 6.

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