Continuing with the “unofficial” theme this week, local officials have decided to strike while the iron is hot and use a tired old ploy to fix a problem that really should never have been a problem in the first place had elected officials done their jobs, looked at the problem as a whole and fixed the problem at the source rather than only reacting to the symptoms.
Sterling Heights’ contention is that proper maintenance on the OMI by the MCWDD would have prevented its collapse. Maybe. The OMIDDD has already spent $ 170 million on rehabilitation of the OMI since they bought it in 2009. Supposedly the entire 21 mile length was examined and rehabilitated. That rehabilitation effort ended just months before its December 2016 collapse. That collapse suggests that the OMIDDD rehabilitation didn’t do much good. Anyone care to speculate why? Your choices are corruption or incompetence, or both.
This is now a Michigan wide story because our state government will be providing at least $ 5 million of the $ 75 million repair costs for the December OMI collapse. The much debated $ 3 million legislative grant and another $ 2 million from MDEQ. That $ 75 million is just the current estimate, for the currently acknowledged deterioration of the OMI. Given the Granholm Administration’s role in suckering Oakland and Macomb counties into the OMI purchase, the State of Michigan probably has a lot more responsibility.
No, I’m not going to drive up web traffic to his soon-to-be campaign site by posting any links to it here.
This is the best that the republican kakistocracy can do?
So far, Team “r” has a candidate who supported bailing out Detroit and giving local governments the opportunity to drive themselves even further in debt by floating bonds to pay for promises they made to their employees which they knew they couldn’t possibly keep.
Now we’re seeing a candidate whose conservative philosophical leanings are questionable, at best.
Does Snydercaid, Common Core or using the power of state government to pay for his own daughter’s autism coverage ring a bell to anyone here?
OABTW, where IS Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith or Michigan AG Bill Schuette in all of this?
Well, that didn’t take long.
After crushing deeply entrenched embedded Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco last November by nearly a 40k vote margin, former U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller packed her bags and moved back home to Macomb County. People were scratching their heads on why someone with a VERY safely gerrymandered political district would want to give up a cushy job in Washington and take a literal/figurative cut in position for this post.
Thank you, President Trump (and the fact that Lake St. Clair is undeniably a cesspool).
Then Public Works Commissioner-elect Miller danced around the question when interviewed repeatedly after her win last November regarding WHY she made this career move. Needless to say, THE reason is not as ominous as some theorists have speculated (yes, THIS writer does know the answer to that question…it is the worst kept secret in Macomb Co. circles), but since it is not germane to this post, I’m moving on.
Also late last year, a sinkhole (later determined to be very “man-made” sinkhole) developed in Fraser about 10 miles north of Detroit. Travel into some adjoining neighborhood streets was blocked and restricted until the severity of the situation could be determined. Families in several homes near the sinkhole were prohibited from returning to their homes for their own safety.
Several of those homes were ultimately condemned and demolished.
The cause of the sinkhole was determined to be a main interceptor line running under 15 Mile Road that had collapsed.
One would think that major sewer line falls under the purview of the Macomb County Public Works Department (and you’d be right).
And since it was their responsibility after all, that the Macomb County Public Works Commissioner would be on the scene immediately coordinating the investigation and repair efforts.
Well, did I mention that the previous Public Works Commissioner was a democrat?
This deal was constructed as a lease to evade the 1963 Michigan Constitution‘s requirement, under Article VII, Section 25, for a vote of Detroit’s electors to approve the sale of any public utility. However, by constructing the deal as a lease, the City of Detroit is essentially granting a lease franchise covering the DW&SD’s water and sewerage operations to GLWA. The 40 year term of this lease franchise clearly exceeds the 30 year maximum permitted by Article VII, Section 30 of our 1963 Constitution: Merriam-Webster defines a ‘franchise’ as “ the right to sell a company’s goods or services in a particular area; also, a business that is given such a right”. Exactly the nature of the GLWA lease agreement with the City of Detroit. Should you doubt that the City of Detroit constitutes a ‘company’, Merriam-Webster defines a ‘company’ as “ an association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise”. Exactly what DW&SD has been doing for over 100 years.
State Representative Kurt Heise (R-20th) from Plymouth has challenged the establishment of GLWA under the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article VII, Section 28:
Taken together with the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article III, Section 5:
it establishes our Legislature’s authority over intergovernmental units. But these two sections do not unambiguously grant the Michigan legislature exclusive authority over intergovernmental units, so there is probably legal wiggle room here. Contrary to Representative Heise’s contention, a good lawyer could make a case that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court could establish the GLWA under Article VII, Section 28 and Article III, Section 5.
The LGBTIQ (whatever that stands for anymore) crowd, along with PFLAG, Sterling Heights “One Love”, Unity Michigan, several Unitarian Ministers and some guy from the Michigan ACLU had about twice as supporters on hand compared to those against granting special rights and infringing upon Religious Liberty.
The meeting had a last-minute addition shoved onto the agenda which delayed the consideration & vote for almost an hour and a half due to a “closed session” item (and no, I have no idea what that was all about).
The final vote on the “Human Rights Policy” was 8-5 broken down like this:
Just a reminder to everyone that the Macomb County Board of Commissioners will be voting on the “Macomb County Human Rights Policy” tomorrow morning (September 18th) at 9:00am in the County Administration Building (9th Floor) in downtown Mount Clemens..
Short version for those of you who may be unaware, it is a method of incrementally expanding Elliot-Larsen to include LGBTIQ language.
A copy of the meeting packet is here (starting on page 6).
Also, given the amount of public support it received at the September 8th meeting (no one came out to speak in favor of it), the LGBTIQ-crowd will reportedly be out in force tomorrow.