Tag Archive for Macomb County

Unconstitutional: Great Lakes Water Authority Lease Violates Michigan Constitution

--- Absence of Enabling Legislation Clearly Violates Article III, Section 6 --- 40 Year Lease Period Clearly Violates Article VII, Section 30

GLWA Detroit Seal ImageFriday, the Great Lakes Water Authority board approved a 40 year duration lease of Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s assets and operations outside of the city of Detroit. This approval passed by a 5 to 1 vote with only Macomb County’s representative on the GLWA board opposed. The terms of the lease subordinate the DW&SD to the GLWA, a new intergovernmental authority created out of the ashes of the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy by a Memorandum of Understanding.

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:Michigan Constitution of 1963 Article VII Section 30
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:Michigan Constitution of 1963 Article VII Section 28
Taken together with the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article III, Section 5:Michigan Constitution of 1963 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.

However…..

You Betcha! (17)Nuh Uh.(1)

We’ll show you!

You’d better not mess with Detroit! Or, you’ll get what’s coming to you!

The latest shakedown of Taxpayers in Southeastern Michigan took an interesting turn this morning.

Not because of its inaccessible meeting location at Waterworks Park in Detroit.

But, because of something that wasn’t expected during the meeting.

{Oh, you’re gonna love this…}

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(0)

And this year’s award for most original tax hike goes to…

And our nominees are:

Gov. Rick Snyder’s 16.7% sales tax hike raising $1.945-billion in order to spend $1.2-billion on roads.

– Sen. Rick Jones/Rep. Tom Barret’s school tax (extrapolating the same supporting arguments from the above can be easily made here).

Rep Joel Johnson’s horse-drawn vehicle tax (no, I’m serious…this guy really wants a tax horse drawn carriages).

Rep. Robert Kosowski “sinking fund” school bus tax.

Oh, and there’s one more.

{After the fold, of course}

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(0)

“Macomb County Human Rights Policy” – UPDATE

So here’s the rundown from this morning.

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:

You Betcha! (10)Nuh Uh.(0)

Reminder: “Macomb County Human Rights Policy” to be voted on by Macomb County Board of Commissioners Thursday Morning.

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.

 

 

You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(0)

Pay no attention to what we are doing here…

This afternoon, my sources informed me that the Macomb County Board of Commissioners – Government Operations Committee approved the “Macomb County Human Rights Policy” early this afternoon by a 7-4 vote.

Despite lacking any examples of “discrimination” to cite as justification for implementing such a policy in Macomb County, every democrat voted lockstep in supporting this, while every republican voted “no”.

{More after the fold}

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)