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Monday, August 27, 2007

Will Michigan Local Governance Structure Join the 21st Century?

Perhaps, finally, Michigan's system of local government will move into the 20th century (even though we're in the 21st century). An article from the Michigan Land Use Institute based in Traverse City, MI, reports that the State May Push Local Governments To Cooperate, indicating that the state lawmakers may be re-examining the antiquated and complex system of operating and delivering services to counties, cities, villages and townships. One of the biggest problems with the system, in this blogger/smart growth advocate's view, is that many Michigan township's form of small government duplicate many services and waste taxpayer dollars. Township's resistance to thinking regionally and acting cooperatively, has hampered the states ability to pool resources and address shared issues. These issues include not only land use and environment, but also local emergency services, public schools and other critical public services. There has been research supporting Michigan government reform for several years (see links below). Having been involved in and worked in Michigan at state, county, city and township levels, I know that something needs to change in the state to get Michigan on the right track again. See the links in this post to find out more about this issue.

White Paper H: Intergovernmental Cooperation and Revenue Sharing

Task Force on Local Government Services and Fiscal Stability May 2006 Special Report