Voting Yes Tuesday on Proposal 1 is Right Thing for Michigan’s Roads, Communities, Schools

Sterling Heights City Manager and MML board member Mark Vanderpool speaks at a Proposal 1 Safe Roads Yes! tour bus stop in Romeo. The League appreciates all the support it has received from members on Proposal 1.

Sterling Heights City Manager and MML board member Mark Vanderpool speaks at a Proposal 1 Safe Roads Yes! tour bus stop in Romeo with Governor Rick Snyder and MDOT Director Kirk Steudle. The League appreciates all the support it has received from members on Proposal 1.

The fate of Proposal 1 goes in the hands of voters tomorrow (Tuesday, May 5, 2015) and the Michigan Municipal League strongly encourages you to vote yes on this road-funding plan.

The League Board of Trustees in January officially endorsed Proposal 1 and the League has been actively supporting it ever since. League staff and members have participated in numerous community meetings, town hall events, public forums, debates and city council sessions to promote Proposal 1. Staff and members also were involved in the Vote Yes on Proposal 1 bus tour Thursday, Friday and today. In addition, we’ve encouraged communities to pass resolutions in support and you can view that list here.

Our message throughout the campaign has been the same: That this proposal is in the best interest of communities throughout Michigan and will improve our ability to attract and retain talent.

The League’s John LaMacchia, who has been leading our Vote Yes efforts, said this at a recent Proposal 1 event: “Michigan now spends less per resident on roads than any other state. Let me say that again: Michigan is now dead last in per-capita funding for roads. We’ve neglected to properly invest in our roads and bridges and everywhere you travel in this state you can see the repercussions of that. This proposal will constitutionally guarantees that every penny we pay in state fuel taxes goes to transportation while protecting funding for local governments and schools. This proposal is not perfect … nothing from Lansing ever is. But it does provide a long-term sustainable solution that will fix our roads, and the only guarantee we will have on May 5th if this fails is that our roads will get worse. Vote Yes!”

Here are some details about Proposal 1:

Ballot Proposal:

  • Raises the sales tax from 6% to 7%
  • Exempts sales tax from motor fuel
  • Removes higher education funding from the School Aid Fund
  • Dedicates a portion of the use tax to K-12 education

Statutory Changes Effective Only if Proposal 1 Passes:

  • Increases the tax charged on motor fuel
  • Eliminates the depreciation on vehicle registration fees
  • Increase registration fees on the heaviest trucks
  • Requires more competitive bidding and road warranties
  • Restores the Earned Income Tax Credit to 20% of the federal level

Revenue Generated:

League members - Lapeer City Manager Dale Kerbyson and Lapeer City Commissioner and MML Board member Catherine Bostick-Tullius - talk with Governor Snyder at a Proposal 1 bus tour stop near Davison.

League members – Lapeer City Manager Dale Kerbyson and Lapeer City Commissioner and MML Board member Catherine Bostick-Tullius – talk with Governor Snyder at a Vote Yes on Proposal 1 bus tour stop near Davison.

Fixing our roads will make them safer by repairing dangerous potholes and improving roadway design. Today, many drivers swerve to avoid dangerous potholes or lose control of their vehicles as a result of flat tires.

According to TRIP, a national transportation research organization, roadway design is a contributing factor in about one-third of fatal traffic crashes. Between 2008 and 2012, 4,620 people died in Michigan car accidents – an average of 924 fatalities per year.

For more information about Proposal 1 go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes! webpage.

To learn more about the Safe Road Yes! campaign go here. View here a series of question and answer videos about Proposal 1. Check out what MML members have to say about Proposal 1. See how much your community will get in additional road dollars and constitutional revenue sharing if Proposal 1 is approved. View which Michigan communities have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org. The League’s John LaMacchia can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org.

Proposal 1 Offers Michigan’s Last, Best Chance to Fix Roads with Guaranteed Funding

John LaMacchia discusses Proposal 1 at a recent Burton City Council town hall meeting.

John LaMacchia discusses Proposal 1 at a recent Burton City Council town hall meeting.

The fate of Proposal 1 will be decided by voters next week (Tuesday, May 5), and there is one thing guaranteed about the outcome: If it passes it will provide a solution to fix Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure and will guarantee funding for transportation, local government, schools. And if it fails? No one can guarantee a solution out of the state Legislature.

That’s the simple message from the Michigan Municipal League’s John LaMacchia, legislative associate, in his many speaking engagements, media interviews and community meetings about Proposal 1 in recent days, weeks and months. LaMacchia has been the League’s voice on Proposal 1 after the League board unanimously endorsed the road funding package in January.

“The one thing that those for and against Proposal 1 agree on is the longer we take to come up with a transportation funding plan, the worse are roads are going to get,” LaMacchia said.

If Proposal 1 passes, it would guarantee, for the first time, that every penny we pay in state fuel taxes goes to transportation.

Bad-bridge-small-for-webLansing would no longer be able to divert taxes paid on gas to some other state program or service.

Here is some additional information about what Proposal 1 would do:

Ballot Proposal:

  • Raises the sales tax from 6% to 7%
  • Exempts sales tax from motor fuel
  • Removes higher education funding from the School Aid Fund
  • Dedicates a portion of the use tax to K-12 education

Statutory Changes Effective Only if Proposal 1 Passes:

  • Increases the tax charged on motor fuel
  • Eliminates the depreciation on vehicle registration fees
  • Increase registration fees on the heaviest trucks
  • Requires more competitive bidding and road warranties
  • Restores the Earned Income Tax Credit to 20% of the federal level

Revenue Generated:

We would fix more roads instead of just fill potholes if Proposal 1 passes May 5.

We would fix more roads instead of just fill potholes if Proposal 1 passes May 5.

Fixing our roads will make them safer by repairing dangerous potholes and improving roadway design. Today, many drivers swerve to avoid dangerous potholes or lose control of their vehicles as a result of flat tires.

According to TRIP, a national transportation research organization, roadway design is a contributing factor in about one-third of fatal traffic crashes. Between 2008 and 2012, 4,620 people died in Michigan car accidents – an average of 924 fatalities per year.

For more information about Proposal 1 go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes! webpage.

To learn more about the Safe Road Yes! campaign go here. View here a series of question and answer videos about Proposal 1. Check out what MML members have to say about Proposal 1. See how much your community will get in additional road dollars and constitutional revenue sharing if Proposal 1 is approved. View which Michigan communities have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org. The League’s John LaMacchia can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org.

Is there a Plan B if Proposal 1 Fails? Why are Michigan’s Roads so Bad? Find Out in New League videos

Fowler plan bIt’s just two weeks until voters decide the fate of Proposal 1 on May 5 and the Michigan Municipal League has just posted a series of question and answer videos to address some of the concerns you may have about the road funding plan.

The videos come from a panel discussion during the League’s 2015 Capital Conference that took place in March.

The general session, “Driving Toward Safer Roads with Proposal 1,” was moderated by Roger Martin, of the Martin Waymire public relations firm and spokesman for the Safe Roads Yes! coalition. Panelists were Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of the Michigan Department of Education; Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan; Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell; and Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

View all the League’s Proposal 1 information here, including an updated list of all the Michigan communities that have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Steudle bad roadsHere are the questions posed and subsequent answers. The videos are all very short:

The League also has a new slide show illustrating how much in new money for roads and constitutional revenue sharing each Michigan community will receive if Proposal 1 passes. The numbers are substantial. It’s a long video but it’s in alphabetical order so you can advance to the parts you want to see. You can also view a pdf of that video here, which will allow you to advance through the list more easily.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

Proposal 1 Election in Three Weeks; New Videos, Information Now Available

With three weeks to go until the May 5 election on Proposal 1, the Michigan Municipal League has recently posted a number of new videos and community-specific information showing why people should VOTE YES on the road funding initiative.

Proposal 1 will benefit communities in multiple ways and in particular it will bring in additional, much-needed dollars in the areas of road funding and constitutional revenue sharing. The League has put together a slide show illustrating how much additional dollars will be generated in each Michigan community if Proposal 1 is approved by voters May 5. View the slide show here.

The League also has produced a series of short videos of municipal officials from all parts of the state explaining why they support Proposal 1. The League has put together a compilation of the videos that you can view here.

View videos of League members supporting Proposal 1 here: https://vimeo.com/124630900

View videos of League members supporting Proposal 1 here: https://vimeo.com/124630900

View each individual testimonial:

League President Dick Bolen, Mayor Pro Tem of Wakefield

League Vice President Nathan Triplett, Mayor of East Lansing

League Board Member Catherine Bostick-Tullius, Lapeer city commissioner

Elk Rapids Village President Dan Reszka

Huntington Woods Mayor Ron Gillham and Commissioner Jeff Jenks

Kalamazoo City Commissioner Eric Cunningham

Fenton Mayor Sue Osborn

Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly

jack video-smallWe believe these videos and information not only show the broad-based support Proposal 1 has, but also help explain why the passage of this proposal is so vital to the future of our communities. The League board in January unanimously supported Proposal 1 and joined the Safe Roads Yes! coalition. For community-specific information related to Proposal 1 go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes information web page here.

This page has talking points, neutral information and other details about Proposal 1. The page also includes a list of the more than 20 Michigan communities that have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and 734-669-6317.

LaMacchia: ‘Roads Will Only Get Worse'; Vote Yes on Proposal 1 for New Road Funding in Michigan

About 60 people attend a symposium on Proposal 1 Tuesday in Sterling Heights.

About 60 people attend a symposium on Proposal 1 Tuesday in Sterling Heights.

Last night the Michigan Municipal League hosted a “Safe Roads Symposium” on Proposal 1 in Sterling Heights. The event was attended by about 60 people, including multiple officials from the city of Sterling Heights and surrounding communities.

The League’s John LaMacchia, Legislative Associate, was one of several officials who spoke on the issue as part of a panel during the symposium.

Other event panelists were Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy; Dr. Robert Livernois, Superintendent of Warren Consolidated Schools; Dr. Christine Johns, Superintendent of Utica Community Schools; and Carmine Palombo, Deputy Executive Director of SEMCOG.

During the informative event, LaMacchia gave a brief history of how Proposal 1 came about and why the Michigan Municipal League supports the initiative heading to voters on May 5.

LaMacchia encouraged those attending to vote yes on Proposal 1.

Panelists get ready for the symposium.

Panelists get ready for the symposium.

“Michigan now spends less per resident on roads than any other state. Let me say that again: Michigan is now dead last in per-capita funding for roads. We’ve neglected properly invest in our roads and bridges and everywhere you travel in this state you can see the repercussions of that. This proposal will constitutionally guarantees that every penny we pay in state fuel taxes goes to transportation while protecting funding for local governments and schools. This proposal is not perfect … nothing from Lansing ever is. But it does provide a long-term sustainable solution that will fix our roads, and the only guarantee we will have on May 5th if this fails is that our roads will get worse. Vote Yes!”

For additional information on Proposal 1 go here: http://www.mml.org/advocacy/safe-roads-yes-neutral-info.html.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 734-669-6317 and mbach@mml.org.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

 

 

Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Fenton Approve Resolutions in Support of Safe Roads, Proposal 1

A plethora of potholes on a Michigan road.

A plethora of potholes on a Michigan road.

The cities of Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo are the latest Michigan communities to approve resolutions in support of the Proposal 1 road funding plan heading to voters May 5.

The councils for both cities approved the resolutions at their meetings Monday (March 16) night. Fenton city council also approved a Vote Yes on Proposal 1 resolution last night. The City of Kentwood approved a resolution in support on March 17. There are now more than a dozen Michigan communities that have approved these resolutions and more on the way. Other communities that have approved resolutions are Wakefield, Clare, Elk Rapids, Lapeer, Norton Shores, Bessemer, Whitehall and Pleasant Ridge.

Passing resolutions is just one of several ways Michigan Municipal League member communities continue to step up in support of Proposal 1. You can view the resolutions here. The League continues to actively encourage all Michigan communities to pass resolutions in support of Proposal 1. You can get a sample resolution here.

Other Proposal 1-related news from Michigan’s communities:

– Multiple Michigan communities will host news conferences in support of Proposal 1 this month and next.

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

– The Michigan Municipal League will host a Safe Roads Symposium on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Velocity Collaboration Center, 6633 18 Mile Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48314, and will be open to the public. A panel of experts will break down the details and impacts of Proposal 1. Please click the following link to view the invite. MML_Symposium_Invite. For more information please contact the Velocity Collaboration Center at 586-884-9322.

– About 100 Michigan mayors, council members and municipal managers had a conference call with Governor Snyder Friday afternoon. Governor Snyder is an active support of Proposal 1 and he answered questions from the local municipal officials about the ballot initiative. He also encouraged them to pass resolutions in support and write letters and opinion pieces to their local media.

– A letter in support of Proposal 1 by League Vice President Nathan Triplett, mayor of East Lansing, was published in the Lansing State Journal Saturday. You can read it here.

– Under the headline, “For Safety’s Sake: Vote Yes on Proposal 1,” The Detroit Free Press did an in-depth editorial Sunday about why people should support Proposal 1.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

Proposal 1 Road Funding Resolutions Continue to Get Approval by Michigan Communities

Warmer weather in Michigan means pothole season.

Warmer weather in Michigan means pothole season.

Michigan Municipal League members communities continue to step up in support of Proposal 1 in a variety of ways.

Recently a few more communities have passed resolutions in support of the road funding plan heading to voters May 5.

There are now at least eight communities that have passed resolutions – Wakefield, Clare, Elk Rapids, Lapeer, Norton Shores, Bessemer, Whitehall and Pleasant Ridge.

More resolutions are expected to be approved in the upcoming days and weeks. You can view the resolutions here. The League continues to actively encourage all Michigan communities to pass resolutions in support of Proposal 1. You can get a sample resolution here.

In addition, the city of Kalamazoo had a special meeting to discuss Proposal 1 and the League’s John LaMacchia attended and answered questions about it. A resolution vote from the city is expected later this month.

Other Proposal 1-related news from Michigan’s communities:

– Multiple Michigan communities will host news conferences in support of Proposal 1 this month and next.

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

– The Michigan Municipal League will host a Safe Roads Symposium on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Velocity Collaboration Center, 6633 18 Mile Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48314, and will be open to the public. A panel of experts will break down the details and impacts of Proposal 1. Please click the following link to view the invite. MML_Symposium_Invite. For more information please contact the Velocity Collaboration Center at 586-884-9322.

– About 100 Michigan mayors, council members and municipal managers had a conference call with Governor Snyder Friday afternoon. Governor Snyder is an active support of Proposal 1 and he answered questions from the local municipal officials about the ballot initiative. He also encouraged them to pass resolutions in support and write letters and opinion pieces to their local media.

– A letter in support of Proposal 1 by League Vice President Nathan Triplett, mayor of East Lansing, was published in the Lansing State Journal Saturday. You can read it here.

– Under the headline, “For Safety’s Sake: Vote Yes on Proposal 1,” The Detroit Free Press did an in-depth editorial Sunday about why people should support Proposal 1.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

League Members, Board President Bolen Hear from President Obama at NLC Conference

League members hear President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. Monday morning.

League members hear President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. Monday morning. Photo credit: C-SPAN.

Michigan Municipal League President Dick Bolen led a Michigan contingent to Washington D.C. this week to attend the 50th Annual National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference.  The group had the opportunity to hear President Barack Obama talk Monday morning.

The President’s speech was live streamed by the White House and C-SPAN. You can watch it here.

Bolen, Mayor Pro Tem of Wakefield, and several other Michigan Municipal League members are among more than 2,000 community leaders from throughout the nation to attend the conference this week. The officials will meet with their congressional leaders, attend education sessions and network with officials from other state Leagues and cities.

The focus of this year’s NLC conference is federal priorities and issues facing cities and towns across the country.

Also during the conference, Dan Gilmartin, League CEO and executive director, was named to the NLC’s 2016 Presidential Election Task Force. Gilmartin was one of 17 officials from throughout the nation to serve on the task force, said NLC Board Member Patricia Lockwood, Fenton Mayor Pro Tem. View a press release about this appointment here.

Go here for other conference highlights.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

Michigan Communities Pass Resolutions in Support of Proposal 1 for Safe Roads

A road crew fills potholes in Macomb County.

A road crew fills potholes in Macomb County.

Multiple Michigan communities have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1 for Safe Roads ballot item on May 5, but we need more to also declare their support.

So far the League has been informed that the following communities have passed Vote Yes on Proposal 1 resolutions: Clare, Elk Rapids, Lapeer, Norton Shores and Wakefield.

We expect many more resolutions to be approved over the next few weeks.

The Michigan Municipal League is encouraging its member communities to approve resolutions in support of Proposal 1 following the League board’s endorsement of the road funding plan in January. View a sample resolution here.

The League also is asking members to send their local media letters to the editor in support. Go here to view sample letters.

Plywood under bridges attempt to prevent pieces of the bridge from falling on vehicles.

Plywood under bridges attempt to prevent pieces of the bridge from falling on vehicles.

We know that many people still have questions about Proposal 1 and in response we’ve posted this free webinar about the plan and why the League supports it. Check it out here.

Go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes web pages to get additional details, including talking points, neutral information, the official Proposal 1 ballot language, media coverage of the issue, and the amount of additional road revenue and constitution revenue sharing that would go to each community if Proposal 1 passes.

Join the Safe Roads Yes! coalition here.

(Note: Some have asked is it OK for my community to pass a vote yes resolution? Go here for details).

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

Proposal 1 FREE Webinar Now Available from Michigan Municipal League

A newly posted webinar (watch above) by the Michigan Municipal League lays out the details on Proposal 1 heading to voters May 5 and includes neutral information as well as details on why the League supports the proposal. The League is an active member of the Safe Roads Yes! coalition that is backing Proposal 1. Check out the League’s Safe Roads Yes! webpages that explains the impact Proposal 1 will have on Michigan municipalities.

Bad Roads Potholes April 2014 Local Roads Matter (2)-square-small-webThe webinar by the League’s John LaMacchia II took place on Friday (Feb 27, 2015) and is available for viewing for free for League and community members. The webinar focuses on the history leading up to the Legislature coming up with Proposal 1, what it means for communities and how there’s no Plan B for fixing our roads should the plan fail on May 5.

There has been a lot of media coverage and work by the Safe Roads Yes! coalition in recent days regarding Proposal 1. One of the best, most informative pieces came out Friday (Feb. 27, 2015) by the Detroit Free Press. With the headline, “Roads 101: What you need to know about Proposal 1,” the opinion piece by the Freep editorial board is in question and answer format. It does an excellent job laying out some of the concerns people may have about Proposal 1 and then addressing those concerns.

One other thing that happened late last week was the approval of the official ballot language for Proposal 1. You can read that here.

In addition, the League continues to ask its member communities to approve resolutions in support of Proposal 1. These resolutions are vital to letting your residents know that Proposal 1 is good for communities and will improve our deteriorating roads. Go here for a sample resolution in both Word and PDF formats.

League members who have questions about Proposal 1 should contact the League’s John LaMacchia II at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.