Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Regional Cooperation Goal Set For Monday Previous Next
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Shave
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Username: Shave

Post Number: 1102
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 8:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Monday goal is regional cooperation
Divisive issues are not on the agenda

March 18, 2006

BY KATHLEEN GRAY

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

When elected officials from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and the City of Detroit gather Monday, there should be no quarrelling over the stewardship of the Detroit Zoo or higher water rates.

They're not on the agenda.

Instead, officials will concentrate on topics where they might find some common ground, including road and sewer issues, public transportation and mental health.

More than anything else, Monday's Tri-County Summit at Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills is intended to foster the idea that regional cooperation can exist in metro Detroit, despite splits like those over rates the Detroit water department charges suburban customers and who should operate the zoo.

"We can't work anymore just by ourselves," Nancy White, chairwoman of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, said Friday.

The region's first such meeting was held in 1998, and four more took place through 2000.

But the meetings, which are not open to the public, haven't been held for nearly six years because the some of the original elected leaders went on to different offices and interest in the meetings waned.

As the regional economy has floundered, that feeling has changed.

"Detroit can't be isolated if it wants to survive," Detroit City Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said Thursday. "When you set the meeting against the backdrop of the controversies over the zoo and the water rates, it's even more important for us to attend."

The officials are expected to talk about programs to divert mentally ill people from county jails, ways to deal with increased infrastructure costs and how to attract money to fix roads and improve transportation.

"It's good for us just to be in the same room getting to know each other," Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Bullard said last week. "We want to deal with some issues where we can find some common ground."

Then, perhaps, they can tackle more controversial issues, such as water rates.

Just because some items are not on the agenda doesn't mean they're off-limits.

"I think we need to talk about it," White said. "The water rate issue is so confusing and involved. We've got to be able to sit down and talk about everything.

"There is a really bad feeling in the suburbs about what happened with water rates, and that has to be resolved."

http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll /article?AID=/20060318/NEWS05/ 603180322
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Goat
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Username: Goat

Post Number: 8281
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.71.57.8
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 9:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With people like LBP, RBC and the like...good luck. Self-serving agendas and grand standing always come first.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2061
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.14.135.95
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 9:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Doesn't public officials holding a meeting that isn't open to the public constitute a direct violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act?
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3355
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 10:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This line is ridiculous:


quote:

"We can't work anymore just by ourselves," Nancy White, chairwoman of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, said Friday.




And Ms. White is just now figuring this out? You never before could have worked in good concious alone if you weren't working together. I just can't see anything meaningful coming out of a meeting where there are no controversial issues being discussed. It sounds like a meeting where leaders will uncomfortably pay lip services and exchange pleasantries with one another, only staying for as long as they are being made to, with no real motive or incentive for doing anything on a regional scale. Seriously, how much longer can these governments put off discussing multiple meat-and-potato issues such as effective, region-wide mass transit?

(Message edited by lmichigan on March 19, 2006)
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 834
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 10:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess the plus to this is they are at least getting together to talk. I'm sure they have found some loophole on the Open Meetings Act so that it does not have to be open to the public.
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Wsukid
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Username: Wsukid

Post Number: 140
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 69.14.145.38
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 11:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lmich

I would say tone it down on Nancy White if anything I think it is great to even hear from her. I think she is much more open to regional cooperation than LBP or the oakland county commission. For her to even say that is more than LBP has said about regional cooperation in years. Although I agree with you that I hope this is not just some game to play lip service to issues like mass transit and others.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1490
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 68.40.42.197
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 11:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

WRT Open meetings: I think the law may require that minutes be taken and provided to the public, but since this group has not authority, the law may not apply to them.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3357
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 12:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It wasn't so much directed at Ms. White as it is at most of the newer leadership who seem to have never even thought about regional leadership until someone puts it on the front burner. I was jut expressing my frustration at this trend that has hit the metro for years. You know "we are all islands that exist onto ourselves." I mean, we have Ferndale fighting with the north, Detroit fighting everyone, so-and-so vs. such-and-such, all the while the world has passed Metro Detroit by.

I guess I'll end with optimism that anything, however small, that comes out of this is another baby-step in the right direction. I just wish the metro would start making strides intead of babysteps. It's had decades to make baby-steps.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2062
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.14.135.95
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 9:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't worry, Lmichigan.

I've got family living in Macomb County and I can tell you for a fact that there isn't one person on their boc who has a clue about what they're doing.

Most of their time is spent fighting amongst one another and engaging in vote buying schemes, rather that work on getting anything done.
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 836
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 9:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One plus for Macomb County is the whole county is in SMART, and pays SMART's millage, and has not even remotely talked about opting out.
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Broken_main
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Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 986
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.222.11.226
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 9:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I hope something good can come out of the meeting. I do believe that the agenda should include the water rates as well as the issues with the zoo. This region must get to the "meat and potatoes" as it pertains to the issues. we have a vast region here and cooperation should be at leats approach so that this region will benefit from it.

SE Michigan should start realizing that they are going to have to work together in order to keep order in the region. I can see that it is going to take people leaving the region to the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo area to the new land of milk and honey.
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Andyguard73
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Username: Andyguard73

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 64.25.200.14
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do you guys think something like this could even work in Detroit? And if it can, is it something that would be desirable?

Unigov

As the result of a 1970 consolidation between city and county government (known as "Unigov"), the city of Indianapolis merged most government services with those of the county. For the most part, this resulted in a unification of Indianapolis with its immediate suburbs. Four communities within Marion County (Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport and Speedway) are partially outside of the Unigov arrangement. Also, 11 other communities (called "included towns") are legally included in the Consolidated City of Indianapolis under Unigov, per Indiana Code 36-3-1-4 sec. 4(a)(2), which states that the Consolidated City of Indianapolis includes the entire area of Marion County, except the four previously mentioned "excluded" communities. The 11 "included towns" elected to retain their "town status" under Unigov as defined according to the Indiana Constitution (there were originally 14, but 3 later dissolved), but the Indiana Constitution does not define "town status."

These "included towns" are fully subject to the laws and control of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis, but some still impose a separate property tax and provide police and other services under contract with township or county government or the City of Indianapolis. Additionally, throughout Marion County certain local services such as schools, fire and police remain unconsolidated. However, the mayor of Indianapolis is also the mayor of all of Marion County, and the City-County Council sits as the legislative body for all of Marion County. Currently, Indianapolis is undergoing serious internal debate over how much, or whether, more of local taxation, government, and services should be further integrated. Further consolidation of city and county services and functions would require passage of new legislation by the Indiana General Assembly.

A bill, dubbed Indianapolis Works, was proposed by the current mayor, Bart Peterson, and introduced in the 2005 legislative session of the state General Assembly, which would have further consolidated local government in the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. After a very contentious and partisan debate, the Assembly passed an extremely watered-down version off the original bill; the final enacted legislation consolidates budgetary functions of the City and County, permits the Indianapolis City-County Council to vote to consolidate the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Department, and theoretically permits consolidation of the Indianapolis Fire Department with township fire departments based upon approval of all affected parties.

Police consolidation was defeated at the Council level in November 2005, but the bill was revived and passed by the City-County Council on December 19, 2005 after slight revision. Indianapolis will now have a combined metropolitan police force starting January 1, 2007. However, this "metropolitan" police force will still not be the sole police agency within Marion county or even pre-Unigov Indianapolis. The four excluded cities of Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport, and Speedway will still maintain separate police forces, as will eight metropolitan school districts. In addition to these well-defined exceptions, no less than seven "legacy" police organizations, pre-dating Unigov, will still be maintained by various "included towns" or townships within Marion County.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I ndianapolis#Politics

Just since we're talking about regional cooperation I thought I'd throw this out there and see what you think.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1284
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.238.170.32
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the reason that this meeting will not be open to the public is to keep the grandstanding to a minimum as well as talk about real issues and the real decision that have to be made regarding regional cooperation vs. having to put on a good face and say the right things for their constituents.

I think you'd be surprised with how many local politicians are for regional cooperation and regional government, but they don't feel that they can publicly support it because of the backlash that will result from their constituents.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 479
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 68.2.191.57
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd like to hear more about this Unigov idea.

My first impression is that consolidation would seem more economical with less duplication of effort and overlapping jurisdiction. I'd also guess such a beast would be far more vulnerable to corruption for similar reasons. It's a pretty radical idea.

Hasn't Macomb County Sheriff Dept. already assumed Mount Clemens Police Dept. duties?
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Wsukid
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Username: Wsukid

Post Number: 141
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.216
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 6:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know with the recent election there were some leaders here Downriver that were kicked out because they were too regional. Greg Pitoniak in Taylor who really pushed regionalism and wanted to work with Detroit. And the Southgate mayor Dennis David who was at the Detroit State of the City address and who worked with KK on the mayors alliance he created. Both were leaders that thought outside the box and wanted to push regional ideas.They were both ousted and were replaced with their predecessors. Now I am not sure where regionalism is on their plates but Im sure we took one step back downriver. The thing is voters here got scared and voted who they knew instead of voting for bold ideas and change.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2066
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.14.135.95
Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 10:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Uh, their constitutients are who they were voted to represent.

I'm leaning more towards fear of their cluelessness being made widely known.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1290
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.238.170.39
Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 11:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, Mcp, we should just allow folks to remain holed up in their little communities and watch the whole thing go down the toilet because elected officials should do exactly as their loudest constituents desire? Or should elected officials act as leaders and challenge the status quo and open their constituents to the bigger picture and to greater ideas? Don't we elect them so that they can take the time to investigate and study issues that we don't have the time to?

I know this is a rosy picture of what a politician can/should be, but this is essentially why we elect them. If we continue the way we have been and are going, we've only scratched the surface on how bad the economy and government of SE Michigan can get.

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