Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GaryP

Granholm Screws West Michigan Again

128 posts in this topic

Email from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce:

Dear Members,

Governor Granholm has vetoed legislation specifically designed to help the Interurban Transit Partnership, a.k.a The Rapid.

House Bill 4993, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Kooiman (R-Grand Rapids), would have amended the Public Transportation Authority Act to allow taxes to be levied for a maximum of 25 years for a public authority located in a county with a population of more than 500,000 and less than 750,000 (i.e. Kent County) for a fixed guideway project, e.g. light rail or bus system, authorized by the Federal government.

The Rapid has already received funding for the program in the form of a $14.4 million Federal "fixed guideway" grant, but the Federal legislation requires the grant recipient to demonstrate the "legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the proposed project" and provide matching funds. The legislation would have provided The Rapid with a way to demonstrate its ability to meet the financial commitment necessary to complete the proposed project.

Andy Johnston

Program Coordinator

Public Policy & Government Affairs Division

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

111 Pearl St. NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616-771-0335

Fax: 616-771-0318

email: [email protected]

From Jerry Kooiman:

G.R. Transit Bill Vetoes

Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM vetoed a bill specifically designed to allow Kent County voters to approve a 25-year public transit tax package for "The Rapid," a new bus/shuttle service Grand Rapids is pushing to make it easier for people to get around the downtown.

Had lawmakers opted to keep the bill, HB 4993, broad enough to include all local transportation authorities across the state, the Governor said she would have been willing to sign it.

However, Republicans didn't have the votes to put through a broader bill because both Republicans and Democrats, particularly those in Southeast Michigan, were concerned about giving the perceived inefficient transit operations of SMART and the Detroit Department of Transportation (D-DOT) more tools.

Granholm said the bill would have benefited Detroit Metro Airport. The federal government allegedly has committed $100 million in engineering work on a proposed rapid transit line between Detroit and Ann Arbor to Metro Airport. The federal government would pick up 80 percent of the cost of building the new line, as it has done for similar transit lines in other states, but only if the region can demonstrate sufficient local financial support.

That's why Granholm is asking the Legislature to pass a bill early next year to give all voters throughout Michigan the ability to approve 25-year transit tax levies. Currently, they can only do five-year levies.

She said Republicans used "crass political motivation" to narrow the bill during the legislative process, Granholm said she had no choice but to kill the bill, which threatens $14 million in federal funding for Kent County.

"Effective public transportation connecting job providers with the workers and customers needed to fuel business growth is a key component of economic development and job creation throughout all of Michigan," Granholm said. "Restricting to only one county the tools that can enable communities to develop more effective public transportation is short sighted."

Rep. Jerry KOOIMAN (R-Grand Rapids), sponsor of the bill, shot out a press release slamming Granholm as not caring about the west side of the state. He couldn't understand why the Governor wouldn't sign this bill and work in 2006 to get a broader bill passed.

"Gov. Granholm has proven time and time again that she has no concern for Kent County or residents of western Michigan," Kooiman said. "Only two months after blocking expansion of U.S. 131, the Governor has again placed herself as a roadblock to better transportation in west Michigan."

Kooiman said the funding was necessary to help with Kent County's economy and wouldn't have any impact outside of the community.

"The actions today send a clear signal from the Governor that the future of west Michigan is not something that matters to her," Kooiman said, before noting that he will continue to work to try to come up with a better solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Dosen't supprise me, but I will make my concerns heard come '06. Devos will be in that office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO Granholm was right that the bill would have been beneficial to the entire state, but there is no defense for vetoing this bill when another could have been passed at another time. Why do Metro Detroit's obviously race inspired mass transit issues have to affect our city?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would venture to say, because that is where a majority of the power is located...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would venture to say, because that is where a majority of the power is located...

Undoubtably Metro D has more political power, but that wasn't the problem here. The bill passed the legislature and Granholm vetoed it.

It would be nice to see that region get a heavy rail system, but there are people over there who will fight it tooth and nail. It shouldn't be our problem, but Granholm decided to make it our problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Undoubtably Metro D has more political power, but that wasn't the problem here. The bill passed the legislature and Granholm vetoed it.

It would be nice to see that region get a heavy rail system, but there are people over there who will fight it tooth and nail. It shouldn't be our problem, but Granholm decided to make it our problem.

So my understanding is that if Granholm had signed that bill then ITP would have likely gotten the 14.4 million. But now it could go anywhere in the state (Detroit)? If it was possible to enact broader legislation later on, then it sounds like a load of crap. Granholm sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my understanding is that if Granholm had signed that bill then ITP would have likely gotten the 14.4 million. But now it could go anywhere in the state (Detroit)? If it was possible to enact broader legislation later on, then it sounds like a load of crap. Granholm sucks.

The $14.4M can only be awarded if "the grant recipient [can] demonstrate the legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the proposed project and provide matching funds." What the bill allowed was Kent County (and only Kent County) to pass a 25 year bond issue instead of the current 5 year limit. That will allow the potential funds raised over 25 years to be sold as a tax free bond for a large lump sum to meet the local matching funds requirement and what ever is left over would be used for operation of the system. Without this legislation the 14 million won't go to anyone.

For metro D to get the $100M promised to connect Ann Arbor to Detroit by rail they will need similar legislation. Granhom wants this and so do I, but she realizes that a lot of Metro Detroiters won't and therefore their representatives won't either. She wants the west Michigan legislators helping her pass a bill for the entire state. I'm guessing that will be a huge battle that could go either way, which puts our chances of getting light rail in the hands of metro Detroit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This quote from Kooiman on Mlive's article twists the dagger:

"I needed to get this through as quickly as possible so The Rapid can begin drawing down the federal dollars. I think they're pretty much ready to roll."

acrticle here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Dosen't supprise me, but I will make my concerns heard come '06. Devos will be in that office.

This is going to get ugly fast, I suggest dropping this subject already.

This isnt just Granholm not supporting this bill, but SE Michigan Republicans as well, who are of the mindset: "Dont spend a dime unless its on tax cuts".

Devos won't solve this either. Hes going to have to listen to the GOP base with more power, and right now thats the Eastern Michigan GOP. (Which I believe is a big reason the GOP's prescence in the state is slipping, as more and more of us on the West see the GOP taking over on the east, the west is moving away from that train of thought, and Detroits never going to budge on its political stance.)

If I were in Granholm's shoes I would do the same thing, I can't win on West MI alone, I need the whole state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Undoubtably Metro D has more political power,

Oh yes it does. It is interesting to go back and look at past county by county election results. The whole state can be red except for Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne county and the whole state tips to blue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to get ugly fast, I suggest dropping this subject already.

This isnt just Granholm not supporting this bill, but SE Michigan Republicans as well, who are of the mindset: "Dont spend a dime unless its on tax cuts".

Devos won't solve this either. Hes going to have to listen to the GOP base with more power, and right now thats the Eastern Michigan GOP. (Which I believe is a big reason the GOP's prescence in the state is slipping, as more and more of us on the West see the GOP taking over on the east, the west is moving away from that train of thought, and Detroits never going to budge on its political stance.)

If I were in Granholm's shoes I would do the same thing, I can't win on West MI alone, I need the whole state.

Again, Kooiman's bill passed the legislature. The detroiters were in favor of it as it applied only to Kent County. No one would have been upset if she had just signed the bill, NO ONE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She wants the west Michigan legislators helping her pass a bill for the entire state. I'm guessing that will be a huge battle that could go either way, which puts our chances of getting light rail in the hands of metro Detroit.

Oyy! It does sound like this could get ugly. Granholm knows she can s**t on West Michigan and still get re-elected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have seen the dart board voting system this woman uses to make decisions. i had lunch with her at mc. donalds a few years back...while eating my nuggets she leaned over a wispered to me "i dont have a fudgeing clue what i am doing at work" i told her dont worry about it....here have a nugget.

back then the nuggets were non-segregated -both white and dark meat parts living together in a interracial crispy coated shell. today all we have is white meat. no unity in nugget communities.

we need to get her out of office and bring back the multiracial nugget. before she bans the angus burger.

angus power!

angus-web-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Down with Granholm..........................................

.........................................................................

I say GRDad runs for office....I'd vote for him :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


This is a political based thread so if any place, let it be here right? I think that Grand Rapids republicans differ from Detroit's is that GR's actually acknowledge the fact that public transportation is a necessity. I have shot emails to all the major republican Representatives and community leaders in Metro GR and basically they have come to a consensus. They tell me that mass-transit is an economic engine, it is increasingly more important as our city grows. As a community we have already been through the votes, Metro GR has supported mass transit with very large margins, we just have to look up to Big Brother Detroit to see if he can concur, that is if I have read the article correctly. It makes me resentful that our future growth as a city could possibly be put in the hands of people some 150 miles away and totally disconnected from our culture. This situation is exactly why we as Grand Rapidians are even more or starting to be more resentful of the east-side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a political based thread so if any place, let it be here right? I think that Grand Rapids republicans differ from Detroit's is that GR's actually acknowledge the fact that public transportation is a necessity. I have shot emails to all the major republican Representatives and community leaders in Metro GR and basically they have come to a consensus. They tell me that mass-transit is an economic engine, it is increasingly more important as our city grows. As a community we have already been through the votes, Metro GR has supported mass transit with very large margins, we just have to look up to Big Brother Detroit to see if he can concur, that is if I have read the article correctly. It makes me resentful that our future growth as a city could possibly be put in the hands of people some 150 miles away and totally disconnected from our culture. This situation is exactly why we as Grand Rapidians are even more or starting to be more resentful of the east-side.

I don;t think this thread should be title the way it is though. Theres a perfectly legitimate reason why this was vetoed, and its one I think even Devos would do if he was governor. The legislation was bad, it didnt offer much funding to the ITP to begin with, and it was just bad pork barrel legislation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to also think who legislated this so poorly and criticize accordingly, correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don;t think this thread should be title the way it is though. Theres a perfectly legitimate reason why this was vetoed, and its one I think even Devos would do if he was governor. The legislation was bad, it didnt offer much funding to the ITP to begin with, and it was just bad pork barrel legislation.

Do governors have line-item veto power? And if so, does ours? Just curious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don;t think this thread should be title the way it is though. Theres a perfectly legitimate reason why this was vetoed, and its one I think even Devos would do if he was governor. The legislation was bad, it didnt offer much funding to the ITP to begin with, and it was just bad pork barrel legislation.

I'm not sure how this was poorly written or why it was bad. It certainly wasn't 'pork barrel;' it didn't give any money away. All the bill did was to allow 1 county to pass bond issues for 25 years instead of 5 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgive me if these are stupid questions, but...

1. Has the federal money already been "designated" to go to The Rapid? WOOD Radio was reporting that the 14.4 million could go anywhere in the state. But this Andy Johnston says that "the Rapid had already received funding."

2. Since Granholm vetoed this bill, what happens to the federal money? If The Rapid can't match it, does it get redirected somewhere else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Light rail is a pipe dream in West Michigan. We are too spread out and sprawling for people to give up cars in the numbers needed to make something like this feasible.

Granholm made the right choice. There are better ways to use the money in Michigan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgive me if these are stupid questions, but...

1. Has the federal money already been "designated" to go to The Rapid? WOOD Radio was reporting that the 14.4 million could go anywhere in the state. But this Andy Johnston says that "the Rapid had already received funding."

2. Since Granholm vetoed this bill, what happens to the federal money? If The Rapid can't match it, does it get redirected somewhere else?

1. The original 14.4 Million actually was pork barrel from the Federal Transportation bill, the same bill that had the $250M (or whatever the actual $ amount was) 'Bridge to nowhere' in Alaska that Rizzo was talking about. The 14 million was earmarked for this project only.

2. We have some time before the money is no longer available, but I don't know how long. As I understand it we don't currently need to match any funds, as long as we show a financial capability to complete this project we get the money, which the legislation would have done. The $14.4M is only for design of the system; when that is finished we will need a lot more money from the Feds for land acquisition and construction, and at that point we will have to come up with a 20% match or however much the Feds determine it be.

3. Good questions not stupid questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to also think who legislated this so poorly and criticize accordingly, correct?

Ha you are remembering what I'm saying :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.