The question of funding a $4.74 billion Regional Master Transit Plan in Metro Detroit may not make it to the General Election this November. The Board of Directors of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan did not approve a ballot proposal that would have put the millage question to voters. Representatives from Oakland and Macomb Counties effectively blocked the RTA effort from moving forward. Don Morandini is one of Macomb County’s RTA representatives. He said he voted against the proposal because Macomb is concerned about the plan’s current financial model, preferring one set out by Cobo Hall Authority.
“That model allows every individual, a representative of every partner to be able to vote on major funding issues.”
Don Morandini, Macomb County RTA Representative
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackle and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson recently expressed their resistance to a transit plan they say wouldn’t fully serve their counties or support the SMART bus system.
Freman Hendrix is Detroit’s RTA representative. He voted for the proposal. Hendrix says Mayor Mike Duggan will have to discuss the matter with the two County Executives.
“There can be conversation, there can be compromise, but they shouldn’t be [tied by it]. This is too important and there are hundreds of thousands of people that have been hanging in the balance for decades to get a chance to vote on this, and they’re bringing in issues that have nothing to do with this.”
Freman Hendrix, Detroit RTA Representative
The RTA Board of Directors says it will reconvene in the coming days to approve new proposal language by August 16th, before its too late to add the question to the ballot.