Opinion: An expanded Washtenaw Road Commission board is the wrong answer
As the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners considers expanding the Board of Road Commissioners, our organization wanted to go on record opposing the unnecessary expansion of administrative bureaucracy. In light of the severe financial distress the State of Michigan and Washtenaw County are experiencing, it seems unconscionable that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners would be considering expanding the size of a local government board.
The expansion of the Board of Road Commissioners will come at a price and the cost will be covered with the road and bridge maintenance dollars that are already in short supply. The Road Commission has recently closed three bridges, which brings the total of closed bridges to six. The Road Commission also reported that they have 32 bridges that are severely restricted and they have no revenue to fix these bridges.
Increasing the size of the Board of Road Commissioners will do nothing to solve the revenue problem, having more policy makers is not the solution. The problem is road funding; the solution is streamlining bureaucracy and working together to solve the revenue shortfall. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners should commit to solving the road funding problem rather than adding to the bureaucracy.
Bart Nickerson President
Bryce Mitchell Vice President
Greg Stephens Secretary-Treasurer
Washtenaw County Skilled Building Trades Council Inc.