Oakland & Macomb Counties reject RTA plan, may not be on November ballot

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Residents from across Metro Detroit are speaking up in support of a Regional Transit System.

However, the only way voters can vote on this public transportation plan is to have approval from seven of nine members who make up the Regional Transit Authority Board and at least one member from the counties represented has to approve it.

So when Macomb and Oakland County board members voted no Thursday afternoon to send the issue to the ballot, that put the public transportation plan's future up in the air.

Macomb County Executive, Mark Hackel explained why he can't offer his support at this time. "There's only one issue that I have that's outstanding and it's the fairness dealing with the vote. The issue is one of the counties including the city of Detroit has to have one vote to support an issue for spending of funds moving forward and it protects all of us. Why everyone would not be on board, I'm not sure." 

But Freman Hendrix who voted on behalf of the city of Detroit says this plan needs to be approved and voters should have a say. 

"This was unexpected a week ago. We thought this was ready to go but I share optimism that this will get on the ballot where it belongs." 

Hendrix does truly believes there is still hope for voters to have their say and says there will be a special meeting in the future so their voices will be heard. 

Late Thursday, Wayne County Executive released a statement regarding today's proceedings. 

“Our citizens deserve the opportunity to vote on the Regional Transit Authority millage in November. Approval by the RTA Board of the RTA’s master plan is a step in the right direction toward our shared vision for a world-class regional transit system. The improved system proposed by the RTA will build upon the progress that Detroit and Wayne County have made in the past few years, progress that is strengthening our region as a whole. With this plan everybody wins. While individual concerns must be addressed, we cannot afford to once again delay development of true regional transit. It is too important to workers, students, and families throughout southeast Michigan. Failure to place this millage on the ballot in November could impede the progress we have made in the region. I’m committed to working to address the concerns of our regional partners to bring them on board.”