State encourages local governments to collaborate

By Rachel Jackson
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer

Gov. Rick Snyder presented his budget for the 2012 fiscal year on earlier this month, asking the state’s public officials to show what he called the “best practice” in the face of cuts to municipalities and jurisdictions, and encouraged localities to work together to face the brunt of public spending cuts. The governor’s  proposal raised eyebrows over a number of controversial plans, but especially over his proposed cuts regarding revenue sharing, the system of fund allocation for municipalities across the state. Snyder proposed a $100 million cut to the program for the 2012 fiscal year, which would force surrounding municipalities to combine public services to make ends meet. “Unfortunately the cut to revenue sharing will put strain on a number of governments that are already facing insurmountable challenges,” DeWitt Township Manager Rodney Taylor said. “For some of these governments it may be that final straw.”

Taylor said that while he doesn’t agree with some of Snyder’s proposals, he does agree that something has to be done to stabilize Michigan’s economic future, which is why jurisdictions in Clinton County held a regionalism summit in October to discuss the prospect of merging local public services.