Experts React To Downfall of Proposal One

“Back to the drawing board. It went about as bad as it could have gone, really.”

An important election across Michigan ended in a resounding “NO” on Proposal 1.

But the proposal wasn’t the only decided by voters.

They also approved or denied millages and bonds.

The item that everyone had stakes in, though, was Proposal 1…

It was a historic failure for the proposal supported by Governor Snyder to try and fix Michigan’s roads.

The proposal bombed by a 4:1 ratio across the state.

It was the only proposal in four years to be accepted by the House, the Senate and the governor.

The margin of ‘Yes’ voters to ‘No’ voters was also one of the largest in a very long time.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Melvin Kimbrough have followed the crash of Proposal 1 at the polls, and have reaction.


It’s back to the drawing board for the Michigan legislature following last night’s defeat of Proposal 1…

Meanwhile the state’s roads will not stop crumbling.

Now experts on both sides of the issue are looking for a new way to fix them.

“We’re kind of back to square one now,” says Kent Wood, Director of Governmental Relations at the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce. “We are no further now to getting our structural deficit for our transportation fully taken care of.”

Governor Snyder’s goal of Proposal 1 was aimed at repairing the state’s roads and bridges.

But with last night’s vote that order proved to be too large.

“It’s not simple and here’s the thing: the responsibility of leadership is to explain to voters where you see the problem, explain to voters what you are trying to do and what the cost in simple, straightforward terms,” says Paul Mitchell, who chairs the Coalition Against Higher Taxes in Lansing.

“It was a very, very tall order and so we weren’t surprised by the outcome,” Wood says. “There were a lot of moving different parts to it that just had a short, four-month window to try to get that message out to the voters.”

Although the proposal failed, everyone agrees on the same thing: Michigan roads are bad.

“What should be done is the legislature should get back together right after the vote, sit down and go through very, very intensely what’s necessary to fix our roads,” Mitchell says.

And the government is left to find a new way to fill the holes.

“I think they’ll start moving on things relatively quickly if for no other reason to show the public that, ‘Hey, we are working on something here and we’ve got some things in the hopper,'” Wood says. “In terms of all three parties coming together and agreeing to something? I don’t know.”

Until legislators can all come together and agree on a new plan to attack the original problem, our roads will keep crumbling.


So yes, Proposal 1 was about what you call an epic fail.

But was it like that all across Northern Michigan?

Most counties in our area were around the state average of 80-percent against.

But there were some outliers.

Starting with Ogemaw County.

—–624 people out of more than 4,000 voted yes. That means 3,992 voted no.

        That works out to about 92 percent against.

        The highest in Northern Michigan.

Mecosta County was the lowest.

—–1,504 out of more than 71-hundred voted for Prop One.

        5,614 voted against it, working out to 78-percent.

Luce County in the UP came in towards the middle at 85-percent against.

—–Just 173 out of more than 11-hundred voted yes with 1,001 voting against the measure.

And lastly looking at Grand Traverse County.

—–3,512 voted yes while 15,231 voted no, giving them 81 percent opposition.