UPDATE 7/19/23 5:20 p.m.
A potential deal has been reached between the Bay Area Transportation Authority and the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners.
The two have recently been going back and forth over the BATA board’s expansion and the removal of two BATA board members appointed by Grand Traverse County.
The tentative agreement keeps seven members on the board and will not expand to two more members at this time.
The board will formally consider the agreement at its meeting on Aug. 10.
UPDATE 6/15/2023 11 p.m.
The back and forth between the Bay Area Transportation Authority Board and the Grand Traverse County Board continues. However, board members feel they are close to an agreement.
The issues began back in February after county commissioners accused two county-appointed board members of willful neglect of duty for voting in favor of expanding BATA’s board without input from county commissioners.
BATA and county commissioners first chose to put a 60-day pause on possibly removing the two board members back in March, followed by a 30-day pause in May, and on Wednesday commissioners announced another 30-day pause.
Despite the wait, Grand Traverse County commissioners and BATA feel they are close to a mutual agreement. Vice Chair of the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners Brad Jewett said both sides have made some compromises and expects they’ll be able to move forward.
“I do believe we will come up with a commonsense resolution to this without having to possibly remove board members. Our Administrator Nate Alger and our legal counsel has been heading the ship on this one. We feel that they’re making great strides, or else they would not have negotiated another 30-day extension,” Jewett said.
Jewett said he expects county board members to have an update at their meeting next Wednesday.
3/14/2023 5:45 p.m.
Some plans for the Bay Area Transportation Authority are currently on hold.
The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners and BATA are still hoping to come to an agreement, but a 60-day pause has been implemented for the county board’s forcible removal of two members of BATA’s Board of Directors.
Also on pause is the appointment of two at large members on BATA’s board.
The disagreement came after county commissioners accused two county-appointed board members of willful neglect of duty for voting in favor of the expansion of BATA’s Board from seven seats to nine.
“To bring in more parties to the table and to the discussion including Leelanau County and potentially Traverse City as well. BATA serves all of Grand Traverse and Leelanau County to have more representation and help come up with an agreeable solution for BATA’s board composition moving forward,” Eric Linguar, BATA Director of Communications and Development, said.
Grand Traverse County commissioners and BATA are discussing a mutual agreement about the composition of BATA’s board.
3/13/2023 11 p.m.
After the Grand Traverse Board of Commissioners threatened to remove two members from the Bay Area Transportation’s Board of Directors, the county board and BATA have comes to a temporary agreement.
In February, BATA appointed two members to its board without first getting approval from the Leelanau or Grand Traverse County Boards. Now, BATA and Grand Traverse County have agreed to a 60-day pause before any decision is made on the removal of the two board members.
“We’re hopeful we can come to a compromise that ultimately supports what is best for the continuation and growth of public transit for the people and communities BATA serves,” said Kelly Dunham, BATA Executive Director. “At the end of the day it all centers around BATA’s Mission to deliver safe, high-quality, efficient, and reliable transportation services in its region that link people, jobs, and communities.”
They have also agreed to continue discussions around the disagreement and hope to come to a more permanent agreement.