A group of concerned residents from the Old Mission Peninsula and Traverse City have formed a group called Citizens for Accountable Road Spending (CARS) to bring awareness to mismanagement of road issues and transparency to the actions of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission (GTCRC).
They’re also asking voters in Grand Traverse County to reject the upcoming road millage renewal in favor of a better solution, in order to “send a message to the county board and road commission that the way they’re doing business here on Old Mission, and throughout the county, must change,” says founding member Dave Murphy, a resident of the Old Mission Peninsula.
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Murphy founded the group with other OMP and Traverse City residents, including TJ Andrews, Grant Parsons, Monnie Peters, the group’s treasurer, and Amanda Igra, the group’s coordinator.
Murphy says the the idea for the group began with Peninsula Township’s call to action over the GTCRC taking control of M37/Center Road from the State of Michigan, along with many other road issues, including the GRCRC’s recent handling of the Bluff Road closure.
“Bluff Road and other problems with road issues came into play, as well,” Murphy notes, adding that the GTCRC’s desire to build a $40 million Hartman-Hammond “bridge to nowhere” despite repeated studies proving it will not alleviate traffic congestion was the even bigger galvanizing issue for the group to form.
As noted on the CARS website:
“The GTCRC is composed of five members who are not elected – instead, they are appointed. They are paid a salary and benefits to perform this job. The road commissioners are required to spend the public funds they receive in the best interest of the community they serve. They are required to be transparent with their decision making and their finances. Unfortunately, the GTRC is not doing any of these things.”
The GTCRC’s multi-million dollar millage of taxpayer funds on the upcoming ballot is another reason.
“They say they will spend this money directly on the improvement of roads,” notes the CARS website. “However, this money goes directly into the general pot of money along with the state and federal funding they receive. They then shell out millions of dollars for multiple studies to pursue personal pet projects that are not in the best interest of the community.”
The CARS group is hoping to raise at least $20,000 for an educational campaign that will reach the entire Grand Traverse County, as they note the issue with local roads reaches far beyond the Old Mission Peninsula.