Local lawmakers to governor: Livingston County belongs in Lansing region, not Detroit, for economic restart plan

State Rep. Hank Vaupel

State Reps. Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, and Ann Bollin, R-Brighton Township, sent a letter on May 18, 2020, to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requesting that she consider making commonsense adjustments to the MI Safe Start regions by removing Livingston County from the nine-county Detroit region.

The plan aims to safely reopen Michigan by region, but Vaupel and Bollin contend that Livingston County belongs with the Lansing region, not the Detroit region, and should be on track to reopen sooner.

State Rep. Ann Bollin

“The number of COVID-19 cases in Livingston County has not been anywhere near as high as the three counties surrounding Detroit,” Vaupel said in a release. “As of May 17, Livingston County had just 385 confirmed cases of the virus, while Wayne County had 19,065, Oakland County had 8,043 and Macomb County had 6,345. Based on the data available, there is no question that Livingston County should be on track for reopening much more quickly than the Metro Detroit area.”

The letter also highlighted that Livingston County has historically been grouped with Lansing in other regionalized state government projects.

“It simply doesn’t make sense for Livingston County to be placed in the same region as Wayne County,” Bollin said. “The emergency preparedness regions developed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the past have included Livingston County in the Lansing region. Our county has not been included in a Detroit region under Michigan Works! Talent districts or Community Mental Health Partnership regions. It is frustrating and confusing that our area is now being included with Detroit.”

In the letter, the legislators requested that the governor supply data to support the change in grouping Livingston County with the Detroit region, as current data does not support it.

The governor’s Safe Start Plan can be found by clicking here. Currently, Livingston County is included in MERC Region 1, but Vaupel and Bollin request it instead be grouped with Region 5.

Here is the letter Vaupel and Bollin sent:



 

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1 Comment

  1. Our economy is tied to Washtenaw, Oakland, and Wayne, not Ingham. Those are the counties where people go to work for the most part, not Ingham. Our population is centered in the parts of the county that are closest to Oakland, Wayne, and Washtenaw. We share a medical examiner with Washtenaw, we share our human services agency with Oakland, we share Meals on Wheels with Oakland, we widened U.S. 23 to Washtenaw County so people could commute, we share our economic development process with Ann Arbor SPARK, we share mailing addresses with Oakland County communities such as South Lyon, we share school districts with Oakland County. Apparently these lawmakers do not understand the basic underpinnings of their community’s economy. So sad.

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