A couple has formed a ballot proposal committee to encourage support for a plan to fix streets in the City of Brighton.

On Tuesday, voters will head to the polls to decide a Headlee Override request. The Headlee Amendment rolls back millage rates so that the resulting growth in a community's property tax revenue is no more than the rate of inflation. The city is asking for approval to override that limitation and levy the charter limit of 20 mills for a period of 10 years in order to fix the city’s streets. Because of reductions triggered by the Headlee Amendment, the City currently only collects around 15.65-mills from taxpayers. The 4.35-mill difference, if re-instated, would generate roughly $1.85 (m) million dollars per year and be used exclusively on roads. The override proposal would generate approximately $18.5 (m) million during the 10-year time period.

Resident Jordan Genso and his wife Lesa Doa have formed “The Committee To Be Right On Roads” to advocate a yes vote on the proposal. It allows them to purchase yard signs advocating a “yes’ vote and provide them to neighbors and supporters. Genso says if proposal doesn’t pass, the problem will still exist and residents will likely end up voting on it again. He says they want people make an informed decision and vote with a solution in mind. He says streets are gradually getting worse over time and will continue to decline until something is done.

Genso says tells WHMI he wants the City to be on a sustainable path and gradually improve overall conditions of streets. He feels the ballot proposal is the best option, or perhaps the least bad option, for the City in deciding how to fix infrastructure and streets. Genso says after hearing opposition, they wanted to show support and demonstrate people are out there who will be voting yes. He says they’re doing so because the proposal offers a solution, versus those who don’t have any solutions and just want to vote no because they are opposed to anything. Genso contends the expense of $40 a month is less than potential car repairs if streets continue to deteriorate further. He feels if someone can’t figure out how to better solve the problem, then a yes vote is the only rational option.

The City has held several informational meetings to educate voters ahead of the August Primary Election. A recent review from the city’s engineer of the roughly 30 miles of roads in the City of Brighton showed that approximately 75% are in poor condition. While the proposal would not fix everything at once, it will provide the City with the funding needed to institute a new comprehensive streets program. In that program, the city would break the 10-year override into a series of smaller 2-year plans. Officials have said that having a lump sum of revenue to repair and, in some cases, repave the city’s streets will save them from having to use a band-aid approach when problems occur. Details about Tuesday’s ballot proposal are available on the City of Brighton’s website. The link is provided. (JM)