Today, a group of citizens or powerful special interests can derail a wind farm from getting set up in Lake Michigan, a company from drilling in their backyard or even a financial manager from stepping in to improve their community.
Legislators should be problem solvers, facilitators and conveners of issues vital to their state. Yet in Detroit and throughout the State of Michigan, we still cannot accomplish enough to move the state forward. Perhaps it is a result of term-limits or maybe the changing politics in the State.
Policymakers can avoid making difficult decisions on controversial issues by creating a process by which public policy disputes can be resolved. Through a facilitated consensual process, issues such as consent agreements, transit, new infrastructure projects, transit and councils-by-district can be avoided and we can all move on to other issues to help our city, state and nation move forward.
If we just talk earlier and learned about the real issues underlying the bigger ones, than perhaps today, we would be talking more about baseball or going to the lake, instead about a bridge, minimum wage, casinos, wolves, debt ceilings or transit. It is time we all work together to help Michigan Move Forward and find a better way at resolving public policy disputes.