New Law for Disbanding Road Commissions

Michigan counties now have the power under state law to dissolve their county road commissions.

Governor Rick Snyder signed that measure into law recently.

If a road commission’s members are elected, voters would have the final say about the road commission’s fate.

If road commission members are appointed, like they are in Marquette county, the county board would have that power instead.

Marquette County Road Commission engineer/manager Jim Iwanicki says several Marquette County Board members have briefly addressed the new measure, but he says the board members have no interest in disbanding the Road Commission.

He says that as he understands it, the change was proposed because in several downstate counties, the road commission and the county board have a long history of not getting along.

Marquette County once had that same friction — about ten years ago, the County Board brought in a group of people to study the Road Commission out of concern about how the Road Commission was operating.

The consultants recommended some changes, Iwanicki says the Road Commission has done its best to live up to those recommendations, and he says in his opinion that’s how issues should be addressed rather than by dissolving a road commission altogether.

If a road commission is dissolved, its responsibilities would fall to the county board in that county.

Michigan is the only state that has county road commissions, and 81 of the state’s 83 counties have one.

Posted by: Mike Hoey