First, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson supported the creation of the Act 196 Authority to raise funds to support SMART services, working with the Board of Commissioners to get the Oakland County Public Transportation Authority millage on the ballot in 1996. He has supported every SMART millage renewal since.
He also backed the Detroit Area Regional Transportation Authority (DARTA) legislation in 2001 which was vetoed by Gov. John Engler. Three years later, he joined the regional leaders and Governor Granholm in an attempt to revive DARTA. The transit unions stopped it with a lawsuit. Gov. Jennifer Granholm reneged on a promise to fix the statute.
Then, of course, he helped form the RTA, ultimately enabling an RTA ballot question in 2016. Of course, voters said "No."
Now Patterson has presented that $1.2 billion plan which will improve the likelihood of voters favoring a regional transit question on a future ballot.
Patterson's Achievements for Regional Cooperation
Relations between Oakland County and its neighbors to the south are good, despite disagreement over resolving the regional transit issue. Other regional issues that have been resolved clearly demonstrate the ability of the region to work together:
- The formation of a regional authority for Cobo
- The adoption of Oakland taxpayer support for the DIA and the Detroit Zoo
- And the creation of the Great Lakes Water Authority