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SG-W:/ DeRosset in Drivers'Seat
Last week, House Speaker Chuck Perricone (R-Kalamazoo Twsp.) named Rep.
Gene DeRosset (R-Manchester)to head a panel to make recommendations on land
use for the Michigan House. I know DeRosset was active on the Washtenaw
County Farmland and Open Space Task Force and from my meetings with him, I
know him to be in the camp of "incentive, voluntary, free-market" land use
policies. What else can you all tell me about him?
Only Republicans were appointed to the panel which include Reps. Susan
Tabor (Delta Township), Jason Allen (Traverse City), Patty Birkholz
(Saugatuck), Mike Bishop (Rochester), Larry DeVuyst (Alma), Mike Green
(Mayville), Jon Jellema (Grand Haven), and Rick Johnson (Leroy).
Conspicuously absent from the panel
is Rep. Bill Byl (R-Grand Rapids) who spurred the debate last spring with
an amendment to the DEQ budget requiring consideration of agency spending
on sprawl impacts. Also notable is the fact that Jellema was not asked to
lead the panel; he has been leading other Republicans in an effort to
state land use planning principles and a smart growth program based on
Maryland's. Instead, DeRosset, a former builder/realtor was selected.
We'll need folks in DeRosset's district to push him for good policies. The
good news is that both Republicans and Democrats are asking for land use
legislation in a way we haven't seen for some time (which means we are all
doing our work). On the other hand, without bold leadership, what comes
out of the legislature may fall far short from making any significant
on-the-ground changes. For those of you who know him, can DeRosset provide
Director of Land Programs
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
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