Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Atlanta mayor declares her city the ‘crown jewel’ of the nation … Nashville transit proposal fails … Maine lawmakers override governor’s veto ... and Buffalo eyes parking ticket amnesty.
Here are some state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention ...
- Evart, Michigan: Lawyers are looking at different ways to challenge the permit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality granted Nestlé Waters North America Inc. for its controversial groundwater withdrawals near this small city in the northwestern Lower Peninsula. “The DEQ’s permit is by no means the last word,” according to Noah Hall, a professor of environment and water law at Wayne State University. [Bridge MI]
- Nashville, Tennessee: An ambitious transit expansion plan—one built around new light rail and bus rapid transit lines—failed by a large margin during Tuesday’s special election. The proposal, supported by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and city leaders, faced an uphill climb, and, as observers note, failed for a variety of reasons, including the resignation of Mayor Megan Barry, “muddled messaging” and a rejection by many African-American residents, seen as an important voter bloc. [The Tennessean]
- Atlanta, Georgia: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has been shaking up things Atlanta City Hall, delivered her State of the City address on Wednesday. Among her remarks: “Atlanta may have been known as the crown jewel of the South, but today, I declare it as the crown jewel of our Nation.” [WXIA-TV / 11Alive]
- New York City, New York: Many mayors who profess to be champions of climate-friendly policies should doublecheck to make sure that their rhetoric aligns with action in four areas: “Reduce or eliminate parking minimums,” “Make room for effective transit on your streets,” “Allow more housing near good transit,” and “Make streets safe for biking and walking” [Streetsblog USA]
- Augusta, Maine: The Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of legislation that would implement a regulatory structure for recreational marijuana. [Marijuana Moment]
- Buffalo, New York: City officials hope than an amnesty on unpaid parking tickets, where late penalties would be waived, will generate $2 million in revenue. The city is still discussing details of the amnesty, but it will likely come next year and be available for a few months. [Buffalo News]
- Phoenix, Arizona: Water agencies that draw from the Colorado River basin have been engaged in a tough battle, with officials in the upper part of the basin accusing the Central Arizona Project, which supplies Phoenix and Tucson, of manipulating data about how much it it taking from the river. “The whole thing feels like the beginnings of a water war fought with cryptic, wonky tweets. As longtime Western water journalists Luke Runyon and Bret Jaspers recently wrote, ‘public shaming is how water managers police themselves.’” [Grist]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.