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Editorial: It all started with Bev Bodem

August 23, 2012
The Alpena News

Blame it on Bev Bodem.

Actually, thank the former state representative for Michigan's motorists no longer driving with the old "Superior Blue" plates, but instead having a variety of different options from which to choose.

The Secretary of State's office introduced to the public this week two new license plates that will be available to motorists next year featuring a Pure Michigan theme. One will become the new standard plate with blue lettering on a white background, while the other is a colorful alternative that showcases the Mackinac Bridge.

In 1997 Bodem authored a bill that eventually was signed into law authorizing at that time a new, alternative plate. Eventually known as the "Great Lakes Splendor" plate, it also featured the Mackinac Bridge. A contest to design the plate drew lots of participants, with the Big Mac design edging out all other competition.

At the time support for an alternative license plate was made easier, since a portion of the funds from its sale were channeled to cleanup the Great Lakes. With the exception of a plate to help fund the Olympic training center in Marquette that was approved two years earlier in 1995, and then another in 1996 commemorating the centennial of the automobile industry, the "Great Lakes Splendor" plate is credited as paving the way to a host of additional plates today that motorists have to choose from.

We're not sure just how popular the new license plates ultimately will become, but we know everyone at least likes a choice.

For that, we can thank Bodem.



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