Potholes. Gas at nearly $4 a gallon. Safe bridges. Higher vehicle registrations.
All of the above will be important in discussions today at transportation town hall meetings in our region being sponsored by State Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle.
Pettalia brings a "road" show to Alpena, Rogers City and Cheboygan today to gather citizens input into alternative ideas for road funding. Joining him will be representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation, County Road Association of Michigan, Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Township Association and Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
Frankly, it would appear to be a rather stacked deck.
That's fine. What everyone needs to hear is the opinion of the average Joe and Jane from Up North Michigan, and what their perspective on the issue is. They need to hear what higher fees mean to their weekly budgets, how unemployment has forced them to make tough choices, or what living on a fixed income means in their driving habits.
If we've said it once, we've said it a hundred times already from this platform - everyone agrees road repairs are important and needed. The problem becomes, how best to pay for the repairs, and who chooses which projects get done first in the state.
We urge residents to share their opinions. The first meeting will be held at the Alpena County Library from 10-11:30 a.m., while the second will be held at the Rogers City Senior Center from 1-2:30 p.m.