PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - A petition effort to stop a second bridge to Canada from being built gained a wave of support from Oakland County Commissioners until the county’s top dog came out against them.
“I thought the board missed the point, and unfortunately, it was my party that passed this resolution,” said Oakland County Executive L Brooks Patterson.
It’s only the third time in 20 years that Patterson vetoed a resolution.
Oakland County Commissioners passed the resolution to show support for a petition being peddled by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge. The International Bridge Company's petition would put a referendum on the ballot to let the people decide whether or not they want a second bridge to Canada instead of letting the governor make the decision.
“Canada has developed a deep water port in Halifax to capture all that commerce and trade coming out of Asia,” said Patterson. “They’re going to bring it to America, and they’re either going to come across our bridge or they’re going to come across in buffalo. I want the business here,” he said.
Oakland County Commissioners voted down party lines with Republicans supporting the referendum.
“I thought it was another one of those, give the people the right to vote on something,” said Oakland County Commissioner David Potts, a Republican. “I’m not yet convinced there is a need for any kind of bridge,” he said.
Potts said that he will support his county executive even though he is still not sure that is the right move. When asked if he would vote again Potts said, “I think I would go to Chicago for the weekend.” When asked a second time if he would change his mind Potts answered, “I don’t know, but I know Brooks is on solid ground and if Brooks is leading the pack then I’m going to follow Brooks.”
Despite tomorrow’s deal the petition is still alive and needs 325,000 signatures by July.
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