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Examining SEMCOG's plans for metro Detroit in 2022

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 18, 2022

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront report we're looking ahead at 2022 with the new leader of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett just took the reigns at SEMCOG as the new Chairperson and he's joining us for the 7 UpFront segment.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"We represent nearly half the state's population, 7 counties that make up what we love as southeast Michigan and I'm honored and humbled to be selected by my peers to lead this organization for the next 18 months. We absolutely have key priorities. Infrastructure is at the top of that list," says Barnett. "Our aging infrastructure systems, we've heard it time and time again, but we have other issues as well that we're facing and I'm kind of ushering in an era of getting together, get along to get together. Obviously, we're represented by Republicans and Democrats and everyone across the political spectrum here in Southeastern Michigan and there's never been a more important time for us to come together for our residents, the people who count on us, the people that send us to office. And I'm grateful for the relationships that I've built and that we have. We have an amazing team leading our organization, amazing staff, and we're really poised to lead the country over the next few years in a lot of things, like climate change. Obviously, that's a hot button issue, but there's no question that we've experienced flooding that's never been experienced, frankly in our state's history over the summer. Even in my own community where we had 8 1/2 inches of rainfall in just a few hours this summer and our residents have been left to kind of clean up that mess, but our aging infrastructure is huge. We have a great opportunity to us here with money coming in from DC that we really need to work together as a region, put aside petty politics, and figure out solutions for our residents that count on us."