|Case Forum:||Michigan Court of Appeals|
|Keywords:||ballot proposal, initiative petition, forced sale, home rule, writ of mandamus, plain meaning, Michigan Constitution|
Michael J. Hodge | Scott R. Eldridge | Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. | 120 N. Washington Square Suite 900 – One Michigan Avenue Building |Lansing, MI 48933
Petitioners proposed, through an initiative petition, a ballot question that would require Bay City to sell its water and sewer utility systems to an “authority” for one dollar. First, amicus counsel argues that Petitioners are essentially requesting a writ of mandamus; therefore, the Court should apply the abuse of discretion standard of review. Second, amicus counsel argues that, generally, ballot petitions in Michigan must substantially comply with statutory and constitutional requirements in order to be valid. Petitioners have made no effort to meet the statutory requirements. Third, amicus counsel argues that the management of Bay City’s water and sewer utility systems, including the potential sale of such, is administrative, not legislative, and therefore, under Michigan law, not eligible for initiative by city voters. Lastly, amicus counsel argues that Petitioner’s initiative petition is not really an initiative at all because the petition presents an advisory question as to how the City should manage its utility systems, therefore, it is invalid.
We find that the petitions, as worded, therefore relate to administrative functions that are not subject to referendum or initiative.
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||No|
Joseph Rivet in his personal capacity as an elector of the City of