We previously discussed Governor Snyder’s establishment of the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission (the “Commission”) through the issuance of Executive Order 2016-5 (“EO 2016-5”). Yesterday, the Governor announced the appointment of 19 individuals who will serve on the Commission along with representatives of eight state departments or agencies. In light of the broad scope of infrastructure-related issues that the Commission must analyze and address, these individuals represent a diverse array of industries and interests, including academia, the government, the nonprofit sector, and various business concentrations.

The appointees are:

  • Dr. Janice Beecher, of Haslett, is the director of the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.
  • Roger Blake, of Berkley, is the regional vice president of government and education solutions at AT&T.
  • Ronald Brenke, of Perry, is the executive director of the American Council of Engineering. He will serve as Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich’s appointee.
  • Bob Daddow, of Rochester, is the deputy county executive of Oakland County. Eric DeLong, of Grand Rapids, is deputy city manager for the City of Grand Rapids.
  • Mike DeVries, of Grand Rapids, is the vice president and operations manager at Transportation Business Line at AECOM. He will serve as Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof’s appointee.
  • Carl English, of Bingham Farms, is retired as senior vice president of Consumers Energy and served as chief operating officer of American Electric Power Service Corporation.
  • Sue Foune, of Paw Paw, is the public services managing director for the City of Kalamazoo.
  • Joi Harris, of West Bloomfield, is vice president of gas operations for DTE Gas, DTE Energy’s natural gas utility.
  • Gavin Leach, of Marquette, is vice president of finance and administration at Northern Michigan University.
  • Brian Mills, of St. Johns, is the chief operating officer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). He will serve as Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter’s appointee.
  • Mike Nystrom, of East Lansing, is the executive vice president and secretary of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
  • Evan Pratt, of Ann Arbor, is the drain commissioner for Washtenaw County.
  • Doug Rothwell, of Ann Arbor, is president and chief executive officer of Business Leaders for Michigan.
  • Brian Steglitz, of Ann Arbor, is the vice president of the American Water Works Association and manager of water treatment services for the city of Ann Arbor.
  • Helen Taylor, of Okemos, is the state director of the Nature Conservancy.
  • Louis Taylor, of Saginaw, is an engineering services manager for WadeTrim.
  • Beverly Watts, of Detroit, is director of the Wayne County Department of Public Services. She will serve as House Minority Leader Tim Greimel’s appointee.
  • Evan Weiner, of Franklin, serves as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Edw. C. Levy Co., Detroit. He will serve as chair.

As discussed previously, the newly-appointed Commission will be tasked with assessing Michigan’s infrastructure needs and helping to develop a strategic plan to help the State invest in and improve infrastructure components related to transportation, water and sewer, wastewater treatment and drainage, energy, and communications.

We anticipate that the Commission will begin meeting immediately, as it has approximately six months to complete its task. Pursuant to EO 2016-5, the Commission must present a full set of recommendations by September 30, 2016, and complete its work and issue a final report to the Governor and the Legislature by November 30, 2016.