Thursday, November 18, 2010

The New Governor's Commute

Exterior front view of the official residence of the Michigan governor, photographed in Lansing, Wednesday, June 8, 2005. (REGINA H. BOONE/Detroit Free Press)

The Michigan Free Press report today that Michigan's Governor-Elect Snyder has chosen to commute from Ann Arbor to Lansing instead of residing at the recently renovated governor's residence in Lansing.  See article here

As I was reading this article, I was finding myself conflicted from the point of view as a working mother and environmentally conscious individual.  Please note, this blog post has nothing to do with political views - it's my opinion about life's choices.

His reasons for staying in Ann Arbor is to keep his teenage daughter in the same school instead of uprooting her.  OK, I can relate to that, transitioning to the 9th grade is difficult.  On the other hand - it's a 70 minute commute each way in good conditions along the US-23 corridor. 

After some consideration, I've chosen to disagree with his decision. 

He's a millionaire in his own right and he choose to run for the Governorship position, presumably to do good things for the voting public of Michigan. He's not recovering from a recent job layoff and relocating to a new job, trying to make things work for his family.  His situation is a little different than most of us.

I don't see how his spending 2.5 hours on the road everyday makes sense for an elected official serving in a high capacity position. Let's assume it's roughly 70 miles from Ann Arbor to the Governor's office in Lansing or 150 miles round trip every day for 200 days a year, plus Michigan State Police escort.  That is a lot of gas and expense.

If Gov.-elect Snyder cared that much about maintaining his daughter's current education, he should not have run for the elected office.   President Obama brought his 2 daughters to the White House from Chicago and his girls started at a new school.

It remains to be seen how Gov-elect Snyder will balance his job and family life but right now it seems we've elected a part time governor.



  1. With cell phones, wireless high speed Internet, laptop computers, personal assistants, and money enough to hire someone else to drive, I suspect that the Governor will be hard at work during his daily commute.

    Keep in mind that our state representatives and state senators make the same commute....

  2. Reply to Designated Conservative - you're absolutely right! He won't be twiddling his thumbs while he commutes. And I hadn't considered the rest of our elected government. Doesn't anybody with the Michigan government live in Lansing? I personall like to live where I work, if I can help it. Thanks for reading and thoughtful feedback.