Latest CLOSUP survey shows declining confidence in Michigan’s leadership, direction

July 20, 2016

The latest Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), published by the Ford School's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), finds that local leaders are less optimistic about the state’s direction.

Statewide, only 44 percent of local leaders believe Michigan is headed in the right direction (down 2 percent from 2015 and 11 percent from 2014). Optimism has declined most among Democrats and, more significantly, among leaders of the state’s largest jurisdictions.

Those who do believe Michigan is headed in the right direction most often cite improvements in economic and business conditions. While those who think the state is on the wrong track are likely to focus on Lansing’s poor relationship with local governments, citing concerns regarding the current system of state-local revenue sharing, the number of unfunded state mandates, the use of emergency financial managers, and the Flint water crisis.

Also in decline are local leaders’ job approval ratings for Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature. 

Statewide, 41 percent of local leaders rate Governor Snyder’s performance as either “good” or “excellent” this year, compared with 54 percent who said the same in 2015. Of the Michigan Legislature, only 20 percent of local leaders offer “good” or “excellent” ratings (down from 23 percent who said the same in 2015).

--Overview and policy report by Debra Horner, CLOSUP project manager, and Tom Ivacko, CLOSUP administrator. 

The Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) is a census survey of all 1,856 general purpose local governments in Michigan conducted by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the University of Michigan in partnership with the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Townships Association, and Michigan Association of Counties.

The MPPS takes place twice each year and investigates local officials’ opinions and perspectives on a variety of important public policy issues. Respondents for the fall 2015 wave of the MPPS include county administrators, board chairs, and clerks; city mayors, managers, and clerks; village presidents, managers, and clerks; and township supervisors, managers, and clerks from 1,418 jurisdictions across the state.

For more information, please contact CLOSUP at [email protected] or (734) 647-4091. You can also follow CLOSUP on Twitter @CLOSUP.