The Michigan Townships Association has named state Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, as its Legislator of the Year, citing the decorum with which Ouimet led a Michigan House committee during a time when the Legislature dealt with potentially controversial legislation.
The MTA, which represents more than 1,200 Michigan townships, honored Ouimet for the way he guided key legislation through the House Local, Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs Committee.
MTA Legislative Liaison Bill Anderson noted that Ouimet's first assignment was to hold hearings on reforms to Michigan's emergency manager laws. Although the issue was potentially contentious, Anderson said Ouimet immediately set a courteous and respectful tone.
"Every person who testified was given complete respect and attention," Anderson said. "Every now and then there would be signs of tempers flaring, but it was the demeanor of the chairman that resulted in decorum quickly returning to the room.
"Rep. Ouimet's door has always been open, and courtesy and respect have been offered to all who come before his committee," Anderson continued. "He responds to a solid argument, but at the end of the day he still realizes his chief responsibility is to get the job done."
Anderson said 29 pieces of legislation have passed through Ouimet's committee and have been enacted into law. Legislative initiatives have included property tax collection, library operations, local government cooperative services, and public employee relations.
“I am deeply honored with this award, and truly appreciate the great working relationship I have with Michigan's township officials to ensure the best quality of life for residents,” Ouimet said. “Giving everyone a voice in the process is especially important to me, and I look forward to continuing the committee's work in the months to come."
Editor's note: This press release was submitted by Rep. Mark Ouimet's office.