It wasn't until a Blair Township resident citizen pointed it out that Grand Traverse County Road Commission officials realized that posting a newspaper column advocating a "yes" vote on the upcoming road funding ballot initiative to their public Facebook page violated state law.

They promptly took down the posting, which was the right thing to.

State law prohibits public bodies from using public funds to advocate for or against ballot initiatives. Using a publicly funded Facebook page to reprint an article taking a stand on the initiative was a violation.

So the road commission did the right thing - after it did the wrong thing.

But why was it that road officials didn't themselves know the law? Lots of citizens who don't make a living on the public payroll know, so why not public employees?

Being at least passingly familiar with the law should be a must for public employees. People in other fields know details of their profession, why not the people who work for us?

This is not rocket or any other kind of science. It's just common sense.

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