Oakland County's new executive says he will continue his predecessor’s fiscal responsibility, but will chart a new path on regionalism and diversity.
Former Ferndale Mayor David Coulter is to serve out the remaining 16 months of the late L. Brooks Patterson's term if a lawsuit filed by Republicans complaining of a partisan selection process doesn't get in the way.
He hopes to move forward on regional transit, .Coulter tells The Detroit News. His predecessor, notoriously hostile to Detroit, threw a wrench in a 2018 plan that would have among other things created rapid bus lines from Detroit to the suburbs.
“That’s very important to me and also to many business leaders I have talked with,” Coulter said. “The ability of attracting a workforce and providing a way to get to and from work is needed. A plan was defeated by a narrow margin in 2016. It’s been four years. I don’t want to wait another four years.”
Among other goals, Coulter said he wants the county government to be more diverse.
“I want the best-qualified people for the job, but we can do more (in diversity),” he said, noting that his recently named chief of staff, Hilarie Chambers, is the first woman to hold the position.
Coulter can make two appointments to the Regional Transit Authority board and one on SMART.