Ferndale Mayor Coulter replaces L. Brooks Patterson as Oakland County executive


Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter. - CITY OF FERNDALE
  • City of Ferndale
  • Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter.

Oakland County is about to have its first Democratic county executive since the office was created in 1974.

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners voted 11-10 on Friday to appoint Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter to the position, which became open after the death of L. Brooks Patterson.

Coulter is expected to officially resign as mayor of Ferndale on Monday, a necessary step before he becomes the next county executive.

The appointment follows two weeks of infighting, erratic behavior, and wild allegations.

In a controversial move, board of commissioners chairman Dave Woodward rescinded his resignation and withdrew his candidacy for appointment to the executive position, which pays $198,000 a year.

Republicans fought the move but lost in Oakland County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon.

Democrats regained their control of the board of commissioners when Woodward rescinded his resignation. Republicans had been hoping for a 10-10 tie so Patterson's former deputy, Gerald Poisson, could have held on to the executive seat until the next election.

If commissioners were unable to make an appointment within 30 days of Patterson’s death earlier this month, the next executive would have been decided by voters in a special election.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.