Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter has been appointed to fill the position of Oakland County Executive — a development considered unexpected by many, but which may finally put to rest two weeks of political jockeying that followed the death of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
The appointment is contingent upon Coulter's resignation as mayor of Ferndale. A special meeting will be held Monday morning; details are not yet available.
The appointment was made possible by the 11-10 majority-Democratic Board of Commissioners. Despite an injunction by county Republicans early in the day challenging Board Chair Dave Woodward, Woodward was able to retain that seat upon rescinding his letter of resignation because the letter had not been formally accepted. Thus, the Democratic majority was secured.
Coulter is not new to Oakland County government. Prior to being elected mayor of Ferndale in 2010, he served as Oakland County commissioner for eight years.
With this appointment, Coulter will be the first Democrat to serve as Oakland County executive. Further, for the first time in more than 40 years, Democrats hold a majority on the Board.
Coulter announced in July his intent to run for state representative for Michigan's 27th House District in 2020. At the meeting this afternoon, he did not state whether he would pursue that campaign or seek re-election for County Executive when that time comes.
Coulter was not available for an interview before the time of filing this article. A more complete account will appear in the Aug. 22 edition of Between The Lines.