OAKLAND TOGETHER - Oct 6 - A message from David Coulter, Oakland County Executive


October 6, 2021

Bi-Weekly Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,


I was so grateful last week when the Oakland County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted my proposed 2022 fiscal year budget. This display of bipartisanship was such a welcome conclusion to an open and transparent budgeting process that shows that we can work together even though we may disagree on some policy issues.


This budget was a true spending plan that not only reduces and ultimately eliminates the use of the rainy day fund for ongoing operations, it helps to facilitate our coveted AAA bond rating, which just got reaffirmed in the spring.


And despite the mistaken impression that we’re flush with revenue from federal COVID-19 relief money and a healthy fund balance, this is an austere and realistic three-year budget that represents some significant sacrifices from all of our departments.


Despite the cuts we had to make, we also were able to make some key investments in our priorities that move the county forward.

  • Our Health360 plan, which is providing affordable and quality health care at clinics in Pontiac and Southfield, is expanding to include dental care and wraparound services, such as food and rent assistance, and referrals to resources, for our most vulnerable residents.
  • The county’s first Environmental Sustainability Officer, Erin Quetell, started this week with a goal of creating a sustainability plan for Oakland County’s operations and facilities and supporting local communities’ green goals. Until you have someone solely focused on this, you just don’t move the needle, so I’m thrilled to have Erin on board.
  • Our Oakland80 goals – getting 80 percent of the county’s adult population a college degree or training certificate by 2030 – are moving forward with career navigators moving into communities to help residents chart educational and career paths.
  • Our commitment to criminal justice reform also is a key priority reflected in the budget with the funding of a Conviction Integrity Unit in the prosecutor’s office and the creation of a new Indigent Defense Services Office.

The budget all comes down to providing critical services to the county’s residents, whether it’s investing in more road repairs, health care for under insured or uninsured residents, or boosting job opportunities for those looking for their first or next job. And we can’t forget, we’re still dealing with a global public health crisis with the Coronavirus pandemic that continues to require significant attention and resources.


With the budget approved and the new fiscal year already underway, I look forward to continuing with the collaborative and cooperative relationship with the Board of Commissioners to move Oakland County forward, together.


With gratitude,


David Coulter  |  Oakland County Executive

Coulter at OU

Coulter testifies before Redistricting Commission

Michigan’s Independent Redistricting Commission met at Oakland University last week and Oakland County Executive David Coulter took a few minutes to express his concerns about proposed maps for state and federal legislative districts.


The proposed state and federal maps split many legislative districts between multiple surrounding counties, leaving Oakland County with districts that are not rooted here.


“Oakland County’s representation in Lansing could conceivably go from the 14 members of the House of Representatives and five Senators we have serving us in Lansing now to 10 House and two Senators with the current maps,” Coulter said. “The proposed Congressional map dissects Oakland even further without a single district that is solely rooted in the county. If state and federal districts are not drafted thoughtfully and rooted with intent, we will not have the voice we need - as a community of interest, as an economic powerhouse, as one of the most diverse counties in Michigan.”


The commission is redrawing legislative district lines based on changing population numbers revealed in the 2020 Census. Even though Michigan gained population in the last 10 years, the growth was smaller than other states and, as a result, the state will lose a congressional seat, going from 14 to 13 districts.

mfg day

Manufacturing Day attracts big crowd

Nearly 1,000 Oakland County high school students and ten local manufacturing companies participated in this year’s Oakland County Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 1.  This was the seventh year the County has participated in the national event, designed to celebrate the role of advanced manufacturing in the U.S. economy and promote the various career paths that students can pursue in the field. 


This year’s participating manufacturers included ABB, Atlas Copco, Brose North America, Encore Automation, FANUC America, Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering, Prefix Corp, Wenzel America, Hirotec America and 3-Dimensional Services Group.  Oakland County Michigan Works! partnered with Oakland Schools and Oakland Community College to host the event.


“Manufacturing is big business in Oakland County. It’s one of our top employing industries with more than 62,000 jobs in the county and a median income of more than $80,000 a year,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter told the students. “The future looks really bright for you and I’m excited to see what lies ahead for the next generation of engineers, technicians, skilled trade workers and leaders.”


This was the second year in a row the event was held virtually, due to pandemic social distancing requirements. Teachers and students logged into special meeting rooms, where company representatives provided live and taped tours of their facilities and members of their teams talked to students about what they do each day, how to pursue entry level jobs at their organizations, including internships and apprenticeships, and what skills and educational backgrounds are required to succeed.


Each company’s virtual tour was taped, and they will be available to watch online later this month, by visiting OakGov.com/MFGDay