On Wednesday night, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson will give his annual State of the County address.
Patterson has recently been at the center of some major issues, including increasing regionalism in Southeast Michigan, refugee resettlement efforts in Metro Detroit, and the debate over mass transit.
[What questions do you want Patterson to answer during his State of the County Address? Click here to send WDET your questions. WDET will carry special live coverage of the speech at 7 p.m. on 101.9FM WDET]
Meanwhile, County Treasurer Andy Meiser notes that Patterson’s support has waned with each recent election.
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Meisner, a Democrat, about the issues facing Oakland County and his view of Patterson’s leadership.
“If you look at the trend line of his voter results, they’ve been declining…Oakland County’s changing [and] the demographics have changed… What I see is this incredible diversity and incredible source of strength… Brooks Patterson sees that [too] because he wants to lure foreign investment… But it seems like we’re trying to walk a little bit of a tight rope because on the one hand we’re saying we really value your foreign investment, and then on the other hand, out of the other side of his mouth, we’re hearing some of these comments that are… less welcoming.”
In addition to foreign investments, what does this increasing diversity mean for the region? Meisner opines that, coupled with Detroit’s growing development, it can only beget more unity in Southeast Michigan. “I see a regional realignment that’s happening. How Oakland County positions itself in this realigned region is what I’m most interested to hear about from Executive Patterson. What are the relative strengths of each of the suburbs and the city and then how can they be compiled in a way that is complimentary?”
Despite this potential realignment in the region, do Oakland county voters feel like dissolving physical barriers between Wayne and Oakland counties is lower on the priority list, given their recent rejection of a plan to increase taxes to improve mass transit? Meisner addresses that and other questions during his conversation with Henderson.
To hear more from Andy Meisner on Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson, click on the audio player above.