In a speech peppered with references to “technology” and “business,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson delivered his 2017 State of Oakland County speech Wednesday night at the Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac.
Patterson, a Republican, started his 50-minute speech with a joke about President Obama and ended with jokes about Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Warren Mayor James Fouts. All three men are Democrats.
In between, he focused on economic growth and investment in Oakland County especially the medical, tech, aviation and automotive industries. He also spent some time describing improvements in downtown Pontiac and said he would consider moving the annual speech to the recently renovated Flagstar Strand Theatre.
“It sure looks like a lot of good things are happening in Pontiac,” Patterson said, before crediting Mayor Deirdre Waterman for some of the improvements.
To hear the full speech, click on the audio link above.
Patterson also described three public safety initiatives: the replacement of an aging 911 system, more training for emergency workers related to crisis situations like an active shooter, and supporting programs to combat human trafficking.
Looking ahead, Patterson said the county will be required to roll back millage rates as soon as 2018 because of state law. “Our department of management and budget is tackling this issues now because it would mean reduced general fund revenue for the county,” Patterson said.
A year ago, Patterson’s key points in the speech included plans for the I-75 expansion, a proposal for paid parental leave for county workers and plans to fight mosquitoes that could carry the Zika virus.
In November, Oakland County voters re-elected Patterson to his seventh term when he bested Vicki Barnett, a former state representative and Farmington Hills Democrat.
WDET’s Previous Coverage of Patterson and Oakland County