Bill Bullard will have a new job shortly.
Bullard, chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, was appointed county clerk Tuesday afternoon by the Oakland County Circuit Court.
He will replace county Clerk Ruth Johnson, who was elected Michigan Secretary of State in the Nov. 2 election and who takes office in January.
The circuit bench of 19 judges picked Bullard from 10 applicants to serve out the remaining two years of Johnson's four-year term.
The county clerk is the county's chief elections officer and maintains judicial and property records.
Applicants for the $138,999 a year job were Bullard, R-Highland, former circuit Judge Fred Mester of Bloomfield Hills, former county Commissioner Will Molnar of Troy, Bloomfield Township Clerk Janet Roncelli, judicial staff attorney Karen Geibel of Addison Township, attorney Michelle Komorn of Bloomfield Hills, Brenda Savage of Rochester Hills, Robert Seffinger of Walled Lake, Vivian Snitgen of Ferndale, Cynthia Thompson from Birmingham, Marilyn Youngquist from Oxford, and Carol Ebner from Lake Orion.
But Mester and Geibel indicated before the judges met that they were withdrawing as applicants.
Politically, the selection of Bullard means one Republican will replace another for the $138,999 a year job.
Bullard said he was interviewed by the circuit judges Tuesday before they voted.
"I'm excited, it's a new challenge," Bullard said. "It's an opportunity to run an office that has countywide responsibilities and I'm honored that the circuit judges had confidence in me to appoint me to this position."
Bullard said he expects he'll resign from the county commission on the first business day of the new year, Jan. 3, and then be sworn in as county clerk.
Bullard, 67, is an attorney but has spent much of his life in public office.
He was elected to the county commission in 2002, served in the state Senate from 1996 to 2002, and in the state House form 1983 to 1996. He was also a Highland Township trustee from 1978 to 1980 and Highland Township supervisor from 1980 to 1982.
"You have to work closely with the circuit court, which I've done in the past," Bullard said. "The clerk has to work the county commission. My experience on the county commission leads me to think I can do that job.
"I'm familiar with the job," he said. "There's a lot of innovative things the clerk's office has done in the technology area and I want to expand on those to provide better services at lower cost."
In a statement released by the circuit court, Chief Judge Nanci J. Grant said. "Bill Bullard is well known and has a good reputation for working with all areas of government to improve services to the public.
"The judges gave due diligence to this decision. While there are many important responsibilities as the county clerk, it is important to appoint someone who understands and appreciates the judicial process.
"As a bench, we made this a fair, open process where notice was posted, applications were solicited, candidates were narrowed down and interviews conducted. We look forward to working with Bill Bullard."
Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook. Follow the progress of Gov.-elect Rick Snyder at snyderwatch.blogspot.com.