Inside and outside of Oakland

Kowall to resign Dec. 31; one of the vacancies to be filled because of Nov. 2 election

  White Lake Township Supervisor Mike Kowall will resign from the job effective Dec. 31, clearing the way for the township board to appoint a replacement in January or February.

  Kowall, who was elected to the state Senate in the Nov. 2 election, assumes his new office in January.
  It's likely the township board will pick a replacement for Kowall from amongst themselves, although the board can choose whoever they want to fill the remaining two years of Kowall's four-year term.
Kowall said the township board works well together and has excellent replacement candidates.
  "They have 45 days to make a selection," Kowall said. "I'm encouraging them to select amongst themselves."
  If the township board pick's Kowall's replacement from among themselves, the candidates will include township Clerk Terry Lilley, Treasurer Jay Brendel, and trustees Carol Burkard, Todd Birkle, Michael Powell and Greg Baroni.
  Kowall's slot as White Lake Township supervisor is just one of the openings created by the results of the Nov. 2 election more than a month ago.
  The results also created openings for Oakland County clerk and on the Ferndale City Council.
County Clerk Ruth Johnson was elected Michigan Secretary of State and the Oakland County Circuit Court bench is likely to select from a field of 12 applicants by mid-December to fill the remaining two years of her four-year term.
  Applicants for the $138,999 a year job are the current county commission Chairman Bill 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.
  In Ferndale, the city council is taking applications until Dec. 27 to fill the vacancy of Mayor Craig Covey, who was elected Oakland County commissioner.
  The current county commissioner, Dave Coulter of Ferndale, has applied to the fill the remaining year of Covey's city council term.
Coulter gave up his county commission seat to run for state Senate, but lost in the Aug. 3 primary to state Rep. Vince Gregory of Southfield, a former county commission colleague.
  "According to city charter, the council chooses a replacement," Coulter said of Covey's upcoming vacancy in Ferndale. "At the last council meeting, they asked for applications and I applied."
Other upcoming changes are more political than elective.
  Both the Oakland County Democratic Party and the Oakland County Republican Party meet soon to select their leadership.
  The county GOP executive committee meets Monday, Dec. 13, where they'll pick a new party chairman for the next two years. The current chairman, David Law, indicated he would not seek another term.
  The county Democratic Party executive committee meets Tuesday, Dec. 14, to pick new leadership.   The current chairman, Frank Houston, was appointed on an interim basis in the summer but has indicated he'll run for a full term.
  "I think that's great news for the party and I'm fully supporting Frank's election to a full term," Coulter said.
  Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook. Follow the progress of Gov.-elect Rick Snyder at

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