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Patterson plans to announce eight new programs at annual State of the County address

  Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson plans to announce eight new programs when he delivers his annual State of the County address.
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  But, as usual, the fifth-term Patterson is mum on the details until his invitation-only address begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Centerpoint Marriott in Pontiac.

  "The fun part is the programs we roll out," says Patterson, who will spend time during the 50-minute address reviewing county government's achievements and challenges.
  "I think we have eight new programs of different size and impact," Patterson said. "I don't think there's any cost to the taxpayers on any of the programs.
  "In fact, some of them are pretty clever revenue enhancers for us, all voluntary, there's not a tax increase," he said. "These are programs that if people want to buy into it and pay the fee, they can do and the fee comes to the county."
  A crowd of 450 will attend the address, as of the latest estimates.
  The Oakland Press will broadcast the speech live on its website at www.theoaklandpress.com. It will also be broadcast on delay beginning at 8 p.m. on News/Talk WJR-AM (760) radio.
  Key points during the speech will also be distributed via Patterson's Twitter address @brookspatterson, and the speech will be available on YouTube.
  Patterson typically spends part of the time on the county's current programs, past accomplishments and coming challenges.
  Likely to get some attention is the county's Oakfit progam, a wellness initiative that has had national attention and which the county says has saved millions of dollars in health care costs.
  He is expected to focus part of it on the Emerging Sectors program, an effort to attract high-paying jobs in growth sectors, the county's Medical Main Street initiative, a bid to make Oakland County a medical destination, and on Automation Alley, a marketing program for high tech companies.
  Patterson is also expected to talk about some "green" initiatives, such as the new terminal building at the Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township that is expected to be completed this year and actively employs green technology.
  Challenges remain for the county and other local governments in the next few years, however, primarily budgetary.
  Governments at all levels have had to tighten up and eliminate positions or people as property tax revenues have fallen due to the foreclosure crisis and sliding property values.
  A guest typically introduces Patterson at the start of the speech.
  This year, the introduction will be made by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, who is Macomb's first executive under a charter change approved by voters and who took office in early January.
Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, charlie.crumm@oakpress.com or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook.

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