Inside and outside of Oakland

Democrats criticize Patterson's leadership

Oakland County Democrats, at odds with Republican County Executive L. Brooks Patterson over a new law that redraws and reduces county commission districts, brought their own message to Patterson's annual State of the County address Wednesday.

Instead of giving Patterson credit for the economic programs he outlined as successful in his speech, Democrats said Patterson's initiatives have done little to stimulate job growth in the past 20 years.

"Year after year, we hear Brooks Patterson boast about his achievements in the State of the County address," said Kevin Howley, of Huntington Woods, in a statement prior to Patterson's speech.


Howley is the Democrat who is running against Patterson this year.

"Those activities, however, don't seem to be translating into jobs or growth," Howley said. "Of the 1,300 largest counties in the United States, Oakland County hovers near the bottom when it comes to change in median household income over the last ten years. And that change in median household income is actually a decline of 15 percent."

Howley also said poverty within the county has increased.

"Instead of providing enlightened leadership, Mr. Patterson's attentions have been diverted over the last year by partisan activities that serve only a small group of people in power, actions that are inconsistent with our history of cooperation here in Oakland County," Howley said.

Democrats on the county commission weren't invited to Patterson's address because of the lawsuit over the county commission redistricting law and had their own comments prior to the speech.

An Ingham County judge heard a challenge to the new law Wednesday morning and is expected to issue an opinion within a week as to whether a new process of drawing county commission boundaries is constitutional.

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