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l. brooks patterson

A poster shows how an adjusted SMART route will serve an Amazon warehouse in Shelby Township starting in September.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb and Oakland counties’ leaders want the public to support a millage renewal for regional bus service that will be on the ballot this summer.

Mark Hackel and L. Brooks Patterson also want their constituents to know that millage has nothing to do with a plan to expand transit through the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority (RTA) — a body both men say they now favor abandoning in favor of strengthening that existing regional bus service, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART).

A map of new transit services proposed in the "Connect Southeast Michigan" plan.
Wayne County

Wayne and Washtenaw County leaders are making a last-ditch effort to get a millage for improved mass transit across southeast Michigan on the November ballot.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Oakland County's L. Brooks Patterson, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and Wayne County's Warren Evans at an event in January.
Detroit Economic Club / via Twitter

With a few words during his annual State of the County address Wednesday night, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson appeared to doom an effort to revive a regional transit plan for metro Detroit.

 

The "Big Four." From left: Mark Hackel, L. Brooks Patterson, Mike Duggan, Warren Evans.
Detroit Economic Club / via Twitter

This year’s gathering of Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” political leaders highlighted more points of division than unity.

Those leaders are Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

A spirit of regionalism did not prevail at this year’s event, held annually at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. And the future of regional transit was a major source of contention.

The Big 4 on the big screen at Cobo Center. Left to right: Mark Hackel, L. Brooks Patterson, Mike Duggan, and Warren Evans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” had their annual public gathering at Detroit’s auto show today.

The four leaders are the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county executives, and Detroit’s mayor. It’s usually a mostly feel-good conversation about regional cooperation.

And indeed, they did talk about that and a range of other issues. But the leaders also couldn’t avoid the topic of the hour: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Leaked audio tapes seem to show Fouts making incredibly degrading comments about African-Americans and disabled people, among others.

L. Brooks Patterson defended James Simpson's invitation, saying Simpson was asked to speak specifically because he's provocative.
screen grab of Oakland Co. video

 


According to its website, the Oakland County Business Roundtable began in 1993 as a space for business leaders to “engage” with county leaders on “issues that will enable them to prosper.”

For next month’s lunch meeting, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has invited writer James Simpson to be the keynote speaker.

Lessenberry on the ballot battles in SE Michigan

Oct 19, 2016
Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

After a long, grueling campaign season, Election Day is only 20 days away. This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou look at ballot battles in southeast Michigan, including an unusual situation in Macomb County, where a Clinton Township Trustee who's running for supervisor is facing bribery charges.

They also discuss L. Brooks Patterson's bid for a seventh term as Oakland County Executive and a mass transit millage proposal in metro Detroit.

If this election follows the familiar pattern, Donald Trump will lose Oakland County, Michigan’s second-largest and easily most affluent county, and lose it badly.

Oakland was once reliably Republican. But the party’s move to the right on social issues hasn’t played well with largely highly educated Oakland voters, especially professional women.


Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou talk about a sudden rule change that takes away Flint's power to sue the state over the city's lead-tainted drinking water crisis.

Lessenberry and Tribou also discuss Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's plan to keep out Syrian refugees and a push to strengthen lead regulations in Michigan before Election Day. 


Michigan’s second-largest county has come “roaring back” from the Great Recession.

That was longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s message at his annual state of the county speech Wednesday night.

“The state of Oakland County is strong! Amazingly strong. Vibrant,” Patterson said.

He touted the county’s unemployment rate, which soared to nearly 15% in the depths of the recession. Now, it’s dipped below 5%.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit’s “big four” leaders got together for their annual public chat before the Detroit Economic Club at the North American International Auto Show Tuesday.

This year, two big topics dominated the conversation: the Flint water crisis, and the impending financial collapse of Detroit Public Schools.

Each of the leaders — Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan — said Gov. Snyder had mishandled the state’s response to Flint’s drinking water contamination.

L. Brooks Patterson is embarrassing himself

Nov 20, 2015

Nearly half a century ago, a young lawyer started grabbing headlines in Oakland County, then across the state.

His name was L. Brooks Patterson, and he was the attorney for NAG, an anti-busing group in Pontiac.

They were, essentially, parents who did not want their kids sent to other districts to go to school with black children.

There are rumors that powerhouse Oakland County Executive and outspoken Republican L. Brooks Patterson may not run again in 2016, leaving Republicans in a bind.

man at whiteboard
detroitmi.gov

Troubles with a new regional water system, uncertainty about roads and mass transit, and ongoing budget difficulties—all were topics among Detroit’s “Big Four” leaders Tuesday.

The Big Four includes the heads of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, along with Detroit’s mayor. In recent years, they’ve met held an annual public meet-up to discuss regional cooperation and other issues in southeast Michigan.

Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans Founder and CEO
Quicken Loans

There was some recent sand-throwing between Oakland County's feisty executive, L. Brooks Patterson, and Dan Gilbert, who is arguably Detroit's No. 1 booster, both in terms of buying, building, and enticing companies to move to Detroit. 

via Oakland County

Two University of Michigan economists say Oakland County should keep up its post-recession job growth through at least 2016.

U of M economists George Fulton and Don Grimes do the annual county-level economic forecast for Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s office every year.

Their current forecast suggests Oakland County will add nearly 43,000 jobs in the next three years. That’s in addition to the roughly 65,000 it’s added since 2009.

A political controversy in Lansing that just won’t die is back: auto no-fault insurance. There is yet another Republican effort to muscle through an auto no-fault overhaul, this time being led by state House Speaker Jase Bolger.

There’s a lot in this proposal, released just yesterday, but one of the main things is a cap on the state’s currently unlimited medical benefits if you are injured in a crash. Under the Bolger plan, these benefits would top out at $10 million. Other parts of the proposal include limits on hospital fees and payments for in-home care, incentives to avoid litigation, and a guaranteed rate rollback in the first two years of coverage.

Essentially, there is something in this plan for all of the special interests that have a stake in the auto no-fault system – hospitals, insurance companies, trial lawyers – to dislike. But, Bolger says, bring it on.

I’ve been a faithful subscriber to and reader of The New Yorker for years, though I have to confess that some weeks I only have time to look at the magazine’s wonderful cartoons.

But if you had asked me last week who in Michigan was most likely to be profiled in The New Yorker, I’ll bet I would have offered 20 names before I came up with L. Brooks Patterson.

Patterson, who has been a fixture in Oakland County for more than 40 years, is being raked over the coals today for his Detroit-slamming remarks in this week’s New Yorker interview.

He is quoted as saying:

“Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit-basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough *bleep*.”

DIA

Oakland County is looking to protect itself from the potential fallout of Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Specifically, the county wants to make sure a multi-county millage for the Detroit Institute of Arts doesn’t fall into city creditors’ hands.

Voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties passed the special DIA millage—worth about $23 million annually--last year.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

It’s a question many in local governments across the state have been asking themselves lately.

There are a couple ways Detroit’s bankruptcy could have a bad influence on other local governments.

The simple way: not so good national media attention

The simplest way is all that bad press the nation’s biggest municipal bankruptcy will bring. But Detroit’s finances have been screwed up for decades. That’s not news. Economists that track indicators in West Michigan say it won’t help, but they do not expect this to be a big factor.

The more important way Detroit’s bankruptcy could affect small governments is much more complicated.

The complicated way: “unprecedented” threats to municipal bonds

First, you’ve got to understand these bonds are really important to local governments.

WKAR's Off the Record / YouTube

Not exactly.

Right after Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, R, made the "Adolf" comment about Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, he was challenged.

"Isn't that a little over the top?" asked "Off the Record" host Tim Skubick.

"Yeah, I want it to be!" replied L. Brooks Patterson.

Patterson was upset about how Bolger has handled the discussion around proposed changes Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law.

You can watch the exchange here:

Commentary: Brooks and Adolf

May 6, 2013

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, the longtime bad boy of Michigan Republican politics, stirred things up again last Friday. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last.

If you don’t already know this, Patterson went on "Off the Record," the public affairs TV show, and referred to the Speaker of the House as “Adolf” Bolger.

There wasn’t any doubt who he meant. Brooks has never been subtle. In fact, he pulled out a pocket comb and held it up to his face in an imitation of a Hitler mustache.

That sparked a tremendous outcry. Before the day was over, the state Anti-Defamation League was denouncing Brooks Patterson for what they called trivializing the Holocaust by comparing his fellow Republican, Jase Bolger, to Adolf Hitler.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

One of Michigan’s most well-known Republicans has some harsh words for the state House GOP leader.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson appeared today on the Michigan Public Television show “Off the Record.”  Patterson said state House Speaker Jase Bolger has abused his power, and compared him to the leader of Nazi Germany.

L. Brooks Patterson defended James Simpson's invitation, saying Simpson was asked to speak specifically because he's provocative.
screen grab of Oakland Co. video

A proposed reform to Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance is circulating in the Legislature.

Among other things, it would cap benefits for people who suffer severe injuries in auto accidents at $1 million.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has come out as a strong opponent to this legislation.

Patterson is still recovering from a serious auto accident he had last summer, and his driver, James Cram of Owosso, was paralyzed from the neck down.

In this interview with Jennifer White, Patterson talks about his opposition to the proposed legislation and his recovery.

You can listen to the full interview above.

Patterson wanted to be clear that he and his driver were working at the time of their accident.

Their medical bills are covered by worker's compensation, so Patterson says his opposition to changes to Michigan's no-fault insurance laws are not for his own benefit.

"Did the accident make me more aware and more sensitized to the plight of people who suffer from catastrophic injuries? Absolutely," he said.

via flickr

Oakland County is helping neighboring Macomb County get back online after a fire last week.

That suspected electrical fire seriously damaged Macomb’s IT department—shutting down phones and computer networks.

So Oakland County is offering Macomb staff, equipment and space to start re-building.

“Oakland County has opened up its data center to host Macomb County’s equipment and personnel on a temporary basis in order to get Macomb County back online,” says a press release from Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s office.

Commentary: Catastrophic health care

Apr 22, 2013

Last week, Governor Snyder announced plans to introduce legislation that, if passed, would essentially mean that insurance companies and the state would no longer provide virtually unlimited benefits to those injured in catastrophic car accidents.

Currently, victims whose health care costs exceed half a million dollars have their care covered by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. The governor would cap those benefits at a million dollars. The next day, his proposal was attacked by an opponent who called it, “an embarrassment to the Republican party.”

“The governor misses the big picture,” he added. What is most interesting about this is that the man attacking the governor‘s idea is not a liberal Democrat or a leader of a victim‘s rights group, but one of the state‘s most prominent conservative Republicans, L. Brooks Patterson, the longtime czar of Oakland County.

Brooks knows what he is talking about. Last August, he and his driver were T-boned in a car accident that very nearly took their lives. Patterson was in a coma for days, suffered multiple broken bones and was in the hospital for nearly two months.

Commentary: The politics of 'me'

Feb 21, 2013

I had dinner last night with two social workers whom I’ve known for a long time, who take a keen interest in what’s happening to people in our state. They follow politics, but not in the kind of minute detail political junkies do. They are not huge fans of Governor Snyder, especially since his administration has done things like cut off cash welfare payments permanently to families that include more than 30,000 children.

But they were baffled about one thing. They were surprised and pleased that Michigan Republicans supported extending insurance coverage to include autistic children.

“Why did that happen?” one asked me.  Well, I said, not to be cynical, but there are those who think it might be related to the fact that Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has a daugher with autism. Yes, your perspective tends to change when things get close to home. 

via oakgov.com

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson struck a lot of triumphant notes during a sometimes-emotional state of the county speech Thursday night.

Patterson has been at the helm in Oakland County for decades.

Detroit Economic Club

Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” met up for their annual public conversation at Cobo Hall in Detroit Thursday.

The group is made up of the Wayne county executive Robert Ficano, Oakland county executive L. Brooks Patterson, and Macomb county executive Mark Hackel, plus Detroit mayor Dave Bing.

The event usually stresses regional cooperation and all-around good feelings between the four leaders.

Commentary: Challenging Brooks; Challenging Oakland

Oct 12, 2012

For the last 40 years, two things have been true. Oakland County, home to most of Detroit’s white-collar suburbs, has been Michigan’s richest county. And L. Brooks Patterson has been Oakland’s dominant
personality, first as county prosecutor, then as county executive. When his current term ends in January, he will have held that office for 20 years.


That’s exactly as long as his longtime political enemy, Coleman Young, was Mayor of Detroit. But while Coleman finally retired after 20 years, Brooks is, at age 73, running again.

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