OAKLAND CO., Mich. (WXYZ) — As Oakland County mourns the death of longtime Executive L. Brooks Patterson some are questioning what's being called a "rush" to fill his position until the next election.
Some are calling out the board for not being transparent and rushing the process. Critics include elected leaders on both sides of the aisle.
Lori Goldman has called Oakland County her home form many years. As a believer in open government, she says sadly the passing of longtime Republican County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on Saturday to pancreatic cancer has opened the flood gates for back room politics, specifically when it comes to selecting someone to serve as county executive until December 2020.
Currently the board has 30 days to name a successor or the decision would be decided by a special election. Sources say Board Chairman Dave Woodward is being considered as a strong choice. However, no list of candidates has been made publicly available, nor a criteria from which they are chosen.
That doesn't sit right with 2020 candidate and current County Treasurer Andy Meisner.
Republican County Commissioner Eileen Kowall is also frustrated. She says citizens are deserving of more answers, given the future of the county being at stake and $200,000 paycheck that comes with the job.
There's also state law requiring a current county commissioner to first step down before being considered for executive. So far, Kowall says while the board currently has 11 democrats and 10 republicans, this goes beyond party affiliations.
Currently and interim executive is in charge who worked for Patterson.