Letters: Readers defend the late Brooks Patterson

The Detroit News
Jennifer Llewellyn, left, comforts fellow Oakland County employee Jamie Fenner during the visitation for the late Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson at Woodside Bible Church in Troy on Thursday, August 15, 2019.

Remember Patterson's legacy

It’s unfortunate that less than a week after L. Brooks Patterson was laid to rest, John Austin felt compelled to launch a tired and inaccurate attack on the longtime Oakland County executive ("What I wish we could bury with Brooks," Aug. 21).

It would have been more illuminating — and certainly more accurate — to credit Patterson and his executive team with the excellent foundation he left for the county’s new administration. Not many who assume power are handed gifts as robust as the ones created by Patterson. Here is a mere snapshot of the legacy in place for Oakland County’s continued growth and prosperity:

• AAA bond rating since 1998, saving taxpayers millions of dollars on capital projects

• Fully funded pension and retiree health care

• Critical and ongoing funding for the DIA, the Detroit Zoo and mass transportation

• Three-year budgeting, which has balanced the county budget through 2023

• Automation Alley

• Emerging Sectors, the business attraction and retention strategy which has surpassed $5 billion of investment and created and retained more than 89,000 jobs

• CLEMIS — one of the largest law enforcement information sharing systems in the country

The legacy of leadership Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson left behind is undeniable. His impact on the county and the region was profound. He always had the county's best interests in mind. Anyone can criticize. Not everyone can lead. Perhaps Austin should spend less time criticizing, and more time celebrating the accomplishments of Patterson and his team and acknowledging the solid foundation he laid for the future of Oakland County.

Michael D. McCready, acting director

Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs

Amanda Fraifogl puts her arm around her father David Plautz, a long-time neighbor of the late Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, during the visitation for Patterson at Woodside Bible Church in Troy on Thursday.

Brooks was no racist

Austin's take on Brooks Patterson was a classless low blow, don't you think? He was not a racist. He was colorful and effective, but not a racist. Nobody in recent history wanted rail to the suburbs: That's on everybody. Democrats are drooling now that Brooks is gone. Oakland County is and should be proud of his legacy work, and the fiscal shape he left the county in.

Michael Connelly

Sarasota, Fla.