Letter: Democrats are moving Oakland County forward

The Detroit News

In his recent opinion piece (“Bad signs for Oakland County's bottom line," Dec. 3), former commissioner and Republican functionary Chuck Moss, presented a remarkably pessimistic and distorted version of reality.  

It seems that Moss is intent on channeling the politics of President Donald Trump.

Just like Trump, Moss’ attacks are built on falsehoods and divisiveness. 

Democrats are moving Oakland County forward with sound fiscal policies and management. Since county government has been united under County Executive David Coulter and the Democratic Board of Commissioners, we unanimously adopted a three-year rolling balanced budget and successfully secured important investments in local roads, economic development and quality of life initiatives. Our AAA bond rating remains secure. 

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter makes announcement that he will run for the full term of Oakland County Executive next year during a press conference at Brass Aluminum Forging Enterprise in Ferndale on October 31, 2019.

We’ve proven you can achieve progress, make people’s lives better, and strengthen our communities while being fiscally responsible. We are protecting drinking water in our schools, improving health care of residents, and leading on environmental sustainability. We do this with thoughtful planning, strict budget discipline, and our determination to create an economy that works for all Oakland County families.

At the beginning of the term, Democrats took major steps to restore accountability, oversight and independence to the Board of Commissioners — the governing body of Oakland County.

We streamlined an incredibly duplicative, bureaucratic board that we inherited from Republicans like Moss that wasted staff resources and was inefficient. We took a process that used to take up to six weeks to get anything done and reduced it to two. Today, we have a board that is responsive and gets results for the people of Oakland County.

As Chairman of the Board’s Finance Committee, Moss turned over the management of all his committee business to L. Brooks Patterson’s staff, a separate branch of government. It has been this kind of lazy, lapdog approach to the duties of the commission that severely weakened our legislative branch.

Taking back this control and restoring healthy checks and balances between the branches of government, regardless of political party, is essential to good government. We reformed the process to require the fiscal impact of a resolution to be included in a resolution prior to consideration by any committee or review by the public. This is real transparency. 

Working with Executive Coulter, we adopted a policy requiring contract oversight and approval by the board.

Democrats adopted Oakland County’s first comprehensive non-discrimination policy. We are setting a standard for ourselves and for vendors who wish to do business with taxpayers’ funds. It is unfortunate that Moss believes doing business with an employer that discriminates is justifiable. We do not. 

Oakland County’s Democratic leadership was spurred to action to tackle the issue of employment discrimination because Republican legislators like Moss chose to practice the politics of division for far too long.

Real leadership requires setting aside opportunities to score easy political points and doing the hard work required to change things for the better. Oakland County’s Democratic leaders are getting the job done.

David T. Woodward, D-Royal Oak, is chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.