Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter Appointed County Executive
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 16, 2019)
Pontiac, MI -Dave Coulter has been appointed County Executive pending his resignation as Mayor of Ferndale. The resignation is expected to come at a special meeting on Monday.
The appointment came after a complex and contentious political process, with County Commissioners in both the Republican and Democrat caucuses making news for unsavory behavior. Commissioner Dave Woodward of Royal Oak originally put in his resignation and applied for the job. He re-appeared at the Commission Friday morning, reclaiming his seat as chair and casting the tie-breaking vote to appoint Coulter.
Coulter was not among the applicants for the position, nor among those interviewed earlier this week.
The vote was 11-10. Republicans favored appointing Gerald Poisson who had been former Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s right hand man.
Coulter served in the Oakland County Commission from 2002-2010, where he also served as the Democratic minority leader. He was appointed Mayor of Ferndale in 2011 after former Mayor Craig Covey resigned. Earlier this year he announced he would not be seeking re-election for Mayor so he would be free to run for State Representative in the 2020 election. He will be the first openly gay County Executive.
Coulter’s resignation is expected to be accepted at a special city council meeting at 8am on Monday at Ferndale City Hall. Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica will serve as Acting Mayor until the City Council appoints someone to fill the remainder of Coulter’s term. Council has 30 days to fill the vacancy.
City Manager Joe Gacioch said “Mayor Coulter has been a tremendous leader, and friend to the community and our team. As he has alluded to several times over the past few months, the Mayor has tremendous faith in the community’s next generation of leadership and in our team’s talents and abilities to maintain the success that we’ve built over the past several years. While we hate to lose him a few months earlier than planned, we have processes in place specifically for situations like this and we will lean on them, as well as the strong direction and leadership of our City Council, to move forward successfully.
“I may not have been your first choice, or second choice, or third choice,” Coulter said after being appointed. “But I know that you all came here to put the interests of Oakland County first, and so do I.”