Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett Serving as SEMCOG Chair for 2022

Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett Serving as SEMCOG Chair for 2022

(SEMCOG, Jan. 3, 2022)

Orion Township, MI – SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, announces that Chris Barnett, Orion Township Supervisor, is its new chairperson as of January 1, 2022.

Having been elected First Vice Chairperson of SEMCOG in March of 2021, Barnett ascends to the role of chairperson following the retirement of Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones at the end of last year.

“I am honored and humbled to step into the role of SEMCOG Chairperson,” said Barnett. “As Supervisor of Orion Township and a member of SEMCOG, I have seen the value of regional collaboration time and again. SEMCOG is where local officials from across Southeast Michigan come to learn from each other and help to shape regional priorities; I could not be more excited to pay forward some of what has been shared with me and to continue the work of developing regional solutions that benefit all the people of this region,” Barnett said.

Barnett was elected Supervisor of Orion Township for the first time in 2012 and is currently serving in his third term in Michigan’s 17th largest township (out of a total of 1,240), overseeing a $27 million operating budget and 115 employees. He is proud of his efforts in collaborating with surrounding communities on many cost-saving initiatives, most notably the formation of the North Oakland County Water Authority. He is the President of the Oakland County Association of Township Supervisors and also serves as the Michigan/Ohio elected representative on the Board of the National Association of Regional Councils. He works closely with Oakland County on economic development projects and was instrumental in helping Orion become one of the county’s first “One-Stop Ready” communities. He attended Oakland University and had a successful career in the private sector construction industry prior to seeking public office.

Barnett has served SEMCOG in a number of roles, including:

  • First Vice Chairperson
  • Vice Chairperson
  • Member, Finance and Budget Committee
  • Delegate, Regional Review Committee
  • Co-Chair, Water Resources Task Force
  • Member, Access to Core Services
  • Delegate, Economic Development Task Force

He was awarded a Taubman Company Fellowship for Executive Excellence through SEMCOG in 2017 and attended the program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Harvard University.

Barnett has three adult daughters: Rachel, Sydney, and Addison. He is also active in volunteer work in and around his community through several non-profit organizations. He serves as Chairperson for the Board of Dutton Farm, a non-profit organization that exists to empower and support adults with disabilities to live a life of purpose, inclusion and dignity.

Learn more about SEMCOG’s leadership here.

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