Monday, February 15, 2010

Should I Stay or Should I go ?

Late last year, Oakland County Commissioner Dave Coulter announced that he was going to run for the state senate seat for our district currently held by term-limited Senator Gilda Jacobs. Because this election is held at the same time that Dave's county commissioner seat is up, he will be unable to run for re-election for that office. I am very seriously considering running for that Oakland County Commission office, which represents all of Ferndale, all of Hazel Park, and a portion of southern Royal Oak. If so, I would be running this summer for nomination of my party as a Democrat in the primary election this August.

I have had to think long and hard on this decision, because, if I were successful, it would mean that I would have to give up the position of Ferndale mayor at the end of 2010, which I now hold. I was entrusted with that position twice by the voters of Ferndale, and I take that responsibility dearly. But if I can even begin to impart some of the great ideas and success for the whole county that we together have achieved for the City of Ferndale, then I have no choice but to at least consider that road.

In discussions with many community leaders, residents, and friends, I am hearing the same response. They are excited, and supportive, but they also in unanimity express regret or worry that I would no longer be their mayor. That is understandable, and I am humbled by their feelings. But Ferndale is bigger and greater than any particular personality or leader. We made our city the beacon of success that it has become with the hard work of many people, including former mayors, council members, city staff, business leaders, volunteers, and residents. The groundwork has been laid for future greatness.

All of our cities, counties, and even the state itself are in very tough times right now. So wheverever I end up working, I will always stay true to my life long mission of making life better for all people. The location or position may change, but my core beliefs remain the same. Those beliefs include inclusion of all people at the table, regardless of race, age, religion, gender, orientation, income, abilities, or culture. That diversity is not just something to be tolerated, but celebrated and embraced. That we must care for the environment not only for future generations, but because it is our duty to protect our Mother, the Earth. That we must always look for new and smarter ideas, and not be afraid of change. I have also always believed in transparency, honesty, and oversight of frugal spending and the taxpayers resources.

Times are tough right now, but we in Oakland County and all of Michigan are a tough, intelligent, and resilient, hardworking people. We will make it through these challenges and emerge stronger and more successful.

In future writings I will expand on these issues and many others, and will soon decide on my future efforts. In the meantime, I would like to hear your opinions and views. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.


At 5:43 AM, Blogger Thomas Gagne said...

One of the challenges in politics is always how best to both serve their interests and act in their best interest. The subtle difference being the balancing of their wants and needs.

If you're going to ponder your political future out loud, or at least in print, then I'm curious what policies you think might best serve District 25. And certainly what common interests you see between Hazel Park, Ferndale, southern Royal Oak, as well as the entirety of Oakland County. Don't forget that though you represent District 25 you share responsibility for the whole of the county with all the commissioners and executive.

Surely, the current social and economic climate are ripe for fresh ideas, and I think citizens need ideas, character, and convictions more than symbolism, partisanship, and agendas.

I'm anxious to read what others think.


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