Oakland County Exec. David Coulter: We Have to Think RegionallyJanuary 29, 2020
Taking the Detroit Policy Conference stage for the first time as Oakland County Executive, David Coulter had one key message:
“We have to think regionally.”
Coulter emphasized the need for regionalism and drew from recent events where collaboration was necessary. From health care to law enforcement, Oakland County has worked with neighboring counties and others across the state to achieve success.
When talking about the current barriers to collaboration between counties, Coulter was quick to reinforce his desire to work with Detroit, Wayne County, and others.
“These borders are artificial, and we need to start treating them as such,” he said.
But his call for collaboration did not stop there. Coulter touched on several key initiatives and issues where regionalism is critical to growth of Detroit and its surrounding cities and counties including regional transit, business development, and the growing senior population.
Coulter specifically called out regional transit as a focus, citing that a large proportion of his constituents’ commutes are between counties every day. Coulter is optimistic about the future of transit legislation, saying he hopes to have a solution to benefit all by the end of 2020.
While Oakland County has been a beacon of success, Coulter stressed that this success is due in part to its proximity to Detroit.
“Options in Oakland County are enhanced because of their place in the region,” he said, emphasizing the benefits of a thriving urban core for all in the region.
As he concluded his keynote, Coulter remained positive about working together with other regional leaders, noting that leaders are working better together now more than they ever have.
Read more about this session on The Detroit News.