Oakland County board chairman David Woodward resigns, eligible for executive seat

Oakland County Board Chairman, Commissioner David T. Woodward has resigned, making him eligible to be named county executive

Woodward (D-Royal Oak) resigned from his position which represented the 19th county commission district, including the city of Berkley and the majority of the City of Royal Oak. Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township) will assume the role of Acting Board Chairperson. 

Woodward's resignation from the board happened a day before the original special meeting to name Patterson's successor was scheduled. It has been moved to its regular meeting of Aug. 15.

The Board may appoint a successor within 30 days from today's date who would serve for the remainder of Woodward's term. The individual must be a resident and registered voter within the 19th county commission district. If the Board does not make an appointment, a special election will be held. No decisions have been made regarding an appointment at this time.

In the days since the death of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who held the position for decades, talk had bubbled of his potential successor being Dave Woodward, a current Democratic chairman on the county's board of commissioners.

The new executive would serve in Patterson's stead until the term ends in December, 2019.

Woodward would have to step down from his position in order to be voted in as executive of the county.

On Tuesday Eileen Kowal told Charlie Langton that she expected Woodward to resign in order to be in play for the executive position:  "He will step down and then I guess the deal has been struck and then he'll be appointed executive," said Eileen Kowal, another Oakland County commissioner. 

 However, not everyone is happy with that option on the table - namely the county treasurer, who has also declared he is running for the same position as Woodward.

"The notion of a commission appointing one of their own, despite a state law that makes it a criminal misdemeanor for a sitting commissioner to be appointed," said Andy Meisner Tuesday. "I don't think that's the Oakland County way."

However, that statute enters a grey area if the commissioner in question steps down from their position, and then is voted to the executive position. Meisner didn't think that scenario mattered to county residents.

"I'm not sure about that, I think most of the people of Oakland County will see through that as the farce that it is," he said on Tuesday.