Dave Coulter, Oakland County Executive, is focusing on filling the gaps in an already prosperous county. Those chasms include health care reform, new LGBTQ protections and transit improvements- all of which were highlighted in Coulter’s first-ever State of the Country speech Wednesday night. He joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to recap his address and expand on his plan for Oakland Country moving forward.
Click on the player above to hear Oakland County Executive, Dave Coulter, on the heels of his first state of the county address.
A key aspect of Coulter’s vision for the county is achieving a more holistic approach to health care and human services. Partnering with established organizations in the community, Coulter hopes to create one-stop-shop clinics that address primary health care concerns as well as human services. The physical expansion of such clinics will require some up-front costs, but Coulter insists once fully operational the project won’t require any additional tax-payer money.
In his speech, Coulter also touted the county’s move toward inclusion with the recent decision to add protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity to Oakland county’s anti-discrimination law. Coulter says these added protections help to ensure a welcoming community for all residents, but a fix at the state level is still necessary.
Unsurprisingly, transit took top billing in Coulter’s state of the county speech. Coulter says he is keeping the dialogue open and ready to collaborate, despite Macomb Country Executive Mark Hackel’s, unwillingness to join the other regional leaders’ transit plan. He insists transit is key to maintaining a productive workforce and essential in attracting and retaining young talent in the region. “We’re losing our kids (to other areas of the country) and we’re not attracting young people to our region…It’s not just transit, but that’s a piece of it,” says Coulter.