Voters in Highland Township and other communities in Oakland County will head to the polls next week to cast their votes for who should fill the balance of the Board of Commissioners term Bill Bullard Jr. vacated to become the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds following Ruth Johnson’s 2010 election as Michigan Secretary of State. We haven’t heard a compelling or substantive reason why Commissioner ROBERT HOFFMAN (R-Highland) shouldn’t get the nod from 2nd District voters over his Democratic challenger.
Hoffman, 60, was appointed late last year to fill the vacancy Bullard created when he took the job as the county’s top elections official, after Johnson was voted in as Michigan Secretary of State. Hoffman has also served as a county commissioner when filling in for Dennis Powers after Powers was appointed to the 52-2 District Court bench. In addition, Hoffman is a former Waterford Township supervisor.
County commissioners typically serve two-year terms — although this abbreviated term expires on Dec. 31, 2012 — and are paid $32,093 each year.
In a staunchly conservative district, Hoffman comes to the table with conservative credentials many voters in the district — which also includes Springfield, Holly, and Rose townships, as well as the Village of Holly — are looking for. He doesn’t think tax increases are the answer to the fiscal challenges the county is facing, but supports bringing in additional revenues to the county’s coffers through expanding shared service agreements between the county and municipalities.
But his Republican bona fides don’t mean that he is a partisan hack. He has commended Democrats for their service to their communities, and believes there are areas of agreement between the two parties — a refreshing perspective given the current political climate.
While the Democratic challenger raised some points with which we may generally agree — like the idea of attracting businesses to Oakland County by making it the best place to live, which will bring in higher tax revenues — we don’t believe that mass transit along the Woodward Avenue corridor, for example, is the silver bullet to the revenue issues the county faces.
And beyond that, and perhaps most importantly, Hoffman has done the job before. He is doing the job now. And he should continue to do it. His Democratic challenger presented us with no real reason why Hoffman shouldn’t serve out the partial term, and we know of no reason why Hoffman shouldn’t get the district’s nod next week. The learning curve for commissioners is negligible, and we know Hoffman can and will do the people’s work without any on-the-job training.
He’s the best choice on Aug. 2.