Although the new district lines for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners are still up in the air, as a ruling is expected today, Wednesday, Feb. 8, in a legal challenge against a new state law allowing the county board to redraw them, Gwen Markham has filed as a Democrat to run in what is currently the 9th District, representing Wixom.
Commissioner Kathy Crawford (R-Novi) currently lives within that district’s boundaries. She said she “absolutely” will be running for a job on the county board again.
Markham said a need for “a more regional approach to government” prompted her to get into the race.
A former automotive manufacturing operations manager and current piano teacher, Markham has previously run for a slot on the Novi City Council, and has served a pair of stints on the city’s Planning Commission.
She pointed to transportation as a key regional issue that should be dealt with by various governmental stakeholders across metro Detroit.
“We should be facilitating transportation across the region,” she said. “There are good ways to do it. When cities opt out of the (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation) system and then they build their own little regional transportation system for whatever it may be, that is wasteful.”
Markham added that, although she lived in Arizona and Wisconsin for periods of time, she was born in Pontiac and has “a good understanding of Oakland County, and its history and future are tied together.”
She said the uncertainty over how the new county board districts will fall “really doesn’t matter to me.”
“I had decided to run for the seat before the new districts were drawn. I don’t live too far from the current commissioner (Crawford), so my guess is that however they redraw the districts” she will be squaring off with Crawford if she gets the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“I want to have my voice heard,” she said.
The filing deadline for candidates is May 15.
County commissioners serve two-year terms and earn $32,093 annually.