Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oakland Press: Patterson defends Troy City Manager, scolds mayor for ‘personal assault’

Patterson defends Troy City Manager, scolds mayor for ‘personal assault’

By DAVE PHILLIPS

In a shift from his regular stance of avoiding involvement in local political issues, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has spoken out in defense of Troy City Manager John Szerlag.

In a letter written last month, Troy Mayor Janice Daniels stated that she had “no confidence in our city manager’s ability to continue to perform the duties granted him in this position.”

Daniels’ letter, which she read into the record at a city council meeting, lashed out at Szerlag. Her arguments against Szerlag mainly concerned the Troy Transit Center, which Daniels opposed.

“I feel I should rise to the defense of John Szerlag,” Patterson wrote in a letter dated Feb. 7.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with John in various capacities for nearly 20 years, My staff has called upon him for advice from time to time on a number of issues about which he’s considered experienced and knowledgeable.”

Patterson wrote that he typically avoids involvement in local issues “in an effort to avoid the impression that from the lofty perch of government I’m in a position to dictate to local units of government what they should or should not do,” but he felt compelled to respond to Daniels’ “personal assault on the character and fitness” of Szerlag.

“During my nearly 20 years as Oakland County Executive I have worked with many city managers within our 61 communities in Oakland County, and John stands out as simply one of the best,” Patterson wrote.

Read more here.

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