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Oakland County Executive Not Interested In Pontiac Merger

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PONTIAC (WWJ) – He admits it’s a “radical” idea, but the Emergency Manager of Pontiac has written a letter to Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson asking for a meeting to discuss the possibilities of merging the city with the county.

In a letter to Patterson obtained by WWJ and dated June 8th, Michael Stampfler says he would like “to have an early discussion with you to discuss the possibilities for merger of Pontiac into/with Oakland County.”  The letter goes on to say, “I realize this is perhaps a radical concept but I hope the positive consequences associated with such an initiative may be carefully weighed against the negatives of continuing the present situation.”

The letter also includes the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and says there is an $11.3 million revenue loss expected for the 2011-2012 fiscal year and a total deficit of $12.5 million as of June 30th, 2012.  The deficit is projected to rise to $24.2 million by June 2013.

Stampfler indicated he will be making recommendations concerning the budget in the coming days and mentions bankruptcy.

It’s unclear if a merger is possible, although the Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson is speaking out about the request to have Pontiac merge into Oakland County.

WWJ’s Stephanie Davis reports from Pontiac where Patterson says don’t look to the county, it can not afford to bail out Pontiac or any other ailing city in the county.

“We can’t take on a city and the responsibilities of managing water, sewer, drains, and lighting … that’s what a city is there for…to offer those services,” said Patterson.

“Let’s just speculate that we did this for Pontiac, which is not going to happen, we’ve got two or three other cities we’ve been tracking, that are about to go over the same cliff, and Oakland County can not be the funder of last resort, we do not have the financial resources – it has to be resolved by the state,” said Patterson.

Patterson says there is no mechanism for making that happen and he says the state should step in to help.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is to begin patrolling Pontiac streets in July.  That consolidation of services is expected to save Pontiac $2.2 million dollars a year starting next year.

City of Pontiac Budget Letter 2011-2012

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