Updated: Oakland County Exec. L. Brooks Patterson Bashes Detroit, Supports DIA

January 20, 2014


The New Yorker published a profile Monday about Oakland County Executive (and Detroit basher) L. Brooks Patterson. Titled “DROP DEAD, DETROIT! The suburban kingpin who is thriving off the city’s decline,” the article casts Patterson as the embodiment of affluent Oakland County, and is rife with quotes of Patterson’s that sum up the suburb’s hostile attitudes toward Detroit.

The article is subscription-only, but Deadline Detroit published a list of some of Patterson’s more incendiary quotes, like this one:

“I used to say to my kids, ‘First of all, there’s no reason for you to go to Detroit. We’ve got restaurants out here.’ They don’t even have movie theatres in Detroit—not one.” He went on, “I can’t imagine finding something in Detroit that we don’t have in spades here. Except for live sports. We don’t have baseball, football. For that, fine—get in and get out. But park right next to the venue—spend the extra twenty or thirty bucks. And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking.”

But maybe the guy’s not all that bad? Despite his well-documented attitude about Detroit, Patterson took to the Free Press over the weekend to pen a guest column in defense of the DIA. He said that voting in favor of the DIA millage was a “no-brainer” and pointed out that over 600,000 people visited the DIA last year, “essentially equaling the Detroit Pistons’ total home game attendance in 2013.” He also praised Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to support the DIA with $350 million in funds from the state.

UPDATE: Bill Mullan, a Patterson spokesperson, issued the following statement Monday:

“It is clear Paige Williams had an agenda when she interviewed County Executive Patterson. She cast him in a false light in order to fit her preconceived and outdated notions about the region. Mr. Patterson’s record on advancing regional issues in a transparent and responsible manner is unparalleled. His initiatives – including such as Automation Alley, the regional law enforcement management system CLEMIS, and his leadership on the Cobo Authority – have had a highly positive and nationally recognized impact on the region.”

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  • L Jerome Dmongo

    May be that’s why God took his son to make sure he not copy and to his Wife Mrs. Patterson I’m truly Sorry about the lost of your Son, may God give you “STRENGHT” and you “ONLY”

  • Tina Thomas

    Patterson is a racist!

  • L Jerome Dmongo

    Maybe that why God took his Son, So he’s not copied. This man to me is sick with Hate, take away Detroit and there’s something else he will find to Hate. I truly believe God took a very Nice Young Man with a Good soul to protect his spirit from his Father Madness, everything I been told about his Son was Good but “pressured” to Mrs. Patterson I’m Sorry for your lost, But to L. Brooks. Patterson, if what they said about your Son is true, I doubt if you’ll meet in the after life. So it was Good by to evil.

  • Yeahbutstill

    Keeping it classy, anonymous guy?

  • Linnaeus

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • xequar

    Patterson was in a horrible car accident a couple of years ago, and it took him a long time to recover. It would have been better for him, and the residents of Southeast Michigan, had he stepped down to take the proper time to recover. Instead, he can’t stand to let Detroit have a chance nor to share the spotlight. I’ll be voting against him at my next possible opportunity. It’s time for a county executive that understands that the entire region benefits from a strong Detroit, and Brooks is not that executive.

  • Steffy93

    You have to live in Oakland County to vote.

  • Kimberly Zatkoff

    What a thing to say, Shame on you.

  • D Vincent Welch

    I guess he hasn’t been to Royal Oak Township lately. Or parts of Oak Park and Southfield. Clearly some of the crime never happens in those places.

  • xequar

    That’s true. Coincidentally, because of the circumstances of my life several years ago, I live in Oakland County. I’m working on convincing my partner that there are great opportunities in Detroit, but without more money and unilateral decision-making power, I’ll be here for a bit yet.

    On the upside, I will have another opportunity to vote against Brooks, and I intend to take advantage of it.

  • Steffy93

    Ideally, you would want to use your vote to support the candidate that you feel will do the best job. Whether you like Patterson or not, you cannot deny that he does his job well.
    I hope that you are able to move soon. There are a lot of wonderful places in Detroit. Hopefully, things will only get better and better.

  • Yeahbutstill

    Why did you bother typing all of this?

  • Joseph Williams

    Drop dead, Brooks? You first.

  • MFC

    Actually, if Patterson and others who think like him don’t come to Detroit, that’s fine by me.
    Who wants to be surrounded by a**holes, when you’re trying to have a good time…

  • Guest1

    I must admit I’m a black Detroit resident but Detroit is a nasty dum flat out

  • Guest1

    Well he say oakland county is so rich but there not on any wealthy county list so what is the median income of the county In 2014

  • Dbg2010

    He claim oakland co is so wealthy but I have not yet saw them on forbes or anything the recorded median Income I saw for Oakland county was 61,000 that’s not wealthy

  • Dbg2010

    Now family median income oakland income was. 100,000

  • disqus_KeMsCyMCgm

    L. Brooks has never changed his spots, so what’s the big deal; other than his not having Coleman to do a spot count?

  • Chicagoshopper

    Not saying this is right, but with regards to the first paragraph, my Dad said things not all that different when I was a teen in the 80s. He grew up in Detroit, as did my Mom. They saw things in the 60s and 70s that we can’t imagine. That’s enough to jade anyone and not give the city a chance to prove them wrong… But we, as adults, go into the city all the time.

  • Chicagoshopper

    No one deserves that! Masochist.

  • Chicagoshopper

    That’s sick. You’re no better than he is.