Q&A with Commissioner Adam Kochenderfer

Rochester Media (RM) invited Commissioner Adam Kochenderfer (AK), candidate for re-election in District #15 for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, to participate in an Q&A style interview. We’re please to share that with you here on The Community Edge, our online local news outlet.

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Adam Kochenderfer Announces Re-Election Campaign for County Commissioner

RM: Why do you seek re-election and why did you choose county commissioner as a form of public service?

AK: I chose to run again due to the unprecedented challenges to both the economy and public health in Oakland County. Many families are still grappling with the impact of COVID-19. I’ve always tried to serve our community through facts, not fear, and avoid the partisan games that are too prevalent these days. I’m running again to continue that practice and ensure we represent all residents through this challenging time.

My service on Rochester Hills City Council and work with Mayor Barnett showed me what good government looks like. I chose to serve as county commissioner because I believed that experience would be a good fit for Oakland County, and have been honored to serve in that role for several terms.

RM: If re-elected, what do you wish to accomplish during your next term?

AK: I have three main priorities if re-elected:

1) PUBLIC HEALTH. We must treat COVID-19 with the perspective and seriousness it deserves, putting safety measures in place that protect residents while avoiding overbroad restrictions.

2) ECONOMIC RECOVERY. The economy’s devastation has had health effects of its own, and we must do everything we can to revive Oakland County as Michigan’s economic powerhouse.

3) QUALITY OF LIFE. Each action county government takes must be aimed at preserving residents’ strong quality of life at a reasonable cost.  I will continue to support measured and responsible use of tax dollars.

RM: What experiences or accomplishments do you offer over your competition?

AK: My focus as a county commissioner has been getting results on issues that matter. That includes securing millions of dollars from DTE to improve electrical infrastructure, boosting road funding, combating opioid abuse, and fighting for safe water and gun safety in our schools.

I previously served on Rochester Hills City Council and worked with Mayor Barnett and the other Council members to help the city recover from the Great Recession. I’m proud of the progress we made together, including Money Magazine recognizing Rochester Hills as one of the top places to live in America. The city enjoyed record low unemployment at the time.

Adam, his wife, hold their two daughters

Adam Kochenderfer Announces Re-Election Campaign for County Commissioner

In addition to the County Commission and City Council, I have served our community in a variety of roles, including:

  • Green Space Advisory Board, Rochester Hills;
  • Historic District Study Committee, Rochester Hills;
  • Board of Directors, Rochester Rotary Club;
  • Crittenton Hospital Charitable Giving Committee;
  • Board of Directors, Oakland University Alumni Association;
  • Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce;
  • Rochester Area Jaycees.

I am also an attorney who has significant experience addressing municipal government and even drafting ordinances. I was selected as one of the youngest partners at Honigman LLP and was named one of metro Detroit’s “Top Lawyers” by DBusiness magazine. I’ve helped numerous clients find efficiencies, increase jobs, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

RM: Are you interested in running for other public offices in the future, such as county executive?

AK: Serving as county commissioner has been one of the great honors of my life, but I also enjoy practicing law. I should probably use the phrase “never say never,” but I find it difficult to imagine a scenario where I’d leave my law practice for full-time public office.

RM: Regarding the $500,000 the Board of Commissioners approved in December of last year for family planning services through Planned Parenthood – please comment on your thoughts of this budget amendment passing, how you voted, and any concerns you may have with this funding.

AK: Abortion is a uniquely divisive topic. Although the $500,000 could not directly fund abortions by law, I don’t support the amendment because there are so many other organizations in Oakland County that offer family planning services without performing abortions. I prefer to unite instead of divide, and this $500,000 to Planned Parenthood did the latter for no compelling reason. In fact, I supported a resolution that would have removed this $500,000 from Planned Parenthood and reallocated it.

RM: With the majority of the board now in Democratic control, have you noticed a change of direction for the county (as directed by the board), to what level, and what are your thoughts about these changes?

AK: I am a strong believer in working with both political parties, and am proud to have co-sponsored resolutions with Republicans and Democrats alike. Most of a county’s work centers on “making the trains run on time” through good, efficient government, and is unrelated to the political “hot buttons” that dominate Washington, D.C. and Lansing. Nevertheless, I am concerned that Oakland County may not continue the responsible fiscal practices that have earned us a AAA bond rating and saved taxpayers millions of dollars. In one example, the new majority spent at least $1.2 million by giving all county employees Election Day off, despite the fact that we now have “no reason” absentee voting in Michigan and record numbers are voting by mail. If we don’t ensure we’re getting equivalent value for dollars, it will be difficult to preserve residents’ strong quality of life.

RM: In a paragraph, what is your message about the election to voters regarding your run for office?

AK: I’d like to thank voters for their support and allowing me to serve the Rochester area as a county commissioner and city councilperson.  It’s also an honor to be supported by so many community leaders I respect, including Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Representative Michael Webber, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, and Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson. My wife and I chose to raise our two daughters here because we knew Oakland County offered the best quality of life, and I’m committed to making sure that continues for all families across our community. We face challenges, but we have tackled obstacles together before and I am confident we are ready to do it again.

Here is Commissioner Kochenderfer’s Press Release for Re-Election.

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

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