Bloomfield Township supervisor retires

Payne ends 41 years of service

By: Chris Jackett | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published July 1, 2011


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Supervisor Dave Payne announced his plans to retire Aug. 1 after 41 years of working for the township.

Payne, 60, has been the supervisor since January 2001. He announced his plans during the June 27 Board of Trustees meeting.

“I have worked for Bloomfield Township since 1970 and lived here since 1985,” Payne said in a statement. “It is a wonderful community to live in and raise a family. I am very fortunate to have been able to spend my career working for a place I love. The Board of Trustees, staff and community members have made my job truly rewarding. I am proud of what Bloomfield Township is today and have confidence in the people who will carry on its traditions while they provide strong leadership for its future.”

When reached for comment last week, Payne said it simply is time to go.

“Forty-one years is a long career,” he said. “The township’s been through a lot with the last three to four years with the Capital Park, and we rebuilt the Fire Department and senior center.

“A lot of people told me, when the time is right, you’ll know it. Forty-one years is longer than most people’s are. I just want to have the opportunity to enjoy life.”

Community Relations Director Leslie Helwig said Payne helped guide the community through the past decade. The two have worked together for 12 years.

“He has made it a pleasure for me to do my job since he so highly values openness and direct communication with the public,” Helwig said. “He put together a great leadership team, and we’ve worked very well together. We’re very sorry to see him leave, but with the township being so stable and strong right now, it’s a good time for a transition.”

Payne said collaborating with the Board of Trustees and considering residents’ input were keys to his success as supervisor.

“I would encourage the new supervisor to work very closely with the township board,” Payne said. “We’ve got a great organization in place, and we have residents who are involved. We’re in real good financial shape. You could always be better.”

Payne cited the Bloomfield Park project as his biggest challenge as supervisor. The development hit a roadblock with the weakened economy.

“We never believed it was a viable project, and it turns out we were right,” Payne said.

Starting with the township’s road department in 1970 while attending college, Payne quickly assumed a leadership role. He was named head of that department in 1975, the youngest department head in township history.

With a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Arts in public administration from Oakland University, Payne became an administrative assistant to Supervisor Fred Korzon in 1990.

He was appointed to the treasurer role in 1995, and then was elected to that position in 1996. When Korzon retired in 1999, Payne was appointed to the supervisor role until the November 2000 election, when he was voted into office. He was re-elected in 2004 and 2008.

“I consider it an honor and a privilege. I’m grateful they entrusted me with such a great job,” Payne said. “When I started, I never intended to make it a career, but it just turned out that way. I’m really grateful for the people I’ve had the opportunity to interact with over the years.”

Payne’s current term expires in November 2012, meaning the Board of Trustees will appoint someone to fill the final 15 months of that term within 45 days.