New manager joins Oakland Township

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published April 1, 2015

 Warren Brown is the new Oakland Township manager.

Warren Brown is the new Oakland Township manager.

Photo by Linda Shepard

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — New Township Manager Warren Brown believes his job is to serve the residents.

“The constituency is the ultimate employer,” he said. “It is about the taxpayers.”

Brown — a former Sandusky County, Ohio, administrator — replaces Ann Capela as Oakland Township manager. After just two weeks on the job, Brown said he welcomes the challenges of the growing community.

“The township has a great staff; they are very personable,” he said. “I like the Board (of Trustees’) emphasis on transparency and filmed meetings. That is tremendous toward offering access to government officials.”

Brown said he moved into an apartment in Lake Orion just before beginning his new job. For now, he will commute on weekends to spend time with his family in Ohio. “That is, when I don’t have responsibilities here,” he said. “Then, my family will come out here.”

Family for Brown includes his wife, Wendy, and three adult children. “We lost our 11-year-old daughter to brain cancer in 2009,” he said.

The family recently participated in the filming of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a three-part documentary appearing on PBS beginning March 30. The film, presented by Ken Burns, chronicles the 4,000-year effort to understand, treat and ultimately cure cancer and is based on “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee. “We have a cameo in it,” Brown said.

Brown accepted the Oakland Township manager position after a township search that included recommendations from a recruiting consultant and narrowed down the field to three candidates. A lengthy series of interview followed. 

“We had approximately seven hours of active interviews per candidate,” Oakland Township Treasurer Jeanne Langlois said. “We listened to the recruiting consultant, residents and staff.”

Brown said he believes his biggest upcoming challenge will be improving water quality and supply for township residents who rely on community wells. “Not bringing in Detroit water,” he said.

Although he said he has never worked for a Michigan township before, he has served in elected and administrative positions in Ohio. “The latest was as a county administrator,” he said. He plans to help implement “careful, methodical local development.”

“I believe everyone here is committed to the entire constituency,” Brown said.

“I look forward to working with him,” Oakland Township Trustee Maureen Thalmann said about Brown. “He is motivated.”

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