Leaving it much better than he found it
Things have changed since William “Bill” Dunn was appointed Supervisor of Oxford Township, on June 23, 1999 by a 3-2 vote of the township board — notably the public’s preception of township government. When appointed, Dunn was the sixth person in 10 years to be supervisor.
On June, 30, 1999, The Oxford Leader wrote, “Dunn wishes to end the negative publicity and fierce antagonism that have recently highlighted the township supervisor’s relationship with the rest of the board.”
Said Dunn then, “Oxford has had enough publicity. My goal here is to quietly do my job, to perform my function as
supervisor to the best of my ability. The board has been fighting a lot lately. I want to get that behind us and work together as a team. I think by putting our heads together we can put out a pretty good product.”
Fast forward to January, 2020. Effective Nov. 20, Supervisor Dunn, now in his early 70s, will step down after more than 21 years on the job. Dunn sent The Leader a letter (on Page 6) on why he will not seek another term as supervisor. And, he does so at a time with much less community rancor than when he started.
A graduate of Lake Orion High School and Oakland University, Dunn has lived in the Orion-Oxford area since 1956. Serving our country as a member of the Air Force, he was deployed in Vietnam from 1967-68 and worked as a civil engineer and entrepreneur. He enjoys being envolved.
“The local level is the best level of government,” Dunn said. “Often times, people have to wait for extended periods of time to get answers from the state. With us, they get immediate results.”
Always accessible and willing to listen attentively to his residents, Dunn pointed out the importance and uniqueness of handling issues in Oxford. “If someone takes the time to attend one of our meetings or reach out to us about something, that means it is important to them.
“It may seem trivial to other people, but it matters to that individual and keeps them up at night. I took that very seriously; every matter we discuss is of extreme importance to someone.”
Overseeing a period of tremendous growth in the township’s history, one of Dunn’s proudest feats is the improvements in fire, emergency medical and police services.
“When I took over, our fire department was running out of a cramped pole-barn, now we have two state-of-the-art facilities,” he explained. “We also went out and brought our Oakland County Sheriffs in, and they’ve been here ever since.”
Taking over for a police force swarmed in controversy and scandal, Lieutenant Scott Patterson and his department have worked in lockstep with Dunn over the last two decades to build the Oxford Township Substation into one of the state’s best.
While November will mark the end of a very successful era, Dunn will still be around and hopes to keep the supervisor position close to home.
“I am hoping the voters of Oxford will elect (Trustee) Jack Curtis to succeed me,” he said. “I am going to run for township trustee, so effectively switching seats with Jack.
“With the new developments and growth, such as the Beaumont medical campus, coming to our community, now is not the time to be bringing someone outside in to run things. Jack is as qualified – or more qualified – than anyone.”
As for himself, Dunn is looking forward to his transition to trustee. “This is the right move at the right time for my wife, Betty, and myself. I feel I still have something to offer and will continue to help serve this great area.”