Fowkes Re-Elected Road Commission Chairman, Wilson is Vice Chair
BEVERLY HILLS, MI The three-member Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) Board, at its regularly scheduled meeting, reelected Ron Fowkes to a second term as Board Chairman and Eric Wilson as Vice Chairman.
The third Board member is Greg Jamian. The Board traditionally elects its officers at the first meeting of the New Year in January.
"I am looking forward to the opportunities ahead of us in 2016," Chairman Fowkes said. "We are committed to providing the safest roads in Michigan and Oakland County has consistently had the lowest traffic fatality rates of any county in the state. This didn't happen overnight. We have been a leader in using crash-data evaluation as a primary basis for selecting future road projects for more than 30 years."
Fowkes has served on the RCOC Board since 2011. A resident of the village of Milford, Michigan, he has frequently advocated for better roads and highways in Oakland County.
Fowkes served on the Milford Village Council from 1999 through 2006, including serving as its President in 2003. He owns and operates Sealtite Inspection Company based in Milford.
Fowkes added that, in addition to crash data analysis, RCOC has introduced changes in road design and safety enhancements such as using centerline rumble strips and paved shoulders, to reduce traffic fatalities. Other innovations that have improved motorist safety in Oakland County have included constructing modern roundabouts, which have been shown to reduce intersection fatalities by 90 percent (Oakland County has the highest concentration of roundabouts in the state), as well as RCOC's system of "smart" traffic signals (the second-largest system in the country).
"Despite reduced funding in recent years, we are committed to maintaining safe roads and bridges," Fowkes said. "We inspect our class A bridges (greater than 20 feet in length) every two years and our class B bridges (less than 20 feet) every four years."
He noted the agency also has been able to save money and help protect the environment by cutting in half the amount of salt used to melt ice on the roads.
"Using best practices, we have reduced the amount of salt we spread from 400 pounds per lane mile to 200 pounds," Fowkes said. "One way we did this was by "˜pre-wetting' the salt with liquid brine. The resulting salt/brine mix adheres to the cold road surfaces better and allows us to continue salting to a lower temperature."
Fowkes also was re-appointed as the Road Commission representative to the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission for 2016.
Vice-Chairman Wilson is an Attorney in private practice and former member of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and the Orion Township Board of Trustees. He was first appointed to the RCOC Board in 2007 and re-appointed in 2013.
Commissioner Jamian has served on the RCOC Board since 2009 and was re-appointed to a second term in 2015. He is a resident of Bloomfield Township, Michigan, and former member of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees. For more than 30 years, Jamian has been President and CEO of an integrated health-services corporation in Troy, Michigan.
Road Commission Board members are appointed by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and serve for six-year terms.