Speaking of the county board, rumors are running rampant following this year's Mackinac Conference, where lots of offside conversation was on the health of L. Brooks Patterson, and speculation of what could, or would, happen if he is not able to complete his term. Is it true that current Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chair Dave Woodward (D-Royal Oak) has struck a deal with former board chair Mike Gingell (R-Lake Angelus, Lake Orion), for both of them to step down from the board if and when it appears Patterson is declining, in order to maintain a Democrat majority on the board (it's currently 11-10 in favor of the Dems)? In order to be appointed executive by the board of commissioners, which must make the appointment within 30 days if there is a death or a special election would have to be called by state law, a current commissioner can't be appointed. Woodward is seeking to be appointed executive, and in exchange, his deal with Gingell is he would become Woodward's chief deputy. While we didn't hear an actual denial from Woodward, he acknowledged there was “a lot of chatter on Mackinac, but my focus is on government, everything else is a distraction...We've got to be respectful during this difficult time.” Gingell denied claims of an agreement with Woodward that would land him a deputy executive position. “There’s no truth in me being interested in having a job in the county,” he said. “I have a job in the private sector, and it’s a good job.” Word is Gingell is encouraging Republicans to support Woodward, including at a recent GOP gathering. Gingell said his preference is for Brooks to serve out his term, but noted that if there is a vacancy, with Woodward and county treasurer Andy Meisner's names being bandied about, he believes Woodward would best preserve Oakland County and the policies put in place by Patterson – a statement he confirmed saying at the recent Oakland County GOP meeting. “If I had to pick, I would pick Dave.” But some longtime Republicans aren't biting, with one stating, “I don't feel there will be much support for Woodward. We're not pleased with his leadership and pushing social issues and causes down our throats.” Stay tuned.