Former Oakland County Commissioner and two-term Ferndale mayor Craig Covey has been appointed to serve as special assistant to Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash.
His duties will include working on environmental issues, helping to set up town hall meetings, outreach into communities, educational programs and communications.
"As a kid I was always interested in the environment," Covey said, noting that he often spent time reading about pollution. "Even as a kid that was one of the very first things I had gotten interested in."
Covey, who was first elected as mayor of Ferndale in 2007 and served on the Ferndale City Council from 1999 to 2008, was elected to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners in 2010 representing Ferndale, Hazel Park, and southern Royal Oak in the 25th District.
While on the board, he was a member of the Public Services and Human Resources Committees.
Due to redistricting, Covey ran last year to represent the new 18th district. He was defeated in the primary election in August by fellow Democrat and Oakland County Commissioner Helaine Zack of Huntington Woods. He said after the election that he would stay involved in advocacy and political work.
Covey, who endorsed Zack for the commission seat, said in August it was unfortunate he and Zack had to run against each other.
"The bad guys here were not my opponents in this primary. The bad guys were the Republicans who engineered this power grab," Covey said of the redistricting. "Helaine and I have always been allies and friends and we'll always be allies and friends."
Nash, who was elected to the Water Resources Commissioner position in November, had served with Covey on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.
In August 2012, Nash and Covey organized a Fracking Town Hall that attracted 120 concerned citizens. They discussed the issues around fracking and the potential impact it could have on drinking and recreational waters and how that can affect economic health.
“His organizing abilities and dedication to conservation and sustainability impressed me and I think this appointment will be very beneficial to the people of Oakland County, allowing us continue to take advantage of his energy and focus,” Nash said in a press release.
Covey said Nash asked him over the holidays whether he'd be interested in coming to work for him. "I said absolutely yes," Covey said.
Covey has been at the new job for two weeks and says he's excited about working with Nash and the entire Water Resources Commission team.
"I'm going to use this position to help Jim have a stronger focus on protecting the resources and making sure that future generations can benefit from a sustainable stewardship of our water resources," he said.
Covey previously worked as CEO of the Michigan AIDS Coalition and was an education consultant with the Michigan Department of Community Health.