Retired law professor takes on yet another assignment

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

After a distinguished career in private practice, teaching, and public service, Gerald Fisher retired from “active duty” in early 2019.

Sort of.

At the time, he was serving as chairman of the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission, a 10-member panel that governs the now 14 parks in the county and oversees a then $25 million annual budget.

He also remained busy with his law practice, where over the years he has helped a steady stream of municipal clients navigate the occasionally choppy waters surrounding property law.

Now, nearly three years after wading into the world of retirement, Fisher recently was tabbed for another important assignment – to serve as Township Supervisor of Independence Township, a sprawling municipality of 37,000 people that surrounds the city of Clarkston.

Fisher replaces Pat Kittle, who departed in September after announcing his resignation several months earlier. The Township Board reportedly held a series of special meetings in August and September in an attempt to appoint a successor to Little, but failed to reach a consensus.

The impasse came at a time when the clock was ticking for officials to find a replacement within the mandated 45-day period or else face the prospect of calling a special election next spring to fill the post. The Township would bear the estimated $45,000 cost of the election.

With that deadline in mind, a key township official approached Fisher about taking on the supervisor role on an interim basis until voters would have an opportunity to choose from a field of candidates in the regularly scheduled November 2022 election.

His credentials, of course, made Fisher a logical choice, highlighted by his history of civic and professional service, virtually all of it on a volunteer basis.

“I obviously wasn’t seeking the position, but I was willing to help the township where I reside until the voters have their say,” Fisher said. “I wanted to help them bridge the gap and to fill the leadership void.”


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