Jim Runestad (R)
Commissioner, District 6
Sign up to receive my newsletter.Boundaries:
Includes White Lake Township and a portion of Waterford.First elected:
November 2008Current term:
January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2014Contact information:
Oakland County Board of Commissioners
1200 North Telegraph Road
Pontiac, Michigan, USA, 48341-0421or
White Lake, MI 48386
Phone: 248-858-0100 (County); 248-802-5500 (cell);
Fax: 248-858-1572 (County)
- Planning & Building: Chair
- Human Resources: Member
- Public Services: Former Chair
- Finance: Member
- General Government: Former Member
- Public Services: Former Vice Chairman
- Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency: Former Member
Oakland County Achievements:
- Runestad fought a 5 month long battle to successfully push through the Board a policy whereby Oakland County Government must use E-Verify as part of its employment and procurement processes. Also successfully convinced the Road Commission to do likewise. E-Verify insures that new county hires and contractors' employees are legally permitted to work in Michigan. This effort has resulted in many citizens gaining employment with county vendors earning wages that used to go to companies using illegal black market labor
Runestad spearheaded the change to improve the discount drug card for Oakland County residents improving discounts, and overall services.
Runestad created the Midwest's first county veterans internship program.
Requiring the position of county commission liaison to meet with the Sheriff's representatives to insure that local Government Surveillance Centers were protecting and respecting the civil liberties of American citizens.
Passing a unanimous resolution demanding that the federal government overturn a recently passed law that allows American citizens detained indefinitely without our constitutionally protected due process rights. Copies were sent to the state legislature, the congress and the president.
- In 2012 Runestad created a Crime Victim Distinction Award designed to honor the individuals and groups annually who stand out as exemplary heroes who assist and work with crime victims. This award was presented during the annual National Crime Victims' Rights Week - April 22-28, 2012, as a time of remembrance and reflection of those who have been subjected to violent crimes and those who work to improve the lives of the victims.
- Runestad organized the first KidSpeak event in Oakland County, an event geared towards helping shape policy in foster care. This event was a chance for those in the system to share their stories.
Commissioner Runestad's Background:
- Bachelor of Science in Education, Central Michigan University, 1984
- Graduate of Goodrich High School, Goodrich, MI, 1978
- Member of the Citizen Advisory Board to the Friend of the Court
- Member: Meals on Wheels, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassador Committee, North Oakland Board of Realtors, Legislative Affairs Committee, Grievance Committee, and Membership Committee.
- President, North Oakland Republican Club, presiding over an increase in membership that exceeded 400%
- Elected to the Oakland County Republican Executive Committee
- Elected Republican precinct delegate for eight years
Commissioner Runestad is owner and operator of Runestad Financial Associates. Mr. Runestad has been a resident of Oakland County for more than 15 years and has worked in, and been active in, Oakland County for 28 years. Commissioner Runestad is married to Kathy. They are the proud parents of five children: Joel, Justin, Lena, Lee, and Kayla, as well as the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.
Jim and Kathy Runestad were foster parents for many years and care deeply about the plight of children in the foster care system. Mr. Runestad has worked to secure the rights of parents in Family Court issues, mainly through the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Friend of the Court. Years before Commissioner Runestad was elected to the county commission he successfully lobbied the Oakland County Commissioners to create the Citizen Advisory Committee to the Friend of the Court (CAC), to hear citizen complaints and secure the rights of the parents in Family Court issues. Runestad was then named to the very first CAC and served for three years. He raised this issue during his 2008 run for the Oakland County Commission and promised constituents that he would work to get a link directly to the CAC so that citizens could file complaints directly with the CAC and not be directed through the Friend of the Court. Commissioner Runestad accomplished this promise within the first two months on the job. If you need to file a Friend of the Court grievance, click here to get more information, and the form you need to fill out and file.
Next Runestad fought a 5 month long battle to successfully push through the Board a policy whereby Oakland County Government must use E-Verify as part of its employment and procurement processes, and has successfully convinced the Road Commission to do likewise. E-Verify is used to insure that new county hires and contractors' employees are legally permitted to work in Michigan. This effort has resulted in many citizens gaining employment with county money that used to go to companies using black market labor. The Road Commission has now begun the use of the E-Verify system.
Read other articles about Commissioner Runestad's successful efforts to incorporate E-Verify into the Oakland County Government employment and procurement systems:
Oakland County Legal News
Commissioner Runestad has continued to question every budget item, line by line, as a member of the finance committee and to vote with an eye to questioning each department's spending objectives. He also continued to successfully pass many bipartition unanimous resolutions such as supporting the op out without charge by citizens forced installation of pulsed radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted wireless meters.