Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash began working for the citizens of Oakland County in 2005 when he was sworn in as a member of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. From the beginning he has focused his energies on environmental sustainability, green building, and regional cooperation. These issues continue to be at the forefront of his decision making.
Commissioner Nash is a strong advocate for sustainability’s Triple Bottom Line: environmental stewardship, economic development and social equity. In his words, “we must protect our environment and our precious natural resources while we work for long-term economic success and ensure that all our citizens have access to the resources they need to succeed in our region.”
In addition, Commissioner Nash has been deeply involved in regional collaboration efforts directly related to sustainable development and resource conservation among the diverse interests of Southeast Michigan. As county commissioner he organized and hosted seven Annual Green Building Workshops in the Commissioners’ Auditorium, to bring experts together with local leaders to understand sustainable development and its benefits. As a founding member of the Regional Partnership for Sustainability, he worked with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Wayne, Macomb counties and Detroit along with the US Green Building Council, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the WARM Training Center.
Since his election as Water Resources Commissioner Jim has worked with Oakland County’s Executive office to develop the Great Lakes Water Authority, to turn the struggling Detroit Water and Sewerage Department into a regional authority and begin the process of making it the great system it once was. Together with the current County Executive we are active partners in making this region the best it can be.
Jim has brought significant cost savings to the communities the Water Resources Commissioner serves by creating the North Oakland County Water Authority, saving four communities, including Pontiac, $3 million annually by buying their water together. The WRC also created a system where 13 communities contribute sewage flow to the Pontiac wastewater treatment plant, saving all the communities funds and bringing more flow to the Clinton River. In 2020 Jim will be opening a new system to treat sewage at the Pontiac plant, now called the Clinton River Water Resource Recovery Facility. This system will save the communities money in operating costs by creating methane gas to be sold on the market and grade A fertilizer, to be given to local residents or sold on the market. This system is one of only four like it in the U.S.
Commissioner Nash and his staff have also organized and hosted seven Regional Stormwater Summits, bringing experts together with local governments, businesses and academia to learn about and advocate for green stormwater solutions and the funds needed to accomplish them.
Commissioner Nash is a 25-year resident of Farmington Hills. He and his wife Karen have been married for 34 years and live in the home where Karen grew up. They have four children and three grandchildren living in Michigan. He is a 1988 graduate of Florida State University, with a BS in Political Science and minor in Peace Studies. He served as a U.S. Army Medical Specialist from 1977 to 1980 and was honorably discharged. He received the Good Conduct Medal and Expert Field Medical Badge.
In the past few years Jim has been recognized with the 'Public Utility Management Professional of the Year’ award from the MWEA and as the ‘Environmentalist of the Year’ from the Sierra Club.