Halloween … It’s a Scream!

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Traditionally, the night before All Saint’s Day or All Hallows Eve became Halloween, folks have set up displays of jack-o’-lanterns, witches, and goblins – along with “ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night.”  Well, Auburn Hills’ residents are no exception.

Through my travels around town, I couldn’t help but notice some pretty cool decorations.  Space restrictions prevent me from showing more, but these caught my eye and I thought I’d share them.

This one is on Richwood.

Halloween 1

Here’s one from the south end of the City.

Halloween 2

This one’s my favorite because all the decorations are hand-made and hand-painted.  It’s from up in the Canadian subdivision.

Halloween 3

Here’s hoping everyone has a safe and fun-filled Halloween.  Happy Haunting!

Halloween … It’s a Scream!

No More Regrets

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

I often listen to wise people in an effort to not be so stupid.

I say stupid because like many people I tend to make the same mistakes over and over again.  Like going to McDonald’s last night after a long day at work.  Hey, I deserved a Big Mac, fries, and chocolate shake.  Right?  Nooooo!  Not exactly a vegan meal.  I knew better, but I still did it.

Well, a very wise teacher told me about a book written by nurse, Bronnie Ware.  Bronnie took the time to record the most common regrets of people nearing the end of their life in The Top Five Regrets of the Dying:  A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.

What were the top five regrets?

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Do you have any regrets?  I often do.  I believe we can all learn from the dying.  The book’s message:  life is too short, so live.

Perhaps, we should …

  1. Try to change the world – wherever we’ve been placed.
  2. Strive for excellence, but always be mindful of keeping a healthy work-life balance.
  3. Kiss our spouse and kids often … always tell them, “I love you.”
  4. Protect and foster our relationships and put the interests of others above ourselves.
  5. Don’t let circumstances beyond our control own us  (That’s especially hard for me).

Sometimes it makes sense to stop, take stock, and remember our true priorities.  Those dying remind us that the troubles of today will be a distant memory when it’s our time to leave this world.  Maybe, we should heed their advice.

No regrets.  My family.
No regrets. My family.
No More Regrets

Watch the “Sausage Making” Behind Our Parks and Recreation Program

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Having a dynamic parks and recreation program is crucial for our town.  It provides a quality of life that folks seek when choosing to live and invest here.  Thus, we work to stay one step ahead to make sure these services meet people’s needs in a cost-effective manner.

Tonight, would be an excellent opportunity to learn about the “sausage making” behind the future vision for our parks, trails, pathways, and recreation programs.  The Auburn Hills Planning Commission is in the process of updating the City’s Parks and Recreation Plan.

Photo from the Auburn Hills Summer Camp - Kids brought their bikes and went on a “bike trip” to 7-11 and back … like the good old days!
Photo from the Auburn Hills Summer Camp – Kids brought their bikes and went on a “bike trip” to 7-11 and back … like the good old days!

The Commission is scheduled to discuss:

  • The City’s ranking based on national standards
  • Accomplishments from the past five years (2009-2013)
  • Input received from public opinion surveys obtained over the past year
  • Initial thoughts of what could be done over the next five years (2014-2018) to improve the parks and recreation system

The meeting will be held tonight (Tuesday, October 29th) at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  So, we encourage you to come join us.

Watch the “Sausage Making” Behind Our Parks and Recreation Program

Radical Hospitality

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

What is a One Stop Ready Community?

It’s a town that focuses on the customer.  Whether someone is building a business headquarters or an addition to their home, their needs and schedules come first.  One Stop Ready is an Oakland County initiative that aims to educate its communities in best practices for economic development.

This past Wednesday night, City Manager Pete Auger was invited by County leaders to share the Auburn Hills’ approach to fostering development.  Something we like to call “Radical Hospitality.”

The audience he spoke to consisted of six other Oakland County communities that are also dedicated to improving their own development processes.

Pete Auger speaking at the One Stop Ready workshop this past Wednesday
Pete Auger speaking at the One Stop Ready workshop this past Wednesday

Pete’s advice?

  • Focus on what you are.  Communities have different strengths, so identify your assets and promote them.
  • Utilize available resources and keep the public well-informed.
  • Develop a streamlined, flexible process and guide customers through it according to their timelines.
  • Meet with customers before they apply and make it mandatory that key staff attend those meetings to immediately answer questions and problem solve.
  • Empower your staff to make decisions and give them the resources to do so.

Pete encouraged the audience to be deliberate and diligent in all these efforts.  It is this process that has made Auburn Hills successful.

Great job representing us, Pete.

Radical Hospitality

They’re Really Good Guys!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

I was just minding my own business.

Yesterday morning, I was at Tim Horton’s for a strategy meeting with Senior Services Director Karen Adcock for the Age-Friendly Auburn Hills program (set to start in January), when these three guys from our Department of Public Works walked in.   Let me tell you … they’re a cool bunch of characters.

These men had just stopped by to get a quick cup of coffee.  But, the way they interacted with the store’s staff was really neat.  It reminded me how our City is still a small town in many ways.  They were so friendly and kind to the staff.

I was just observing all this, when one of them came over to me.   He said … “Hey, what’s happening Downtown?  When’s that housing project going to get done?” 

What occurred after that was fun.   The group sat at our table and we talked about the Downtown and their ideas for how it should develop in the future … and what businesses were needed.  They brought a different perspective to the table (literally) since they’re out in the field working and talking to people all the time.  They see things I don’t.  I told them about some of the cool, exciting projects we’ve been working on that they didn’t know – like the new road that’s being planned north of Auburn, between Squirrel and Adams.   We learned a lot from each other in a short period of time.

It reminded me that when envisioning the future of our town, it might be smart to talk to the folks who are always “out and about” fixing the sewers and roads – more often – to learn their ideas for improving things.

As these men left to go back to work, both Karen and I looked at each other and said at the same time … “They’re really good guys!”  It was obvious.

We have an outstanding team serving Auburn Hills – many people just like them – that care deeply about this place.  It’s pretty special.

They’re Really Good Guys!

Keeping Our Waterways Clean

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

On the clear sunny day of September 21, 2013, a group of 20 volunteers from First United Methodist Church of Troy, OHM Advisors, communities around Southeast Michigan, and believe it or not, Meridian, Idaho converged on stretch of the Clinton River from River Woods Park to the City’s Skate Park.

This group of dedicated volunteers worked together as a team to remove over fifteen bags of garbage; cleared a large amount of branches, limbs, and other woody debris from the river and the river’s edge; and removed one logjam throughout the one-half mile stretch of river traversing along and between the two parks.

photo 4

This annual clean-up effort not only helps keep our river clean but also helps prevent erosion and allows the Clinton River to flow more freely.  In addition to improving the environment, this was an excellent opportunity for people to work as a team towards a common goal that benefits the entire community.  It is this type of dedication and enthusiasm that has made the Clinton River Clean-up so successful.

May people who live, work, play, and visit Auburn Hills are beginning to realize the beautiful river system that exists, right in the heart of Downtown Auburn hills.  The extraordinary effort these volunteers contributed this year will allow people to better enjoy the river while fishing, kayaking, canoeing, or sightseeing.

photo 2

The City of Auburn Hills would like to send out a special thank you to all the volunteers who participated in this year’s clean-up effort.

Keeping Our Waterways Clean

Welcome E7 Solutions

Posted by – Darren Darge, Code Enforcement Officer

New to Downtown Auburn Hills is E7 Solutions,  a software and consulting firm that specializes in aligning technology with business processes.  E7’s team of software developers, designers, and business analysts bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the art of meeting complex business problems with efficient, elegant solutions.  Services offered include software development, data management, JIRA expertise, design for experience, and project management.

E7 Solutions

Welcome E7 Solutions to our Downtown.

Welcome E7 Solutions