It was truly a great occasion and good time at Summerfest on Saturday, June 25. The City of Auburn Hills Senior Services Department sponsored a bake sale to help support our Meals on Wheels program (MOW). The Auburn Hills Meals on Wheels program delivered over 17,000 meals last year to homebound seniors in Auburn Hills.
We would like to send a big “shout out” to all who generously donated baked goods to “Grandma’s Kitchen” to help raise money for our Meals On Wheels program.
Today’s blog is about a part of policing that normally isn’t very exciting. But it is important to us and to you. Like most organizations these days our records contain big data and we link to state and federal criminal justice big data too. I know you’ve read about and maybe have been affected by big hacks like Target, Home Depot, even the IRS got hacked. And your personal information is out there in cyberworld.
We know our data is sensitive and we know it is our responsibility to guard it properly and see that it is used lawfully. But even we, who are so very careful, swallowed hard when we got the following email message in May:
Dear Ms. Gina Thomas,
The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division will conduct a Criminal Justice Information Technology Security Audit of the Auburn Hills Police Department…
This is a big weekend in Auburn Hills as we celebrate our largest event of the year, SUMMERFEST. Music, BBQ, car show, games, food, and the list goes on. All of this happens to start this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. and runs all day tomorrow. For a list of events and the times they occur, visit the City’s website at http://www.auburnhills.org. These photos from earlier today show the set-up of the event that is well underway. Come visit tonight around 6:00 p.m. and have our elected officials scoop some ice cream for you. All event happenings are located in Downtown Auburn Hills, at the intersection of North Squirrel Road and Auburn Road. See you there!
My days are not unlike those of many other people who are working full-time. Some are much busier than others, and some are more memorable than others. Today was one of those days that was both busy and memorable. I started off my morning attending the Auburn Hills Morning Optimist Club meeting. I try to get to the meetings as often as I can. They occur every Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. and the focus of the club’s membership is to provide great things for the youth of our community. This morning, Officer Brian Miller made a presentation about our child safety seat initiatives here in the community. Officer Miller represents all that is good about our Team. In the picture, you see him receiving the Optimist Creed from club president Paul Gudmundsen.
After returning to the office, we had a brief celebration for Carol Little, our retiring Clerk in the Assessing Department. I had the pleasure of attending Carol’s gathering and to present her with a plaque recognizing her years of service. All the best to you, Carol!
After about an hour in the office of checking emails and returning phone calls, it was off to Fieldstone Golf Club to welcome representatives from a number of communities around the region from the Beautification Council of Southeastern Michigan. This organization focuses its energy on beautification activities throughout southeastern Michigan and today, Auburn Hills played host to their program and luncheon. In this photo, Mayor McDaniel provides a welcome message to all who attended and speaks about the many initiatives Auburn Hills undertakes to beautify our community.
By 11:00 a.m. I was at our Department of Public Works Building to celebrate another retirement, that of one of our longtime crew leaders, Randy Malone. Randy’s work ethic, sense of humor, and dedication to the Auburn Hills community is irreplaceable. Randy can be seen in the foreground of this picture in a gray tee-shirt and wearing a hat.
In this photo, Randy’s co-workers presented him with a beautiful etched wood plaque that they personally made for him. Randy’s quick wit was in full force and he and I got to banter back and forth in front of the staff. While we drew some laughs, I have to say that Randy’s retirement is no laughing matter. This guy had a lot of skills and no matter what his shoe size, it will be a monumental task to fill them.
This afternoon I’m off to a meeting with one of our great corporate citizens to discuss their future expansion plans. I hope they know that they are operating in a community that has a tremendous heart and soul with a staff that is truly committed to their business success. Everything I mentioned today speaks volumes about the kind of community that we are, and the kind of staff we have that keeps it all going. As always, PROUD and HONORED to be the City Manager of Auburn Hills.
On Sunday (Father’s Day), staff of the City Manager’s office participated in the Run for the Ribbon event at the Detroit Zoo. The event concludes a week of activities to bring awareness to men’s health issues. Team Auburn Hills consisted of four employees from the City Manager’s office. They are: Samantha Mariuz, Alanna Stockley, Don Grice and Tom Tanghe. They, along with family members, made up a Team of twelve participants to raise money and awareness for the cause and benefitting prostate cancer survivorship. It was a perfect day as the sun was shining and temperatures at the start of the race at 8:00 a.m. had not yet gotten too out of control. Kudos to our friend Dr. Michael Lutz for orchestrating an amazing event that drew thousands of people. And a special mention to the Detroit Zoo which afforded the opportunity for all of the runners/walkers to be admitted to the zoo after the race was over. If you haven’t been down to the zoo lately, you have to check out the new penguin exhibit. It is second to none! Those who might be interested in donating to the Run for the Ribbon (MIU Men’s Health Foundation) may still do so. Visit http://www.miumenshealthfoundation.org/.
As a rule, I don’t blog about employee retirements. Our celebrations are usually internal among staff, they’re low key, and most employees don’t want a lot of fuss. However, I felt compelled to make an exception for an employee who is retiring from the City about a week from now. Carol Little came to the City of Auburn Hills fifteen years ago. She had previously worked for Oakland County in their Equalization Department, the larger equivalent to our local Assessing Department. Carol hit the ground running because she was experienced in so many aspects of assessing operations. An added bonus is that she is an Auburn Hills resident. About a year ago, Carol indicated her interest in retiring. She was expected to finish out calendar year 2015, but with the combination of her own thoughts about retirement readiness and some urging from the City, myself included, she stayed on for another six months to help us out. As City Manager, and previously as Assistant City Manager, I have been actively engaged in real estate transactions on behalf of the City. Nearly every one of these transactions has had some support from Carol. On numerous occasions, I would call or email her to request property information, and like clockwork, Carol knew what I needed and she provided it very promptly. Citizens know her by her friendly demeanor, her smile, and her willingness to help. Carol came to work on time, had very little absences, tended to her work with diligence, would pitch in where needed, and was a joy to know. Yes . . . employees like this really do exist. She knows what it means to be in service to the public.
I want Carol to know that the work she performed for the City of Auburn Hills is very much appreciated. She had a very good impact on the community in which she works and lives, and has earned what I hope will be a long, healthy and happy retirement. All the best to you, Ms. Little.
This past Friday staff from Auburn Hills and the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce were joined by around 50 individuals employed at small businesses throughout the city for our first Business Picnic. This was an opportunity for city staff to meet and provide information to members of our vibrant small business community. A similar event, called the Auburn Hills Road Show, has been offered in the past to larger companies including Comerica and Faurecia.