Humility is an important factor when employed in the public sector. Our employees know that it is an honor to serve the citizens and businesses of the community in which we work. So at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, I’m going to tell you that the award we just won comes as no surprise. This week, Auburn Hills received the 2016 Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice from the Michigan Association of Planning. Leading our Community Development Department is our Director and City Planner, Steve Cohen. Let’s just say that Steve is the best of the best. But it is equally important to have a Planning Commission that is fully engaged in all aspects of their role in the community, which is to thoroughly review all development and to make it as harmonious as possible across the entire City. Our Planning Commission and Staff understand that everything they review is considered in the context of the impact on the entire City, not just site-specific. The Planning Commission Chairman, Mr. Greg Ouellette, has held that role for a number of years and is a great example of a dedicated citizen volunteer. An appointment to the Planning Commission is a rather large time commitment, so the people who do it have to be in it for all the right reasons. Our Community Development Department and Planning Commission are like a well-oiled machine, while still providing a system of checks and balances. Our Industrial Planning Study for which we received the award, is a shining example of the quality of work that comes from our Community Development department. That publication has become a driving force in forecasting the City’s development and finances and has been an important reference tool for guiding policy changes such as the recently amended Tax Abatement Policy.
My personal congratulations go out to Director Cohen and his staff and Chairman Ouellette and all the members of the Planning Commission on the receipt of this award. It’s great to be recognized for hard work and a job well done!
On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina has a whole new look. This morning, staff of the restaurant were joined by officials from the City of Auburn Hills and the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce to celebrate their extensive renovations, inside and out. On The Border has been a corporate citizen since 1999. Mayor Kevin McDaniel reminisced about being part of the first restaurant staff when it originally opened. After a ribbon cutting and brief presentation, guests were treated to lunch with a wide array of Mexican specialties. The food was great and the staff was courteous and friendly. We thank On The Border for their reinvestment in our community and encourage those who love Mexican food to pay a visit to their newly remodeled location at 3930 Baldwin Road along the outer perimeter of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.
We’ve all heard and acknowledged this phrase before, “don’t be afraid to fail.” However, how many of us truly live it? When making a decision or generating an idea, do you select the option which may result in an appalling failure but could be a smashing success? Or, do you opt for the less risky, fail-safe choice which makes you feel nice and cozy inside reassuring you that nothing could possibly go wrong?
From time to time, I come across events that are truly worthwhile for seniors, caregivers, family members and friends. The Solutions for Family Caregivers Expo is one of those events.
This event provides a wide variety of educational sessions, resources, and displays. So many times we might see information on products specifically for seniors in a magazine or on TV but are hesitant to purchase something without seeing it or touching it. There are over 90 vendors at this event where you can touch and feel a variety of products and talk to various professionals.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re lost in a maze when it comes to understanding Medicare or Medicaid? Or care for a loved one with dementia and don’t know what resources are available to help you? This Expo is like a one-stop shop to get answers to many of your questions.
And as always, the Senior Services Department is a great place to seek resources, ask questions and get answers. And if we don’t know an answer or have the resource, we can certainly refer you to someone who does.
I thought today I would take an opportunity to congratulate two very special people on their marriage. And why is this an Auburn Hills story you might ask? Well, on Saturday, Andrew Opalewski married the love of his life, Amanda Thomas. You see, Andrew came to the City of Auburn Hills a few years back as a marketing intern. After doing a great job for the City as an intern, he transitioned into a full-time role with the City. Around that same time, we recruited for our Management Assistant intern, a role we fill annually as a one-year assignment. That year, Amanda Thomas was selected. Although always focused on their work and committed to their employment, it certainly did become apparent that there was a little more interest between these two individuals beyond just being co-workers. Not long after meeting Andrew here at Auburn Hills, Amanda completed her internship and moved on to another community. Andrew’s work was recognized by a private sector company here in the community that recruited him from us. So both of them left Auburn Hills and went their own separate ways as it related to employment, but their relationship continued and on Saturday, they were married. I had the privilege of being invited to their wedding and celebrating their marriage with them. Andrew has gone on to work in the private sector and Amanda has successfully remained in the public sector, now working for the City of Sterling Heights. Not all of our Management Assistants continue on in the public sector, so we’re proud of the fact that Amanda has done so. Congratulations Amanda & Andrew. We wish you a lifetime of happiness and for Amanda, I personally wish you a lifetime of success with your career in local government.