If you’re like most Americans, you are probably happy to see the 2016 presidential election cycle come and go. Although the Presidential election is significantly important to all of us, nothing touches your life more directly and on a daily basis than that of your local government (Think – turn on the water, flush the toilet, plow the snow, visit a park, call for a Police Officer or ambulance, etc.). So it’s important to us as your City staff to deliver on those things that have been promised by the City.
For example, in August, Auburn Hills residents, by an overwhelming margin, voted to increase their taxes by just under three-quarters of one mill to improve and fully fund the Fire Department. If approved, you were promised better coverage by an increase in staffing and to continue to make sure that we properly invested in necessary equipment and training. Improving response times was a cornerstone of the campaign for the millage increase by placing staff in fire stations twenty-four hours a day which is a staffing model that does not currently exist. I’m here to tell you today that our staffing plans are well underway. Our current staff of fourteen full-time Firefighters has just increased to sixteen as of last week. We have a few more candidates in various phases of their pre-employment requirements. When hiring is complete, we will have the ability to staff all three of our fire stations like never before. Think about it . . . when fully staffed, we expect to have twenty-one full-time Firefighters covering shifts 24/7/365 with a nighttime population of about 23,000 residents and a weekday/daytime population of over 100,000. As you can see, we remain very efficient in terms of the number of people on the payroll who are responsible for the emergency needs of tens of thousands of citizens, employees of businesses, and visitors to our community around the clock.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager