Upon Retirement

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

(Written yesterday – Dale’s last day working in the Community Development Department.  Happy Retirement, Dale!)

Wednesday, September 27th, will be my final day as an employee with the City of Auburn Hills.  I’ve worked as a part-time Code Enforcement Officer for over 11 years.  After 30 years as a Police Officer and Sergeant with the Detroit P.D., this job was a welcome change of pace.

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful folks who made the job (almost) a pleasure.  Christy Worrell and Mary Cox, our beautiful clerks, who put up with my morning crabbiness and generally turned my day around.  The department’s Executive Assistant, Elizabeth Brennan, always smiling, even when she was swamped and you’re giving her something else to do.

From left – Jeff Spencer, Jeff Fraser and Rick Oberlin

The two Building Inspectors, Rick Oberlin and Jeff Fraser, who can be counted on to give you accurate information on codes and practical stuff.

From left to right: Rick Oberlin, Darren Darge, Shawn Keenan, Christy Worrell, Jeff Spencer, Howard Wager, Dale Mathes, Mary Cox and Elizabeth Brennan

Shawn Keenan, the Assistant City Planner and Water Resource Guy, is always ready to update you on environmental topics and/or BBQ recipes.  Jeff Spencer, the Building Official, who will tell you everything you wanted to know about Auburn Hills history.  He grew up here and seems to know half the population personally.  And Steve Cohen, our Director, a solid family man, who treats his employees like they are a part of his family.

Community Development Director, Steve Cohen with a happy customer, bearing gifts

And then, there are my past and present partners.  Jeff Malone, now a Police Officer with Auburn Hills, formerly a Las Vegas cop.  We sort of learned this job together and he improved it by streamlining the grass cutting procedure by introducing green door stickers rather than mailed notices.

Jack Skinner (left) and Darren Darge

Kristen Hollenbeck, also a former officer, who, although here for a relatively brief time, made an impact with her quiet but determined demeanor.  Darren Darge, who, with his background in assessing, carried the ball during the recession.  He covered the inspections of vacant houses and kept on the banks and mortgage companies to maintain them.  And, now, there’s Jack Skinner – the “Jack of all trades.”  Former Navy man, truck driver, fire fighter, and long-time DPW worker, he has been instrumental in cleaning up this city.  From temporary signs to getting commercial parking lots paved, he has done a huge amount of work in a short period of time.  Thanks to you all.

Working for Auburn Hills has been a great way to get myself out of debt, buy a house and just plain keep busy.  It’s also introduced me to a great group of people who will be remembered for years to come.  Good luck and God bless!