I have been an employee of the City of Auburn Hills for a long time, about to begin my 20th year in early May. And with thirty years in local government management overall, I never expected to be facing anything like this pandemic. I wrote a few comments the other day on LinkedIn about local government’s role and the fact that as a citizen, you are no closer to government than you are at the local level. There is no doubt that government at the County, State and Federal levels are all playing highly important roles in addressing the pandemic, but the people who are making certain that your small corner of the world continues to operate are the people right here in your own back yard.
They are the Police Officers, Firefighters, Public Works employees, and office staff that continue to support the community at all levels. Critical services, or what our Senior Services Director refers to as “lifeline” services are delivered each day without skipping a beat. These include meals to our seniors and transportation for them to important medical appointments. Things you may not be thinking about that you don’t see are monitored by essential employees who oversee water, sewer, roads, and municipal facilities. Every department is linked to the others to make certain that we still continue to deliver the necessary services that our citizens and businesses need in order to weather this crisis.
At the local level, we find ourselves each day learning more and more about what we need to do next to not only make sure we are part of the solution to thwart the spread of the virus, but to also comply with the myriad of executive orders and other directives coming at us from all levels. We do this while making sure our employees are monitored and cared for so that they can be there for you. Because you are the reason we are here.
When this pandemic is finally over, there will be many unsung heroes who will be responsible for having saved the lives of many, maintained peace and order, and stepped up to put others before themselves in many other ways. In the days and weeks ahead, I plan to introduce you to a few of the people who have exhibited the values of excellence and humility to which our organization subscribes, but whom would never ask to be recognized. As I’ve said before, we’re all in this together. This pandemic crosses every cultural, socioeconomic, and political line; and every other line you can think of. Right now, it’s important to remain optimistic because we will get through this.
At the beginning of this blog is a billboard that the City of Auburn Hills is displaying throughout the community and has been displaying for over a week now. They will continue throughout this event. Living these behaviors right now will get us through the pandemic and we will be a better community when we come out on the other side of it.
BE PATIENT • BE KIND • BE UNITED • BE WELL
And most of all, Take Care of Each Other
Tom Tanghe, City Manager