Thankful For This City

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Tomorrow is a very special day.  Not just because we get to watch a parade, gather around the TV to view a football game, or feast on a huge meal.  It’s special because everyone across our great country will pause their hurried lives, gather with family and friends, and give thanks.

Every year at Thanksgiving our family passes a hat around the dinner table and we throw in short hand-written notes about what we’re thankful for.  Those notes are then read out loud.  Many are really silly, but most are heartfelt.   It’s just a good reminder for all of us.   It’s a healthy practice to take a day to pause and count our blessings.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what a great place the City of Auburn Hills has become.  About the many leaders, staff, and citizens who helped build this town over the decades.  So, I plan to give thanks for this City tomorrow.  Not just because it gives me a job that sustains my family and my passion, but because it’s a wonderful collection of people, commerce, industry, and innovation.

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Have you ever thought about giving thanks for the City of Auburn Hills?  For its good financial health.  For the safe neighborhood you live in.  For the good roads you drive on.  For the excellent services it provides.  What about the people who work or volunteer for the City?  Such as:

  • City Council, Boards, and Commissions – folks that care deeply about the future of Auburn Hills and give their time and talents to better it.
  • Assessing Department – that works to make sure taxes are applied efficiently and fairly so that the services we have come to expect can be provided into the future.  Not an easy job, but they do it so very well.
  • City Clerk’s Department – that keeps our records organized, runs our meetings, and holds well-run elections.  Did you know that many municipalities in the region look to learn from them and their best practices?
  • City Manager’s Office – that sets a “tone of excellence” internally at the City and gives us the tools we need to do our jobs.  The talented people in this Department often have the tough job of being the public face of the City, while several of them work behind the scenes with incredible service and kindness.
  • Community Development Department – that watches over the safety of our buildings, keeps our neighborhoods clean, encourages smart land use planning, has an eye on the environment, and is dedicated to grow the community.  I’m soooo thankful for these good people.
  • Department of Public Works – that plows our streets fast and efficiently, watches over our public utilities, and is always forward thinking so that the burden of infrastructure maintenance is not placed on future generations.
  • Emergency Services Department (Police/Fire) – who will go anywhere within minutes to protect and help us.  Always serving and willing to put their lives on the line for others.
  • Finance Department – that creates and facilitates the five-year budget for the City so that tax dollars are spent wisely.  These very smart and talented people watch over “other people’s money” – a.k.a., your tax dollars – like it’s their own.
  • IT Staff – the unsung heroes of City Hall that fix our “unfixable” computer and printer issues with incredible customer service.
  • Library Staff – who work hard to provide a wonderful cultural and learning environment for the City.  They’re top-notch.
  • Recreation Department, including Fieldstone Golf Club – who organize and run so many outstanding events and programs that make Auburn Hills a real community, not just a place with a lot of people.  They have a vision to create an award-winning park system and run the best municipal golf course in the State.
  • Senior Services Department  – such caring and dedicated folks who watch over our most vulnerable elderly like they’re family (often when society fails them) and provide programs and services for seniors unparalleled for a community our size.
  • Treasurer’s Department – that take care of the City’s billing and collection of property taxes with great skill; often working with amazing professionalism with the few who express their displeasure paying their taxes.

Perhaps tomorrow you could offer up an additional blessing at your Thanksgiving meal for the City of Auburn Hills, for the outstanding town it has become, and for all the good people who help it function at such a high level.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Have a wonderful holiday!