Long May It Wave

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Last week, Jack Skinner, Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Auburn Hills was on routine patrol at Waukegan and Squirrel when he noticed that the American flag raised at the Auburn Hills Boys and Girls Club was badly torn and tattered.  Jack, a six-year Navy veteran who saw action aboard the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey during the Lebanon War in the 1980’s, was concerned about the flag and how the symbol’s condition could negatively reflect on the many good things the Club does for our community.

Jack stopped in and spoke to an office employee who said that the Club’s Director was on vacation and honestly expressed that she didn’t know if they could afford to purchase a new flag at this time.  Later, Jack brought up this situation to Steve Cohen, the Director of Auburn Hills Community Development.  After a brief discussion of options, Steve remembered that he had an American flag in great condition and volunteered its use at the Club.

Last Thursday, in the company of several members of the Auburn Hills American Legion Post 143, Jack proudly raised the flag on the towering flagpole by the entrance of the Club.


It turns out that Steve’s American flag was an old gift from his father-in-law who was very proud that the flag was put to such good use.  Steve’s father-in-law’s dad was a World War II Navy veteran who has since passed away.  Steve told me his father-in-law has the folded military flag that was presented to him at his father’s funeral.  His father-in-law stated his hope was to someday put that memorial flag to a similar use.

I wanted to share this story of the good actions of Jack and Steve.  They worked together without anyone watching to support the Club, when the institution just needed a little help.  With some persistent nudging, they let me tell you about this.  I am glad they did.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”


A Few Quotes On Valentine’s Day

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz


“Forever thine, forever mine, forever ours.” Immortal Beloved – Ludwig van Beethoven


“Today is Valentine’s Day.  Or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day.” – Jay Leno

“If you were a Transformer, you’d be Optimus FINE.” – Unknown

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet service to see who they really are.” – Will Ferrell


“Never go to bed mad – stay up and fight.” – Phillis Diller

“True love stories never have endings.” – Richard Bach

“Love thy neighbor – and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.” – Mae West

“Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know.  Maybe you just need one person.” – Kermit the Frog

“That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call them something else.” – Sixteen Candles


“The truth is everyone is going to hurt you.  You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” – Oscar Wilde

“There are only 3 things women need in life: food, water and compliments.” – Chris Rock

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – When Harry Met Sally


“Women love a self-confident bald man.” – Larry David


Celebrate your love in Auburn Hills.

Building Official Jeff Spencer Honored For 30 Years Of Service

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Yesterday was special for us.

Numerous City staff visited our Department, and gathered around some wonderful Costco cake, to congratulate Building Official Jeff Spencer for 30 years of dedicated and outstanding service to the City of Auburn Hills.

Building Official Jeff Spencer (left) and Assistant City Manager Don Grice (right)

Building Official Jeff Spencer (left) and Assistant City Manager Don Grice (right)

Jeff Spencer has played an integral role in the City’s growth and has a ton of experience.  He has helped ensure the safety of hundreds of buildings, which is quite a legacy.   It is people like Jeff who help make our community great.

In front of his co-workers, friends, and family, Jeff gave a heartfelt thank you to everyone and provided some sage advice:

  1. Keep life in balance.  Work hard for eight hours, have eight hours of fun and down time, and sleep eight hours.  Mess that up and things get crazy.
  2. Keep working to improve yourself and your skills.
  3. Do your homework and don’t try to do things on your own.
  4. Take action.  Don’t be scared to make a mistake.  You can also get in trouble for doing nothing.
  5. Be a mentor to someone.  Teach the younger generation and pass on your knowledge.  Don’t forget that you can also learn the skills they have to offer.
  6. Change and get better or you will be left behind.

Jeff … Thank you for your service to the City of Auburn Hills.  You are an awesome big brother.  I look forward to working many more years side-by-side with you.

A Cure For The Winter “Blahs”

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

It’s that time of year when gray skies and bitterly cold temperatures can give us the winter blahs.  Instead of sitting around dreaming about warmer temperatures, cure your winter blahs by going to a Golden Grizzlies Men’s Basketball game.


The team is hot and sit on top of the Horizon league with a 14-3 overall record and 4-0 conference record.  The home game tonight at the “O’rena”, located on Oakland University’s Campus in Auburn Hills, will be rockin’ when the Detroit Titans will try to snap the Grizzlies 5-game winning streak.  The game starts at 7:00 PM.


Click here for more information about this game or the three remaining home games. Go Grizzlies!

Auburn Hills Gets Into Halloween Spirit

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Right now, hundreds of trick-or-treaters in Auburn Hills are gearing up for the big event.  As kids canvas the neighborhoods tonight, they will be greeted by some scary (and fun) scenes.  Our residents never fail to come up with creative (and creepy) outdoor décor.

Here’s one display we saw on Adams Road.

Skeletons...playing poker?

A skeleton party…


A dapper gentleman with his dog

A dapper gentleman with his dog


Pass by the pups...only if you dare!

Pass by the pups…only if you dare!


Try to navigate this scene in the dark!

Try to navigate this scene in the dark!

Trick-or-treating is allowed from 6:00pm to 7:00pm this evening.  Keep an eye out for our little goblins for a safe and Happy Halloween!

A Student For The Day At Auburn Hills University

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We wanted to share a few photos from yesterday’s Auburn Hills University (AHU) class led by the Community Development Department.

AHU is a six month team-building program that gathers a small group of City employees, one day a month, to learn what each City Department does.  This year, I have the privilege of being a student in AHU’s 9th class!

The class received a behind the scenes tour from our friends at SEALIFE Aquarum

The class received a behind the scenes tour from our friends at Michigan SEALIFE Aquarium

Learned about residential construction inspection at the new Mosaic project at the southeast corner of Baldwin and Collier

Visited the new Mosaic apartment development at the southeast corner of Baldwin and Collier

Learned what Building staff look for when performing their inspections

Learned what Building staff check when performing inspections

It was a fun and informative experience for all of us.

Dad’s Day

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

This coming Sunday, June 19th, is Father’s Day.  Dating back to a 1912 celebration of a Civil War veteran who was a widower who raised his six children in Spokane, Washington, it didn’t become an official national holiday until 1972.  Originally many men opposed the holiday because it “degraded their masculinity” and, often, became their responsibility to pay for the presents their family gave them.  Now, it is regarded as a day to remember and acknowledge the most important man in all of our lives, Dad.

Happy Fathers Day

The eternal question is: “what the heck do I get the old guy?” Unless he’s some sort of fashion maven, forget “the tie.”  A good rule of thumb is to ask what interests, hobbies or little pleasures your father has.  My dad, Al, (may he rest in peace,) had a crazy sweet tooth.  Sanders Mint Smoothies were always a sure bet.  But some chocolate covered strawberries ordered on-line would work great if your dad loves that sugar.

If dad enjoys a snort now and then, a bottle or case of his favorite potent potable would work.  Facial hair?  Why not a new beard/mustache trimmer.  It may be gross but one of the best gifts I got from my lovely daughters was an ear/nose hair trimmer.

If dad is an outdoorsman, a trip to one of the big box sporting goods stores could score you ammo, fishing flies or boots.  If he’s a reader, obviously a book on a subject you know interests him.  If a movie buff, there are plenty of DVD’s or Blue Rays to choose from.  (I recommend “The Revenant.”)

It doesn’t have to be a gift.  Cook him his favorite meal or take him out to his favorite restaurant.  Take him to a ball game.  (Maybe at the new “Jimmy John’s” stadium in Utica.)

The main thing is to remember his day and make it a day he will remember as well.  To all dads, step-dads and grandpas have a happy Father’s Day.