Oakland Together: April 22 | A message from David Coulter, Oakland County Executive


April 22, 2020
Bi-Weekly County Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Even though we’ve been so consumed by dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in the past year, we haven’t forgotten about our other priorities and visions for the future of Oakland County.


And this week, I reconvened an economic recovery task force to talk about the challenges we’re facing as we emerge from the pandemic. This is a group of diverse voices from a wide variety of business, labor, philanthropic and non-profits, educational and community leaders across the county.


Our initial discussion highlighted the problems we knew we had even before the pandemic – the shortage of workers at all levels, the need for more training for a skilled workforce and the growing crises in childcare and mental health services. But the pandemic has exacerbated these issues and made it even more critical that we think about transformative solutions.


The federal American Rescue Plan, or ARP to us, gives us that opportunity to enact such changes. The county is expecting to receive $244 million in ARP money that will allow us to complete the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with continued testing and vaccination sites. It also will help us ensure that our county’s residents, businesses, schools and non-profits survive and thrive.


The task force is just one of the voices I’m listening to, but there are so many others involved as well. My partners at the county level – the Board of Commissioners, the other countywide elected officials and county employees – are all going to help us develop the strategies that will provide the most impact in some of these areas where the needs are great.


This is just another example of our over arching philosophy of “Oakland Together,” building a future together beyond COVID-19.


And speaking of Oakland Together, that also comes to mind this week as we all heard the guilty verdict in murder trial against former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin. I was grateful for the verdict, but was still left feeling unsatisfied because justice remains unfulfilled.


Together with all of you, I’m committed to addressing the inequities in our criminal justice system that allowed the murder of George Floyd and so many other people of color to happen in the first place. We also must work together toward ending the racism that is embedded in all our systems.


With hope for the future,


Dave Coulter

Oakland County Executive 

American Rescue Plan provides more help with health insurance coverage

New federal subsidies can help more than 67,000 Michiganders gain access to affordable health insurance under the recently passed American Rescue Plan. An additional 16,000 Michigan residents could be eligible for no-cost coverage with the existing tax subsidies.


Working families could see substantial monthly savings on their health insurance when they sign up for coverage at healthcare.gov through Aug. 15.


“A family of four making $120,000 per year could save approximately $259 per month, while a 60-year-old married couple could save as much as $943 per month for the rest of 2020,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The federal HealthCare.gov website has been updated to reflect the extended enrollment period and the newly expanded tax credits that became available when the ARP was passed and signed into law in March.


Michigan residents who already are getting health insurance through the Affordable Care Act should return to Health Care.gov and update their 2021 application to see if they qualify for expanded tax credits. Consumers can visit Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services for more information at Michigan.gov/healthinsurance or call 877-999-6442.


Agency reaffirms county’s Aaa bond rating

Even with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the county’s Aaa bond rating was reaffirmed by Moody’s Investors Service.


The rating came on two bond proposals for water improvement projects in the cities of Pontiac and Farmington Hills.


The rating service said the response to the virus and continued fiscal responsibility merited the top Aaa rating, which translates into lower interest rates over the life of the bonds.


Thousands of people remember challenging year at COVID-19 Tribute Walk

More than 3,000 people visited an immersive light display along a trail at Waterford Oaks County Park to remember those who have been lost to COVID-19 since the virus first showed up in Oakland County on March 10, 2020.


tribute walk


The light display, sponsored by Oakland County and designed and built by the Wixom-based Bluewater Technologies, gave residents a chance to remember those who died during coronavirus pandemic, honor the frontline workers who kept us all safe and give thanks to the big and small gestures of kindness from friends, family and neighbors who helped us through the public health crisis.


During its 11-day run, the display attracted more than 3,000 people who walked the half-mile trail and another 5,243 who tuned into the livestream. 

Targeted vaccine clinics helping with the fight against COVID-19

Oakland County’s Health Division has staged large scale vaccination clinics as well as smaller, more targeted events to ensure all segments of Oakland’s population is gaining easy access to the vaccine.

The strategy is making sure vulnerable populations, which may not have easy access to transportation or health care, are able to get the vaccine.


Toward that end, clinics have been held in churches in Pontiac, at community centers in Holly and Royal Oak Township, and working with organizations that provide services to refugee and tribal populations.


To register for a vaccine, sign up for the Save Your Spot list at OaklandCountyVaccine.com