OAKLAND TOGETHER: A message from Dave Coulter, Oakland County Executive


July 14, 2021

Bi-Weekly County Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Getting through the COVID-19 pandemic has been an enormous challenge over the past 16 months. But it became a bit easier with federal funding approved by Congress last year and again in the spring.

The initial CARES Act dollars helped us spread grants and assistance to businesses, individuals, non-profits and CVTs at the same time we were dealing with the emerging pandemic.

And now, with the federal American Rescue Plan dollars we’re receiving, we can take a more strategic and focused look at where there are still acute and chronic needs that must be met.

And I’m so pleased that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners agreed with our proposals for the first batch of more than $27 million in programs and assistance. I’m especially thrilled that the vote was UNANIMOUS. A big thanks to Commission Chairman Dave Woodward, Minority Chair Mike Spisz and all the commissioners across the county.

These are programs that will help with critical needs in mental health services, housing assistance, workforce development programs and business services and resources. These are all areas that we’ve identified, along with some invaluable input from the reconvened Economic Recovery Task Force made up of leaders from business, local governments, non-profits and educational institutions, as areas where we can have some immediate impacts.

Among our initial proposals:

  • $16 million for post-pandemic mental health resources and services in ongoing and emergency settings and a match program with Oakland County schools to provide behavioral health counselors for students.
  • $9.6 million to support small businesses and residents getting back to work.
  • $2 million for legal aid assistance for residents facing eviction or foreclosure.

We also have a few overriding principles for the remainder of the $244 million in funding from the ARP: We need to continue to fund the ongoing fight against COVID-19, help our struggling residents and businesses and make some key and strategic investments that will result in transformational change in Oakland County.

We still need to determine how the state and our cities, villages and townships are going to spend their money, so we can leverage our dollars with the state and CVTs to have the biggest impact.

And finally, we’re still waiting on Congress to see what kind of infrastructure plan they come up with and how big that will be. Some of our plans will be able to benefit from both pots of federal funding.

This is a start to help all of our communities – businesses, individuals, non-profits, schools and our cities, villages and townships – emerge from this pandemic, Together.

With gratitude,

David Coulter

Oakland County Executive

County picks up 12 awards at NACo convention

County Executive Dave Coulter traveled to Washington DC with a contingent of county employees on Sunday to pick up 12 awards, including a “Best in Category,” given by the National Association of Counties for the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The county’s #OaklandTogether COVID-19 Tribute, a half-mile illuminated trail at Waterford Oaks County Park that paid tribute to those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, won a Best in Category award. Oakland County received six additional awards for the COVID response, one for the Parks & Recreation’s Holly Oaks ORV Park and the county’s Public Safety Transparency Dashboard. Other awards were given for programs in the Water Resources Commission, a Cyber Security initiative and the county’s Native Plants Initiative.

Naco awards

Local Business Connect sessions brings services directly to communities

Oakland County is launching a series of free Local Business Connect sessions in communities across Oakland to bring support and resources to small business owners as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first series of sessions, which run from 8 to 10:30 a.m., began on Tuesday and will be held throughout July. There will be special speakers during the sessions as well as representatives from the Oakland County Department of Economic Development team and several local, state and business organizations to offer advice to local businesses.

Through the rest of July, sessions will be at:

  • Thursday, July 15, Baker’s of Milford Restaurant, 2025 S. Milford Rd., Milford
  • Tuesday, July 20, Flagstar Strand Theatre for The Performing of Arts, 12 N. Saginaw St., Pontiac
  • Wednesday, July 21, Old Town Hall, 486 Mill St., Ortonville
  • Thursday, July 22, Lake Orion United Methodist Church, 140 E. Flint St., Lake Orion
  • Wednesday, July 28, Salvation Army, 27500 Shiawassee Rd., Farmington Hills

$50 COVID-19 vaccine incentive still available for Oakland County residents

A $50 gift card incentive is still available to any Oakland County resident receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine until our goal of getting 70% of our population vaccinated is met. We’re almost there, with 69.3% of our residents already vaccinated, so help us get over the finish line and get your first dose.

Visit any Oakland County Health Division vaccine clinic or any other COVID-19 vaccine provider in Michigan to qualify for the incentive. Explore OaklandCountyVaccine.com or call 800-848-5533 for more information.

In addition, Governor Whitmer announced the state’s “MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes,” which is a lottery-style raffle, and will offer a total payout of $5 million, as well as nine scholarships valued at $55,000 a piece. Many other organizations and businesses throughout Michigan are also offering giveaways during COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

It’s never been easier to get the vaccine. So use the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccine finder to locate a convenient provider.


$50 incentive

Oakland residents encouraged to participate in Healing Memorial

A Healing Memorial art installation will be a hands-on display that will help metro Detroit residents remember and recognize the losses they’ve suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conceived by the city of Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the TCF Center, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Cranbrook Art Museum, the installation is open to all metro Detroit residents to contribute written dedications to the people, homes, jobs and health that were lost during COVID-19. The installation was conceived by world-renowned and Cranbrook-educated artist Sonya Clark

The tributes will be placed in a handmade pouch, made from the fabric of a loved one and sewn up with a bead. The pouches will then be displayed on a wall of the TCF Center as a living memorial and unveiled on Aug. 31.

“Making stations,” where residents can assemble their pouches, will pop up around the region to help facilitate the memorial. One making station will take place at the Cranbrook Art Museum’s Family Day on July 24.

The memorial will be a great way for residents in Oakland County to contribute to a long-lasting memorial that will pay tribute to such a difficult time in all our lives. For more information on the Healing Memorial, go to www.detroitriverfront.org/thehealingmemorial.