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


August 26, 2021

Bi-Weekly County Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,


Oakland County got some good news last week when population numbers from the U.S. Census came out and showed that 72,033 more people lived in the county than in 2010.

That’s a 6% increase and validation that our investment in outreach efforts to make sure every Oakland County resident was counted paid off.  I really need to give a shout out to the two people we hired – Tyron Jordan and Amanda Alkatib – who were dedicated to connecting with people in historically underserved communities, like Pontiac.

Their efforts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, were extraordinary and provided some of the best news of the Census. Even in cities like Pontiac and Southfield, where population had been dropping or holding steady, the number of residents grew.


And some of our outlying areas showed some staggering growth. Lyon Township, Novi, Wixom, Auburn Hills, Oakland Township and Farmington and Bloomfield Hills all showed strong double-digit increases.

Population is one important measure of the health and well-being of a county and a region. We’re competing for businesses, jobs and people on a global level as well as with other states and regions throughout the country. When we all grow, both in Oakland and the southeast Michigan region, that means we’ve been successful in creating an environment that keeps and attracts businesses and residents.  

Some of our growth is due to dramatic increases in residential development in towns like Lyon Township and Novi, but some of the overall growth is due to a significant rise in our immigrant populations, which shows that our efforts to diversify our economy and continually improve the quality of life in Oakland County is attracting people from all over to our cities and towns.

Dan Riley, the county’s economic development analyst, told me that biggest demographic change in the county has come from an increase in the number of people who identified two or more races.

I take great pride in our status as a Welcoming County, where we celebrate the wide and diverse cultures and backgrounds represented throughout the county and where everyone feels valued, that they belong and are safe.

Even with the overall encouraging news from the Census, there were some worrisome trends in the Census. The number of people under the age of 18 has gone down across metro Detroit. That shows there is more we need to do to attract and keep our young people in the county and region. And there were a handful of communities that lost population.

And there’s no getting around the fact that Michigan, despite overall growth, is going to lose a congressional seat because other states’ increases were more robust.

There will be plenty of time to address these concerns in the next decade. So for the moment, let’s focus on the positive and build on that success.

With gratitude,

David Coulter

Oakland County Executive

Another successful Dream Cruise in the books

It may have been hot and steamy, but the 26th annual Woodward Dream Cruise went off without a hitch last weekend.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter participated in his 10th ribbon cutting, helping to open the Dream Cruise weekend in Ferndale on Friday.

“My first was in 2011, after becoming the Mayor of Ferndale, and coincidentally, the last time I was shopping for a new car,” he said. “I didn’t get a classic car then, but my Chevy Malibu may now be considered a classic for its longevity.”


The first Dream Cruise happened in 1995 when a group of Ferndale residents came up with a plan to raise money for a soccer field in the city. That first cruise was wildly successful, the “Field of Dreams” soccer field was born and the cruise has grown into an iconic Oakland County tradition attracting millions of people to Woodward Avenue every summer.

dream cruise

A new phase for COVID-19 vaccination efforts

Oakland County began administering a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised residents last week. People with chronic health conditions should talk to their healthcare provider to determine if an additional dose.


Federal health officials also announced last week that anyone who received a Pfizer of Moderna vaccine will be able to get a booster shot eight months after their second dose. The county is developing plans to roll out the booster shot for the rest of Oakland County residents beginning in late September or early October. The details of those plans will be announced in the coming weeks.


The county health division also issued an order this week, mandating masks for daycares, students and all school personnel in K-12 and vocational schools throughout in Oakland County, which has experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases, especially the highly contagious Delta variant in recent weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated Oakland County is at a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially the Delta variant and recommends masking indoors in areas with substantial or high risk of transmission.


“Our top priority is keeping students in school for in-person learning. Masking is one of the best defenses against increased transmission of COVID and higher hospitalization rates among kids,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said. “This order allows teachers to get back to educating our students and focusing on their success.”

Former County Executive Dan Murphy gains recognition


Oakland County’s first county executive, Dan Murphy, got some long overdue recognition this week when the old County Executive Office building was officially renamed in his honor.


Dan Murphy started working at the county in 1956, when he was appointed the Clerk/Register of Deeds. He moved onward and upward to become the Chairman of the county Board of Auditors and was elected the first Oakland County Executive in 1974. He was reelected four more times before stepping down in 1992.


During his tenure leading Oakland County, the county’s tornado warning system and 9-1-1 emergency telephone system were installed and he made perceptive purchases of available land that would become the unparalleled Oakland County Parks system.

Dan Murphy’s name will be on the building in Pontiac that used to be the old executive office, but now houses the Health Division and one of Oakland County Executive David Coulter’s top priorities – the Health 360 program which is providing affordable and quality health care to uninsured and underinsured Oakland County residents.

Dan Murphy Dedication