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


November 18, 2021

Bi-Weekly Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends, 

At this time of year, I always like to sit back and reflect on the year we’ve all just been through.

Once again, it’s been a mix of highs and lows as we’ve ridden the waves of COVID-19 with the pandemic receding and surging as vaccines and variants have given us moments of both hope and discouragement.

Even with the most recent surge in the number of cases, I’m finding plenty to be thankful for as we approach the holiday season.

I’m especially grateful for our older residents who are fueling the impressive vaccination rates in Oakland County. More than 90 percent of people who are 65 or older have gotten vaccinated, contributing to the county’s overall vaccination rate that has exceeded 75 percent.

I’m also encouraged by the tremendous response we’ve gotten from families who are clamoring to get their children vaccinated, now that 5 to 11-year-olds can get doses. During the first week the vaccines were available, we had more than 6,700 kids get their first dose.

These two data points give me confidence that our residents are serious about protecting themselves against COVID, but that doesn’t mean we can stop being vigilant as we continue to deal with the pandemic.

I’m thankful this year for my partners in county government – the other countywide elected officials and the Board of Commissioners. We were able to distribute millions to our businesses, residents and non-profits in the early days of the pandemic and we’ve come together on a plan to meet the continuing needs of our people, communities and businesses with even more federal COVID relief dollars. The Board understood the wrenching need for more access to mental health services, housing relief, workforce training and business support services. Their unanimous votes for the expenditures of federal COVID funding and for our 2022-24 budgets is something I’ll be citing at the Thanksgiving table next week.

I humbled by all the people who ran for local offices this year and who continue to serve in the midst of such divisiveness in our county and country. In this group, I also count elections’ workers, public health employees and school boards who have become targets of angry emails, phone calls and protests. It’s a tough time to be working in a public office and I am proud of all of you, every day.

I’m so relieved that Danny Fenster is finally home after being arrested and spending six months in a Myanmar prison. Facing an 11-year sentence for doing his job as a journalist at the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, the Huntington Woods native was freed this week after tireless efforts from former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Congressman Andy Levin and the Committee to Protect Journalists.  Welcome home, Danny!

And finally, I’m thankful for the opportunity to get together and give thanks for my family this year. Growing up, Thanksgiving dinner was always at my grandparents’ home. That tradition later shifted to my mother and now, it’s my turn to feed the family. We’re traditionalists, so the turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy, as well as canned (of course) cranberry sauce will be on the menu.

Nothing too fancy for the Coulters. But it will still be a joyous occasion and I hope yours will be too.


With gratitude,

Dave Coulter

Oakland County Executive

shop small

Shop Local Together campaign launched

With the holiday shopping season a week away, Oakland County launched the “Shopping Small and Local” campaign to encourage people to venture to the stores and restaurants and bistros that help make Oakland County communities so vibrant.

The stores throughout Oakland County make up the fabric of our communities, employ county residents and help fuel the local economy. And the shops make the perfect destination to begin checking off those holiday gift lists.

Advantage program

Oakland County launches program to boost apprenticeships

It’s National Apprenticeship Week this week and Oakland County launched a program designed to encourage employers to start apprentice programs.

The Advantage: Apprenticeships program will provide $625,000 in grants, funded through the Michian Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, for employers to help offset the costs of tuition, on-the-job wages and other related costs.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 94 percent of apprentices who complete the program retain employment with an average salary of $70,000.

Thousands have signed up for COVID pediatric vaccines

Response to the availability of pediatric doses of the COVID-19 vaccine has been tremendous in Oakland County.

Only a week after the doses were made available, more than 10,000 youngsters, from the ages of 5 to 11, have gotten their first dose of the vaccine.

The Oakland County Health Division also is offering COVID booster shots at vaccination clinics across the county. To schedule a pediatric vaccine or COVID booster, go to OaklandCountyVaccine.com or contact the Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.

Veterans Memorial

Veterans Day services attract crowds

Veterans were the special guests last week at Veterans Day services at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly last week. The event featured music from the New Century Chorale, speeches by retired military leaders and elected officials, including Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, and a rifle salute and taps to honor members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Another Veterans Day service in Holly renamed the city’s post office to the “Holly Veterans Memorial Post Office. Coulter was joined by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin for the rededication ceremony.