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


January 7, 2022

Bi-Weekly Executive Newsletter

Dear Friends,

While the books are closed on 2021, there are a few reminders from the past year that we should hold onto as we embark on new adventures.

I visited Oxford during the holidays and was struck by the generosity of the community that is still in such deep pain. And it reminded me that, in the midst of the darkness, there will always be family to hang onto, whether it’s family by birth, family by proximity or family by choice. When tragedy strikes, families band together and help pull each other through the hard times. The extended Oxford community embodies that spirit and the county, state and nation have joined in, too.

There’s more than $1.3 million donated from people around the country in a fund that will be used to help the families affected by the violence at Oxford High School. Restaurants continue to provide free food to students and volunteers and the Legacy Center still offers a safe place to gather and grieve and vent for Oxford students and families.

The outpouring has been remarkable. At the memorial set up outside the high school, people from every corner of the state still stop by, dropping off flowers and mementos and heartfelt sentiments. One person wrote, “We will spend all our remaining days being kind and showing love in remembrance of you.” I hope that sense of community and family lasts well into 2022 and beyond.

As we move in the new year, we’ll be building on this across Oakland County to coalesce and help us chart a course for the county over the next five years to ensure a safe, healthy and thriving environment for all of our residents, businesses, schools and community organizations.

Our strategic plan is dedicated to listening to the concerns of our residents, setting goals, measuring our progress and being transparent about how we’re doing on providing great public services and an exceptional quality of life. In the days ahead, you will be hearing a lot more about this plan, so stay tuned.

2021 was a challenging year for all of us as we continued to confront the stubborn and cruel COVID-19 pandemic that just won’t seem to go away, the destruction of wind and storms and rain that wreaked havoc on our households and the random violence that robbed people of their lives and sense of safety.

But there were high points as well:

  • The continued expansion of our Oakland 360 initiative, which is providing affordable, quality health care to thousands of people.

  • The millions in federal COVID relief dollars that have allowed us to invest in more accessible mental health services, job training programs and affordable entries to higher education and services to help businesses survive and thrive.

  • A return to some semblance of normalcy with a reintroduction of events like Arts, Beats and Eats and the premier of new festivities like Motor Bella in Pontiac.

So, while we’re continuing to fight the COVID battle and other challenges thrown in our path, those won’t deter us from moving forward on our mission to support and invest in our people, businesses and communities.


And that knowledge makes me very relieved to be able to say Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year to us all.


With gratitude,


David Coulter

Oakland County Executive


Oakland County promotes, hires two new directors

Oakland County Executive David Coulter announced the promotion of Ed Joss to director of Facilities Management for Oakland County and the hiring of Charlotte Fisher as the director of the Department of Public Communications.

Joss joined the county in 1999 as an engineering aide and worked his way up to the manager of facilities planning and engineering before his promotion in December. In his new position, Joss will be responsible for more than 50 buildings on Oakland County’s government campus, 2 million square feet of office space, 450 acres of land and 30 miles of utility lines.

Fisher, who comes to Oakland County after serving as the vice president of marketing and communications for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, will oversee internal and external communications and community engagement functions across the county.


Michigan provides $3.4 million in employer grants for training, apprenticeships

125 Oakland County employers will share in $3.4 million in “Going PRO Talent Fund” grants to hire and train 1,342 new employees. expand the skills of 1,281 existing workers and create 77 new apprenticeships during 2022.

The funding from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is part of $37.5 million in the Going Pro grants that will benefit 1,000 businesses and an estimated 30,000 workers.


2021 challenges shows Oakland County’s resolve

Resilience and emergency response and recovery were the hallmarks of 2021 for Oakland County and its residents.

The county activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) seven times in the past year, the most in recent memory. Amid these challenges, the county continued to move forward on strategic goals such as developing a skilled and educated workforce through the Oakland80 initiative, reforming criminal justice, improving access to health care, and leveraging the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address acute pandemic needs and invest in the future.