Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager
Thoughts on running a city, daily musings, and everything in between.
City Manager, Auburn Hills, MI
I remember back a few years ago when I was in Basic Training (Boot Camp) for the Army. Every time the Drill Sergeant would ask how we were doing the entire platoon would have to respond, “Rock Steady Drill Sergeant, Rock Steady”. And of course, if we didn’t respond with the appropriate enthusiasm or in unison there were push-ups to be done or miles to be run… What the men in the “Smokey the Bear hats” with the brim tipped down toward their noses were trying to install in us is that we were to be the part of the battalion that was steady as a rock, we could be counted on. Even as the winds blew and things changed, we could be counted on.
This actually reminds me of our Foreclosure Task Force. A few years back the entire country, but especially in Michigan, saw a large increase in foreclosed and or abandon homes. Where we couldn’t fix the state or national problem, we could focus on what we could have an impact on. A team member from each department became a part of our Foreclosure Task Force. It was interesting to see how each unit had an impact on, or was impacted someway by, foreclosed or vacant homes.
Each member had something to offer and our system was rolled out and monitored. The eyes on the street (police, DPS, fire…) all had a significant impact on updating things as they happened. Some admininstrative staff worked closely monitoring the information being released by the county. Code Enforcement stayed on top of property issues and constant contact with mortgage holders (banks) etc…
The fact that something happens is not the issue, it’s how we respond that makes a difference. It reminds me of a quote from philosopher A. Rand:
“You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”
Our team did not ignore reality and instead was rock steady in their approach to this issue at hand. We never did reach the amount of foreclosures other communities faced and I am happy to report that as of last week even that number has been cut in half.
Rock Steady folks, Rock Steady!
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