|Auburn DPW team - Saturday, September 14, 2019|
Auburn DPW team: 'This is the best we’ve seen here'
'This is the best we've seen here'
It's the Thursday before Labor Day at Auburn City Hall and the Department of Public Works supervisor is seemingly nowhere to be found. A city employee emerges from Ashlie House's office and tells the Midland Daily News scribe that she doesn't know where the new DPW leader is. That's because behind a desk tied to a keyboard is not the likeliest of places to find her.
A few minutes later House rolls up in a red city work truck. It's barely 10 a.m. but House and her crew are busy doing what they do to make sure essential services are provided, problems are fixed and beautification efforts continue. It's all in a day's work for a newly formed crew whose quality-of-life-enhancing efforts are becoming increasingly visible across the community.
From a newly positioned crosswalk aimed at safety in front of Bay City Western's campus and new curb and gutter at Auburn City Park, to the newly paved Midland and Garfield roads and student-created banners that line light poles along Midland Road, DPW workers have had a busy summer.
"Never a dull moment," House said.
"There's something different every day," said DPW worker Blake Meylan, a 2012 Harrison High School graduate. "I enjoy the environment with the crew and the office people."
Meylan and Nate Waibel started as temporary employees about four months ago. Following a successful probationary period, the Auburn City Commission, convinced by House of a need for sustainable staffing, approved moving them to permanent full-time employees.
"The question became do you want a fully functional department that is capable of doing everything that is required of it," House said. "I reevaluated the department for the city and in doing so, did a lot of research. To have a committed, cohesive staff we needed a more permanent structure. Nobody likes to bounce around, changing jobs all the time."
The departmental reorganization saw House get promoted from a DPW worker to supervisor in April, becoming one of, if not the only female DPW leader in the region. Full-timers Meylan and Waibel are joined by Auburn's Tim Adair, a part-time employee
"This is the best we've seen here," House said of her crew. "All have a strong work ethic. They are very respectful toward citizens, which is huge. "I don't have to worry about work not getting done."
In a few short months, a mutual respect has been formed. It helps when the boss isn't afraid to get her hands dirty.
"Ashlie is a very good supervisor," Adair said. "She works right with us. This is a good, cohesive group."
"She's hands-on," Meylan said.
As well as House now seems suited for a public works career, she had no inkling of it during her college days when she studied psychology and exercise science. During the summer of 2016, she took a seasonal position with the Auburn DPW. Before long "that was all she wrote," House said. "I liked it. I liked being active. What I was learning and incorporating appealed to me. You saw something that needed to be done and you did it. I thought to myself, 'I think this is really what I want to do.'"
As DPW supervisor, House reports to Auburn City Administrator David Haag. Her responsibilities include assisting with coordinating engineering and construction projects, as well as maintenance of city buildings and property, including parks. She's also responsible for managing and maintaining the city, water, sewer and recycling programs.
"Ashlie is hard working, cares about the city and its residents, and she clearly cares a lot about her crew," said Lee Kilbourn, Auburn mayor. "She is a good leader. I'm very happy with her work."
"She's a good person to work for," said Waibel, a 1994 Bay City Western graduate. "I started here this past spring and enjoy it. There's something new every day."
On this particular day, the DPW team was doing repair work on two crumbling storm sewer catch basins.
"We try hard to keep our infrastructure in great shape but it's costly," said Kilbourn. "The resurfaced Midland Road and the new park road are examples."
"A lot of what we've been doing involves appearance," House said. "It makes a difference to people."
"Beautification is important," he said. "One needs to have pride in their home, their community. I would love to have a beautification committee form to help make Auburn better yet."
It's American workers like the Auburn DPW crew of House, Waibel, Meyland and Adair that the MDN salute today. As House said: "Labor Day is a time to get together with family, relax and reflect on the importance of workers. We work hard and help society flourish. I think we deserve a break."
|Consumers Energy Community Tree Planting Grant - Thursday, March 14, 2019|
Consumers Energy Community Tree Planting Grant
Thanks to a grant from Consumers Energy, the City of Auburn now has a few more trees. Trees were planted in Auburn park next to the pavilion, along the road at the baseball fields, along the highway side of the volleyball court, next to the pond, and by the road in front of Bay City Western School. These trees were all chosen to conform to the "right tree - right place" principles, which takes into consideration the tree height, canopy spread, shape (for shade cover), growth rate, maintenance requirements, and more. Check out some of the before and after photos of a few areas improved with this grant.
|Auburn Mayor elected president of Michigan Association of Mayors - Tuesday, November 1, 2016|
Jon Becker, for the Daily News Published 9:19 am, Friday, September 30, 2016
Photo provided Auburn Mayor Lee Kilbourn, left, and Baraga Village President Wendell Dompier shake hands after being elected president and vice president, respectively, of the Michigan Association of Mayors.
Auburn Mayor Lee Kilbourn has been elected president of the Michigan Association of Mayors at the organization’s annual meeting, which took place earlier this month on Mackinac Island.
Kilbourn, who previously served as MAM vice president, will serve a one-year term in the leadership post. He succeeds MAM President Frank Campbell, who has said he is retiring as mayor of Hastings.
“The Michigan Association of Mayors is an outstanding organization and I am pleased to lead the membership for the next year,” Kilbourn said. “Our goals include expanding our membership base and helping inform the public, business community and our legislators about the financial struggles of Michigan’s communities.”
Kilbourn has been mayor of Auburn since 2011 and has stressed park improvements and promoting the city as a family-friendly city to do business. He and his wife, Kathy, are second generation owners of Tri-City Furniture, a 59-year old family business launched by Kathy’s father, in 1957. The Auburn business recently earned a first place for home decorating and the top place for buying furniture in the Midland Daily News’ 2016 Readers Choice Awards.
Kilbourn previously served as Auburn mayor after being elected in 1981 and has continued to remain active in the community through the years. He’s been involved with the Auburn-Williams Fire District for 25 years and is currently a member of the Auburn-Williams Lions Club, Auburn Downtown Development Authority, and the Auburn-Williams Intergovernmental Committee.
City of Auburn Administrator Patricia Rayl said Kilbourn’s new statewide leadership post is well-deserved and will benefit residents of the western Bay County community.
“It’s been a distinct pleasure working with Lee Kilbourn for the past year,” she said. “The residents of Auburn should take pride in their mayor. He works hard for them. And, now as president of the statewide mayors’ association, he can work for Auburn residents on a grander scale.”
Auburn Commissioner Matt Charbonneau agrees.
“Lee getting elected is going to open up so many other opportunities for our community,” he said. “Networking with other communities will increase. One of the positive things I see coming down the road is having more exchange day events where mayors and commissioners from specific municipalities join in and visit each other’s cities. Auburn recently did one with Ithaca. Unfortunately due to work I couldn’t attend, but was told by Lee that it went extremely well and everyone gathered a lot of insight.”
In addition to Kilbourn being named president during the Michigan Municipal League Convention, Baraga Village President Wendell Dompier was selected vice president of the Michigan Association of Mayors.
Dompier has served as village president of Baraga, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, since 1998. He has an extensive record of community service and retired from the Ojibwa Casino Resort after a 26-year career there.
“It’s an honor to serve as vice president of the Michigan Association of Mayors,” Dompier said. “I look forward to working with Lee Kilbourn in the upcoming year to help serve our fellow mayors and village presidents.”
MAM is the official nonpartisan organization of Michigan’s chief elected officials, representing more than 100 of the state’s communities.
|Festival of Banners - Monday, April 18, 2016|
Festival of Banners
Submission forms and art paper are now available at City Hall to enter Auburn's first Festival of Banners. The festival is designed to help beautify our city and to showcase the art talent in our community. The theme is: What we love about Michigan. All banner entries will be judged to see which will be displayed on the light poles along Midland Road. The banners will be on display from May to November. Deadline for entries is March 24th.
It would not be possible to put on the Festival of Banners without the support of the Auburn DDA.
|Mayor Kilbourn Chosen VP of Michigan Association of Mayors - Friday, February 5, 2016|
CITY OF AUBURN ANNOUNCES MAYOR KILBOURN
CHOSEN VICE PRESIDENT OF MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF MAYORS
AUBURN, MI: Auburn Mayor Lee Kilbourn was recently selected to serve as Vice President of the Michigan Association of Mayors.
“Serving as the VP for MAM is a great opportunity,” Kilbourn said. “It gives me the ability to meet other mayors and network with them. This allows me to learn from their experiences to better help the City of Auburn. The association's purpose is to provide aid to all mayors in Michigan to help them do a better job for their cities.”
In addition to serving as Auburn’s mayor since 2011, Kilbourn serves on the Downtown Development Authority, and is a member of the Auburn-Williams Lions Club. Kilbourn, along with his wife and daughter, runs their family business, Tri-City Furniture, in downtown Auburn. Kilbourn was first elected as mayor back in 1981.
“It is a great honor to be selected by my peers to succeed them and, along with Mayor Kilbourn, to lead the Michigan Association of Mayors for the next year,” said Frank Campbell, Mayor of Hastings and president of MAM.
The Michigan Association of Mayors (MAM) is the official nonpartisan organization of Michigan's chief elected officials. Representing more than 100 Michigan communities, MAM works to assist the chief elected officials of cities, townships and villages; advance the various interests and operations of communities represented by its members and all Michigan communities; promote cooperation among communities statewide; and advocate local interests at the state and federal level.
|Auburn Community Squirrely Scavenger Hunt 2015 - Monday, November 16, 2015|
Auburn Community Squirrely Scavenger Hunt
October 24, 2015, the first Lion Community Squirrely Scavenger Hunt netted 11 energetic teams of no more than 4 people. The teams scurried in and about Auburn to produce cell phone images of up to 44 tasks. Tasks were of the teams choice and had points from 5-100 connected to each. The team with the most points won. Sample tasks included: finding a flying witch, a team member sitting on a porta potty with the door open, hugging an Auburn city caution barrel, and somewhere in the city is a string of ghost lights with 1 skeleton on it. Photos were emailed back to “The Nest, “so a collection of the evening pics could be shown afterwards. Anticipation, stories, laughs, and food abounded at the post-hunt gathering. The event was held by the Auburn-Williams Lions Club as a fundraiser and the “The Nest” was located at Grace Lutheran. First Place winner: Top Priority Nuts, followed by Scrappy Chics, Mystery Mobile, and Rootin Tootin. LOOK for Auburn Community Squirrely Scavenger Hunt in 2016 and join in the fun.
Winner: Top Priority Nuts
|Welcome New City Administrator, Patricia Rayl - Monday, October 12, 2015|
It's my great honor to be the next City Administrator for Auburn.
I am an alumnus of Eastern Michigan University for both my undergrad and MPA degrees. I grew up in Mason, which is in the heart of MSU territory, but I also worked for the University of Michigan for 8 years. While I don't have a team preference between MSU versus U-M, I do join in cheering on our teams against Ohio State. I am also willing to admit to being a big Lions fan. I'm excited to cheer on the Bay City Western High School team.
I look forward to getting to know as many residents as quickly as possible. I welcome your thoughts: both on what we're doing right, and what we're doing wrong. If you see me at meetings, visiting local businesses and walking along the streets of our great community, be sure to introduce yourself. I'd like to get to know you.
I'm grateful to the Auburn City Commission for selecting me to serve as your city administrator.
Together let's make Auburn the best yet!
|Auburn-Williams Fire Department Gets New Ladder Truck - Thursday, March 26, 2015|
Auburn-Williams Fire Department Gets New Ladder Truck
Auburn Williams Fire Department has taken delivery of a new fire 2014 HME ladder truck that was made here in Grand Rapids. The ladder can extend 78 feet to help reach some of our taller buildings in the district. This truck is a combination ladder and pump that is able to deliver 2000 gallons per minute to help put out the fire quicker. Safety is the up most importance to the department and this truck will help to keep fire fighter safe when having to go up on the roof to complete fire fighting duties to stop the spread of a fire. A open house will be planned in the near future for everyone to stop in and see the new truck and the fire department.
|Auburn's Newest Mascots - Sunday, December 28, 2014|
Have you seen Auburn’s newest mascots? This mama turkey and two babies start their day at Auburn Bean and Grain for breakfast each morning. After their bellies are nice and full, they head over to Auburn Elementary to see the kiddos out at recess. Sometimes they end up at the Auburn Hotel to eat lunch, and why not? They do have awesome burgers and salads there! As you can see in our photo, they head through town and do a little window shopping each day. Maybe stop and get their feathers trimmed at Villa Hair. They have been spotted heading down to 7-11, wishing I’m sure, they had socks, shoes and a shirt which would entitle them to a Slurpee. They finish up their afternoon playing at Grace Lutheran’s playground and then head back to the Bean and Grain for an early dinner. Rumor has it, that they have been working out at Auburn Physical Therapy to keep slim and off the Thanksgiving table.
Keep an eye out for our Feathered Friends! We've heard they are very docile and don’t even mind their picture taken up close! Seeing these creatures walk throughout town reminds us that we honestly do live in a “small” town. A town who treats neighbors as family. A town who waves and smiles at others driving by. A town who stops and takes the time to chat with a waitress and or clerk at a store to see what is new in their lives. We're very thankful to be apart of this town! Each time we see our mascots we remember how thankful we are for this town, just as much or even more as those birds are thankful to be free and wild and not on the dining room table!
|Winter Overnight Parking Ban - Sunday, November 30, 2014|
NO OVERNIGHT PARKING STARTING NOVEMBER THROUGH APRIL
Fall is in full swing and winter's snow and ice is soon to follow. In order to properly clean the city streets from winter's snow, the city prohibits any vehicle to be placed, parked or permitted to stand on any public street or publicly owned parking lot from 2 am to 6 am. Failure to comply with this ordinance will result in a fine, payable by the vehicle's registered owner and the possible towing of the vehicle.
|Resolutions of Excellence & Appreciation - Friday, October 10, 2014|
Resolutions of Excellence & Appreciation
The Auburn City Commission issued 2 separate Resolutions at August 11, 2014 city commission meeting. The Western Warriors Girls Softball team won the 2014 Division 1 Softball State Championship. The City Commission by unanimous vote issued Resolution 2014-5 to commend and congratulate the entire Western Warrior Girls Softball team, their staff and their coaches.
The Western Warriors Boys Baseball team won the 2014 Division 1 Baseball State Championship. The City Commission by unanimous vote issued Resolution 2014-6 to commend and congratulate the entire Western Warrior Boys Baseball team, their staff and their coaches for becoming the first Division 1 baseball team to win back-to-back state championships.
The People of Auburn and the City Commission are very proud to have Western High School here in the heart of Auburn. We wish them the best in the 2015 season.
|Honoring Dale Gripentrog - Friday, October 10, 2014|
On September 8, 2014 the Commission of the City of Auburn enacted a resolution honoring the generations of men and women who have valiantly defended the United States of America and to Dale R. Gripentrog for his unwavering commitment, willingness and ability to understand and respond to the concerns of the people of Auburn and the veterans that live in the Great Lakes Bay area and for his substantial contribution to the betterment of the City of Auburn.
Dale Gripentrog is the Chairman of the Auburn veterans Memorial Committee and worked tirelessly with his committee to bring to Auburn the Vietnam Moving Wall.
The City Commission would like to thank all those who helped make the Vietnam Traveling Wall possible here in Auburn.
|CITY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR CITY COMMISSION - Sunday, March 30, 2014|
At the March 3, 2014 City Commission meeting, Commissioner John McNally submitted a letter of resignation from the City Commission. The City Charter outlines the process for filling the vacancy. Qualified applicants must submit an application to City Hall by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, 2014. The application can be dropped off in person or mailed to the city offices at 113 E. Elm, Auburn, MI 48611; or emailed to email@example.com. The Commission application is available from the City Clerk or on the City website at auburnmi.org.
Commission members will interview candidates at the following Monday, March 24 City Commission meeting and are expected to announce a successor at the meeting. We are looking for somebody who is committed to the future of the City, who understands the complexity of the job and who is willing to spend a fair amount of time. The preference is to appoint someone who has previously served on the Commission, has sat on a board or commission or otherwise has some public service experience.
We are very grateful for Commissioner McNally’s service over the years. He was knowledgeable, experienced and very committed.