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Office of County Executive
Mark A. Hackel

News and Publications

Executive Focus Newsletter


County Executive - Executive Focus Newsletter- Spring 2017

Mark's Message
Selfridge offers ways to get involved in centennial birthday
Spring 2017 Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale has begun
Annual Sprint & Splash event helps to enhance Macomb County’s recreational assets
Macomb Business Awards winners announced

Mark’s Message

The New Year has been busy for me right out of the gate. Currently, I am really working to promote the fact that Selfridge Air National Guard Base is being considered as a site for the F-35 Lightning II, the military's new 5th Generation fighter. In an effort to encourage this decision, just a few weeks ago, Selfridge Air National Guard Base and Macomb County officials, along with a group of dedicated community partners, announced the launch of, a website designed to highlight all the benefits Selfridge and the community would realize if the base is able to secure the arrival of the F-35.

Over the next six months, the county will be working hand in hand with the state of Michigan, the Michigan Defense Center, our congressional delegation, local legislators and defense partners in, and around, southeast Michigan to showcase Selfridge. I hope you will join in this effort. 

Also, since my last newsletter in December, I attended the 2017 North American International Auto Show. In case you didn’t know, right now, automotive investment is at an all-time high in Macomb County.

  • Since 2010, the auto industry has invested $7.4 billion in Macomb County including 123 separate investments above $1 million.
  • The “Detroit Three” account for $4.8 billion of that total, which includes significant commitment to developing technologies for connected cars and also testing autonomous vehicles in both private facilities and public streets.
  • Combined, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company and General Motors employ more than 35,000 people and operate 10 facilities in the county, covering more than 25 million square feet.
  • In addition, there are more than 1,600 manufacturers in Macomb County employing more than 69,000 individuals.

You may have also seen another new face around in our Department of Roads office. In October, I appointed Bryan Santo as the new director of the department, but he officially started in his new post on Jan. 1, 2017. Santo took the place of Roads Director Bob Hoepfner, who retired on Dec. 31, 2016 after 43 years of service to Macomb County.

As director of the Department of Roads, Santo will manage the department’s 236 employees and a budget of over $119 million. He will also be responsible for overseeing the design and construction of multi-million dollar rehabilitation and capacity reconstruction road projects and keep in direct contact with the Michigan Department of Transportation and local municipalities to coordinate construction projects. The Department of Roads maintains more than 1,700 miles of roadway with over 900 traffic signals and 60,000 signs.

Since 1994, Santo has worked as a project engineer for the Department of Roads. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan. I know Santo will do an excellent job as director of our Roads Department because he has the background to get the job done.

I’d also like to take a moment to welcome all of the new officials that were elected in November. They officially began their new jobs on Jan. 3 this year.

County offices
Candice S. Miller, Public Works Commissioner
Lawrence Rocca, Treasurer
Karen A. Spranger, Clerk/Register of Deeds

Board of Commissioners
Leon Drolet
Phil Kraft
Robert Leonetti
Elizabeth Ann Lucido
Joseph V. Romano

Judge of Circuit Court – 16th Circuit
Rachel Rancilio
Michael E. Servitto

Looking forward, I invite all of you to consider participating in two upcoming events. One is McLaren Macomb’s Let’s Move Festival of Races on April 29. The purpose of the event is to promote healthy living, especially to our youth. I will be participating, and I urge you to do so as well. I will also be at our upcoming Hotcakes for Hunger event the morning of May 7 flipping pancakes with other local celebrities to help raise money and encourage food donations for the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. I hope to see you there! All donations from this event will ultimately go to our Macomb County Food Program, which provides food to local hungry people.

Selfridge offers ways to get involved in centennial birthday

By Dr. Keith Defever
President, Selfridge Base Community Council

One of the region’s largest events of 2017 is going to be Selfridge Air National Guard Base’s Open House & Air Show Aug. 19-20. Even more exciting about this bi-annual event is that Selfridge is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Attendance is expected to approach 300,000 spectators, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are slated to perform.

As you can imagine, putting on such an event requires many contributors to make it a success. Selfridge has a variety of ways you, or your business, can get involved in the Centennial Open House & Air Show, from renting a chalet to providing content for our event brochure.

In addition, there are also other events set up throughout the year to celebrate the base’s centennial celebration. Titled "Inspiring the Next Generation – STEM," these events will be hosted in Wayne, Macomb and St. Clair counties and fit well with our charter of community focus on education. The Inspiring the Next Generation – STEM events include Women in Aviation in St. Clair April 28, Michigan Defense Opportunities in Macomb May 19 and Tuskegee Airmen Heritage in Wayne County May 26. These events are expected to engage approximately 900 local high school students.  

For more information on how to get engaged in the Centennial Open House & Air Show, visit

Centennial promotional videos on the Selfridge YouTube page can be found at the links below:

Spring 2017 Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale has begun

As part of the Green Macomb initiative, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is working with the Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District to bring a new Spring Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale to Macomb County’s residents and business owners.

Historically, the spring sale has been geared toward rural and agricultural communities, selling smaller trees in larger quantities. Through the efforts of Green Macomb and the Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District, this year’s sale provides an opportunity to buy smaller quantities of slightly larger tree stock for those in more urban and suburban areas of the county. For business owners, this is an inexpensive way to install new landscaping.

Planting trees provides many benefits including increased property values, cleaner air and water, lower energy bills, more attractive neighborhoods and healthier communities. This sale’s plant selection is specifically tailored to provide these benefits and increase local community tree canopy.

The public has the opportunity to purchase young bare-root trees, fruit trees, flowering shrubs, native pollinator wildflower seeds, fruits and vegetables at very low prices. To place an order, download the order form at and mail the completed form with payment to the St. Clair Conservation District office by Thursday, April 6.

Orders will be available for pickup at Freedom Hill County Park during Macomb County’s Arbor Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 28 or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Orders will be filled on a first-come first-served basis as supplies may be limited. Remaining unsold stock will also be available for purchase on-site. Michigan State University Extension and Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide planting guidance and tree care advice.

Visit for more details about the sale and forthcoming information about Macomb County’s Arbor Day celebration at Freedom Hill County Park April 28.

Annual Sprint & Splash event helps to enhance Macomb County’s recreational assets

By Amanda Minaudo, senior planner for Macomb County Planning & Economic Development Department

We are well into the month of March. Spring will be here before we know it, and so will the 6th Annual Sprint and Splash Festival Races! Held on Saturday, June 17, the event is a fantastic opportunity to get outdoors and experience Macomb County’s beautiful natural assets.

In addition to being a great way to kick off summer through a variety of competitive events, plus music, food, craft beer and a multitude of vendors, Sprint and Splash also serves the unique purpose of acting as a fundraiser for organizations that promote and celebrate Lake St. Clair. Truly the heart of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair is one of the largest freshwater fisheries in North America and also one of the busiest recreational waterways in the Midwest. By sponsoring this event, you are supporting organizations that are working to improve the regional economy by increasing tourism to Lake St. Clair and its coastal communities while also striving to protect and restore Lake St. Clair, the Clinton River and the surrounding natural areas.

If you would like to support these organizations as well as advertise your business, this event will offer great promotional opportunities, as we are expecting over 1,000 participants and spectators. Consider being a part of the Beach Village which allows sponsors to have presence at the event with a 10-by-10-foot booth space. You can sell paraphernalia or give away promotional items, as well as have your organization’s logo on the website and race T-shirts. Can’t be at the event? Sprint and Splash offers several levels of sponsorship. For more information, visit

Sprint and Splash begins with a duathlon, which combines a 5K run and a 2-mile paddle (kayak or stand-up paddleboard). Sprint and Splash also offers a 5K Fun Run and Walk (for those who want to stay dry) and a 2-mile recreational SUP race. The Sprint and Splash Beach Village is open throughout the day, giving participants and spectators the option to visit local vendors before or after their race.

All of these aspects of the event allow local businesses the opportunity to really get involved at many levels. If you want to participate in the event, visit for more information or to register online. The early registration discount ends on Sunday, April 16!

Macomb Business Awards winners announced

By Maria Zardis, Macomb County Planning & Economic Development Department 

Business leaders from across the region attended the 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards Feb. 14 at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township. Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel joined Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development Director John Paul Rea to recognize the following award winners:

  • Champion of Workforce Development: R&E Automated Systems, Macomb Township

R&E specializes in all areas of turnkey automation including concept, design, prototyping, controls design and engineering, robotics and PLC programming, laser welding, joining, roller hemming and more. R&E has a dedicated, state-certified training center which provides training to young professionals looking to get into the industry, existing professionals looking to expand their knowledge and on-site training for its own employees. R&E has grown from 30 employees to more than 400 in the span of 10 years and continues to grow. The company recruits at local colleges and is very involved with local high schools and middle schools, helping them to grow their STEM programs.

  • Corporate Citizen: Binson's Medical Equipment and Supplies, Center Line

Binson’s is a family-owned-and-operated, full-service home medical equipment, medical supply and orthopedic company. Their customer base includes individuals, hospitals, doctor offices, nursing homes, health plans and other providers. They are committed to helping defeat the diseases that impact the families they serve on a daily basis. Throughout the years, they have raised and donated funds to many charities including the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Muscular Dystrophy Association. They also played a big role in supporting the MDA Summer Camp and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by donating the medical supplies and wheelchairs needed for attendees to participate at these events.

  • Diversification Leader: Baker Industries, Macomb Township

Still privately owned by the Baker family, Baker Industries has been in business for 24 years as a tier one and tier two supplier for automotive and aerospace industries. They began as a duplicating company and have evolved over the years to become a premier tooling and machining shop. With the goal of encompassing all the capabilities that their customers could wish for in a supplier, today Baker has expanded to include machining, fabrication, injection molding, tooling, 3-D printing, project management and quality assurance. With the addition of a 3-D printer, they have entered new markets including medical, agriculture, appliances, energy and defense.

  • Efficiency Expert: JEM Tech Group, Clinton Township

JEM is dedicated to helping customers with information technology products and services to transform their mission-critical environments into energy-efficient areas. They provide corporations with efficiency studies to assess their baseline energy consumption, determine problem areas and provide recommendations. Improvements may include reorganizing room layouts, equipment upgrades or airflow management devices. JEM also provides hardware and software that analyzes power consumption down to each outlet. Knowing the amount of power servers the customer is using can help determine what equipment can be better utilized or consolidated. JEM can help companies eliminate 30 percent in energy costs, resulting in significant savings.

  • Model of OneMacomb: Arts Academy in the Woods High School, Fraser

Arts Academy in the Woods is a free public high school where students can major in the fine and performing arts while also fulfilling their academic requirements. They promote racial, cultural and gender diversity, and this is reflected in the makeup of their student body. Since their founding, hundreds of students who were uncomfortable fitting in at other schools have felt welcomed and accepted in this school community. Arts Academy in the Woods begins each school year with a three-day diversity training for new students which is led by current students. Here, students develop a cultural awareness and respect that will benefit them for a lifetime.

  • Startup Business to Watch: United Shore Professional Baseball League, Utica

USPBL is the first professional independent baseball league in Southeast Michigan. The league’s inaugural season in 2016 featured three teams: Utica Unicorns, Eastside Diamond Hoppers and Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers. USPBL attracted more than 225,000 fans during its first season at Jimmy John’s Field. Starting the league was a Herculean task that included working with city and county officials, securing corporate sponsors, constructing a state-of-the-art stadium, designing team logos and uniforms, hiring more than 400 employees, marketing and launching a baseball finishing school. USPBL has significant plans for growth in the future including a fourth team next season and additional stadiums in the future.

In addition to the above-mentioned awards, Rea also recognized Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! as the Economic Development Partner of the Year. The Beacon of Economic Development award was presented to Dr. Jim Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College.

Fox 2 Detroit’s Huel Perkins and Charlie Langton served as co-emcees. Keynote speaker Richard Sheridan, founder, CEO and chief storyteller for Menlo Innovations, spoke about joy, creativity and human energy in the workplace. Digital First Media Publisher Jeannie Parent presented how to leverage the local media through successful partnerships. This event was sponsored by Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, along with support from Advancing Macomb, Automation Alley and First State Bank.


Macomb Matters


County Executive - Macomb Matters April 2017 - Issue 53

Mark’s Message
Start off your summer with a great Macomb County event – Sprint and Splash!

Department Highlight – Equalization
Employee Focus
Macomb’s Memories – Signs of the Times
For Your Benefit

Did You Know?
March 2017 Renovation Report
April/May Event Calendar
Educational Opps
Save the Dates
February New Hires/Retirees
Recipe Corner
Blog Log
News Nook


Mark’s Message

The Macomb Food Program received great news in late March. Art Van Furniture has selected the Macomb Food Program as one of the charities for the Art Van Charity Challenge. Our goal is to raise $20,000 in the month of April. Just think of all the food we could provide to the hungry in Macomb County!

Here’s how it works: The challenge began on Tuesday, April 4 and runs until April 25. The Art Van Charity Challenge is a fundraising promotion sponsored by Art Van Furniture, LLC for eligible women’s, children’s or human service charities located and providing service within the Art Van Furniture market (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois). Charities keep 100 percent of the funds they raise through the online donation page. The top five eligible charities who raise the most monetary donations online through their fundraising page are the potential winners of one of three grand prizes: first place - $100,000 (one winner); second place - $50,000 (one winner); and third place - $10,000 (three winners). Also feel free to promote the challenge on social media through #artvancharitychallenge.

Another way to donate to the Macomb Food Program is through our Hotcakes for Hunger event, which I already mentioned in the last issue. Hotcakes for Hunger will be held from 8 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights.

Hotcakes for Hunger will feature:

  • pancake breakfast – with celebrity flippers – for $5. All proceeds from the breakfast will go directly to the Macomb Food Program.
  • classic car show and parade.
  • bounce houses for children.
  • emergency vehicles on display from area first responders, including the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Sterling Heights Fire Department and others.
  • music performed by local jazz and marching bands.
  • and other fun surprises.

The event will act as a pre-event rally for National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which begins the week after Hotcakes for Hunger, on Saturday, May 13. On this day, residents are encouraged to stuff a bag full of nonperishable food and leave it out on their porch. United States Postal Service carriers and a league of volunteers collect the food. All food left out on porches in the bags provided by the NALC is given to the Macomb Food Program. From there, it is distributed to more than 50 pantries throughout the county.

Let's work together to feed the hungry in Macomb County.

Start off your summer with a great Macomb County event – Sprint and Splash!
Discount offered exclusively to Macomb County employees

By Amanda Minaudo, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development

The 6th Annual Sprint and Splash Festival of Races will be held on Saturday, June 17 at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township. Sprint and Splash is a great way to kick off your summer as it includes a variety of competitive events, as well as music, food, craft beer and a multitude of vendors.

Sprint and Splash starts off the day with a 6-mile sanctioned stand-up paddleboard (SUP) race. Following the SUP race is the duathlon, which combines a 5K run and a 2-mile paddle (kayak or SUP). Sprint and Splash also offers a 5K Fun Run and Walk (for those who want to stay dry) and a 2-mile recreational SUP race. The Sprint and Splash Beach Village is open throughout the day, giving participants and spectators the option to visit local vendors before or after their race. Additionally, all racers receive a complimentary breakfast and will have the option to purchase a variety of delicious craft beer from Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., an event sponsor with locations in Warren and Clinton Township.

All participants receive a finisher’s medal, a race shirt and a swag bag! We are also excited to announce that all Macomb County employees and their family members receive a 15 percent discount. Simply use the code MacombEmployee at check out.

Sprint and Splash is a fundraising event with the unique purpose of promoting and celebrating Lake St. Clair, which is truly the heart of the Great Lakes. Sponsorship or participation in this event supports organizations that are working to improve the regional economy by increasing tourism to Lake St. Clair and its coastal communities while also striving to protect and restore Lake St. Clair, the Clinton River and surrounding natural areas.

Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals is the event’s presenting sponsor.

Please visit for more information or to register online.

Department Highlight – Equalization

By Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office

In Charge:  Kristen Sieloff, director since August 2015. 

Location: Macomb County Administration Building
1 South Main Street, 6th floor
Mount Clemens

Number of employees: 10

Description of department: The primary purpose of county Equalization is to ensure assessments determined at the local unit of government are fair and equitable for each property class (meaning agricultural, commercial, industrial, residential and personal property) and that they are at the appropriate level which, in Michigan, is 50 percent of true cash (market) value. If necessary, corrections are made to the values as a result of under or over assessment to the property class.

How the department fulfills its objective: Each year the Equalization Department compiles current sales information and performs property appraisals to determine the true cash values of a sampling of properties in each property class within the local units of government. These findings are used in sales and appraisal studies to measure the ratio level of previous year assessments made at the local level to the true cash values determined by Equalization Department staff. The Equalization Department prepares reports in December showing the resulting level of assessments to true cash value, and the multipliers needed to correct any deviance from the required 50 percent on their current year assessment roll. The local units determine their assessed values and send out notices of assessment to property owners at the end of February. Property owners then have an opportunity to contest their property values at the March Board of Review. Once the March Board of Review has concluded, the local unit of government reports their final values to the Equalization Department to begin the process of county equalization. The final ratios of assessed values to true cash value per property class are reviewed to ensure they fall between the required 49 percent and 50 percent.

Required by law: County Equalization is mandated by state law under The General Property Tax Act, Act 206 of 1893. The county Board of Commissioners are charged with the duty of county equalization as stated in Michigan Compiled Laws, Section 211.34(1-2), and Section 209.5. Section 211.34(3) requires the county Board of Commissioners to establish and maintain a department to assist with the duties of equalization of assessments, and to appoint a director of the department.

Goals of the program: The primary goal each year is to complete a sufficient number of appraisals for every property class within the county and to review as many sold properties as possible to ensure valuation methods are providing good indications of current market values and trends. Because there is such a large number of “good sales,” or arm’s length transactions throughout the county each year, this can be a somewhat daunting task. Last year there were over 15,800 sales which fell into the good sale category. The department works with the local units of government in determining what sales are used in our sales studies, which is the primary source for determining the direction of residential values each year.

Accomplishments: For the first time, the department has created a countywide database of all properties within the county. What this means is, the department has a single database which compiles all of the local unit information, or in essence, the complete assessment roll of every city, township and village in a computerized form. Included in this database would be the assessed, capped and taxable values for every property and the detail on how those values were determined, pictures taken during their field inspections, itemized breakdown of their property appraisals, property sketches prepared by their appraisal staff and sales/transfer documents. 

Why is this an achievement? For years, the state-required forms and reports prepared by the Equalization Department have all been prepared essentially by hand. As the March boards of review adjourn, the local units would bring in their final values. The values would then be hand-entered into many different Excel spreadsheet files in order to compile the information to be used in the county equalization process and to prepare the annual Equalization Report and required state forms. However, preparing all of the required documents proved to be somewhat burdensome when balancing due to rounding differences in the various files and the process of linking the different spreadsheets together.

The software program we have been using for the Equalization side of things has the ability to create most, if not all, of the required reports. Having all of the local unit values contained within one database allows the software program to pull the correct values needed to prepare these same reports and forms with a much higher degree of accuracy, consistency and confidence in the numbers.

Employee Focus
Fatme Nassar – Friend of the Court

By Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office

Employee Focus.jpg

Sometimes a job here in Macomb County can provide an unexpected opportunity.

Fatme Nassar, a data entry clerk for Friend of the Court (FOC), discovered those possibilities soon after she began working for the county in August 2014.

Originally from Lebanon, Nassar moved to Warren with her family when she was 10 years old. She quickly picked up English, in fact, perfecting her study of it, as she later earned her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in English and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). Nassar said she has always had an interest in law and, for a while, considered going to law school. She had a daughter, Celena, who is now 5 ½ and in kindergarten, during this time and decided instead to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University

“I said, ‘No matter what happens, I’m going and getting a degree,’” she said.

She was originally hired by FOC as a typist clerk where she said she acted as a “floater” going from department to department: imaging, medical, parenting – wherever her skills were needed. FOC serves Macomb County Circuit Court by enforcing the support, alimony and parenting time orders given by the circuit court. The office also conducts investigations and prepares recommendations for the court in family-related matters.

“They provide great services to families,” said Nassar. “When you look at it, if we didn’t exist, what would happen?”

And this is where not only Nassar’s education proves useful at her job, but also her background. By the nature of FOC, families of all different backgrounds find themselves using the court’s services. Some of them speak Arabic, which is the first language used in Lebanon (French is the second; Nassar used to be fluent in it.). Nassar said she has now been used on a few occasions to help interpret for those in need of assistance at FOC. In fact, in one instance, she was even called to be a translator for a family in the courtroom.

“I enjoyed it a lot, and I would do it at any time,” she said. “It was a great experience, and I learned more about the support process, where it all begins and how it makes it to Friend of the Court.”

Nassar said she would like to see Macomb County courts offer translation as a regular service to clients, especially since Macomb County has a sizeable Middle Eastern population. 

“Sometimes, if litigants come in and they don't speak the language and don't have an interpreter, the court would have to reschedule appointments because of the language barriers. Sometimes, litigants come in with birth certificates in a different language, and you have to reschedule appointments for them to come back with either an interpreter or with the document translated,” she said. “I think it would be great to have that kind of service.”

Thomas Blohm, director of FOC, said Nassar has been an asset to the department since the day she was hired.

"Fatme is a very conscientious and hardworking employee. She always goes above and beyond to help her co-workers, other court personnel and the clients who visit our office,” he said. “Whether volunteering to help or being asked to help in different areas around the office, she always does so with a positive attitude and a smile. She is truly an asset to our office."

Nassar is grateful to work at FOC.

“I want to thank the FOC for this opportunity and for always being so supportive,” she said.

In her spare time, Nassar enjoys exercising, taking walks in nature, swimming, shopping and playing makeup with her daughter (Nassar also possesses a certification in makeup application.)

My family is my priority,” she said. “I love spending as much time as I can with them.”  

Macomb’s Memories – Signs of the Times

By Cynthia Donahue, Macomb County Facilities and Operations

MM road.jpg

The Township of Orange, one of Macomb’s original townships, was changed to Erin Township in 1843. It has been said this change took place owing to the great number of Irish Catholics settled in the area. They presumably found the name “Orange” distasteful, as the Orangemen of Ireland, named after King William of Orange, were traditionally Protestants from Northern Ireland. 

MM sign.jpg

In October of 1897, the name Halfway was coined for the post office and stagecoach stop established there by Herman Hummrich at the Fort Gratiot Turnpike and 9 Mile Road. The village was so named as it was halfway between Detroit and Mount Clemens.

The incorporation of the Village of Halfway was officially changed to the city of East Detroit on Jan. 7, 1929 by a vote of the people

MM Detroit sign.jpg

Beginning in the 1980s, George Lawroski was the leader of a movement to change the suburb's name, stating the name’s association with Detroit lowered property values in the city. 

MM old Easterpointe sign.jpg

On July 1, 1992, the city of East Detroit became the city of Eastpointe by charter amendment subsequent to a majority vote of the electorate. They adopted the slogan “An old city with a new name.”  

MM Eastpointe sign.jpg


For Your Benefit

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

By Macomb County Human Resources and Labor Relations

Distracted driving continues to be the primary reason for motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Distracted driving is more than texting. It is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely which potentially endangers the driver, passenger and bystander safety. Some forms of distracted driving include:

  • texting.
  • using a cell phone or smartphone.
  • eating and drinking.
  • talking to passengers.
  • grooming.
  • reading, including maps.
  • using a navigation system.
  • watching a video.
  • adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player.

Here’s how you can avoid distracted driving:

  • Use an automated response app to let callers know you are driving.
  • Use shared calendars to block off times you will be on the road.
  • Remove the temptation of using your device by keeping it out of reach while driving or turned off.
  • Pull over to a safe location to take a call.
  • Be conscious of distracting activities such as applying makeup, putting on a necktie, personal grooming or eating.

Key facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of driv­ers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.
  • Those in their 20s accounted for 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27 percent of the distracted drivers and 38 percent of the distracted drivers using cell phones in fatal crashes.
  • At any given day across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 miles per hour, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.

Make good decisions while driving so you and your fellow motorists can arrive home safely.

For more information regarding distracted driving, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at

Did You Know? 

In March, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office launched Smart911.

Smart911 is a free service available across the state of Michigan that allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 911 call takers during an emergency.

Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at for their household that includes any information they want 911 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 911 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

Smart911saves critical time in an emergency, as the additional information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables sheriff deputies to know where they are going and who they are looking for, Those details will help personnel to respond faster and more efficiently.

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for a more detailed, rapid response. Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile. All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profiles with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 911 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 911 system in the event of an emergency call.

Educational Opps

Kids in the Kitchen -Healthstyles is pleased to have Dr. Kurtis Kieleszewski, DO, from McLaren Macomb Hospital, to present on healthy living, food and balancing a busy lifestyle. He will focus specifically on healthy-snacking options, prepping for college, importance of balanced meals, kiddie recipes and planning for meals ahead of time. The Lunch and Learn is from noon to 1 p.m. on April 25 on the ninth floor of the Macomb County Administration Building. 

Macomb County Health Department to host free infant safety expos

MSU Extension offers six-week diabetes workshop

MSU Extension offers ServSafe® Certification class

Save the Dates

2017 schedule for Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day April 27

Macomb County Animal Control's Fill the Trailer

Schedule/Register for 2017 HSCB Traveling Tours

Blog Log

Not my parents’ Macomb County

Why a tree sale?

News Nook

Macomb County Diversity & Inclusion Collaborative formed

Macomb County weighs impacts of proposed federal budget on services

Macomb County Health and Community Services director to retire - Current Macomb Community Action director to fill spot