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Office of County Executive
Mark A. Hackel

Macomb Matters September 2018 Issue 60

Click for a pdf of Macomb Matters



Message from Mark


2018 has been a busy and productive year! As we enter its fourth and final quarter, I would like to thank each and every employee who has helped us celebrate our bicentennial. In particular, I’d like to recognize those who braved the elements at all hours of the day to participate in our 200-mile, 200-runner torch relay through all of Macomb County’s 27 communities on June 21 and June 22. I would also like to thank those who accompanied our bicentennial float entries in the St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade and the Romeo Peach Festival Parade. Our final float entry will be at the Macomb County Santa Parade on Saturday, November 17 in Mount Clemens and we could again use your support. If you’re interested in joining us to walk the parade route, you can sign up to volunteer here. Our final bicentennial activity will be creating a lasting tribute to our 200th year - details coming soon!

Now, as we all know, the fall season is upon us. It’s the perfect time of year to get out and experience Macomb County’s great orchards, corn mazes, haunted hayrides, locally-grown farm fresh produce and community events. Head to the Make Macomb Your Home website to get more details on these fun activities and to start planning your next family-friendly outing today

Finally, I would like to ask you all to save the evening of Wednesday, December 5 for my annual State of the County address and the ever-popular Taste of Macomb afterglow. An invitation will be sent to all sometime in November. I hope you can attend to celebrate our accomplishments together.

As always, thank you for all that you do to make Macomb County a great place to call home.



Healthstyles - Health Fair Recap

The 30th annual Health Fair for Macomb County employees was held on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at the Macomb County Emergency Services Training Center. Approximately 300 employees were able to attend and take part in the many activities, which included the popular DIA Away: Think Like an Artist exhibit. Several prizes were also awarded. For a list of prize winners, please click here.

Healthstyles would like to thank the center for the use of their facility and also thank the many sponsors of the event, both for their sponsorship and the prizes they generously donated. For a full list of the sponsors, please click here.

On a different note – it’s time to beat the flu! Healthstyles and the Macomb County Health Department have joined forces to offer on-site flu shot clinics. Starting September 25, you can receive your flu shot administered by staff from the Immunization Program.  There are four dates available and five locations. Make your appointment today! Information and forms are available here as a pdf.



Employee Focus - Bernadette Russell - Support Investigator, Friend of the Court


Meet employee Bernadette Russell, a support investigator who works for Friend of the Court. When asked what she found most rewarding about her career, Bernadette remarked: “My career has enabled me to be a wife, mother and an employee. Therefore my reward is the peace I have coming in to work every day, making a difference in a child’s life.”  Bernadette has been making a difference at Friend of the Court for 42 years! In her current position, she works with parents to help them navigate through Friend of the Court child support services.

Recently, together with her daughters, Bernadette carried the torch in the Bicentennial Torch Relay.  She felt it was an honor to participate in celebrating the county’s 200th birthday.  Outside of work, Bernadette enjoys a variety of activities such as sewing, cross stitching and playing the piano. She is also an avid gardener.

Bernadette treasures spending time with Walter, her husband of 40 years. She is especially fond of traveling with him and together they have visited Korea, Mexico, Canada and many of the 50 states. Bernadette also loves being with her daughters Jessica, Vanessa and Yalanda and her other family members. She considers her family the most important value in her life.

Bernadette holds a bachelor’s degree in legal administration from Detroit Mercy and a master’s degree in jurisprudence of child and family policy. This education undoubtedly helps her in her endeavors to make the world a better place.  Bernadette stated: “Children are the future of our world; therefore they have a high priority in my life.” Thomas Blohm, Friend of the Court, confirmed Bernadette’s dedication to the public she serves. According to Mr. Blohm: “Bernie’s knowledge of our office and her understanding of the challenges families face when they separate has allowed her to help countless families over the years. I admire and respect her passion for public service and we’re lucky to have her on our staff.”

Family photo:  Left to right – Jessica, Bernadette, Walter, Vanessa and Yalanda (seated)



Employee Memorials - Marinda Rebecca Davis and Sheila “Molly” Bucci

In Remembrance:

Because not everyone who reads the Macomb Matters e-publication gets our “Everyone” county emails, I wanted to take a moment to honor two of our Colleagues who passed away since our last issue.  Marinda Rebecca Davis and Sheila “Molly” Bucci. Below you will find tributes from their departmental colleagues. As you can see from these tributes, we have lost incredible teammates.

I hope you all take good care of yourselves and others.


Andrew McKinnon, Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations

Marinda Rebecca Davis October 1957 to August 2018

Sheila “Molly” Bucci  October 1970 to August 2018



Employee Accolades - Linda Azar and Julie Hintz receive Certified Community Action Professional credential


It is a well-known principle that individuals who continue their education in their field of work not only tend to advance in their careers, but also become more valuable to their employers. Today we celebrate two professionals at the Macomb Community Action Agency who did just that.

Linda Azar, division director, Children and Family Services, and Julie Hintz, program manager, recently obtained the elite and exclusive Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) credential.  This is a nationally recognized certification among the top leaders in community action nationwide. Becoming certified is a yearlong process which includes a comprehensive portfolio submission of your accomplishments in community action as well as intense classroom learning around the history, vision and values of community action. The process concludes with a four hour exam that is used to gauge the knowledge learned.  

Azar and Hintz were recognized for their achievement by the National Community Action Partnership at a gala in Denver in front of an audience of more than 1,000 community action professionals.  Hintz stated: “The experience of obtaining the CCAP credential was very rewarding and gave me a greater understanding on how the history, vision and values of community action are a part of my daily work.”  Azar added: “This knowledge also helps us to serve our community in a way that allows for maximum impact.”

Congratulations to Linda and Julie for this accomplishment and for your service to Macomb County!



The county is mapping Macomb art – Here’s how you can help and win prizes!


On Tuesday, August 28, Macomb County and OneMacomb leaders officially launched their newest digital resource, a map of all public art located throughout their 27 communities. The map is a comprehensive tool for all residents and visitors that allows them to search for and find local sculptures, paintings or murals. So, if you’re a parent looking to fill an afternoon with a cultural activity for the kids, you can pull up the map on your phone and hit the road to some of Macomb’s public artwork. Or perhaps you have family visiting the area and you want to show them the sights – you can visit the map on your tablet and plan a personalized tour to local pieces. Our county is lucky to have world-class art right here in our backyard. We should celebrate that by getting out and experiencing it all in person! This new digital map allows us to do just that.

The map was unveiled in front of leaders from the arts and cultural community and members of the general public at an event held at the Anton Art Center. Deputy County Executive Pam Lavers, who developed the idea for the map alongside leaders from OneMacomb, shared several of the reasons for the map’s creation. The event also featured a step-by-step demo of the map from its creator, Jessica Worley, a Macomb County Planning and Economic Development GIS specialist, and remarks from County Executive Mark A. Hackel, Anton Art Center Executive Director Phil Gilchrist and Jennifer Goulet, with Creative Many. It wrapped with a walkabout to some notable pieces of public art in downtown Mount Clemens, where guests were able to hear directly from artists like John Suave, creator of the 10 ft. tall sculpture Selbsterkenntnis.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the afternoon was the call for public support in building the digital map. Currently the map features several pieces of art catalogued by the county, but officials announced that they are turning to local residents and visitors to ensure all works are represented. So today, we are asking you, the readers of Macomb Matters, to help in this effort! Is there a mural you love? An incredible sculpture that others should experience? Help us track that art by sharing your favorite Macomb County pieces through this link! Submitting art is a fun and simple thing to do that will benefit everyone in our community. But if that doesn’t entice you, maybe some great prizes will! All individuals that submit art to the above link will be entered into a drawing* to win great prizes. And while we’ve already held two drawings, there’s still a chance to be entered into the final one. If you submit art by Thursday, October 4, you’ll be eligible for the grand prize drawing for a DIA Inside|Out replica!

So don’t wait – submit art today and you can be that winner! And of course, visit the map and check out the great public art located throughout our region.


*Drawing rules can be found at



MFG Day and Careers in Manufacturing - Macomb County works to expose young people to careers in manufacturing


Macomb County has long been a manufacturing powerhouse. For close to a century, our region has designed and produced countless products, parts and materials for the auto industry and military – which makes continuing the steady flow of talent into our workforce a top issue for local leaders.

One major component of producing this next generation workforce involves exposing young people to the variety of careers and opportunities available in the manufacturing industry. For the last several years, two major events have helped accomplish this. The first being a countywide celebration of Manufacturing Day, which is put on by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) and the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD).  This event provides an opportunity for high school students to visit area advanced manufacturing facilities to see the industry in action and meet people who make things. Since 2014, more than 7,000 students have participated. And this year’s event is expected to be the biggest yet, with 70 companies providing 82 tours for 2,400 students on Friday, October 5.

“Manufacturing is again on the rise in southeast Michigan, so it is a great time for young people to begin thinking about entering the field,” said John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. “The annual Manufacturing Day event offers a unique opportunity for these students to connect with local businesses and learn about the profession. At the same time, it gives local organizations the chance to interact with the next generation of talent and to promote their companies. It’s a positive experience for everyone involved.”

The second opportunity for exposing young people to manufacturing careers is the Careers in Manufacturing Auto STEAM evening, an event that will follow the long-running Auto STEAM Days at Macomb Community College. Hosted by the college and in collaboration with MCPED, Careers in Manufacturing will be held on Thursday, December 6 from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the South Campus - Sports and Expo Center. The free event, which is geared towards individuals in grades 6 through 12, will give attendees the opportunity to learn about job skills that are in high demand, hear from recent grads who found good-paying careers, meet local businesses and learn who employers are hiring, discover career pathways and learn about apprenticeship programs, internships and work‑based learning. Registration is required for all parties wishing to attend, including parents and family that would like to accompany their students. For more information or to register, call Ashley Schloss at 586-445-7117 or email



Perks at Work - Cell phone carrier


Looking for a new cell phone carrier? Macomb County Perks at Work can help! Macomb County employees are eligible for discounts offered by major carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Some pre-paid phones, no-contract plans and phone accessories are available as well.

Not registered yet?  Activate your Perks at Works account by following these steps:

  • Go to

  • Click “Register for free”

  • Sign up with your personal email

  • Enter company name: Macomb County Government

  • Enter company code: Macombgov78

If you have any questions regarding this offer or the Perks at Work program, please email Robyn DiCristofaro or Cindy Genord at



MCPED assists Romeo Community Schools as it becomes a Ford Next Generation Learning community


Macomb County Planning and Economic Development is at the forefront of creating the next generation workforce that will fill our talent pipeline. But what does that really mean?

A great example that illustrates this work came at the beginning of September, when Romeo Community Schools was publically designated as the first Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) community in the state of Michigan. The ceremony, which featured MCPED as the convening organization, saw Romeo recognized as part of an international network of more than 40 communities which are supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund. As the convening organization, MCPED is responsible for connecting the school with business partners that will help the educators transform their high school into career-themed academies to better prepare students for college and professional success in today’s competitive global economy.

This all started two years ago, when a team of more than 100 community and regional stakeholders (Romeo Board of Education members, administrators, teachers, parents, community and business leaders, higher education representatives and students) came together to envision and plan Romeo High School’s transition to the Academies at Romeo. In order to be designated a Ford NGL community and the Academies at Romeo, Romeo Community Schools had to develop a three-year master plan that would ensure that all high school students are learning in career-themed academies. The plan also had to create structures and processes to engage local and regional employers and civic leaders in supporting and sustaining the academies.

“Businesses throughout Macomb County are focused on developing inventive ways to respond to their talent needs," said John Paul Rea, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “By working directly with Romeo to better connect the classroom to careers, we are helping students explore future professions and strengthening our economy."

Students attending the Academies at Romeo will be taught through the lens of a career theme, such as engineering, health care, technology or business. After completing career exploration in the Ninth Grade Academy, students will select one of the three career themed academies where they will participate in authentic work-based learning opportunities such as industry tours, job shadows, internships and other career exploration activities with local employers. They will also work closely with professionals in their field of interest, making their studies more relevant and connecting classroom knowledge to success in the workplace. Upon graduation, students will be career and college ready.



Trick or (dog) Treat (only)!

A note from Chief Randazzo, Macomb County Animal Control Division

It’s hard to believe, but fall is upon us. School has started and soon the leaves will start to turn. Before we know it, Halloween will be here! This can be a time of good fun. It can also pose a hazard to pets.  But don’t be spooked! There are several things you can do to ensure your pets have a happy and safe Halloween. First, consider your pet’s temperament. Some pets experience anxiety when trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell, while others may be tempted to escape every time the door opens. You can ease their stress by keeping them safely confined and away from the door.  If you do not confine your pet, make sure he or she is wearing proper ID, in case there is an escape. Secondly, think carefully before dressing up your pet. Costumes often come with elastic bands that can cause entanglement or embellishments that may be choking hazards. So instead of splurging on a costume for your pet, consider treating them to a new collar or leash. Finally, while candy is a treat for humans, it may be harmful to animals.  This is true of chocolate, which in large enough quantities, can be lethal to dogs and cats. Xylitol, used in some “sugar free” candies, can also cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar, liver failure and death in dogs. This is why the best edible treats for your pet are products made specifically for animals. But of course, the best overall treat for your pet is your time and affection, with no risk of harmful side effects whatsoever, even when given in large quantities!

If you have extra time and affection, consider becoming a “foster parent” to one of our animals! If you cannot volunteer your home or your time, there are other ways to assist. We accept donations for our nonprofit medical center and have established an Amazon Wishlist if you would like to donate tangible goods. For more information about all the ways you can help, please contact Animal Control at 586-469-5115 and/or visit our website.



Recipe Corner - Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise from stem to tail and scrape out the seeds. *The squash can be placed in the microwave for 2-5 minutes for easier slicing.
  3. Place squash, cut-side down, onto the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance.
  4. Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
  5. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash to create long strands and place in a medium bowl.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, then cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add the squash and Parmesan cheese and cook 1 to 2 minutes to heat through, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.



Renovation Report

Renovations on the 4th Floor of the Circuit Court building were completed in June. Construction on the 3rd floor is underway and will be completed by the end of October. All construction in the downtown renovation project is scheduled to be completed in February, 2019. For more details, access the construction report here.



Event Calendar

New! Be sure to check out the new calendar feature on InsideMacomb, our intranet homepage.

Make Macomb Your Home also maintains a comprehensive calendar of community events. Be sure to check it when you are looking for ways to enjoy Macomb with friends and family:


Flu Vaccine Clinic

Wednesday, October 3rd at the Macomb County Administration Building
Click here for more information.



Fall for Nature Craft Show

Saturday, October 6th and Sunday, October 7th at Stony Creek Metropark
Click here for more information.



Haunted Nature Center

Wednesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 20th at Burgess Shadbush Nature Center
Click here for more information.



Animal Vaccine Clinic

Saturday, October 20th at Center line Recreation Center
Click here for more information.



HSCB Information Exchange "Super Services"

Tuesday, October 23rd
Click here for more information.



Macomb County Annual Open Enrollment

Friday, October 29th - November 16th, 2018
Click here for more information.




Blog Log

From vine to wine: Youngblood Vineyard brings wine country to Macomb County

SMT Automation provides a solution for workforce shortages

Macomb County Freedom Fest to celebrate patriotism and military service

Macomb County has strong presence at annual economic developer conference

We’re mapping Macomb art – and you can help!

Macomb County woman becomes publishing powerhouse

Macomb County moves forward with Mound Road transformation effort

STEAM camp prepares young students for future careers

Consider the library

On the move: Local web design and marketing firm experiences impressive growth, opens new office

Macomb County leaders tout area’s success at Michigan Idea Exchange




News Nook

09/18/18 - OneMacomb to host free production of "Sweat," a Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award nominated play

09/17/18 - Macomb Community Action Office of Senior Services to offer first time Medicare enrollment assistance

09/14/18 - Macomb County Public Works Removes Giant Fatberg

09/10/18 - Macomb County launches MATRIX resource to connect residents with health and human services

08/29/18 - Macomb County Adult Day Center set to reveal a new name and new look at its grand reopening event

08/28/18 - Macomb County unveils digital map of public art

For links to other recent press releases: