Clinton TownshipDecember 11, 2012
Hackel talks marketing, regionalism during State of the County
By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer
From left, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano gather after Hackel’s State of the County address. Hackel talked about working together as a region during the Dec. 5 address, which was delivered at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel again stressed the need to market the county during his second State of the County address.
“I challenge everyone to become a Macomb ambassador,” he said during the Dec. 5 address. “Express your pride in living or growing your business here in Macomb County.”
Hackel’s roughly 30-minute address, which included video segments, took place before an invitation-only crowd of more than 1,000 people.
Backed by a video screen in the auditorium of the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, the county’s chief executive touted the county’s “Make Macomb Your Home” promotional campaign and its Blue Economy Initiative, which he said incorporated more events this year on Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.
Hackel, Macomb County’s first-ever county executive, also noted economic growth and recent business investments in Macomb County’s higher education, medical, defense and automotive sectors.
“There is ample evidence that our commitment and attention to economic development, the Blue Economy, intergovernmental relations and marketing is moving Macomb County forward.”
Hackel pointed out the significance of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano all attending the Macomb County State of the County address.
“Macomb has always been supportive of regional assets — SMART transit, Cobo Hall, the zoo, but most recently the Detroit Institute of Arts,” he said.
He also called on the need for regional transportation.
“Moving masses of people around the region is a necessity to be competitive globally,” he added.
Patterson said afterward that companies coming to Macomb County will benefit Oakland County, since these companies likely will hire workers from there, as well.
Hackel also said that Macomb County’s new form of government was more transparent and economical, he said.
“We have balanced the budget for three consecutive years and eliminated a budget gap of more than $52 million,” he said. “We balanced 2013 without tapping into any rainy-day funds. We increased the fund balance to $55 million. All with zero tax hikes and zero deficits.”
Hackel also touched on consolidation within the county, including the Macomb County Department of Roads and the $11 million integrated 911 communications center opening next year. Of the latter, he said the facility could be expanded to service any of Macomb’s 27 municipalities, if they choose.
“We have accomplished a lot in just two years, but there’s much more than can be done” Hackel said. “How much we get accomplished will depend on the choices that we make.”