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Yemi Akinwale invited to address local Rotary Club

Program chair, Robert Becker introduced guest speaker, Yemi Akinwale, retired Hartford City Manager, at the Paw Paw Lake Area Rotary weekly meeting on Jan. 25, 2023. Yemi served the City of Hartford for 23 years.

Akinwale told the Rotary members in attendance that as city manager, he had to learn to adjust to deal with all the people and keep a state of peace. He said technology has changed over the years. When he began serving, the electric meters were read manually on a quarterly basis. He told a story that he went with a meter reader to a home and when they left, they were covered with fleas. It wasn’t long after that, the automatic meter readers were installed. Now what used to take three weeks to do is now done in two hours.

“It’s important for the township and the city government to work together, this keeps things moving. It’s a benefit to keep businesses in the area. There needs to be a master plan and find a way to use taxes efficiently, to share resources, and best practices on how to do things better. Social media is a benefit on getting information out to the community faster,” Akinwale said.

During his time as city manager he told of the issue the City of Hartford has had of a shortage of police; they came up with a plan to send people to school to get the needed certification and then sign a contract to work for the city for five years. This has proven to be a beneficial plan.

He further explained, regional planning needs to work together so not to negatively impact the neighbors and create problems. One of these projects that everyone is working together on is the Paw Paw Lake River clearing. This project impacts residents from Hartford to Paw Paw.

Paw Paw Lake Rotary meets at Corewell Health Watervliet Hospital and on Zoom on Wednesday’s at 12:30 p.m. Contact Ric Seager, Paw Paw Lake Rotary President at 269-720-7091 or Tammy Yeager, PPLR Club Secretary at 269-463-2461 for more information.

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