Bill Wild, Mayor of Westland, filed his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Wayne County Executive on Friday, April 11. He was joined by his wife, Sherri Wild.
“Sherri and I are lifelong residents of Wayne County,” said Wild. “We decided to raise our family here because it’s a great place. We’ve got the Great Lakes, beautiful rivers, world-class manufacturing and incredible talent and diversity.”
“Wayne County should be a leader in Michigan and across the nation. Instead, we’re stuck with scandals, failed projects and huge budget deficits. I’m running for County Executive because I know we can do better.”
“My agenda is clear: Balance the budget. Make this government open and transparent so people know where their tax dollars are going. Insist on the highest ethical standards for myself and all county officials. And make public safety a priority – including a plan to address the backlog of untested rape kits in Wayne County. It’s a disgrace, and we need to fix it.”
Wild is the only candidate in the race with executive experience in both the public and private sector. He has been a small business owner in Wayne County for 25 years. As mayor of Westland, Wild took the city from a projected $50 million budget deficit to a $5.6 million budget surplus, and recently introduced the city’s first-ever three-year balanced budget.
The Westland turnaround included negotiated settlements with city employees and their unions, as well as sharing fire protection, 911 dispatch, parks and recreation and other services with surrounding communities.
“Working together works,” said Wild. “The Westland approach can also work in Wayne County – so long as we roll up our sleeves, lay the facts on the table, and focus on new solutions instead of old problems.”
Bill Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Company, has endorsed Wild’s campaign and hosted a fundraising event on his behalf in Dearborn last month.
“As a business person, I’m always attracted to people who get things done,” Ford said. “Bill Wild did a great job in Westland, he took a budget that was a disaster and turned it around. That’s quite a feat, to reduce costs, put some money away and enhance services at the same time.”
“In a region splattered with negative news of government dysfunction,” wrote columnist Tom Walsh in the Detroit Free Press, “Westland and its Mayor Wild are emerging as paragons of smart, sensible local government during difficult times.
Wild, who announced his candidacy in January, has raised over $500,000 for his campaign for County Executive.
Sherri Wild is a 6th grade science teacher and member of the Michigan Education Association. The Wilds live with their three children in Westland, where Bill Wild has served as mayor since 2007.