Many thanks to the Grosse Pointe Democratic Club for hosting me last night at their general membership reception. As I said last night, I’ve been a CEO in the private sector and a CEO for the City of Westland, and I’m ready to bring those positive experiences to Wayne County.
The fiscal challenges we face in Wayne County today are very similar to those we recently faced in Westland. Declining property tax revenue and cuts in state revenue sharing are causing severe fiscal problems. In Westland, we tackled a projected $50 million deficit by cutting from the top, starting in the mayor’s office. We worked with our employees and our unions, not against them. And we worked with surrounding communities, sharing fire, emergency dispatch and other services so we can protect our residents while saving taxpayers money.
As a result, Westland now has a balanced budget and we’re sitting on a $5.6 budget surplus. We’re in control of our own destiny and now we can invest in critical public services. This discussion seemed to resonate with a group of Democrats that care deeply about the future of Wayne County. I look forward to sharing more ideas over the coming weeks with voters in many different communities.