wayne county http://michiganradio.org en Group wants "Health" to be a key consideration in all government decisions http://michiganradio.org/post/group-wants-health-be-key-consideration-all-government-decisions <p>A handful of Michigan county health department leaders say “health” should play a bigger role in local decision making.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Health department officials from Wayne, Genesee, Ingham, Kent, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Washtenaw counties met in Lansing this past week to strategize how to change the way local governments do pretty much everything.&nbsp;</p><p>Linda Vail is Ingham County’s Chief Health Officer.&nbsp;&nbsp; She says city and county leaders often fail to consider the potential effects their decisions will have on their community’s health.</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 17:23:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 18185 at http://michiganradio.org Group wants "Health" to be a key consideration in all government decisions Wayne county is so Democratic the only election that really counts is the August primary http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-county-so-democratic-only-election-really-counts-august-primary <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Wayne County always has been the biggest county in Michigan, at least in terms of people, and it's the most important.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Though it includes Detroit, more than a million of its residents live elsewhere, from the affluent leafy suburbs of Plymouth to gritty downriver towns like River Rouge.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">They are all very different, but have two things in common. First, they elect an executive, sort of a super mayor to run things. And second, they live in a county in trouble and in deficit.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">In recent years, Wayne County has been rocked by personnel scandals and an astonishing farce concerning a half-built jail abandoned after $125 million taxpayer dollars had been wasted.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Now, there are increasing worries that Wayne County, like its largest city, could be facing emergency management. That should be alarming to all of us for the same reason Detroit’s troubles are.</span></p><p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 16:34:49 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18161 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne county is so Democratic the only election that really counts is the August primary Wayne County sues to collect back taxes on properties it once sold at tax-foreclosure auctions http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-county-sues-collect-back-taxes-properties-it-once-sold-tax-foreclosure-auctions <p>Wayne County treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz’s office has filed a <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140619/METRO01/306190041">lawsuit to collect about $80 million in delinquent property taxes</a>.</p><p>The irony is that these are taxes owed on properties the county once owned, but sold at auction after they were foreclosed on...for delinquent property taxes.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:51:13 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18084 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne County sues to collect back taxes on properties it once sold at tax-foreclosure auctions Wayne County getting much-needed cash from its treasurer; report finds he owes more http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-county-getting-much-needed-cash-its-treasurer-report-finds-he-owes-more <p>Struggling Wayne County will get a much-needed cash infusion, thanks to its own treasurer’s office—and the county’s auditor general thinks it should get even more.</p><p>Michigan’s largest county is in major financial trouble, running a deficit of at least $175 million and growing.</p><p>The state recently approved a <a href="http://www.waynecounty.com/news/3141.htm">deficit-elimination plan</a> that includes steep cuts and possible asset sales. And there’s been lots of speculation about a possible emergency manager coming down the road.</p> Mon, 26 May 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17750 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne County getting much-needed cash from its treasurer; report finds he owes more Plagued by scandal, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano will still seek re-election http://michiganradio.org/post/plagued-scandal-wayne-county-executive-robert-ficano-will-still-seek-re-election <p>Embattled Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano will formally announce he’s seeking a fourth term Monday.</p><p>Ficano’s current term has been plagued by scandal.</p><p>His administration is the subject of an <a href="http://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/fbis-corruption-probe-expands-to-ficanos-political-machine">ongoing FBI public corruption investigation</a>, and several former members of his inner circle have been convicted of various crimes.</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17290 at http://michiganradio.org Plagued by scandal, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano will still seek re-election Ranking the health of Michigan's counties http://michiganradio.org/post/ranking-health-michigans-counties <p>A new report ranks <a href="http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/#/michigan/2013/rankings/outcomes/overall/by-rank">the healthiest and least healthy of Michigan’s 83 counties.</a></p><p></p><p>Ottawa County topped the rankings as healthiest, while Wayne County placed at the bottom.</p><p></p><p>But there’s no geographic pattern to the rankings put together by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers.</p><p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:15:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16973 at http://michiganradio.org Ranking the health of Michigan's counties Wayne Co. plan calls for pay and benefit cuts, spinning off sewage plants http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-co-plan-calls-pay-and-benefit-cuts-spinning-sewage-plants <p>Wayne County Executive Bob&nbsp;Ficano&nbsp;is asking commissioners to approve a plan that calls for cutting pay and benefits for county employees, and spinning off its sewage treatment plants, among other things.</p><p>The county has a running deficit of at least $175 million. And it continues to spend more than it takes in.</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:33:34 +0000 Sarah Hulett 16406 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne Co. plan calls for pay and benefit cuts, spinning off sewage plants Wayne County ponders offer for botched jail site http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-county-ponders-offer-botched-jail-site <p>Downtown Detroit real estate mogul Dan Gilbert wants to buy the site of Wayne County’s botched jail project.</p><p>Rock Ventures <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131030/METRO01/310300084/Wayne-Co-sues-contractor-154M-over-unauthorized-changes-unfinished-jail">has offered a total of $50 million</a> to build an entertainment district where the half-built jail and other county facilities now sit. Wayne County abandoned the jail project in August because it was hugely over-budget.</p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:45:31 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15071 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne County ponders offer for botched jail site Detroit taxpayers foot big bill for closed schools http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-taxpayers-foot-big-bill-closed-schools <p>Detroit property owners face a quarter century of payments for construction and renovation of school buildings that no longer operate.</p><p></p> Sun, 27 Oct 2013 23:19:16 +0000 Associated Press 15012 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit taxpayers foot big bill for closed schools Judge dismisses lawsuit against Ficano http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-ficano <p>U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman has dismissed a lawsuit against Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. The case was filed by former Wayne County employee James Wallace, who claimed Ficano fired him for refusing to do political work on county time.</p><p>Wallace is a graphic designer who worked for Ficano for 13 years. He claimed he was fired for refusing to design campaign materials for Ficano. The Wayne County lawyers maintain Wallace&#39;s firing was strictly a budgetary decision.</p><p>Deborah Gordon, Wallace&#39;s lawyer, says she was shocked by the ruling.</p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 19:06:41 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14822 at http://michiganradio.org Judge dismisses lawsuit against Ficano U.S. Marshals moving prisoners from Wayne County jails http://michiganradio.org/post/us-marshals-moving-prisoners-wayne-county-jails <p>The U.S. Marshals Service is stepping in to move inmates from two jails in downtown Detroit. That&#39;s because of faulty conditions -- leaky roofs, plugged pipes and overheating -- that officials say have plagued the jails for years.</p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 16:02:21 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14704 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. Marshals moving prisoners from Wayne County jails 1-person grand jury to look at Wayne County jail project http://michiganradio.org/post/1-person-grand-jury-look-wayne-county-jail-project <p>DETROIT (AP) - A one-person grand jury has been convened to investigate whether any criminal activity is involved in the over-budget Wayne County Jail project.<br><br>County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny on Wednesday also banned the release of an auditor general's investigation of the construction project.<br><br>Kenny's order came after a petition filed by Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Among other things, the petition says Worthy's investigation will focus on neglect of duty, conspiracy, fraud and misconduct.<br> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 00:59:12 +0000 The Associated Press 14495 at http://michiganradio.org 1-person grand jury to look at Wayne County jail project The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service' http://michiganradio.org/post/week-review-detroit-primaries-aclu-racial-mapping-case-fee-service <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week, Rina</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Miller and Jack </span>Lessenberry<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> discuss the certification of Detroit’s mayoral </span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/mike-duggan" style="line-height: 1.5;">primary results</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the Detroit </span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/aclu-loses-appeal-fbi-racial-ethnic-profiling-case" style="line-height: 1.5;">ACLU’s case</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> against the FBI, and a union’s “fee-for-service” for employee grievances.</span></p><p> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Rina Miller & Jack Lessenberry 14117 at http://michiganradio.org The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service' Wayne County plans to sell Packard Plant http://michiganradio.org/post/wayne-county-plans-sell-packard-plant <p>Wayne County officials hope to close a deal to sell Detroit's historic Packard Plant next week. County officials say they've been in talks for over a year with Chicago-area developer Bill Hults to buy the property.</p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 18:18:23 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14107 at http://michiganradio.org Wayne County plans to sell Packard Plant Systems failure leads to election confusion and stalled road funding http://michiganradio.org/post/systems-failure-leads-election-confusion-and-stalled-road-funding <p>Lily Tomlin and Oliver Cromwell have nothing in common, as far as I know.&nbsp; But I thought of both this morning when I was considering the news from Detroit and Lansing.</p><p>Tomlin years ago came up with a perfect line to describe the latest twist in the Detroit elections mess.&nbsp; “No matter how cynical you get, you can’t keep up.”</p><p>That was exactly the case when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers met to certify the totals in the Detroit mayoral primary election two weeks ago. There should have been no mystery about the results. Mike Duggan had been ruled off the ballot on a technicality, but won in a write-in landslide.&nbsp; He got nearly twice as many votes as his closest competitor, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. But Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett yesterday announced she was throwing out nearly half of Duggan’s votes, because poll workers merely recorded them, rather than make a hashtag mark next to them.</p><p>Not only did this cavalierly disenfranchise twenty thousand voters, it looks and smells highly suspect. Cathy Garrett is the sister of Al Garrett, a prominent union official who is one of Benny Napoleon’s biggest backers.</p><p>Now her decision would not have changed the lineup for the November runoff. It will still be between Duggan and Napoleon. But Garrett’s maneuver would have allowed Napoleon’s backers to claim he “won” a primary he actually lost. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 12:58:37 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 14080 at http://michiganradio.org Systems failure leads to election confusion and stalled road funding Why merging Detroit and Wayne County makes sense for both http://michiganradio.org/post/why-merging-detroit-and-wayne-county-makes-sense-both <p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/merging-wayne-county-and-detroit-could-fix-both">Last week</a>, I said merging the governments of Detroit and Wayne County was a sensible solution to both their crises.</p><p>This idea was not wildly popular. One woman said I was out of my mind, and added Wayne County “just need(ed) to have their crooks behind bars.”</p><p>A more thoughtful man said I was “operating from the usual liberal impulse of having successful entities transfer resources to unsuccessful entities,” something he indicated didn’t work.</p><p>Well, that gentleman is right. It usually doesn’t work. That’s what has been happening with revenue sharing.</p><p>What I am proposing is creating an entirely new entity, writing a new charter and creating a combined county government. I am not suggesting Wayne County simply absorb Detroit.</p><p> Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:38:30 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14045 at http://michiganradio.org Why merging Detroit and Wayne County makes sense for both Merging Wayne County and Detroit could fix both http://michiganradio.org/post/merging-wayne-county-and-detroit-could-fix-both <p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Everybody knows that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was thoroughly corrupt. He currently is sitting in jail waiting sentencing in federal court on his latest round of convictions.</p><p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">His political career is dead and his chance at being free is over, at least for years to come. But you can easily make the argument that, at least in terms of cost to the taxpayers, the administration of Wayne County Executive Robert </span>Ficano<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is worse.</span></p><p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Certainly </span>Ficano<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> has wasted far more of the taxpayers’ money than Kilpatrick’s grubby crimes cost Detroit. One of the enduring mysteries of state politics is why this man is still in his job. Michigan’s largest county has lurched from scandal to scandal.</span></p><p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There was the case of </span>Turkia<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Awada<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Mullin<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the crony who somehow was vaulted over far more qualified applicants, made head of the airport authority and given a two hundred thousand dollar “severance” to go from one job to another.</span></p><p> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 14:48:43 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 14021 at http://michiganradio.org Merging Wayne County and Detroit could fix both State to Wayne County: Scrap half-finished jail project http://michiganradio.org/post/state-wayne-county-scrap-half-finished-jail-project <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>Governor Snyder has suddenly jumped into the middle of Wayne County’s jail mess.</p><p>The county has a half-built jail sitting on the outskirts of downtown Detroit. It halted construction on the project in June because it was massively over-budget.</p><p>But now Snyder is<a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130814/METRO01/308140047"> urging the county to scrap the jail</a>, sell the land, and lease space from the half-empty former Mound Road state prison in northeast Detroit. He’s offering it for just $1 a year.</p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:08:26 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13999 at http://michiganradio.org State to Wayne County: Scrap half-finished jail project Would hiking property taxes save Wayne County? http://michiganradio.org/post/would-hiking-property-taxes-save-wayne-county <p>It's no secret Wayne County is in rough financial shape, with an accumulated deficit nearing $200 million.</p><p>County budget officials say a financial review team that could lead to an emergency manager may not be far off.</p><p>Yet perhaps all is not lost: those same budget watchers say the county can still get back on the right track.</p><p>But their solution is about as politically popular as a property tax increase for Wayne County residents.</p><p>Because it IS a proposed property tax increase for Wayne County residents.</p> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 22:11:13 +0000 Kate Wells 13830 at http://michiganradio.org Would hiking property taxes save Wayne County? Five bidders vie for Wayne County jail http://michiganradio.org/post/five-bidders-vie-wayne-county-jail <p>Wayne County has five offers to buy the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/wayne-county-halts-construction-new-jail-amidst-massive-cost-overruns">Wayne County jail</a> property. Construction on the project in downtown Detroit has halted due to increased costs.</p><p>The project has cost the county $120 million dollars since construction began in 2011.</p><p>Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano says the county has two options: it can sell the property and move the jail, or it can find investors to help fund the rest of the project.</p> Fri, 19 Jul 2013 20:10:43 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13618 at http://michiganradio.org Five bidders vie for Wayne County jail