Wayne County always has been the biggest county in Michigan, at least in terms of people, and it's the most important. 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.
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.
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.
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.