There's a new sheriff in town. Well, a former sheriff.
After previously serving as Wayne County Sheriff, Warren Evans has now officially taken over as the new Wayne County Executive.
He says his first priority is cutting the budget. Wayne County is not under state oversight right now but the county has, according to estimates, around a $100 million deficit. Also, only about 45 percent of pensions are funded right now, but many municipalities across the country are also dealing with pension debt issues.
Evans says he is cutting his employees' pay by five percent, saving the county $1.2 million. Some positions have also been cut. Evans will have nine fewer appointees than did Ficano.
"We've hired less people than previous administrations. The salaries will be less, and you'll know how much they make. I mean, it's about the business of fixing Wayne County and not building a fiefdom, and so we're going to get about the business of doing that," Evans says.
His predecessor, Bob Ficano, leaves behind challenges he himself inherited, along with a few new ones including the stalled county jail project.
"We'll keep working at it. We're just going to do the best we can. But I think it was a terrible decision, and I've said that before, but the decision had been made. Now we've got bills to pay and we've got to figure out how to do it," Evans says.