Wayne County Executive Warren Evans delivered his State of the County address Tuesday evening. He spoke to an audience at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.
Evans discussed a wide range of topics during his address including the status of the county’s finances, competing plans for the county jail site in downtown Detroit and his administration’s economic development efforts.
During his remarks, Evans reiterated his support for a regional transit system.
Evans said he still believes in the value of transit, despite the defeat of the RTA millage in November.
“The effort fell short in convincing the entire region how it would benefit from a robust, connected transit system,” said Evans. “This defeat doesn’t change my thinking on this. Regional transit is a quality of life issue.”
Evans urged area officials not to give up the idea of a regional transit system, calling on them to look at the reasons the RTA millage failed and have candid discussions about what to do next.
The county executive also criticized the state during his speech for refusing to change the way it funds municipal governments.
Evans said, “I spoke strongly about it last year, and I raise my voice again tonight. Michigan’s system of funding local governments is broken. He said, “The problem will get worse if nothing gets done.”
Evans asked for discussions on the issue with Lansing officials because, as he worded it, “the state can no longer continue to solve its budget problems on the backs of local governments.”
Warren Evans was elected as County Executive in November 2014. He had previously served as Wayne County Sheriff and Detroit Chief of Police.