Russell Leviska

Compliance officer; Democrat

Leviska has called a number of western Wayne County communities home, including Garden City, Detroit, Livonia, Wayne and Westland. During his time in Wayne County government, Leviska has worked in the treasurer's office, as a health inspector, and as clerk.

Metro Times: Why are you interested in running for Wayne County Executive?

Russell Leviska: I did not seek the Office of Wayne County Executive rather the Office sought me. Created 30 years ago, the County Executive experiment of absolute power in the hands of one man is over.  Mr. Lucas closed the Wayne County Hospital. Mr. McNamara built a world class airport. Control now lost to the State in the form of the Airport Authority. Mr. Ficano built a failed race track; abandoned a half finished  prison and championed claims of fiscal crisis as a ruse to outsource civil service jobs to appointees

The Office itself is corrupted causing a loss in public's confidence. Absolute power in the hands of one man; permitted to surround himself with 243 full time paid appointees/political yes men.  The result: limited vision, poor planning, no oversight and fiscally being out of touch. The Office of the County Executive must be shared.

Restoring the ROAR!!! of the County Commissioners; is my priority. I seek to reestablish in the County Charter elected Offices of the Road Commissioner and the Drain Commissioner effectively removing those powers from the County Executive Office.

Metro Times: he county has an accumulated $175 million budget deficit. Is there a way to address that and avoid the risk of insolvency?

RL: Actually a surplus of $270 million dollars exists, per the Wayne County Treasurer and the Auditor General for the fiscal year 2014,2015, 2016.

MT: Do you have any ideas as to how the city can cut costs or raise additional. revenue?

RL: By the county selling it's ownership of the Guardian building and the partnering with local community;  leasing office space from them. Combine bidding supplies and purchasing throughout Wayne County. To provide lower costs to communities.

MT: Is there any aspect of the incumbent’s record that you believe are commendable accomplishments?

RL: [no response]

MT: Do you have any criticisms of the incumbent and how his administrative ran

RL: [no response]

MT:If current plans with Bedrock Real Estate Services to redevelop the downtown Wayne County Jail site fall through, how would you address the failed project?

RL: Housing excess prisoners in local jails rather than building a new county jail.

MT: The incumbent has indicated the downriver wastewater treatment facilities could be sold to compensate for the budget deficit. Would you support the move?

RL: No. We can continue to handle our own wastewater treatment.

MT: What have you done personally or professionally to help advance regional cooperation, or other significant causes?

RL: Participant in:

●      Rouge River Rescue

●      American Red Cross instructed hundreds of children in Water Safety, and  as a volunteer CPR Instructor by manning a first aid station when the Region and Hamtramck Hosted the Pope's visit.

MT: Would you support the creation of a regional water authority to oversee the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department?  If not, why?

RL: No! We want to manage our lives independent of outside interference!

MT: A number of communities in Wayne County have either faced the prospect of emergency management, or have seen Lansing appoint one to handle their finances. What are your thoughts about the current emergency manager law, PA 436?

RL: In the words of J.F.K.: "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer,  but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future."  Wayne County is made up of 43 communities, and I vigorously defend our right of sovereignty!

MT: What’s your favorite book and movie about politics?

RL: Harry S. Truman's oral biography "Plain Speaking” [book]

[movie]Sidney Poitier in "Lilies of the Field,” paraphrasing JFK my following Americans, ask not what your County can do for you, ask what you can do for your County.

MT: What’s the best restaurant to dine at in Wayne County?

RL: Traditional mom-and-pop family restaurants; always warm and inviting where they know your name.

MT: What did we miss? Anything you’d like to touch on?

RL: Partnerships with civic and church organizations

"Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger man." — J.F.K.

Click here to go back to the 2014 Wayne County executive election guide.

About The Author

Ryan Felton

Ryan Felton was born in 1990 and spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Livonia. In 2009, after a short stint at Eastern Michigan University, he moved to Detroit where he has remained ever since. After graduating from Wayne State University’s journalism program, he went on to work as a staff writer...
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