See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Freeze for all 

News Hits was hanging out someplace we shouldn’t have been (sorry, but we’d get our ass kicked if we told you where) when we overheard an unsuspecting gent utter this juicy bit of gossip: Wayne County’s predicted deficit so far this year is $20.6 million.

County spokesperson June West confirmed this, ahem, tip. She also said that last week’s hiring freeze and other adjustments by County Executive Ed McNamara will put the county on track by year’s end.

But County Commission Chairman Ricardo Solomon says the Big Mac may have gone too far when he decreed that elected county officials seeking to hire staff or buy equipment had to obtain approval from a special committee created by McNamara.

“Does he have the right to put a freeze on elected positions?” asks Solomon.

Since taking office more than 14 years ago, McNamara has imposed a freeze and created a committee to approve purchases only a few times, according to county Management and Budget Director Tom Naughton. He says the projected deficit is due in part to a loss in state revenue sharing and the Sept. 11 attacks; the county’s general fund is about $500 million.

Without the freeze there would be layoffs and cuts in services, says Naughton.

Besides, he says, state law allows the county exec to “take whatever reasonable actions necessary to have a balanced budget, including a freeze.”

Ann Mullen is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit