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Balanced budget, parks millage top county's list of priorities

Greetings Neighbor:

I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful summer months. The Wayne County Commission has been busy throughout the summer and I have been working hard to ensure the needs of District 9 are met by all county departments.

A very important issue I have been working on this summer has been the budget. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I have been attending and participating in every budget hearing. Our committee meets with every county department and elected official to comb over their budgets, and, at the conclusion of the budget hearings, the committee will make recommendations for any changes and eventually approve the county's new two-year balanced budget.

I was happy to welcome the Ways and Means Committee to District 9 for our August 25 budget hearing. We met in the Livonia City Hall Auditorium to hear from the Retirement Department, the Register of Deeds and the Department of Public Services. This meeting included a public hearing on the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 budgets that we are currently vetting. I was pleased to host this budget hearing as it created an opportunity for our community to listen and ask questions regarding the budget right in our own backyard.

Within the budgets for the next two years is the money from the Wayne County Parks Millage that was approved for renewal during the August election. The parks millage is expected to generate $9.9 million in 2017, and that funding goes toward the operations and improvements of county parks. District 9 will also receive back 15% of the total funds generated from our district for local parks projects.

Another issue I have been tackling is transparency on all levels at the county. I was appointed to the newly formed Special Committee on Accountability and Transparency, which was formed in order to make the county more open and accessible to the taxpayers. We are working on forming a "Transparency in Government" webpage in order to provide an access point for residents to turn to when they have questions regarding how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent.

As a whole, the Wayne County Commission unanimously passed a resolution on July 21 urging the state to repeal the current fireworks law. Commissioners stressed that complaints from residents have increased each year since the state eased restrictions on fireworks, starting in 2012. The resolution urges support for bills to repeal the fireworks laws that have been introduced in the Legislature by Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights and Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights. Copies of the resolution will be sent to state representatives and senators as well as Governor Rick Snyder.

I hope you find this 9th District update helpful. As always, please feel free to contact my office regarding any issues you are facing with the county.

Best regards,

Terry Marecki
Wayne County Commission - District 9