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David M. Knezek, Jr. appointed to 8th District seat on the Wayne County Commission

Former state Senator David M. Knezek, Jr. of Dearborn Heights was unanimously appointed Feb. 6 to the Wayne County Commission's 8th District seat.

He replaces former Commissioner Diane Webb, who resigned from the seat to accept a position as superintendent of Redford Township.

The district includes Redford, Dearborn Heights and a section of southeast Livonia.

The appointment runs through December 2020.

Commissioner Webb recommended Knezek as her replacement.

"There was only one name that came to my mind and that was Sen. David Knezek," Commissioner Webb said. "He sleeps and breathes public service and it is important to me to leave my district in caring and capable hands."

Under the Wayne County Charter, commissioners appoint a successor.

Knezek, a Democrat, served in the Michigan Senate from 2015-18 and served a term in the Michigan House from 2013-14.

He is director of Legislative Affairs for the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he volunteered for two tours of duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was promoted to sergeant while serving in Iraq.

A member of American Legion Carl E. Stitt Post 232 of Dearborn Heights, he is also a Silver Life Member of the Detroit Branch NAACP, vice president of the Dearborn Heights Goodfellows, a director of Starfish Family Services and a member of the Redford Township Jaycees.

"I really want to thank Commissioner Webb for the trust she placed in me," Knezek said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Wayne County Commission."

Commissioner Webb served on the commission since 2009 and was last elected in November 2018. She served as a councilwoman in her native Garden City from 2003-07.

Her service to constituents drew praise from commission Chair Alisha Bell.

"You were absolutely the person they needed to represent them at the time," Chair Bell said.

On the commission, Webb was known for her support of parks, county employees, the elderly and military veterans.

"I think it's so important to take the voice the people give you and use it to represent them," Commissioner Webb said.

Commissioner Webb was also known for her annual Make a Senior Smile Day, held each fall, where she and dozens of volunteers helped clear yard waste for homebound seniors.

During the current term, she has served as chair of the commission's Committee on Government Operations and on the Committee on Audit and Special Committee on Senior Citizens & Veterans Affairs. She previously chaired the commission's technology taskforce, which is credited with saving county taxpayers an estimated $80 million by overhauling underutilized phone and data lines.

Commissioner Webb authored a Wayne County Charter amendment giving the commission control over the form of the budget in order to increase oversight through line item budgets, and was a champion for transparency by advocating to make county commission and committee meetings available via YouTube and on the county website.

"There is definitely more lucrative ways to make a living, but I cannot imagine a more rewarding way than public service," she said,