Wayne County Commission Adopts Executive Evans' $1.46 billion 2021-2022 Budget, Providing for Needs While Protecting Taxpayers
September 9, 2021
WAYNE COUNTY – The Wayne County Commission today unanimously approved Executive Warren C. Evans' $1.46 billion 2021-2022 budget which provides for essential county services, including the creation of the Indigent Defense Services department, a new program championed by the county executive to provide legal services for Wayne County residents facing trial. The new budget takes effect on Oct. 1.
"I want to thank Commission Chair Alisha Bell and all our commissioners for their hard work on passing this budget; together we have produced a budget that provides for residents' essential services while living within our means and without raising taxes," Executive Evans said. "The partnership forged on the budget is an example of what can be done for the people of Wayne County when our shared goals and objectives align."
Today's passage of the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget marks the third-straight year county commissioners unanimously adopted Executive Evans' recommended budget. Executive Evans has presented a balanced budget without a general tax increase in each of his seven years as Wayne County's chief executive officer. In all, this approved budget spends $200 million less than the 2020-2021 budget while expanding public services in several ways. Key highlights from the adopted 2021-2022 budget include:
• Establishes the Office of Indigent Defense Services, a new office in the county championed by Executive Evans to coordinate and provide expert legal representation for county residents who cannot afford their own attorneys;
• $2.2 million to the Wayne County Prosecutors Office and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office for programs promoting conviction integrity, strengthening the mental health division, support for juveniles without a chance for parole, and increased resources to process sexual assault kits;
• A pathway to a $15-per-hour minimum wage for all county employees and a 2.5-percent raise for most county employees;
• $5 million in accelerated roads funding to speed up needed infrastructure projects across Wayne County; and,
• Funding to hire additional professional staff to address the backlog of concealed pistol license applications.
"Our budget expands services in key areas through increased efficiencies and a common-sense approach to meeting our existing needs," Executive Evans said. "Today's unanimous vote shows our shared commitment to sound fiscal management for Wayne County and its residents. That we were able to do this in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic speaks to renewed fiscal strength of the county and the tough decisions we have all made in the last seven years to put us on a successful path."
Earlier this year, in response to Executive Evans' sound fiscal management of county operations, the investment rating agency Moody's Investor Service increased Wayne County's credit rating to A3.
When Executive Evans took office in 2015, Wayne County faced a looming fiscal crisis of a $123 million accumulated deficit, $1.5 billion in unfunded pension debt, and state financial oversight. After only 14 months on the job, Executive Evans eliminated the accumulated deficit, restructured the pension obligations, and led the county out of it state-declared financial emergency.