DETROIT (WWJ) – Dozens of people showed up to a Wayne County Committee hearing, Thursday, to express their concerns about proposed cuts to county services, including the planned closure of Detroit’s only public water park.
WWJ Newsradio 950’s Florence Walton reported the sanctuary at Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Detroit’s east side was packed like it was Easter Sunday morning.
Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano’s proposal to shut down the Chandler Park Aquatic Center and cut finding to the MSU Cooperative Extension Program drew most of the complaints.
“This city to be viable and not some reservation somewhere, needs to have rec centers and parks and if any politician thinks he doesn’t understand that, he is sitting on a time bomb here,” said one citizen, to applause from the crowd.
“You will not close the center, because the church will protest. We’ll show that we are mighty,” said one woman.
“Without the parks , the kids ain’t gonna do nothing but start robbing, stealing and killing — there just ain’t gonna be nothing else to do,” said a man.
Also recommended for the chopping block is funding to Care Management Organizations which provides help for people suffering from substance abuse and other problems.
“Without these services there will be a longterm negative impact in our community. We will see increased crime, increased substance abuse use. These are vital services,” said Monique Stanton. “We really hope that the commissioners here will look at continuing funding for the past grant, to continue supporting the future of our children.”
Wayne County has a $160 million budget deficit and Ficano has given commissioners a number of cost-saving proposals.