DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Warren Evans officially began his first day as Wayne County executive Monday morning.

While pointing out he is not the first sheriff to transition to the top job, Evans says the skill set will certainly help.

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“I think running a large organization, obviously having some control over policy and rules, I think, will make a difference,” said Evans from the Guardian Building in Detroit. “I think the main thing is you care about people and want to make Wayne County great again.”

To that end, Evans will need to untangle the county’s finances, the jail project, and underfunded pensions.

“(It’s) a project we just have to keep working on, I don’t see any real clear answers that aren’t going to be particularly onerous on the public right now but we will keep working at it, we are going to do the best we can – I think it was a terrible decision, I’ve said that before, the decision had been made and now we have bills to pay and we’ve got to figure out how to do it,” said Evans.

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He says that within the first few weeks on the job he’ll focus on transparency within Wayne County government and has announced a 5 percent salary reduction for appointees in a plan to cut $1.2 million in costs. Evans also announced that he would have nine fewer appointees than former Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who lost a bid for re-election last year.

“We very clear about who we’ve hired, we’ve hired less people than previous administrations. The salaries will be less and you’ll know how much they make – it’s about the business of fixing Wayne County. Not building a fiefdom,” said Evans.

Evans says he will draw on his skills as sheriff to turn around the county’s fortunes.

 

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