2 Republicans battle to take on Evans for Wayne County exec

Blake Alsup
The Detroit News
Adamski, Curran

Two Republicans are squaring off in the Aug. 7 primary for the right to challenge Wayne County Executive Warren Evans in the November election.

Evans, a Democrat, is unopposed in his party's primary as he seeks a second term. He'll face either Adam Salam Adamski or Denis Curran.

Adamski, 73, is a Dearborn resident who was formerly known as Mario Nesr Fundarski. He ran for the same office in 2010 under his previous name as a Republican.

He also ran for county executive in 2014 as a Democrat because "Wayne County is a Democrat county" and he "wanted to switch just to see if it would make much difference." It didn't: He received less than 1 percent of the vote in that year's primary.

Adamski said his priorities would include repairing the county's roads and working with law enforcement to "track down and get" drug dealers. He also thinks a 10 percent surtax should be imposed on anyone who buys a foreign-made car, although state law prohibits local sales taxes.

Adamski expressed disdain for the county clerk's office and said he would like to make it part of the executive office, mentioning "cronyism and nepotism" he sees in all departments of Wayne County government.

Adamski said he worked for seven years in Las Vegas as a sports tout where he was paid to make picks on sports for people to bet on and later became a professional matchmaker.

"I’m not Donald Trump you know, not a billionaire, but I had very successful businesses," Adamski said.

Curran, 61, of Livonia, said his ideals are "pretty laid out in the Republican platform."

"Basically constitutional, you know, straight up," Curran said. "Not going with the socialist-type collectivist approach and (instead) going with the American constitutional, traditional principles."

Curran said the issues that concern him most are the state of the roads and county financing.

"I’ve heard some horror stories about what the county government does with their money and the crazy salaries and retirement benefits that county commissioners and so on get," Curran said. "If anybody could do something about that, why not?"

Adamski said he drove past Curran's house recently and saw that he "has a foreign-made car." He accused Curran of not supporting the United Auto Workers, which represents employees at the Detroit Three carmakers' domestic plants.

"I have several cars -- some American, some not," Curran responded. "You look at where cars are made these days, every single part comes from somewhere else, so."

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans speaks on the issue of regional transit.

Evans, 69, said he is running for re-election because he enjoys public service and believes the county is making progress.

Evans said he "inherited a mess" four years ago, with the county facing cash flow problems, accumulated budget deficits and unfunded retirement and healthcare liabilities. He said he staved off bankruptcy and fixed the county's finances, pointing to three straight years of budget surpluses. 

"I think I’ve worked hard for the citizens of Wayne County and hopefully they feel the same way and will re-elect me," Evans said. "I have nothing negative to say about anybody else. I just think if you don't have a record, what does the public hang its hat on?"

In addition to narrowing down the GOP executive candidates, Wayne County residents also will be voting on various bond and millage proposals in the primary.

A $60 million sewer system improvements bond proposal is on the table for the city of Dearborn. If the proposal is approved, the city will design and build  "additional major improvements" to the city's sewer system to meet state and federal regulations and reduce untreated sewage overflows in the Rouge River.

The cost would be spread onto property tax rolls, adding an estimated $48 per year to the annual cost for the "owner of a home with the average taxable value of all Dearborn homes" over the life of the bonds.

Also on the ballot is a proposal for road improvements in Canton Township that would levy 1.45 mills for 20 years.

If approved, the tax is expected to raise $5.7 million its first year.

Another proposal would create a 3-mill, 10-year sinking fund for Romulus Community Schools for land purchases, building construction and repair, and security and technology upgrades. The tax would raise an estimated $2.3 million its first year.