Editorial: Shake up Wayne County Commission

The Detroit News

If there was ever a political body that needed a good shake-up, it’s the Wayne County Commission. The part-time commissioners draw full-time pay yet resisted the compensation concessions they’ve asked of other county employees, and have instead tried to fatten their already generous benefits package.

Voters should replace as many of the current commissioners as possible to remind the board that it works for the benefit of the taxpayers, and not the other way around. While the general election may offer a better chance for wholesale change on the commission, the Aug. 2 primary is still a good place to start.

In the 1st District Democratic primary, voters should choose DaRell Reed, pastor of Spirit of Love church and retired autoworker, over incumbent Tim Killeen. On the Republican side, we prefer John Steininger, a businessman and former member of the Grosse Pointe Board of Education.

For the 2nd District, none of the Democratic challengers to incumbent Jewel Ware returned their questionnaire, so we are left with her. And unfortunately she will not have a GOP opponent in the fall.

Voters in the 3rd District should dump Democratic incumbent Martha Scott in favor of Anam Miah, mayor pro-tem of Highland Park.

In the 4th District, the challenger to Democratic incumbent Ilona Varga did not return a questionnaire. So again, she is the choice by default, not merit.

Similarly in the 5th District, the challengers to Irma Clark-Coleman did not respond.

For the 6th District, former State Rep. Carl Baxter is preferable to incumbent Burton Leland in the Democratic primary.

Incumbent Alisha Bell is unopposed in the 7th District. For the 8th District, the Democratic challenger to Diane Webb did not return a questionnaire.

The lone incumbent Republican on the commission, Terry Marecki of the 9th District, has attempted to bring accountability to the board and should be renominated.

The 10th and 11th District races are uncontested in the primary.

In the 12th District, former newspaper editor Susan Mason should replace incumbent Democrat Glenn Anderson.

Unfortunately, Commission Chair Gary Woronchak, who has defended the commission’s piggish ways, is unopposed in the 13th District, as is Raymond Basham in the 14th.

In the 15th District, Democrat Joe Palamara, who holds another full-time job as a lobbyist in Lansing, should be replaced by Patricia Hartig, an attorney and former mayor of Trenton.

In the county-wide races, we endorse incumbent Benny Napoleon for sheriff; incumbent Cathy Garrett for clerk, Bernard Youngblood for register of deeds, and newly appointed Treasurer Eric Sabree who has brought fresh vision to the stale department.