Photo by Bob Oliver
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano (right) gives his opening remarks during the Wayne County Executive Forum Thursday at Henry Ford College. The forum featured several candidates running on the Aug. 5 primary ballot for a spot in the November general election. Fellow candidates Bettie Cook Scott (left), Westland Mayor William Wild and Christopher Wojtowicz wait their turn to address the audience.
By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — The county budget, crime prevention and how to improve public services were three items under discussion during the Wayne County Executive Forum at Henry Ford College Thursday.
The event, hosted and organized by the Democratic Institute at HFC and the three chapters of the League of Women Voters in Wayne County, included 10 of the 14 candidates who will be on the Aug. 5 primary ballot.
“We want the voters to be educated and to have an opportunity to see the candidates and get some of their questions answered,” LWV Northwest Wayne County Vice President Paula Bowman said.
Bowman moderated the forum and said the LWV was preparing a voters guide for the primary election and expected it to be available about the end of the month.
Projected frontrunners for the Democratic nomination, according to a recent poll released by the Washington-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, former Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, Westland Mayor William Wild, 11th District County Commissioner Kevin McNamara and incumbent Executive Robert Ficano were in attendance.
Other Democratic candidates in attendance were Adam Adamski, Russell Leviska, Bettie Cook Scott and Chirstopher Wojtowicz while state Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D-10th District) was absent due to attending a voting session in Lansing.
Fred Bolden and John Dalton, two of the three Republican candidates in the primary, also participated in the forum.
Each of the candidates were given a chance to respond to five audience-generated questions as well as several short response “lightning round” questions that ranged from what the candidate would do to improve county finances if elected and how drug-related crime, incarceration and recidivism could be combated.
Bowman said that more questions were submitted, but due to time constraints they were not asked.
“There is a lot of interest in this race and we would need eight hours to get to all of the questions that people have,” Bowman said.
HFC President Stan Jensen gave the opening remarks at the event and emphasized the importance of civic duty in society.
“Community engagement is very important and we’re very proud to host this event at the college,” HFC President Stan Jensen said. “It’s healthy to have open dialogue like this and to let voters hear what each candidate stands for before heading to the polls.”
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)