DETROIT (WXYZ) - Balancing the budget was one of the main focuses of Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano's State of the County address Tuesday evening.
The county is facing a $175 million budget deficit. Eager to avoid a state takeover, Ficano's team unveiled a plan that would make deep cuts and sell county assets to eliminate some of the deficit.
The State of the County was delivered at Dearborn’s Automotive Hall of Fame.
Bob Ficano says he’s a fighter, and he’s fought through adversity and is fighting back.
“The fight isn’t over, and I’m still standing,” said Ficano.
Ficano’s biggest fight is steering the county away from bankruptcy.
Ficano laid out a plan of cutting salaries by 10-percent, reducing the workforce by 1,300 employees and cutting operating expenses by 20-percent. That's a move that needs to be voted on.
“If the Commission is willing to take those steps that we outlined, you can forget about an Emergency Manger and you can forget about bankruptcy,” said Ficano.
Kevin McNamara, Wayne County Commissioner, was in attendance. When asked if Ficano's plan addresses what might stave off a possible bankruptcy, McNamara said no.
"He talking guesses on what he can do and when he can do it," said McNamara.
Ficano says he’s in direct contact with the state and is doing all he can to keep Wayne County afloat.
“Through the years I’ve endured what some believed were knockout punches, but it would be a mistake to count me out," said Ficano.