City of Wayne facing cuts, emergency management after failed millage vote

City council looking at drastic cuts
Posted at 10:21 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 23:21:26-04

About 50 people packed a meeting of the Wayne City Council Thursday night as council members considered cost-saving measures after voters rejected a public safety millage Tuesday.

The city is operating on a $1.5 million dollar deficit, according to Mayor Susan M. Rowe.

"We do not have an expense problem. We have a revenue problem," Rowe told .

The millage would have cost homeowners an additional $365 to $400 dollars per year. It was overwhelmingly rejected by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin. It would have raised $5 million dollars needed to maintain police and fire services.

Council members listened to presentations from the Wayne police and fire chiefs. Both told council members there was nothing more they could cut without endangering public safety.

Wayne Police Chief Alan Maciag warned that his department is already stretched thin. A previous round of cuts has forced officers to move from eight and a half to 12 hour shifts to maintain services. More cuts would mean going down to two one-man patrols and closing the station at night.

"Right now we're at gravely low staffing levels," Maciag said. 

Fire Chief Mike Reddy warned that any additional cuts to his department would effectively shut it down and threaten a shared services agreement with nearby Westland, which could expose Wayne to legal action.

Brian Camiller, a CPA with Plante Moran who has been hired by the city, said Wayne is running on a structural deficit and will run out of money by the end of the 2017 fiscal year unless more drastic cuts are made.

Rowe said a formal request for emergency management will be sent to state Treasury officials by Monday.