Wojtowicz, 60, lives in Hamtramck and is the former owner of Central Collission Inc. He previously attended Mercy College and Wayne State, and works as a claims investigator for Wayne County's Management & Budget Risk Management department.
Metro Times: Why are you interested in running for Wayne County Executive?
Christopher Wojtowicz: I decided to seek the Executive Office approximately a year and a half ago. Working in the trenches the information I discovered was that the current administration has let the citizens and taxpayers down. In speaking with many citizens and listening to the media on their discoveries of poor practices I wanted to give the citizens a public servant that leads by example. I knew for sure that there would be many also seeking the Office. Many of those would be the same that have shown the same type of leadership of current administration. Time to roll with the changes, we can’t be fooled again.
MT: The county has an accumulated $175 million budget deficit. Is there a way to address that and avoid the risk of insolvency?
CW: Until I have all parties on the same page of what the truth is it will take the first 100 days to resolve the next years budget. I will address the structural deficit first which will then be the outline of the financial deficit resolution. This is Government and not Business. Government is designed to function. Back to the basics and fund only mandates. The current tax base will have to suffice until all debts and liabilities are accounted for to keep services that are due to the citizens.
MT: Is there any aspect of the incumbent’s record that you believe are commendable accomplishments?
CW: To lose sight of all that you have worked for and neglect the citizens for the sake of money then it is time to step down. The incumbent must realize that as the leader you answer for the good and bad of those you ask to serve with you.
MT: Do you have any criticisms of the incumbent and how his administration has ran?
CW: If you have seen all the media coverage of what has been discovered the only thing I can say is that you should have had a better understanding of what your administration was doing. He had the information, so called education and experience that let his administration ruin the County for their own means.
MT: If current plans with Bedrock Real Estate Services to redevelop the downtown Wayne County Jail site fall through, how would you address the failed project?
CW: First, I will not sell off County property for a dime on the dollar. If Bedrock doesn’t want to do work with Wayne County then so be it. I will review what all the obligations current and future are and decide that if financially we can complete the project will proceed to complete it.
MT: The incumbent has indicated the downriver wastewater treatment facilities could be sold to compensate for the budget deficit. Would you support the move?
CW: No. The leaders that I have spoken with are as cash strapped as ever. I would hold onto to that asset and reconsider again addressing the structural deficit to balance the budget. Since, the drop in revenue sharing has caused many communities to be on the brink of an EFM having the Downriver Communities suffer even more is out of the question.
MT: What have you done personally or professionally to help advance regional cooperation, or other significant causes?
CW: In retrospect nothing. I do believe that a line of communication has been disrupted between the three counties that are concentrated in Southeastern Michigan. I would not exclude the other surrounding counties to create a better regional cooperative.
MT: Would you support the creation of a regional water authority to oversee the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department? If not, why?
CW: Yes, Simply get all the information to all parties involved so that we can come to the table and have a Regional Water and Sewerage Authority. We have one-fifth of the freshwater supply in the world. This will be the model that others will follow. My investigative skills will bring forth an agreement for all. Oakland and Macomb will feel comfortable when this comes to pass. Those surrounding County’s will play an even role in this Authority.
MT: A number of communities in Wayne County have either faced the prospect of emergency management, or have seen Lansing appoint one to handle their finances. What are your thoughts about the current emergency manager law, PA 436?
CW: This is near and dear to my heart. I live in Hamtramck that had and has an EFM. I believe that some changes to the law are necessary. I would love to work with the State on creating a better mousetrap for this situation. The Communities affected and their residents need better input.
MT: What’s your favorite restaurant to dine at in Wayne County?
CW: Not fair there are too many to mention. My stomach seems to like a variety of different foods so to pick one is not right.
MT: What did we miss? Anything you’d like to touch on?
CW: You didn’t miss much. You covered the same ole as all the other questionnaires that have come across. I just want to thank you for this opportunity to respond. I hope that the registered voters in Wayne County get out to vote. If they choose for the same ole, same ole then so be it. This is the time to get Wayne County on the road of stability, leadership by example and back to proper service to the citizens.
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