If you've recently driven along Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit you've probably noticed Bill Wild's name. It's plastered across an entire storefront on the west side of the corridor near Campus Martius.
Wild, the current mayor of Westland, is running for Wayne County Executive -- and the advertising blitz in support of his candidacy is prevalent. Those attending the annual Mackinac Policy Conference this week, the annual gala on Mackinac Island that features most of Michigan's movers and shakers, were almost certain to take notice: Wild's camp purchased a handful of billboards along I-75 near the island, hundreds of miles away from his hometown and the county he's hoping to run.
We wondered what the deal was, and (perhaps in a sign of Wild's presence) was immediately directed by his team to just ask. The answer was unsurprising. (And, later we'd find, something they personally took note of.)
"We're just setting ourselves up for the conference here," Wild says. "We actually kicked off our campaign last year at the policy conference, we're a year into this... and the billboard's will hep create the buzz."
Asked about current County Executive Bob Ficano's plan to slash $175 million in debt, Wild says portions of the plan are sound, like the use of $81 million from the delinquent tax revolving fund. But, he says, Big Bob's plan to sell the county's wastewater treatment facilities could be an issue. The county contends the sale would generate a $121 million profit.
If that's the case, some mayors representing downriver communities where the facilities are located have offered a different perspective, Wild says.
"I've talked with those mayors, and the number I've heard is $2 million," Wild says. "So there's a big gap there."
Ficano is expected to arrive on the island later in the week.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.