Wayne County Commission District 6

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    Burton Leland

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Biographical Information

What do you view as Wayne County’s most pressing problems, and how would you start to solve them?

How do you feel about the actions taken by the administration of Wayne County Executive Warren Evans both in requesting a declaration of financial emergency to deal with the county’s financial situation and in the steps taken to address the financial emergency, such as through employee and retiree healthcare changes?

What efforts would you pursue to improve Wayne County’s financial situation?

What can Wayne County do to reverse its ongoing population loss?

What can Wayne County do to improve employment possibilities across the county?

Which county-provided services need the most improvement, and what suggestions can you offer for making them better?

Aside from its people, what are Wayne County’s greatest assets and how can the county better use or market them?

Many county officials have complained in recent months about a loss of talent from the ranks of Wayne County government. How would you make Wayne County government a more attractive option for quality candidates in light of the county’s financial challenges?

Do you support the union-led petition effort to reduce the base pay of Wayne County commissioners from $61,800 to $45,000? Why or why not?

How would your policies help to fix aging infrastructure in Wayne?

What is your position on outfitting the county sheriff’s department with body cameras?

Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?

With reports showing Michigan behind on education, what role if any do you see the county taking to improve education?

What is the county’s role in assisting financially struggling cities?

Has the county taken appropriate steps to prevent gun violence?

Do you support the proposed millage to fund regional transit in metro Detroit? Why or why not?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

City of residence Detroit
Age 67
Family Wife of 42 years, Rosanne, Sons Zack and Gabe. Zack and his wife, Nicole, are the proud parents of Granddaughter Lillian.
Education Mumford High School Graduate, BS - Wayne State University, MSW - University of Michigan
Vehicles owned 2015 Chevy Equinox & Impala
Professional Experience Michigan Department of Social Services (1972-80)
Political Experience State Representative (1981-98), State Senator (1999-2006), Wayne County Commissioner (2007-Present)
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? true
Balancing the budget, completing the jail project, repairing/resurfacing our roads, and maintaining the services necessary for our residents. I have supported the budget reductions that have been necessary and have supported the neighborhood associations and nonprofits working to improve our City. I have yet to see a plan for the jail that makes sense to me.
I agreed with the declaration of financial emergency as the way to avoid bankruptcy and the steps that had to be taken to protect our County from fiscal collapse. I recognize the need to make cuts, especially to a healthcare system that was too costly and out of control, but I believe that the new plans are unfair. However, the stipend given to retirees who are Medicare eligible is sufficient for these individuals to purchase the supplemental insurance they need.
Stop wasting dollars maintaining the jail site and help find the best solution. I will accept and support the plan to centralize county offices and divest properties and stop leasing spaces.
Increase law enforcement efforts, encourage and assist in the merger of municipal services (i.e. 911 operations) to allow smaller communities to spend less but maintain service levels. Work through Wayne RESA to provide expanded services and resources to help equalize education opportunities throughout our County. We must also make every effort to increase employment opportunities for residents by attracting new businesses.
Reach out to the business community, trade unions and local colleges to work together to create jobs and prepare our residents to fill the positions.
We must focus on repairing and repaving our roads and getting the help we need from the federal and state governments. We need to better maintain abandoned properties that are being held by the county and legally recover costs from absentee owners.
We have made great strides in improving the riverfront and offering events and activities for residents and visitors. Our parks are in excellent condition and planned events are successful. The community college has grown in participation and program diversity.
Too many salaries are too high. We need to restructure entry level compensation and keep things competitive but realistic. In the light of the county's current fiscal challenges and the disparity between upper level and lower level employees, there is no easy answer for this question.
Yes. We are not required to work fulltime but are compensated for it.
I believe we have to reach out to the state and federal governments for every available dollar. I am willing to become a spokesperson/lobbyist in an effort to secure fiscal assistance.
I support it.
If the laws governing the sale and taxation of tobacco products are applied, I would have to support it - not only would our jails no longer be crowded with marijuana offenders - the state would see a huge influx in tax revenues.
We need to encourage districts to share specialty programs such as music, art, advanced math, and sciences. We need to involve Wayne State University as a key resource in merging districts and programs. I believe we must reduce the over 500 school districts that exist in our state. The City of Dearborn Heights, for instance, has a population of 56,620 people but is still operating with three separate school districts. That represents three superintendents, three school boards, three administration buildings; three separate food service providers, transportation systems and purchasing departments. The savings are obvious.
There are some services that the County can provide more cost effectively to municipalities. Cities and townships must be willing to examine centralizing appropriate services under County leadership.
Our Clerk is responsible for issuing Concealed Weapons Permits and is diligent. Without changes in existing laws or the enactment of specific ordinances, the County cannot do much else.
Yes. It is an important step to improving employment opportunities for residents who do not own automobiles and hopefully, it will alleviate some of our traffic and parking problems.