LeDuff: Ficano wants to borrow millions more for his 'Bob Mahal' - KMSP-TV

LeDuff: Ficano wants to borrow millions more for his 'Bob Mahal'

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By CHARLIE LEDUFF
MyFox Detroit Reporter

DETROIT (MyFox Detroit)
-- Wayne County is drowning in red ink.  So what solutions have the politicians come up with to keep it from sinking?  Borrow money and raise taxes, but those ideas just aren't holding water.

Let's take a look at the county's bottom line.  The budget is up in smoke.  It's so bad I had to write it down.  First of all, we've got a $200 million budget deficit.  Bad investments in contracts have led us to the brink.  The government's still packed with Bob Ficano's cronies and drivers.  We have a pension fund that's less than half funded and a credit rating that's a little better than junk.

However, the County Commission finally said enough is enough.  Tuesday, they voted down a proposal for the November ballot to hike your taxes yet again to fund the sheriff and prosecutor's offices.  Remember, you just passed a $36 million jail tax on yourself this past August.

"Three weeks ago today, the voters approved the renewal of our jail millage," said Gary Woronchak, chairman of the commission.  "It just seems wrong to me to come right back and say thank you, but we need more."

"Are you kidding me?" he continued.  "Downriver people want to see a better use of the tax dollars that they're currently paying.  They don't want to pay any higher taxes."

So that went down in flames, but wait there's more.

We've come to find out Ficano wants to borrow another $65 million for the "Bob Mahal" or new jail.  Why?  Because as we told Bob and he repeatedly denied, it's not big enough and they forgot to budget for the computers and the chairs.

For an earlier report, I asked Ficano how good he was at math.

"That's why I'm a lawyer," he responded.

I then asked him what's nine times six?

"That's why I'm a lawyer."

"I find it disappointing and incredible that with all of the alleged planning that went into the design, development, construction and all of this of the jail, I just don't know how to explain that," said Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Well, the kid with the lemonade stand who raised $3,000 to mow the city park understands.  It's called basic math.

I asked him what's nine times six?

"Nine times six equals 54."

Kid, you ever thought about being county executive?

"No."

Smart kid.

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