Wayne County’s in depth financial review established that the County faces enormous challenges to solve its structural and accumulated deficit. Warren Evans, the CEO of Wayne County, is committed to finding and implementing every possible cost saving measure to solve this crisis. As a result Mr. Evans directed his staff to look at every conceivable area for cost-savings. Today, CEO Warren Evans announces an important beginning in that effort: a Spending Freeze.
“This is the first step to resolve the County’s financial crisis” said County Executive Evans. “It’s critical we begin the take the necessary steps to solve our financial crisis and restore fiscal health. Reducing expenditures wherever possible must be our first priority”
According to the terms of the Executive Order freezing hiring, all vacant positions within the County will stay vacant. No current employees will receive a pay increase unless mandated by a collective bargaining agreement. There will be no renewal or replacement of employees working on a contractual basis unless deemed essential by the Executive Committee. Additionally, the Executive Order includes restrictions on overtime, travel, operating services, supplies, professional services, acquisitions, major repairs, cellular phones, subscriptions, memberships, equipment and capital purchases.
The Executive Order establishes an “Executive Review Committee” to ensure that it terms are followed. The Committee consists of the County Executive’s Chief of Staff, the Chief Restructuring Officer, Budget Director, Corporation Counsel and the Director of Personnel/Human Resources, or their designees. This Committee is authorized to implement further restrictions to increase savings and reduce expenditures.
Important exemptions to this hiring freeze related to public health and safety are provided in the Executive Order. These include funds for declared emergencies, expenditures for housing juvenile offenders in detention facilities and budgeted sheriff deputies and assistant prosecutors. Federal or state funded expenses, those mandated by the County Charter, state or federal law, court orders and cooperative agreements, are also not affected.
“I along with the “Executive Review Committee”, other County elected officials and the rest of my staff will continue to look for ways to streamline County expenditures while still providing the necessary services to County residents”, Mr. Evans stated.