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Dear Constituent, It has been a busy 2015, and everything points to Wayne County being in much better shape financially than when the year began.

The Wayne County Commission has been working with the new administration to right the county's ship. The Commission recently approved a $1.56 billion balanced budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, and the budget, combined with other factors - including 10 union contracts approved by the Commission and money received from the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund - have helped erase the county's accumulated and structural (annual) deficits. The county is on its way to finally being in the black again.

Another positive in the improved finances is the reorganization plan unanimously approved by the Commission. The key element was the creation of the Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness, which is a merger of several departments and divisions. As chair of the Commission's Committee on Health and Human Services, I have been closely monitoring the department's creation and the improved services it will bring to Wayne County residents. I'm also proud to represent the Commission as vice-chair of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and 2nd vice-chair of Authority Health, formerly the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority.

In addition, I've been busy as a member of the Commission's Committees on Audit, Economic Development and Public Services. In particular, the Committee on Audit has been working diligently with the county's Office of Legislative Auditor General to identify ways to better use taxpayer money.

Much was accomplished by the Wayne County Commission in 2015. I'm looking forward to great productivity in 2016.

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!