As County Executive, Mr. Evans has focused on reforming County government and implementing policies that improve the overall health of the County, its residents and businesses. Through his Recovery Plan, which created a roadmap for fiscal stability, Wayne County has generated its first General Fund surplus in eight years, the $82 million accumulated deficit and the $52 million structural deficit has been eliminated, the pension system funding level increased from 45 percent to 54 percent and the unfunded healthcare liabilities were reduced by nearly one billion dollars. In less than two years in office, Mr. Evans’ financial turnaround has earned the County upgraded credit outlooks from three Wall Street credit agencies: Moody’s, Fitch Rating and Standard & Poor’s.
In May 2016, Mr. Evans created the Investing in Michigan Communities: Finding Fair Funding for Strong, Successful Communities summit. The seven-series event of statewide conversations seeks viable solutions to Michigan’s broken model for funding local governments. The series will conclude in January 2017 with recommended solutions on the best approach to ensure local municipalities receive fair funding.
Under Mr. Evans plan to provide a better continuum of care for residents, he transformed the way Wayne County delivers critical services to citizens. He created an organizational structure that eliminated redundancies and silos by consolidating departments and divisions and created the customer-focused Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness. The new department provides families an opportunity to improve their quality of life through holistic delivery of service. The “no wrong door” approach ensures that Wayne County’s most vulnerable citizens have access to all of their needs in an efficient and effective manner.
Upon taking office as County Executive, Mr. Evans sought to build collaborative relationships with the six other elected County officials and the County’s stakeholders. His collaborative approach transformed a historically contentious budget process, gaining the support of the County’s elected officials during his Administration’s first budget proposal. The submitted budget, which was approved by Wayne County Commission, was realistic, balanced and ensured the County had the resources necessary to operate efficiently. Mr. Evans’ collaborative approach also developed meaningful connections with employees, residents, and business owners. Forgoing the traditional State of the County Address his first year in office, he connected directly with the concerns of County residents and business owners through a series of citizen-centered county updates. These updates gave citizens a real opportunity to be heard.
Mr. Evans was honored with the 2016 County Executive of the Year award by the National Organization of Black County Officials for his work to turn around Wayne County’s finances and improve operations.
Before becoming the Wayne County Executive, Mr. Evans led a distinguished career in other areas of Wayne County government. His career began as a jail deputy for the Wayne County Sheriff’s office. He worked his way through the ranks where he served in nearly every leadership position. He made department history by becoming the youngest-ever sergeant at the age of 26 and youngest-ever lieutenant at the age of 28. From 1987 through 1991, he guided the department as its undersheriff, the second-highest position in command. He was appointed Sheriff in 2003 and elected to a full term by Wayne County residents in 2004. He was subsequently re-elected in 2008.
Prior to his tenure as Sheriff, Mr. Evans served as Assistant County Executive from 1991 to 1997 for Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara’s Administration. Mr. Evans was tasked with managing the County’s youth home, which faced legal action from the U.S. Department of Justice. His leadership not only ensured the youth home averted a potentially costly legal fight but also transformed the facility into a nationally-recognized model for juvenile reform.
Mr. Evans also served as Chief of Special Operations in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office and as the Director of Administration for the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
In 2009, he drew on his experiences in law enforcement to serve as Chief of the Detroit Police Department and led its turnaround. In one year, he implemented an innovative community-policing model that led to a 17 percent drop in violent crime and a 25 percent improvement in police response time.
Mr. Evans serves on a number of boards, including the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, The Parade Company, Michigan Association of Counties, Forgotten Harvest, and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mr. Evans earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from Madonna University, a Masters of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Detroit and a Juris Doctor degree from Detroit College of Law. Mr. Evans is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the D.C. Bar, and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Born in Detroit and into a family where public service was a duty, Mr. Evans upholds that tradition while instilling those qualities in others. He lives in Detroit and enjoys spending time with his daughters Erikka and Nikki and his six grandchildren.