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Ficano Highlights Economic Growth During State Of County Address

DEARBORN (WWJ) - Calling himself a "fighter", Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano delivered his State of the County Address Tuesday night in Dearborn.

Ficano pointed to the recently renovated Cobo Center as one example of his efforts to spur economic growth in the region.

"Back them a lot of people were saying the auto industry wasn't going to survive so why bother fixing Cobo? But all of us hung in there, all of us, we kept fighting and now Cobo Center will continue to be a source of economic benefits and civic pride for the city of Detroit, and the whole region of Oakland and Macomb and Southeastern Michigan," Ficano said.

Using the Automotive Hall of Fame as a backdrop, Ficano compared his county's government to the rebounding auto industry.

"Since 2009, 38 percent of all investment in the state of Michigan happened in Wayne County, and 43 percent of all the new jobs in the state were created right here," he told the audience.

Making reference to his interest in spinning off the county's waste-water treatment plant, Ficano made this call for stronger regional economic cooperation.

"Some people believe our communities can succeed individually, and in isolation from one another. They're wrong. Others take comfort in the fact that their side of the boat is not leaking. They're wrong. As a region we need to come together for the advancement of everyone."

Although he did not address the corruption that has plagued his administration, including his chief information officer being sent to prison last week for accepting bribes, Ficano says Wayne County government is more transparent now than ever.

This was Ficano's twelfth State of the County address since taking office.

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