Economic Vitality Incentive Plan (EVIP)
The City of Westland, one of Michigan’s largest cities with over 84,000 who call Westland home, encompasses 20.5 square miles of a dense, urban area. The City offers a full array of services including emergency police, fire and 9-1-1 services, a comprehensive economic development program and a community development/housing division that provides services under federal Housing & Urban Development guidelines for the less economically advantaged in our community. The City is responsible for the maintenance of roads and the City’s water and sewer infrastructures, and a parks system representing 18 parks scattered throughout the City. Enforcement of state and local building codes and ordinances, conducting elections and fiscal oversight are among the City’s many responsibilities.
As such, the City seeks to employ professionals who exercise leadership over the City’s many operations and functions, providing a comprehensive and competitive salary and benefits package to attract and retain qualified executive level employees who manage the City’s cadre of approximately 270 full-time employees, and to also retain these employees, many of whom posses licenses, certifications and other credentials necessary for the delivery of municipal services.
As with many communities, Westland has been faced with a declining revenue base while attempting to maintain high quality, valued City services. Staffing levels have declined over the past several years from over 400 employees just a few years ago to the approximate 280 today. Where feasible, the City has chosen to subcontract services to avoid “legacy” costs such as retirement healthcare and pensions. The City has also imposed layoffs, offered early retirement incentives and negotiated other concessions from employee bargaining groups.
The City and its employee groups have worked together to achieve cost savings in the areas of healthcare, moving to less costly plans, in the area of reducing retirement benefits for new hires, imposing cost sharing and employee contributions for both healthcare and retirement benefits, and in foregoing previously agreed to pay raises.
This is an ongoing process in the City of Westland and as we look to maintain an All American City that its residents can be proud of, we will continually look for future ways to reduce costs in providing employee compensation while being able to retained qualified individuals to serve you.
With highest regards,
William R. Wild