Westland Mayor Bill Wild thinks he has what it takes to be the next Wayne County Executive. Wild is one of five major candidates, including incumbent Bob Ficano, running to be the county's top boss this year.
You’ve probably seen candidate Wild in not one, but two different TV ad campaigns. However, neither came from his campaign.
Wild is featured prominently in ads for his family’s auto salvage yard Scrap Busters, seen regularly on local television, including Tiger games as well as on Local 4.
“My business doesn’t stop just because I come to the Mayor’s office every day,” said Wild. “My business is a separate entity. It’s got its own marketing campaign. We’ll probably continue to market our business because it’s a smart thing to do.”
But Wild’s non-campaign ad exposure isn’t just limited to Scrap Busters. He’s also front-and-center in a commercial promoting Westland. That ad is paid for by the Westland Chamber of Commerce and the Westland Community Foundation.
The ad features Wild touting Westland as a good place to raise a family or run a business.
“The other campaign is a local campaign,” Wild said. “It’s funded by the Community Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce to build awareness for the city. I think every mayor’s biggest job is to be a cheerleader for the city.”
Wild is a Westland Community Foundation board member and he said the spot is not political.
The ad was the brainchild of Westland businessman Glenn Shaw, who owns WCA and Associates. According to their website, WCA “offers a complete range of assessment services to municipal government” and has a contract with the city of Westland since 2012.
WCA’s office building, which sports a Wild for Executive campaign sign in the window, also houses the Westland Community Foundation. Shaw says the foundation operates independently of his business.
Speaking on the phone from Florida, Shaw also said he paid essentially nothing for creating the ad. He added foundation is buying ad time only because it wants to encourage more people to live and work in Westland.
However, Shaw does acknowledge that he supports Wild’s campaign for county executive because, he said, he believes Wild has done a great job as Westland’s mayor.
Wild says another pro-Westland ad is expected to be unveiled soon. Campaign or otherwise, expect to see more of Bill Wild on the air in the coming weeks and months.