Update: Contrary to what we reported previously, there is no scheduled special meeting of the Receivership Transition Advisory Board for Tuesday (July 18) to consider the city council’s appointment of Kathy Angerer as acting city manager.
By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck is now on its fourth temporary city manager within the last 30 days.
At Tuesday’s regular city council meeting, a bare majority of councilmembers rejected the appointment of Police Chief Anne Moise as acting city manager.
She was appointed by former City Manager Katrina Powell two days before Powell’s employment contract expired on June 30.
That appointment was within Powell’s authority under the city charter.
But the city charter also allows the city council to reject that appointment, which is what happened Tuesday. After firing Moise, Councilmembers Anam Miah, Saad Almasmari, Abu Musa and Mohammed Hassan then agreed to appoint Kathy Angerer, the Director of Community and Governmental Affairs, to take over as acting city manager.
Councilmembers Andrea Karpinski and Ian Perrotta had previously voted in favor of Moise’s appointment and voted against Angerer’s appointment.
Perrotta said Angerer is “not the appropriate person for this position.” He explained that since Moise is one of the few department heads in the city to supervise 10 or more employees, that makes her more suitable for the job.
Karpinski also said Moise’s supervision of multiple employees makes her more qualified. She also added that there was no resume submitted for Angerer.
Councilmember Miah proposed the resolution to hire Angerer. He appeared to read from a prepared text and stumbled several times on reading it aloud, and even struck out some portions after reading it.
Perrotta complained that the proposal to hire Angerer was “sprung up on surprise” to the council without prior notice.
Angerer’s appointment isn’t a done deal until the state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board weighs in. That board has final approval of all financial and contractual decisions.
The RTAB’s next regular meeting is July 25. At the time The Review went to press on Thursday it was not known if the board will hold a special meeting to consider the appointment.
In the meantime, Angerer told The Review she is working with Moise. Angerer added that she planned to talk with the state Treasury Department on Thursday afternoon to find out if the state will support her appointment.
Angerer said she was not told beforehand that she was going to be appointed as acting city manager. She said she is willing to take on the role.
“I only want what’s best for Hamtramck,” Angerer told The Review.
Angerer has served in a number of roles for the past several years in the city, including economic development, code enforcement and now planning special events and promotions.
She has been most well known for planning various improvements to city parks, including a complete overhaul of Pope Park.
Her role with the city was reduced in recent years under Powell, who took economic development and overseeing code enforcement away from her and hired others to take on those duties.
Angerer was here before the state stepped in and appointed an emergency manager. Prior to coming to Hamtramck she was a state representative and had experience in education and other government roles.
How long she will serve as acting city manager is unknown. The same council majority that appointed her has refused to hire a company to begin a search for a permanent city manager.
Powell left under contentious circumstances after serving here for two-and-a-half years.
As Powell was leaving the same council majority first appointed former acting city manager Kyle Tertzag, who was rejected by the RTAB.
Next up, the same majority appointed former Treasury John Gabor as interim, but that appointment was apparently abandoned after it was learned that he lacked enough experience as a city manager in a city with at least 10,000 in population.
Instead of sticking with Gabor, the four councilmembers appointed Angerer as acting city manager. The qualifications for acting city manager are far less than for an interim or permanent city manager.
An acting city manager simply has to be an active department head.