You could say that Councilmember Cathie Gordon has a point.
And that point is the city administration needs to run a tighter ship when it comes to keeping track of contractors and the work they bill the city for.
And the administration needs to make sure that if City Council authorization is first needed to hire a contractor, that better get done.
But to say that the case of paying Acts 29 Fellowship roughly $13,000 for cleaning up lots and taking care of other blighted properties requires a state police investigation, well, that’s a stretch and probably a waste of taxpayers’ money.
For part of the year of 2008 and all of 2009, Acts 29 was hired and paid mostly through a state Housing Department agency grant. Hamtramck was also required to kick in some matching funds. But, as Councilmember Gordon pointed out, the city administration never sought City Council approval to hire the company as required by the City Charter.
Furthermore, Gordon has questioned some of the billing for work Acts 29 submitted, saying another company was also hired to perform the same work.
Is this a case of false billing or is it simply a matter that both companies took care of the same piece of property at different times?
To us, one thing is for sure, the city administration failed to scrutinize these work orders and check for duplication. We don’t think this warrants having the state police called in to investigate.
On Thursday, after The Review went to press, the City Council held a special meeting to outline what the state police should look into and then have this passed on to Hamtramck’s chief of police so he can formally request the state police to step in.
It sounds like a waste of time. The City Council could better spend its time thinking of ways to make Paczki Day an even better and bigger event next year.
The city administration has already put into place a series of procedures that must be followed when it comes to handling contractors. Let’s chalk this one up to experience and move on.