And they’re off and running

City Council candidate Carrie Beth Lasley kicked off the campaign season by holding a protest at city hall against a possibility of combining police and fire services into a public safety department.

By Charles Sercombe
This year’s city council election is all set to go.
None of the nine candidates who filed last week dropped out of the race by Friday’s deadline.
Three incumbents, Anam Miah, Abu Musa and Saad Almasmari, are defending their seats.
Their challengers are: Robert Zwolak, Nayeem Choudhury, Carrie Beth Lasley, Mohammed Hassan, Mohammed Alsomiri and Justin Jessop.
They will all face off in the Aug. 3 Primary Election. The top six finishers in that election will move on to the November Election.
Some of the names should be familiar to voters.
Zwolak is a former city clerk for Hamtramck, and has also served before on city council. Hassan is also a former councilmember.
Both Choudhury and Alsomiri have run before for council. Alsomiri is renovating the former Shopper’s World building on Jos. Campau and Yemans.
Lasley kicked off the campaign season with a protest outside of city hall last Tuesday before the council meeting.
A handful of firefighters and residents gathered at the front door, and held signs protesting against merging the police and fire departments into a single public safety department.
There is no current plan to do that, but the council recently voted on a new contract with the city’s police brass to allow for a transition into a public safety department “should (city) management move forward with such implementation in the city’s future.”
Police officers also recently agreed to a similar clause in their new contract a few months ago.
Councilmember Andrea Karpinski was the only councilmember to vote against it.
“The city manager and city attorney will tell you that including a unified command clause in the police contract is a bargaining tactic,” Lasley said on her campaign Facebook page.
“How effective can a bargaining tactic be if they are saying it is merely a bargaining tactic? It is either the worst bargaining tactic ever rolled out, or the residents are being gaslit. …”
May 3, 2019

6 Responses to And they’re off and running

  1. Fatema Hossain

    May 5, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    The drive toward a public safety department will move the City of Hamtramck into the 21st century and in line with many suburban communities in Metro Detroit. Those municipalities that have merged have seen budgeted costs decrease and more efficient management implemented.

    The one question mark in the City Council race is Justin Jessop. There is no description of him in the article. The only thing that I have been able to find on him is that he had been a State Representative candidate in the last election.

  2. Dennis Nowak

    May 5, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Few people realize that in 1911, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI became the first community in the U.S. to consolidate police and fire departments int one public safety unit and Michigan leads all U.S. states in the number of municipalities that have done so.

    Some links on the topic:

    There is no question a merger of police and fire operations within Hamtramck could result in huge cost savings and this is something the City Council should be seriously considering.

  3. Richard

    May 6, 2019 at 6:46 am


    A combined police and fire department (public safety) isn’t exactly “moving into the 21st century.” There’s enough evidence to prove that both services suffer and even the police officers and firefighters will tell you that it’s a horrible system. Your statement of “many suburban communities” is troubling as well. Hamtramck is not a suburban community. It is an extremely urban environment. There are only a handful of public safety departments in southeast Michigan and none of them are in areas remotely similar to Hamtramck. You literally have no idea what you’re speaking on and are spewing dangerous propaganda. Public safety would be disastrous for a city like Hamtramck. Look no further than its demise of Highland Park.

  4. Richard

    May 6, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    People keep saying there’s money to be saved by combining police and fire. My question is how? The only way to save money is actually by reducing the amount of employees you have really. So if that’s the case how many police and firefighters are going to be laid off in the city in order to combine these two departments and “save” money?

  5. Dennis Nowak

    May 12, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    There has been a challenge to the eligbility of Councilman Saad Almasmary to run for re-election.

    City Attorney James Allen is attempting to retain Melvin “Butch” Hollowell of the Miller Law Firm for a legal opinion on whether Mr. Almasmary is eligible to run for re-elction.

    A vote will be taken before City Council next Tuesday on this issue of retention of Mr. Hollowell for that purpose.

  6. Don Edwards

    May 15, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    The sparks flew last night at the City Council meeting as the Council passed a resolution to hire Melvim Hollowell as outside cousel to investite whrther or not Councilman Saad Almasmari qualifies as a candidate for re-election.

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