Next Tuesday is election day and, here in Hamtramck, this could be a historical moment.
There will definitely be three new councilmembers, although there is a chance that a former councilmember, Abu Musa, could return.
The race everyone is watching is for mayor. Mayor Karen Majewski is in the political fight for her life in seeking a fifth term, which if successful would make her the longest serving mayor in Hamtramck’s history.
But she is facing a mighty big challenge. Her opponent, political newcomer Amer Ghalib, beat her by over 350 votes in the primary election last August.
That’s a huge gap for Majewski to close.
We understand the support for Ghalib. He is a Yemeni-American, and that community has grown in recent years, enough to wield significant political clout. There is not only ethnic pride working for him, but a call for someone new to lead the city.
Majewski has been here for 16 years and, like so many others who have held office for a long time, there is a sudden urgency for someone new.
That’s just the way it works.
But Majewski’s critics are taking a lot of cheap potshots at her. They blame her for such things as basements flooding and the city’s longstanding financial problems.
What they don’t offer are clear-cut solutions. Instead, we hear of “bold” new plans, and cutting “waste” from the city budget.
If we had a dollar for every time we have heard candidates make similar promises, with no specific details, there’d be enough money to … solve the city’s financial shortcomings.
It’s easy to make vague promises, and it’s always frustrating when voters buy into this sales pitch.
There is one and only one solution: A huge amount of money.
Also on the ballot are two city charter proposals, one to require would-be candidates for local office to have lived here for at least one year, and the other to set term limits for city councilmembers and the mayor.
Neither is needed, and will only lead to eliminating otherwise qualified people from running for office. It’s hard enough to attract folks to serve the city.
No matter what, we urge voters to do their civic duty and vote next Tuesday – if you haven’t done so already, via absentee ballot.
Posted Oct. 29, 2021