City council needs to step back and reconsider its role

We don’t want to fan the flames here, but the dysfunction of the city council continues to get worse.

And now a couple of councilmembers are conceding that the public is losing “faith” in city officials.

The past few meetings have been nothing short of a circus. Worse, there is a suggestion that the city charter be changed from a city manager run city to a strong mayor version.

While we agree the charter could use some tinkering here and there, going to a strong mayor form of government would be a return to the bad old days.

If anything, the council needs to re-read the charter and stop its continued interference with the running of the city.

Add it up. Since switching to a city manager government seven years ago, two city managers have been fired and subsequently two acting city managers have come and gone.

The city now has its third acting city manager who says he has no desire to stay here but will remain while the search goes on for a permanent city manager.

At this point, one has to wonder if Hamtramck can attract anyone to take the job. A simple search online about the city brings up one story after another over how bad the situation is.

It doesn’t help that we have a city council that has spun out of control and is making it hell for anyone who occupies the position of city manager.

From the tone of some councilmembers, you’d think they are prosecutors putting the city manager on trial. This is micro-managing gone insane.

The city charter clearly restricts the council to the sideline, but slowly, over the years since the new charter was adopted – by a wide margin of voters – the council has increasingly asserted itself into the day-to-day operations of the city.

We’re not pointing fingers at any individuals, but we are asking councilmembers to take a deep breath, step back and reconsider their roles. Otherwise, at this pace Hamtramck is going to fall apart and be taken over by a state-appointed emergency manager.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *