By Charles Sercombe
And now we wait.
A week ago, the city council unanimously agreed not to dispute Gov. Rick Snyder’s reconfirmation that the city is in a financial crisis.
The council also remained consistent in requesting the governor appoint an emergency financial manager.
Now all that’s needed for state intervention is for Snyder to agree to having an emergency manager take over.
He could, theoretically, reject that request and insist city officials take one of three other options. However, it is expected Snyder will go along with appointing an emergency manager.
City officials are waiting now waiting for Snyder to make the appointment.
“The ball’s in the state’s court,” is all Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag could say at this point.
Snyder is under no deadline to reply to the city. And as it stands, the city is actually in no immediate financial crisis. It apparently has enough money coming in to pay bills for the next few months.
The only thing hanging over the city’s head is a $3.4 million budget deficit. For the past few months city officials were warning of imminent payless paydays for city employees but unexpected revenue streams helped stave off that crisis.
However, the threat of payless paydays could rear back up if city officials refuse to take a loan based on anticipated property tax payments coming this summer.
At the last council meeting, the council decided to hold off on accepting what’s called a TAN (tax anticipation note) loan because of some unexpected details imposed by state officials.
What’s at heart of their concern is some costs of the loan and other conditions.
City officials still have time to sort that out, but if the loan is turned down, the possibility of city employees going without a paycheck once again becomes more real.
If an emergency manager is appointed soon, the loan decision will no longer be in the hands of city officials because their authority on such matters will be suspended.
In the meantime, the beat goes on in city hall. At next Tuesday’s regular council meeting the new fiscal year’s budget will be up for a final vote. The budget boasts of an $18,000 surplus.
Hamtramck’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.