In last week’s issue, we discussed what will be the top issues facing the city in this new year.
The debate over whether to allow recreational marijuana sales will continue to rage on – especially now that the council is adopting a new ban on allowing any more retail outlets to open.
There are currently two sales stores already in operation. This week, the council dropped its previous ban, after a voter-driven petition would have forced a vote on the issue.
The new ordinance will sidestep that action.
That issue seems to grab the most attention, but there is another one that is far more pressing: The city’s finances, which are tanking fast.
This topic hasn’t seemed to capture the attention of some councilmembers.
It’s an issue the city administration needs to bring fully to the public’s attention.
Hamtramck is in a multi-million-dollar budget deficit. The city cannot possibly sustain this, without crashing head-first into a financial crisis.
In other words, we are once again facing a state takeover via an emergency manager.
This has happened twice in the last 20 years, and in both instances the state-appointed emergency manager failed to address Hamtramck’s core financial problem: Its pension costs, and the costs related to having our own police and fire departments.
Something has to give, because the city is simply not taking in enough revenue to pay for everything.
We don’t profess to know where any of this is heading, but the issue certainly needs to be addressed publicly.
Posted Jan. 29, 2021