Deadline is approaching for candidates to line up for council and mayor

hamtramck review


By Charles Sercombe
Anyone interested in running for a seat on city council or maybe even the mayor’s office has a little over five weeks to file.
There will be three council seats up for election, currently being occupied by Councilmembers Andrea Karpinski, Mohammed Hassan and Ian Perrotta.
Mayor Karen Majewski is also up for re-election. If she is successful in winning it would be her fourth term.
All positions are four-year terms.
Nominating petitions must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by no later than April 25 at 4 p.m.
A statement of organization must also be filed with the Wayne County Election Department.
Candidates must be at least 18 years old and a registered Hamtramck voter.
Petitions must have at least 40 signatures from Hamtramck voters and no more than 100.
Or, candidates can skip collecting signatures and pay a $100 filing fee.
Anyone on city council who was thinking of challenging the mayor already missed the deadline to resign from office, which is required if a councilmember’s term does not expire this year.
So far, Councilmember Hassan, whose term does expire this year, has said he plans to run for mayor.
The role of mayor and council is still limited. The city’s financial decisions are being supervised by a state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board. The board was created over two years ago after the state-appointed emergency manager’s term expired.
The EM was in charge for 18 months, meaning Hamtramck has not been under local control for almost four years. However, City Manager Katrina Powell has been running the day-to-day operations of the city.
While there is no end date for the RTAB, a transition seems to be in the works. The RTAB recently decided to take a reduced role in supervising the city. In other cities where that happened local control was returned within a year.
Yet again, Hamtramck’s circumstances leading up to a financial crisis and eventually the appointment of an emergency manager were unique. One of the key factors the state cited in taking over control was the city’s ongoing culture of political infighting and instability.
That situation has not changed much. Four of the city’s six councilmembers have consistently butted heads with City Manager Katrina Powell over a number of issues.
Hamtramck made national and international news in the last council election, which turned the council into a Muslim majority. That milestone is thought to be a first for any American city.
If past elections are any guide, Mayor Majewski could be vulnerable this election year. Bengali and Yemeni-American voters, most of whom are of the Muslim faith, have continued to increase in recent years, and there is a strong chance a Muslim candidate could win the mayor’s position. There is also a strong possibility that candidates of the Muslim faith will take over the entire city council.


2 Responses to Deadline is approaching for candidates to line up for council and mayor

  1. Roadman

    March 19, 2017 at 12:48 am

    “….[f]our of the six councilmembers have consistently butted heads with City Manager Katrina Powell over a number of issues.”

    Councilman Saad Almasmary had indicated Katrina Powell presided as city manager when Hamtramck had four civil rights lawsuits filed against it.

    According to the published minutes of the City of Hamtramck’s Transition Advisory Board(TAB)meeting of January of 2017 available on the State of Michigan public website, that public body has approved the payment of a monetary settlement to resolve one of those cases – the John Doe case reported in the media alleging racial and anti-Arab discrimination committed by the police as claimed by a U.S. Department of Justice informant.

    At that meeting, that board also approved payment of a monetary settlement to Taras Nykoriak to compromise civil rights claims he made against City of Hamtramck officials and police.

    Lastly, an ACLU Freedom Information Act enforcement suit was also settled with the TAB Board’s approval with the City of Hamtramck paying monies to the ACLU as part of the resolution.

    The pendency of numerous civil rights lawsuits against the City of Hamtramck is expected to be a campaign issue in these upcoming municipal elections.

  2. Stan Zelmanski

    March 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Regarding Councilperson Andrea Karpinski:

    (A)According to the online link by “Guest” on a previous thread, Karpinski was charged a “shut off” fee on March 23rd and a “reconnection” fee on that same date of $25.00 apiece. Did Karpinski have her water disconnected? An unpaid balance sill appears on city records;

    (B) Karpinski was a co-defendant in the Steve Shaya whistleblower lawsuit that resulted in a payout of $75,000.00 and which resulted in a huge payout in defense costs that were largely paid by city taxpayers.

    Will Andrea Karpinski run for re-election?

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