What are we to make of this week’s election for the city council and school board?
This is one of those elections that certainly raises more questions than it answers.
Let’s take a look at the city council race. The two top vote-getters, incumbent Cathie Gordon and former councilmember Robert Zwolak, are sort of from Hamtramck’s old-school era of politics. That can be a good and bad thing.
The third place finisher, Anam Miah, is a total newcomer to the world of Hamtramck politics, and represents the surging Bengali-American community.
Strangely, that community didn’t come out in the numbers we’ve seen in previous elections during the last two years.
And throwing a twist to the council election is the sudden resignation of Councilmember Kazi Miah. His departure, because of family obligations he says, will either mean former councilmembers Alan Shulgon or Abdul Algazali will fill out the rest of his term for the next two years.
What we have here is a total mish-mash of a council. There is no cohesive voice coming from this configuration. Some will applaud this as an independent-thinking council, while we wonder if any of them will agree on anything.
Maybe we are being too over-concerned, and this will work out for the best. We are certainly crossing our fingers for the best outcome.
Over at the school board, there is now an infusion of new blood, so to speak, and this could be the prompting this board needs to start thinking a little more creatively about the future of the district.
The two new board members have never served in public office, but from what we can tell from the candidate surveys we asked them to fill out, they have some fresh ideas on how to make this district survive.
Magdalena Srodek and Nasr Saleh Hussain both bring in diverse backgrounds. It will be refreshing to hear their input.
All in all, we wish everyone the best of luck. Obviously the next several years will be a huge challenge for the city and the schools.
No matter who you voted for, elections are about community. We all have plenty at stake to make sure our community survives these troubling times.
To our newly elected officials: don’t lose sight of that.