By Charles Sercombe
Mark Aug. 15 on your calendar.
That’s the day that Hamtramck Emergency Manager Cathy Square will hand in her Financial and Operating Plan to state officials.
The plan will outline how she will solve the city’s financial problems. How long that takes is anyone’s guess at this point, but Square will be here only for one year, which is the length of her employment contract.
There are no details of the plan yet, and Square has yet to talk with union representatives from the police and fire departments – the two departments that city officials say will likely have to sacrifice the most.
Square has the authority to break labor contracts – something that city officials lacked legal authority to do.
City officials have said in the past that it’s likely the biggest cut will come in the fire department. Some of the options talked about is reducing the department to a handful of full-timers and filling it out with paid on-call employees.
The other option is to combine the fire and police departments and have police officers ride with firefighting gear, preapred to fight fires.
Both departments eat up a significant portion of the city budget, at about $8 million total. Square has not tipped her hand in which direction – if any – she is leaning. It could turn out that both unions will agree to significant cuts.
Want to give Square your two cents’ worth on what direction to go?
According to Mayor Karen Majewski, Square has set aside each Friday to meet with the public.
To make an appointment, call (313) 870-0361.