By Charles Sercombe
Some familiar names have entered this year’s city council race.
As expected, the three incumbents, Anam Miah, Abu Musa and Saad Almasmari are seeking re-election.
Former councilmember Mohammed Hassan and former city clerk Robert Zwolak are among the familiar challengers. Other candidates include Nayeem Choudhury, Carrie Beth Lasley, Mohammed Alsomiri and Justin Jessop.
Candidates who decide to back out of the election had until today, Friday (April 26) to withdraw. The Review went to press on Thursday.
A primary election will be held on Aug. 6 to whittle the nine candidates down to six. If at least three candidates drop out by Friday (April 26), there will not be a need for a primary election.
The top three vote-getters in the November General Election will serve four-year terms.
Hassan decided to seek the mayor’s job two years ago instead of attempting re-election to the council. Mayor Karen Majewski easily cruised to a fourth term, beating Hassan by a little over 700 votes.
Zwolak served as city clerk in the 1980s, and then also served on the Charter Revision Commission in the 1990s.
He has remained active in local politics and is a regular attendee at city council meetings.
Choudhury lost his bid for city council two years ago.
Lasley has been a frequent critic of city officials.
Whoever serves on the council will have some challenging issues to face. The city is bracing for a shock to its budget this coming year, when GM is expected to shut down its Poletown Plant.
GM pays about $850,000 a year to the city in lieu of property taxes.
One way the city may save money is to turn the police and fire departments into a public safety department (which would cut down a number of employees), or else to contract fire services with Detroit.
Neither of those two proposals have yet been acted on or even discussed at length.
Candidate Lasley has gotten out in front of this issue, and is already campaigning against both proposals. She is insisting the city has to keep both departments intact and separate.
April 26, 2019