By Charles Sercombe
A handful of candidates have some financial housekeeping to do if they want to be on the August Primary Election ballot.
A few of the candidates owe the city property taxes, and according to the city charter, anyone who owes the city money – or any other government agency – cannot serve on council or as mayor.
According to Section 6-08 of the Hamtramck City Charter:
“No person shall be elected or appointed to any office who is a defaulter to the City or to any board, or office, or department thereof, or to any school district, county, or other municipal corporation of the State, now or heretofore existing. All votes for the election or appointment of any such defaulter shall be void.”
In the mayor’s race, challengers Cathie Gordon and Asm (Kamal) Rahman are behind in their property taxes, according to the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office.
Gordon is listed as co-owner with her mother for their house at 2758 Norwalk. The amount due is $752.
Rahman owes over $2,600 for his house at 3096 Caniff.
Running for council, Gias Talukder is behind $664 for his house at 2388Neibel.
A few other candidates live in households, but are not the homeowners, where taxes are behind. They will not be held responsible for the delinquency and will remain on the ballot unless they owe other city departments money.
Mayoral candidate, and current City Councilmember, Mohammed Hassan may want to start looking for a new place to live. He currently resides at 2425 Neibel. It is owned by Omar Nakash who owes $3,759 and is facing foreclosure.
Nakash is a city contractor who is hired to trim and remove trees.
The issue of elected officials being behind in taxes and water bills has come up before in recent years, but no action has ever been taken to remove anyone from office.
However, this week the city issued a letter to those candidates who owe the city money to take care of the matter. It is up to the candidates to find out which city department they owe money to. That could also include incomes taxes, and also anything owed to any other government agency on the county, state and federal level.
If candidates fail to pay up by May 19, the city will remove them from the August ballot.