By Scott Klein
Since the time of Mayor Robert Kozaren, and probably before, politicians, candidates and assorted near-do-wells have tried to make a person’s indebtedness to the city an issue in the election.
It hasn’t worked.
So, yet again, a newcomer has arrived and is stirring the pot. Among other things, the attack is disingenuous. Property taxes and water bills are two legs of a three-legged stool.
What about city income tax?
Under Michigan state law there is no way of knowing under Michigan state law if a person is current on their income taxes, unless, of course, there is a warrant for their arrest.
So, if we are going to throw a person’s finances out into public, it seems to me some transparency is in order.
How about the candidate making this charge come forward with three years of income taxes, property taxes and water bills?
Better yet, it might be time to reject candidates who spend your tax dollars on their misguided political attacks.
When folks attacked Mayor Kozaren 20 years ago, it did not cost taxpayers a dime. Now, thanks to a weaponized charter, the accusation has yet again cost the city money to pay for an opinion from an attorney.
And to what end, other than to mount a political attack that will not change who is on the ballot, and will not change any elections outcome?
There is an old saying in politics, local politics are vicious because so little is at stake. Hang on to that thought for a minute.
The truth is the city council, first and foremost, must find a way forward and a way to work together. This is especially critical in the next few years, as budget pressures mount.
It is not a good harbinger of things to come, if before you are even elected you are attacking the people you may serve with.
If you deem someone a criminal, or evil, or a deadbeat in order to get yourself elected, how are you going to work with them to find common ground if you are elected?
This demonization of candidates has to stop on the local level, state level, and federal level if we are to come together to address our problems.
A good place to start is by rejecting candidates who practice wrongheaded politics.
(Mr. Klein is a former Hamtramck City Councilmember.)
July 12, 2019