Imagine a group of elected officials getting along and generally agreeing on issues and voting the same way.
In most cities this would be welcomed.
But not in Hamtramck. Well, that’s the attitude of some circles of folks who pay attention to city government, and it was a talking point during the past election season. Instead, these critics of government view elected officials who vote the same way on issues as corrupt.
Take, for example, the so-called Solidarity slate. The slate is not what it used to be in the late 1990s when former mayor Gary Zych was around. But currently the slate is sort of here, with Mayor Karen Majewski and councilmembers Scott Klein, Catrina Stackpoole and Shahab Ahmed the last members still in office. Councilmember Alan Shulgon has been associated with the slate but at times his connection has been at arm’s length.
The slate’s critics have long complained that slate members vote the same way on issues. This is seen as a conspiracy.
There’s a tired cliché about Hamtramck but it’s worth repeating: “Only in Hamtramck.” Yes, only in Hamtramck would someone be critical of elected officials who get along and vote in agreement.
To these critics, one must always be in opposition. If everyone, or nearly everyone, agrees on something, well, there must be something wrong.
This thinking has long been part of a mindset that is, for lack of a better word, dysfunctional.
Interestingly, what’s lost on these critics is that the elected officials who oppose the Solidarity slate, also vote in lockstep – in steady opposition to anything the slate supports.
People are always saying Hamtramck city officials need to put aside their petty differences and learn how to get along. Yet, as soon as some elected officials do that very thing, the government watchdogs go bonkers and go around saying there is something rotten in City Hall.
The ironies and hypocrisies in this town never cease to amuse and confound.