By Charles Sercombe
All right all of you Hamtramck political junkies out there.
It’s now the second week Hamtramck’s newly elected City Council and mayor have met face-to-face.
So, is it still all hugs and goodwill like it was during the inauguration ceremony on New Year’s Day weekend?
Well, yes … mostly.
Two weeks of good behavior and getting along isn’t a record for Hamtramck, but considering the recent past, it’s – heck – mind-blowing!
At the Jan. 3 inauguration of the mayor, three councilmembers and two school boardmembers, we heard a lot of gushing about how we’re all going to get along. The school board make-up didn’t change at all and the first meeting on Wednesday went by business as usual. A supposed rear-guard move to unseat Titus Walters as president of the board didn’t materialize.
Next order of business, please.
OK, move on to the City Council’s first meeting – held on Tuesday (Jan. 12). The City Hall rumor mill was in full swing – well, sort of – over who would be voted as Mayor Pro Tem – Hamtramck’s version of who would be the town’s vice president.
Newly-elected Councilmember Mohammed Hassan nominated Cathie Gordon for that position.
Councilmember Shahab Ahmed nominated Catrina Stackpoole.
Hang on to your hats.
Hassan’s nomination was first and he gave terse praise for her along the lines of “she’s experienced.”
That nomination went down with only Hassan and fellow newly-elected Councilmember Kazi Miah voting for her (Gordon abstained). OK, we know what many of you political tea leave readers are thinking: Ah-ha! An alliance between Hassan, Miah and Gordon has been born.
Eh, don’t read too much into that vote, but yes, it could be a sign of what’s to come.
OK, now for the Stackpoole vote. It turned out to be the first issue requiring Mayor Karen Majewski to cast a tie-breaking vote. Councilmember Shahab Ahmed was equally terse in his endorsement, saying “I highly recommend her.”
C’mon guys, these weren’t exactly rousing endorsements. But we digress.
OK, the dramatic moment: Councilmembers Hassan and Miah voted no, which makes sense since they voted for Gordon. Councilmembers Gordon and Stackpoole abstained, which makes sense since they were the subject of the issue. Councilmembers Ahmed and Tom Jankowski vote in favor.
Mayor Majewski was then forced to break the tie and voted in favor of Stackpoole, which makes sense considering Stackpoole is a strong supporter of the mayor.
So, is there conclusive proof that alliances have been made and forever cast in stone?
No, at least not yet. In other votes during the evening, this councilmember and that councilmember voted this way and that way with no discerning pattern. In fact, the evening was civil with no hint of a sarcastic remark or outburst of churlish behavior. It was all – zzzzzzz – very business-like.
Hey, we’re kidding about the zzzzzz part.
Knowing Hamtramck politics, sooner or later, the underlying personality of this council will soon reveal itself. Keep reading the tea leaves.