Mayor weighs in on city charter ballot proposals headline

Mayor Karen Majewski says she is “leaning toward yes” in support of the city charter proposals that will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.


By Charles Sercombe
In the past, Hamtramck voters have been asked to weigh in on a number of controversial ballot proposals.
On Nov. 3, voters will once again face a difficult decision.
This time around, it’s proposals 1 and 2, which are asking voters whether to eliminate the police and fire departments, along with their respective chiefs, from the city charter.
If voters agree to that, it would allow the city council to determine another way to deliver those services.
Proponents of the proposals stress that police and fire services would not cease to exist if the proposals are OK’d, and that finding an alternative way to provide those services will result in significant budget savings.
Not surprisingly, the unions representing firefighters and police officers have come out against the charter proposals.
But a number of residents have been wondering – at least on social media – just where Mayor Karen Majewski stands on the issues.
We asked the mayor, via Facebook, for her opinion, and she referred us to a Facebook exchange she had with the president of the firefighters’ union, Andrew Oleksiak.
Here is what she told Oleksiak on whether she will vote yes or no on the matter:
“This amendment doesn’t change council’s current power over salaries and benefits, nullify union contracts, or change the hiring process for a department head. I am actually still undecided on my vote, but leaning toward yes.”
Majewski also further clarified how she sees the change, if approved, would work out:
“What I would like is the flexibility to re-conceptualize how police and fire services are organized, funded, and staffed in a way that protects residents and property, that encourages the professional development of fire fighters and police officers, but that’s also logical and sustainable.”
Councilmembers who voted in favor of asking for voters to consider the ballot proposals are: Fadel Al-Marsoumi, Nayeem Chowdhury, Mohammed Hassan and Mohammed Alsomiri.
Councilmembers opposed to the proposals are Ian Perrotta and Andrea Karpinski.
In another possible future controversial election issue, if it goes forward, Majewski said she is opposed to a recall effort against Councilmember Perrotta.
Majewski told The Review that she is against all elected official recalls as a matter of principle.
“I wouldn’t vote to recall anybody,” Majewski said. “Unless they were in jail for corruption, or were recalled because of ineligibility to serve.”
Posted Oct. 16, 2020

3 Responses to Mayor weighs in on city charter ballot proposals headline

  1. Resident

    October 17, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Dear Mayor – Scott Klein got to you, didn’t he? You are late on Yes Train. Many people have voted already. I doubt your support will prompt them to change their votes. I am voting NO. I’d have voted yes with you if you spoke up early and had spoken forcefully… You are late, and your statement of “leaning yes” is not convincing.

    Voting NO. Please vote NO my dear neighbors.


  2. Roadman

    October 17, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Kudos to Mayor Karen Majewski for his statements in that she is “leaning” yes on the ballot proposal to abolish police and fire departments as they are set forth in the City Charter.

    The police department has been a source of ongoing liability in civil rights lawsuits in recent years – it needs a restructuring as the current form in which it operates has not corrected the problems that have led to a steady stream of police misconduct claims filed against the city and various officers that continue until this day.

    Recall these “gems”:

    (A) $125,000 paid to motorist Monique Mays and her passenger friend who claim to be mistreated by police during a traffic stop;
    (B) COBRA unit settlement payouts of over $500,000 to resolve two federal civil rights suits – the only positive aspect of this was that the City of Highland Park as a COBRA member chipped in financially to resolve the two actions;
    (C) another COBRA suit by businessman Ray Fayad still pending in U.S. District Court over seized vehicles;
    (D) the Jibreel Amin Montalvo federal lawsuit against former Hamtramck Police Dept. Officer Ryan McInerney filed by the Geoffrey Fieger Law Firm arising out of alleged police brutality following a traffic stop – the civil action was settled in October of 2019 but McInerney was indicted by a federal grand jury for criminal civil rights violations and that criminal action pends;
    (E) the civil rights action arising out of the police-ordered seizure of an ice cream truck that was later settled via city payout.

    The Mayor and City Council are well aware how the City of Hamtramck pays due to police misconduct lawsuits and have decided that perhaps a restructuring is needed of police operations as well as public fire protection services.

    Karen needs to be congratulated for her public statements in support of this important ballot proposal.

  3. Resident

    October 18, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    @Roadman – so your idea of restructuring Police Department is to have more Police Officers which Fadel stated is the goal of these charter amendments. You being so well-versed in HPD’s “gems”, your enthusiasm for a larger Police Department beats this resident.


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