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