Without a doubt, Hamtramck is facing tough times, and it’s beginning to wear on residents and city employees. The coming year will be full of new twists and turns for the city.
With a new governor coming on board, it’s hard to say which way the winds will blow for the city. That’s because Gov.-Elect Rick Snyder has refused to say much about anything he plans to do.
And that begs the question: how in the heck did this guy get elected? Seriously, he managed to win the election by a whopping majority without divulging specifically what he plans to do for the ailing state and its financially distressed communities.
Why would voters support a guy who refuses to lay out his specific plans? We blame our local Detroit dailies, both of which enthusiastically endorsed Snyder, for failing to do their job. The papers turned their backs on pressuring Snyder to talk about specifics, and instead allowed him to get away in his campaign by blathering generalities.
Recently, though, Snyder was reported saying that if anyone comes to his office asking for money, forget it.
So, what does that mean for Hamtramck, which was promised a loan to see it through for another year?
Will Hamtramck get the loan, or will it be allowed to file for bankruptcy, which is what City Manager Bill Cooper wants to do?
This is has been a frustrating process, but then again, these are uncertain times.
One thing we know: Hamtramck is resilient. It has survived economic crises in the past. We are strong enough to survive this one.
But this time around, the only people who can preserve our city the way it is today are city employees. The city needs to lessen its cost of health insurance.
Employees have refused to budge on this issue – even though they could conceivably get broader coverage under a less expensive plan.
It’s their call.
Some employees – especially those in the Police Department — have interpreted our urging for concessions as bashing. Far from it. We are just pointing out that refusing to take contract concessions will only lead to the possible loss of their jobs.
We don’t mean to dump on city employees, but there is nowhere else to turn. Hamtramck will survive one way or another; it just may operate drastically different in the coming months.