So far, the upcoming election for Hamtramck Public School Board has gone by without much notice.
There is hardly any sign of an election or of candidates campaigning. We hope this week to start the discussion on who is best to serve on the board. There are a whopping 15 candidates vying for five positions on the board.
Three of the candidates will win six-year terms while one candidate will win a term with four years left and one candidate who will serve two years.
It’s frightening how little attention is being paid to this election, because what’s at stake is the future of this district. According to our sources, there are some candidates who wish to turn this district into a charter district for their own profit, or for the profit of their friends.
Some of these candidates hardly even know the English language or have the skill set to comprehend the district’s business. Other candidates are on the ballot simply to block other candidates.
This is Hamtramck politics at its worst, and it illustrates why we need a large turnout to counteract these bad motives.
Voting by absentee ballot has already begun, and it is estimated that there will be at least 1,000 voters participating in the election by this method. That’s why we think it is imperative to make our endorsements now.
For the three positions with a six-year term, we urge voters to return ALAN SHULGON, retain board appointee EVAN MAJOR and elect retired Hamtramck Public School teacher DENNIS LUKAS.
If we could vote for one more in this race, we highly endorse City Councilmember ANAM MIAH. While we hesitate in endorsing a city councilmember to also sit on school board, it is not without precedent. We still think, however, that it presents a conflict of interest.
In the election for the position with a four-year term, we think it’s important to retain ERIC BURKMAN.
Burkman, an appointee, has proven he has a full grasp of school issues and has been a needed asset.
In the race for the seat with a two-year term, we believe the board needs representation from the Yemeni-American community and we endorse OMAR ALMASMARI, a young man who is well-versed in school issues and dedicated to this community. Almasmari is also a Hamtramck High School graduate.
We also like JACKI STARR, who is long-standing member of our community and is well-informed about district needs.