By Charles Sercombe
Gov. Rick Snyder agrees, Hamtramck is definitely in a financial mess.
On Monday, Snyder issued a statement saying he agrees with the assessment of a state financial review team that determined Hamtramck is in a financial crisis.
Snyder’s statement came as no surprise since it has been obvious that Hamtramck officials have been struggling with the issue for several months. It was at the urging of city council that the state became involved.
The city council now has until next Monday (June 10) to contest the finding, but that is not expected to happen.
It will then be up to the council to decide, with the approval of Snyder, which course of action to take:
Enter into a consent agreement
Have an emergency manager take over
File for bankruptcy
Have a neutral evaluation of the city’s finances.
It’s also no secret which option a majority of the council wants. The council has already asked the governor to appoint an emergency manager.
Mayor Karen Majewski said she expects it will take several weeks before an emergency manager is named.
This is the second time in 13 years that Hamtramck has faced a financial emergency that requires state intervention. In 2000, Lou Schimmel was appointed to take control of the city.
At that time, the state’s law on emergency managers was different. The state legislature recently rewrote the law to give emergency managers greater powers, such as breaking labor contracts.
So far, the guess is the Fire Department – and possibly the Police Department – will be restructured.