Hamtramck’s new city manager has now been on the job for two weeks.
In that time, Katrina Powell has been busy meeting with department heads, employees, contractors and others. We welcome her, and wish her the best in what is going to be a challenging and historical time for Hamtramck.
This week marks the end of Emergency Manager Cathy Square’s job. Hamtramck is now, more or less, on its own, out of direct state control. However, a state financial board will be looking over the shoulders of local officials on what financial decisions are made and can overrule those decisions.
That means local officials will have a little more say in financial decisions and more responsibility in keeping this city financially sound.
This is the second time in recent history that Hamtramck has emerged from a financial crisis that required state intervention.
We cannot afford to slip back into a budget emergency again. That’s why it is so important for our local officials to get along with our new city manager. That hasn’t always been the case in the past.
There was far too much meddling with the day-to-day affairs by some elected officials. The City Charter gives elected officials very strict parameters on what they can do.
Unfortunately, there were some officials in the past, and they know who they are, who went far beyond the charter’s rules on what they can do. In other words, they interfered with former city managers and department heads.
Enough of that.
We need to give Katrina Powell space. We, as a city, need to let her do her job without interference.
Hamtramck can survive as a small city. We have a good budget outlook for the next few years, but the city also needs to still do some long-range planning.
This time around, let’s do it right.