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State financial cuts lead to drastic measures locally

It’s no secret that Hamtramck finances are prone to huge setbacks.
The city has come under state supervision – via the appointment of an emergency manager – twice in recent years.
Each time, the city barely climbed out of its financial meltdown, and each time the emergency managers punted on making hard – unpopular even – financial decisions.
Instead, they picked the low-hanging fruit, so to speak, on what corrective measures to take, but never really used their clout for making deep structural adjustments.
And now, it has come down to the current city administration instituting cuts in the health insurance plan offered to retirees.
As we reported last week, some of those retirees are understandably upset.
But before folks storm city hall demanding a change, understand that the city is in a corner.
Several years ago, then newly-elected Gov. Rick Snyder drastically cut state revenue sharing to communities and public school districts.
That left many cities and districts scrambling to make ends meet, where upon some deep cuts and layoffs followed.
The state dumped on cities, and left local municipalities to solve their own financial crisis.
Thankfully, Snyder was termed out of office.
But even with a new governor in place, Gretchen Whitmer, there is no sign yet that revenue sharing will be increased.
The state continues to face austerity measures.
These are tough times for many folks, despite a healthy national economy.
Our heart goes out to our retirees, but there is little the city can do but make sure we don’t fall into another financial mess.
Oct. 18, 2019

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