Stimulus boost doesn’t address city’s core problem

Last week, the city received good news.
Hamtramck, like 1,500 other communities in Michigan, is in line to receive federal dollars from the stimulus bill.
We’re getting $2.1 million – not a tremendous amount in the big picture of things, but welcomed nonetheless.
However, the bad news is that, because of the pandemic, the city has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenues. If we’re lucky, the stimulus may – at least, almost – balance the losses from last year.
But there’s more bad news.
As we have been mentioning for the past few months, the city will continue to operate in a budget deficit because of the rising cost of pensions.
In another attempt to stave off financial chaos, the city is seeking voter approval to pass a millage to cover the cost of just police and fire retirees.
It’s a longshot at best. Voters already gave that millage proposal a “thumbs down” last November.
City officials have no other choice but to try and try again to reason with voters. That’s because, if the city were to miss a pension payment – which is a real possibility – there will likely be a court-ordered tax judgment that will be much harsher than the 10 mill-increase being proposed.
Hamtramck can rejoice at receiving a modest financial helping hand – but it certainly does not ease the ongoing financial crisis.
Posted March 26, 2021

3 Responses to Stimulus boost doesn’t address city’s core problem

  1. Mark M. Koroi

    March 27, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    The City of Hamtramck does not need a tax judgment – it would likely benefit by a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing as was used successfully by a Rhode Island city:

    City Council should investigate the efficacy of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition filing.

  2. Mark M. Koroi

    March 28, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    A Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing can help the City of Hamtramck restructure collective bargaining agreements with public service unions to reduce obligations.

    Consider the 2019 salaries disclosed of Hamtramck city law enforcement officers as reported at

    Dennis M. Janowicz – $131,928
    Amy L. Mervyn – $130,759
    Andrew J. Mileski – $121,137
    Michael E. Stout – $113,324
    Steven L Smiscik – 108,493
    Luigi P Gjokaj – $116,549

    The average income of a City of Hamtramck household is about $26,000 per annum.

    City Manager Kathy Angerer does nor believe city expenses need to be reduced. The public may beg to disagree.

    Another major cost from the operation of the Hamtramck P.D. is lawsuit payouts, not to mention legal fees in defending these cases and increased liability insurance premiums.

  3. Mark M. Koroi

    March 29, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Here is a corrected link to my prior post:

    That website lists several other Hamtramck police department personnel and their salaries for 2019:

    John Aiello – $113,242
    Richard Seely- $110,448
    Robert George – $100,448
    Jacqueline Wysong – $87,311
    Anthony Gonzales – $77,829

    When the City of Highland Park had financial problems a few years back, police officer salaries were scaled down to $15.00 per hour and later increased to $23.00 per hour.

    Are law enforcement personnel in Hamtramck being paid a fair and competitive rate – or could the city do better with the leverage of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing?

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