In this week’s paper, we explore some of the issues that will be coming up in the new year.
Hamtramck’s financial security will continue to take up a lot of space in upcoming issues.
That’s because the Story of the Year in 2019 will continue, in 2020, to be the GM Poletown plant.
GM will be closing the plant likely for two years, in order to retool it for the production of electric-fueled vehicles. While the plant is shut down, the city won’t received about $700,000 a year in a special payment arrangement in lieu of the company paying property taxes.
That is going to be a huge hit to the city’s yearly operating budget.
We have faith that City Manager Kathy Angerer, and the city council, can steer around this pitfall.
We are also optimistic that the city and school partnership to expand recreation, and secure major grants to improve Veterans Park and the historic baseball stadium will pay off this year – bigtime.
The key here is cooperation.
Hamtramck politics has a deserved reputation of being brutal and divisive. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.
We have recently, more or less, had a functioning relationship between the council and the city manager. But the new council was off to a bit of a rough start at their first meeting last week.
The council was needlessly divided over whether to vote in support of Councilmember Ian Perrotta to fill the role of Mayor Pro Tem – a title which basically means that he would conduct council meetings in the mayor’s absence.
He clearly has the experience to handle the duties of that position. Why in the world did three councilmembers, Mohammed Alsomiri, Fadel Al-Marsoumi and Mohammed Hassan, vote in opposition?
The vote resulted in a tie, and required Mayor Karen Majewski to break it. She voted in support of Perrotta.
Those voting in opposition did not offer an explanation before the vote, and also did not offer one later in the meeting.
That was not an auspicious beginning of the new year.
Let’s hope it was a fluke.
Jan. 17, 2020