We don’t mean to harp on this subject, but it’s still unclear to us what city officials plan to do to avoid payless paydays come June 30.
Recently, City Manager Bill Cooper proposed submitting a letter to the state Treasury Department, asking for a financial review because of a projected $1.5 million budget shortfall by the end of June.
City councilmembers unanimously rejected that proposal, saying it’s too soon to call in the state.
What they failed to do, however, is offer suggestions on what course of action to take to avoid insolvency.
City Manager Cooper told us he’s waiting for direction as well. He says he has gone about as far as he can go in negotiating contract concessions with the police and fire departments.
Some councilmembers did approve of the idea of bringing in a third party to take a stab at contract negotiations, but doing that will mean the city will have to pay for the service.
It seems prudent to us to bring in some fresh eyes and maybe get some constructive suggestions – for free – from state officials.
After all, the state is partially to blame for Hamtramck’s poor finances. It’s the state that reduced the tax monies it sends annually to the city, which has greatly impacted our budget.
It’s almost as if the state has set up Hamtramck — as well as many other communities — for financial failure.
In the meantime, there is no point in waiting until there is no cash on hand to pay the city’s bills and employees.
We’re waiting to hear what the city council has to suggest, but time is not on Hamtramck’s side.