Time to take a break and look back: Year in Review – Part One

The inauguration of Mayor Amer Ghalib and an all-Muslim city council ushered in a new political era in Hamtramck.


By Charles Sercombe
Here it is, the end of 2022.
It was a year in which we were still going through the covid pandemic, although that seems to be at, or nearing, its end phase (or is it?).
As usual, it was a whirlwind, action-packed year – just like every other year in this little city.
So, find a comfortable seat, grab a warm drink, and get ready to take a trip back through the first six months of the year 2022 in our “Part One of the Year in Review.”

The new year started with a new political era in Hamtramck.
And that new era was ushered in with some showbiz pizzazz.
About 200 people came to the Hamtramck High School Community Center to witness the inauguration of newly-elected Mayor Amer Ghalib and newly-elected City Councilmembers Adam Albarmaki, Amanda Jaczkowski and Khalil Refai.
But, before they were sworn into office, the audience was treated to musical performances by Anamika Roy, a radio and recording artist from Bangladesh, and Maria Saad, a 14-year-old 9th grade student in Dearborn.
Saad belted out the national anthem with a voice beyond her years.
The new crop of elected officials was of historical importance. The city council and mayor were now all Muslim – a first for Hamtramck — and the entire nation.
Ghalib also became the first Yemeni-American mayor of Hamtramck.
His election put an end to Polish-Americans holding that position for the past 100 years – since back when Hamtramck first became a city.
Outgoing Mayor Karen Majewski lost her re-election bid in a landslide defeat. Majewski had been mayor for 16 years, and a member of city council for two years before that.
Ghalib, who had never held elective office, came to this country when he was 18. He graduated from Hamtramck High School 21 years ago. He is a licensed nurse in Michigan, and is working to become a medical doctor.
When he stepped up to the lectern to speak, he was greeted with a rock star’s standing ovation, and whistles from the largely Yemeni-American audience.
He reminisced about advice he had received from a school counselor, while in his graduate year at the high school, who had convinced him to go into the medical field.
Ghalib said he actually had wanted to pursue a life in politics. As such, he said that running for mayor was a return to his “first love.”
Ghalib also said that his victory represented “An opportunity that was once a dream becoming reality … This is a victory for all.”
He said his administration would be a “new chapter,” and that it wouldn’t be one of “division, favoritism and exclusivity.”
He also promised to “not make decisions behind closed doors.”
The inauguration of Ghalib became one option for out “Newsmaker of the Year” choice.
He had plenty of competition for that distinction, however.
Among the other top stories of the year were: the covid pandemic, and an amazing new Census count for the city that said our population had jumped up by 28 percent.
Also, much talked about was the influx of recreational marijuana dispensaries. The city is now capped at four outlets.

Covid still had its grip on the city, forcing Hamtramck Public District students to wait for a few more weeks before coming back from their holiday break.

HPS Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed did not return to her job as expected in January after taking a medical leave, and eventually she was placed on indefinite leave. She remains on leave.

The school year began in a cloud of mystery in the Hamtramck Public School District.
Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed did not return to her job, after taking a medical leave for several weeks, and Interim Superintendent Nabil Nagi therefore continued in that role.
Both Nagi and the school board were tight-lipped about Ahmed’s future with the district.

Ahmed, the district’s first Yemeni-American to be appointed to that position almost two years ago, had come under heavy criticism from both teachers and administrators over her management style.
A wave of experienced teachers and staff had resigned during her tenure, which then created a critical shortage of staff members.
Since that time, Ahmed has filed a lawsuit against the district, but has still not returned to her job. The board later extended Ahmed’s leave of absence, and so Nagi remains on as interim superintendent.
Later in the year, the board announced that Ahmed was under investigation, but no details were ever provided about the nature of that investigation.
The matter is still pending.


“Dignity” was the word of the day for Hamtramck Public School District teachers, who held a rally outside the district’s administration building to kick off new contract negotiations that took place afterward.
While no one said that this year’s negotiations were going to be hostile, there had been plenty of complaints heard about the administration over the past two years.
Interim Superintendent Nagi told The Review that he looked forward to working with the teachers, and settling on a contract that is fair.
“We will be working with our partners to find common ground that gets all stakeholders to a better place,” Nagi said. “Our table is not going to leave anyone behind. We have amazing partners, and look forward to cooperation, collaboration, and commitment throughout our conversations.”

The city’s marijuana dispensaries proved to be a financial windfall for the city from taxes and fees.


Hamtramck was about to get a financial windfall from its marijuana dispensaries.
Cities that allow dispensaries to operate within their city limits get tax monies from the state each year, based on how much the state took in in taxes and fees from the dispensaries operating in each city.
The issue of dispensaries has been – and still is — a hot-button one here, and some city officials have wrestled back and forth, pro and con, with the very concept of allowing them to operate.
This year’s estimated revenue is at least $100,000 from the city’s four dispensaries.
That money came at a time of need for the city.

The title for the year’s budget review painted a fairly grim financial picture of the city.
It was called:
“A Tale of One City: The Worst of Times, and the Worst of Times.”
The overview basically laid out a pattern of declining revenue streams, dating back to 2003.
For instance, income tax collection had gone down — despite the city experiencing a surge in population, from about 22,000 to over 28,000, in the last 10 years.
The report said that, in 2003, the city collected over $2.7 million, while in the year 2020, it was a little over $2.6 million.
While the city’s budget has remained at about $16 million since 2003, state revenue sharing shrunk from $4.5 million to $3.2 million.
It was the same story with property tax collection, which is the where the city gets the bulk of its money to operate. In 2003, the city collected $7.1 million, but by 2020, that figure was down to $6.8 million.
The bad news was not unexpected. The city has been in deficit spending for the past two years, and at the rate it’s going, the budget surplus will run out sometime in the next few years.

The organizers of the Polish Day Parade pulled the plug on their event during the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival. They now hold the parade in Warren.


A decades-long tradition came to an end.
The Polish Day Parade Committee announced that, going forward, the parade will be held in the City of Warren.
The parade has been tied, traditionally, to the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival.
Festival organizers said that they will organize a city parade to take the place of the Polish Parade.

Paczki Day was back in full swing this year.
Hamtramck’s very own holiday returned, in conjunction with the covid pandemic having receded.
Also coming back was: the paczki eating contest.

The ongoing Russian war on Ukraine had many connections to the metro area’s Ukrainian community.
Former Hamtramckan Ksenia Rychtycka, who is an award-winning poetry author, wrote an article about how that war had hit home.
She wrote:
“My family in Kyiv huddles in their apartment, and we can hear a loud boom in the distance as we talk to them in a video call. Their faces are ashen, and they have aged in the space of a few days.
“My 79-year-old mother-in-law tells us that she never imagined living through something like this. When we end the call, she speaks as though it may be for the last time. Another friend and her family flee the capital and sit in their car for hours, trying to get to safety. …
“Ukrainians are resilient and courageous. They will continue to fight. It is heartbreaking to see the horrors currently being inflicted on Ukraine while battling Putin’s invaders on their own.”

Sometimes, the bad guys wear blue.
A former Hamtramck police officer faced bribery charges in federal court over his dealings with a tow company.
Mike Stout, 60, was charged in federal district court with receiving over $9,000 in bribes, which included cash and a car.
Stout, of St Clair Shores, faced up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines if convicted. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
This wasn’t the first time Stout has come under scrutiny. He and other law enforcement officers were named in prior lawsuits for their handling of past investigations that ended up costing Hamtramck over $1 million in damages, some of which was covered by insurance.
Stout was part of a controversial joint task force with Highland Park to investigate auto thefts.
That unit has been dissolved.
Stout left the department in 2019, and was stripped of his police powers and also decertified as a police officer.

The recreational marijuana business turned out to be a major money-maker in the state.
And Hamtramck was in line to receive a minor windfall in taxes and fees from the city’s three operating dispensaries. That will be to the tune of $28,000 per outlet – or, in other words, $84,000.
At this time, there were three marijuana outlets in the city with a fourth on the way.
In total, all four will bring in a total of at least $112,000.
The Michigan Department of Treasury issued a report on how much money was distributed to the 38 communities and counties that host marijuana dispensaries.
According to the press release:
“For the state of Michigan’s 2020 fiscal year, more than $31 million was collected from the 10% adult-use marijuana excise tax. Combined with fees, there was a total of $45.7 million available for distribution from the fund.”
Michigan schools also got a piece of the pie — or make that a piece of a gummy.
“Aside from the nearly $10 million in disbursements to municipalities and counties, around $11.6 million will be sent to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education, and another $11.6 million to the Michigan Transportation Fund, upon appropriation,” the press release said.
“In total, more than $341 million in adult-use marijuana sales was reported for fiscal year 2020.”
A federal lawsuit filed against Hamtramck City Attorney James Allen and the City of Hamtramck was thrown out.

The lawsuit was filed by Charles Blackwell, a self-described “activist” and government watchdog.
Blackwell, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a drive-by shooting, had been filing various Freedom of Information Act requests with the City of Inkster, which Allen’s law firm also represents, and in Hamtramck.
Some of the FOIA’s had been denied and others were complied with.
The lawsuit claimed that Allen violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that he attempted to suppress Blackwell’s First Amendment right.
Bad blood eventually developed between Allen and Blackwell, and that led to Allen sending Blackwell a series of what the court described as “vulgar” messages.
Blackwell alleged that those demeaning emails curtailed his First Amendment right.
But none of that was a factor in federal district court Judge Mark Goldsmith’s dismissal of the lawsuit.
The judge noted that the federal laws that Blackwell cited did not apply.
Blackwell’s lawsuit attracted media attention, mostly because of the comments Allen made.
Allen later apologized for his language.

The Cosmos boy basketball team had their championship dreams nipped. Could 2023 be their year?


For the first time since the mid-1980s, the Hamtramck Cosmos boys basketball team won a District Championship.
The team was on its way to taking it all in state competition. They got close.
The Cosmos magical season ended with a loss to number-one ranked Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 83-72, in a regional final played at Detroit Renaissance.
While the season was brought to an abrupt end, it was certainly a successful one. The team won its 2nd league championship in a row, won its first district title in 37 years, and finished with 20 wins overall, leading to a Top-10 ranking in the state of Michigan.

The Covid pandemic and quarantine had one unexpected effect.
Both the number of crimes and the number of fires in the city were reduced this past year, which may have coincided with many people staying home to quarantine themselves from the pandemic.
During the past two years of the pandemic, there were over 4,600 cases reported here and, so far, 73 deaths.
Did Covid really effect crime and fire incidents? It could be speculative at this point, but Police Chief Anne Moise thinks it had some influence.
“I believe we saw some fluctuations in the numbers as a result of Covid,” Moise said.


Hamtramck’s own Ike Blessitt, a former Detroit Tiger, needed a helping hand.
Ike had hit hard times, and needed financial help to cover a number of medical bills and other things.
A Go Fund Me account was set up for the 72-year-old diabetic who also has a prosthetic leg, and had endured a triple bypass followed by a stroke.
The goal was to raise at least $50,000.

Mayor Ameer Ghalib began living up to a campaign promise to make the city’s various boards and commissions more ethnically and racially diverse.
He notified three Hamtramck Public Housing Commissioners, Tom Stackpoole, Richard Hyska and Isaac Reeves, that they are being replaced.
Stackpoole and Hyska are white, and Reeves is an African-American.
Ghalib also noted in his campaign that he would be replacing various board and commission members who have spotty attendance records, which Reeves apparently had.
The new appointees were: Kamal Rahman, Motahar Fadhel and Frances Ann-Tyler Sims.
Ghalib said that some people had questioned his authority to make the changes without cause, but in his weekly address to the community, on Facebook, he cited the city charter, chapter 5, section H, where it gives him that authority.
The mayor makes all appointments to the housing commission while, on some other commissions and boards, he shares appointment duties with the city council.
Housing Commission Executive Director Kevin Kondrat said he accepts the mayor’s decision.
“We’ve worked with new commissioners before, and we will work to be our best,” he said.

The sound of music will be heard once again this summer. That was the announcement from the organizers of the Hamtramck Music Fest.
Covid had forced the cancellation of the March festival, but it was now scheduled to return in August.

Hamtramck lost one of its African-American pioneers, Yvonne Myrick.


Hamtramck lost a pioneer for women and minorities.
Yvonne Myrick, the founder of The Concerned Women of
Hamtramck, former Hamtramck Water Department Director and President of the Hamtramck Public School Board, died April 9.
Myrick was the first African-American to serve on the school board.
Retired HPS Superintendent Tom Niczay praised Myrick’s legacy.
“Yvonne Myrick was a smart, strong, generous, God-fearing woman. A lady who fought injustice on the local level with conviction.,” Niczay said.

The city lost one of its iconic bakeries, New Martha Washington on Jos. Campau near Caniff.
The family-run business stretched back for decades, and across generations.
Sunca Bakic, known to most as Sandy, put the blame right where you might expect it: age.
Her father Petar, 87, and mother Ivanka, 84, were still the owners – and still worked there too, on occasion. They would have owned the place by themselves for 50 years, come fall.
Sandy had these parting words:
“Farewell, and thanks for years of support. We will cherish the memories, and miss you all to heck.”

Hamtramck joined Dearborn in seeking to have all future election ballots be printed in Arabic, as well as in their standard English.
But there was a bit of a roadblock.
Dearborn’s plan to have ballots translated into Arabic faced hurdles from Wayne County Clerk Cathy M. Garrett, who questioned whether the ballots would be read accurately by voting machines, and who cited the need for a “procedure and process” to be followed.
Just what specific “procedure and process” Garrett was looking for was not explained.
Garrett also said that the county election commission must approve the ballot translation plan.
The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 does not list Arabic as one of a handful of recognized languages spoken by minorities.
The matter was eventually cleared up, and Arabic language ballots were indeed made available.

A top administrator in the Hamtramck Public School District, who had been put on administrative leave, found out that she would not be returning to her job.
The Hamtramck School Board voted not to renew the contract for former Human Resources Director Michelle Imbrunone.
Both Imbrunone and Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed have been on leave since October.
Ahmed took a family medical leave, citing the stress caused by dealing with covid. Ahmed had planned to come back in January, but the board placed her on indefinite leave, pending an investigation.
In the March board meeting, Imbrunone’s position was eliminated, and a new position was created, called Executive Director of Human Resources, which was combined with another new position, called Director of District Support Services.
She has since filed a lawsuit against the district.

The city’s new parking meter system got a huge thumbs down from the community.


City officials hoped that new adjustments to the rules governing the city’s controversial parking meters would win over critics.
But that proved to be a tough wish.
The backlash against the meters had been growing. The complaints included: confusion over which parking space to punch in at the pay stations; paying, but still getting a ticket; the download app not working; and general confusion on just how to use the hi-tech digital meters.
The meters are located in the Jos. Campau Ave. business district and city-owned parking lots servicing that district.
A number of Jos. Campau business owners complained about losing customers because of the meters.
Hussain Murray, the owner of a pawn shop on Jos. Campau, said he has lost many customers because of the meters.
“Jos. Campau is empty now,” Murray said.
His business has since closed down.
To this day, complaints about the meters continue.


After years of complaining – even almost immediately after the road was paved years ago – Hamtramck Dr. was being torn up and repaved, from Conant to Jos. Campau.
The road had long been plagued by potholes from heavy trucks serving the various industrial businesses on this outpost of the city.
Getting that road repaved was no easy task, as different sections of it are owned separately by Wayne County, Detroit and Hamtramck.
How that arrangement came about was not immediately known, but, as anyone who understands about getting different government agencies to coordinate projects can tell you, well, the less said, the better.
Detroit is planning to continue repaving the road from Jos. Campau all the way around to the other side of the GM plant.
The road is part of the ongoing Joe Louis Greenway project, which aims to create a bike/walking path from Hamtramck to Dearborn and Detroit.

The return of spring and warm temperatures also heralded a spike in the number of local crimes – most of them of the misdemeanor variety.
We’re talking about upticks in reports of disorderly people, porch pirates stealing packages, unwanted house guests, reckless drivers, people fighting, thefts from yards, break-ins, stolen cars, runaways, noisy house pets (such as dogs barking), noisy people (parties, people arguing), scam utility sales people, fraud cases, hit-and-runs, people causing property damage, suspicious people; heck, even suspicious cars … and the list went on.
So, what is it about the relationship between heat and crime?
Look no further than a 2017 study by researchers from Drexel University, a private research university out of Philadelphia, which scientifically confirmed that crime increases from May through September.
Those are the warmer months for most of the country, and the study also found that the hotter and more humid it gets, the more crime increases. This is especially true for domestic assault and other violent crimes.
So, what to do?
Well, drink plenty of cold beverages, but lay off the booze. Can’t afford an AC unit? Buy some fans – any little breeze can do wonders (and cool off tempers).
In general, if you feel anger coming on, take some deep breaths and walk away from trouble. Try a cool bath or shower.
Also, keep on the lookout for suspicious behavior, and don’t hold back reporting something to the police department – no matter how trivial it may seem.

The growing number of registered voters during the past few years resulted in a need to move 600 voters who had been in precinct 4 over to precinct 5 – which meant that they had a new building at which to go vote: the Senior Plaza on Holbrook.
City Clerk Rana Faraj announced the change at a council meeting, and the council OK’d that move.
The city really didn’t have a choice. According to state election law, no single precinct can exceed 2,999 registered voters.
Faraj said it is likely the city will soon have to create a new precinct to handle the growing overflow.
Hamtramck has over 13,000 registered voters – up from about 11,000 in recent years. At best, though, there has been a 60-percent turnout.
The usual voter turnout is about 30 percent.

A citywide “Centennial” cleanup didn’t have a large turnout, but it certainly made a start in tackling the endless amount of litter in Hamtramck.
About 30 volunteers turned out on a sunny and warm Saturday morning (including several firefighters) to begin the work.
It was promoted as a centennial cleanup because Hamtramck was observing a special anniversary in 2022, celebrating being incorporated as a city 100 years ago.
No doubt, litter was not an issue 100 years ago. In fact, Hamtramck long enjoyed a reputation of being exceptionally clean for an urban area.
In the mid-1950s, one of the leading national magazines dubbed Hamtramck as the cleanest city in America.
Unfortunately, the city has a long way to go before reclaiming that distinction. As Hamtramck became more of a transient community, folks apparently started caring less about how it looked.
On Saturday, volunteers were given specific locations on which to zero-in but, really, there was no shortage of trash to be found in the city.
From what we saw, the most common item was discarded face masks.

After a two-year hiatus from shutting off water service to households that fell far behind on their service bills, the city geared up for shutoffs.
Households had enjoyed a two-year reprieve on shut-offs, due to the covid pandemic.
The city reminded residents that there were – and still are — ways to avoid those shut-offs.
The Wayne Metro agency offers two programs, the Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) and Low-Income Household Water Program (LI-WHAP), that may be able to help. Learn more at
www.waynemetro.org/ programs.

The city cracked down on speeders around the public school buildings by installing speed humps.


Hamtramck’s crackdown on speeding and reckless drivers stepped up a notch.
The city and public school district partnered on installing speed humps throughout the city, after a trial run in two locations proved successful.
The plan called for installing permanent asphalt speed humps at 18 locations.
Each location would have three speed humps.
The cost of the project was $32,266, and the contract was awarded to Century Cement Co., Inc., of Riverview, Michigan. The humps are made of asphalt.
The public school district pitched in 50 percent of the cost. In a note to the city council, the city administration said that it is reaching out to charter schools to also participate in installing speed humps near their buildings.
The locations of the installed speed humps included:
o Pulaski Park (which is owned by the school district)
o Holbrook Elementary School
o Dickinson East elementary School
o Kosciuszko Middle School
o Early Elementary School


The sound of a canon could be heard throughout town in a rededication ceremony for the Col. Francis Hamtramck memorial. The ceremony coincided with the city’s centennial celebration in 2022.


The roar of canon fire could be heard throughout Hamtramck on Memorial Day.
A special Memorial Day celebration was held in Veterans Park, but this was no ordinary Memorial Day event. This was a re-dedication ceremony for the gravesite of Col. Francis Hamtramck.
Guests from the Michigan Society of Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution Michigan, the Michigan Society of Children of the American Revolution, Sons of the Revolution and the California Society Sons of the American Revolution were just some of the people that turned out for the dedication.
The hour-long event drew about 100 people to the park on a sunny and blazing-hot afternoon.
Adding color to the backdrop of the event were men dressed in Revolutionary War-era military clothing.
A brass marker was installed in front of the grave. The marker is a replica of the original one that disappeared a number of years ago.
Hamtramck was a French-Canadian, who fought with valor during the war.
While the name Hamtramck may not sound French, the city adopted that namesake over 100 years ago when it was still a village.
Mayor Ameer Ghalib noted that Francis Hamtramck started a tradition of immigrants making a difference in this city, and country as a whole.
“Hamtramck has a tradition of being a welcoming community that focuses on our strengths, not our differences,” Ghalib said.
This year marked Hamtramck’s 100th anniversary of becoming incorporated as a city.
As a village and township, Hamtramck at one time extended all the way to the Detroit River, and all the way east to Lake St. Clair. Over the years, that territory got divided up into several other communities – including the Grosse Pointes.
The Memorial Day dedication was just one of several centennial celebrations planned for this year.

Hamtramck Public School District Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed was fighting back.
Ahmed, who has been placed on leave, filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing five board members and the teachers’ union of conspiring to get her fired.
She also accusing them of discrimination and defamation.
Ahmed took a family medical leave of absence the previous year in October, citing stress from handling school affairs during the Covid pandemic.
She had planned to return in January, but the school board placed her on extended leave. The board has not explained why they took that action, other than to say that Ahmed is under investigation, although the nature of that investigation has never been explained.
In her lawsuit, Ahmed is seeking back pay, but she has been on a paid leave. It was therefore not clear what back pay she was trying to claim.
Ahmed said in her lawsuit that trouble began with several job transfers of teachers, which resulted in backlash from some board members about former Human Resources Director Michelle Imbrunone.
Ahmed defended Imbrunone and her decision to make the job transfers, because she agreed that they were needed to fill positions required by federal guidelines.
The board had earlier voted to not renew Imbrunone’s contract. Imbrunone also took a family medical leave back in October.
After Ahmed took a leave of absence, several teachers came forward at board meetings to complain about the management style of Ahmed and Imbrunone.
One teacher said that, since Ahmed had become superintendent, the district has been “going backwards from our best years.”

Legendary Hamtramck little league player Art “Pinky” Deras died at age 75. He has been cited as the best little league player in history.


Hamtramck – and the nation – lost a sports legend.
Art “Pinky” Deras died June 5, at the age of 75.
Deras not only excelled in sports at Hamtramck High School, he was known as the “Best Little League player ever.”
How’s that?
Back in 1959, he led his Hamtramck team to 13 straight victories in the Little League World Series.
Fellow team member Tom Paciorek remembered Deras as being bigger and more mature than the other kids.
“At 12 years old, he was bigger, taller and stronger than the rest of us, and the greatest player ever at that age,” Paciorek told the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame.
“He was just so much better than the rest of us.”
After Little League and graduating from HHS, he joined the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, but his career then stalled in their Double A farm league.
He later joined the Warren Police Department, and eventually retired from there after 30 years of service.

In a re-dedication ceremony for Hamtramck’s historic baseball stadium, Hamtramck Historical Commission Chairman Greg Kowalski put the moment in perspective.
“We are making history today,” he said. “We are finally seeing this stadium restored.”
On the re-dedication day, about 200 people, many of whom appeared to be from outside of Hamtramck, came to celebrate the rebirth of the stadium, and also to pay tribute to Negro League player Ron Teasley Sr., now 95 years old and still as sharp as they come.
Teasley was there with his family, and sat front-row center by the lectern that faced the newly-installed bleachers.
He spoke briefly.
Teasley said that, in the stadium’s heyday, it was “jammed” with people, especially after church services on Sundays.
Organizers hope that the stadium’s new life will also attract thousands of visitors.
The stadium’s history was not fully realized until several years ago, when it was discovered that it was built in 1930 for the Negro baseball league – which was back in a time when African-Americans were barred from playing in the then-all-white Major Leagues.
The stadium is one of only five such stadiums still standing.
Greg Kowalski said that this part of history was not known when he was growing up and playing in the stadium himself in the 1950s.
“It was buried in Hamtramck’s history,” he said. “Hamtramck Black history is simply amazing.”
Once the stadium’s historical significance was discovered, the city was able to attract various government and private grants. Over $2 million has been spend on rebuilding the stadium and grandstands, as well as on replacing the field.
It is hoped more grants will be awarded to turn the area into a full-blown entertainment site – one where various sports can be played, as well as concerts and other activities be scheduled.

Kathy Angerer


There was a major shake-up in city hall.
City Manager Kathy Angerer announced that she was resigning, and would be moving on to a new job.
She did not say where she would be heading. Her last day was July 15.
(It was later revealed that she went to work for the state Department of Agriculture. She has since been named Acting Director of the department.)
She told The Review:
“It’s been a pleasure serving the City of Hamtramck, and I wish only the best for everyone in the community going forward.”
News of her resignation came as a surprise for some in city hall. Mayor Amer Ghalib praised the job she had done, but also welcomed the chance to head in a new direction.
“It’s unfortunate to see her leave,” Ghalib said. “We worked well with her over the past five months or so, but I guess she found a better opportunity, as she said, and we thank her for her sincere work with us in serving our city, and we wish her luck in her future endeavor.
“However, we will make this loss an opportunity for a change to the better as well. There are different opinions among city council members about the next step, but we all agree that the process should be based on fair and equal opportunity for all, and then go from there.”
During Angerer’s tenure, various improvements to the city were made, thanks, in many cases, to county, state and federal grants. Those improvements included: new sewer lines in some portions of the city, increased street repaving, and major improvements to Veterans Park and to the historic baseball stadium.
Longtime City Attorney James Allen also resigned, saying he was going into private practice.

Well, that’s it for Part One of our Year in Review. Like we said, it was one action-packed year.
There’s more ahead in next week’s Part Two, which will cover July through December.
Posted Dec. 23, 2022

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