The voters have spoken, and the three city ballot issues all went down in defeat.
So now what?
The three proposals were placed on the ballot as a way to save the city money, but that’s not to say we were in favor of them.
Proposals 1 and 2 would have eliminated the language in the city charter that establishes the police and fire departments. Had they passed, the city council would have been tasked to come up with an alternative way to provide those services
The proposals were placed on the ballot by a majority of city councilmembers, who viewed changing up the way police and fire services are provided could reduce the financial burden to the city.
The third proposal would have greatly raised property taxes to fund the city’s pension obligation for police and fire retirees.
The increase in property taxes would have busted the finances for many households in Hamtramck.
Meanwhile, the city continues to be in deficit spending, and before long – if it hasn’t happened already – the city’s budget surplus will be gone.
That means the city will be forced – sooner or later – to turn to the state for help.
The last two times the city did that, the state appointed an emergency manager to take over control of the city.
Guess what happened?
In neither time did the emergency managers address the city’s key financial burdens – namely its pension costs, and the costs providing police and fire services.
So, here we are again, on the verge of yet another state intervention. All we can hope is that someone will make the tough decisions that our local elected leaders can’t, because of labor union contract constraints or what voters refuse to do.
Posted Nov. 6, 2020