At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the council directed the city manager to look into the feasibility of outsourcing all city services.
On the surface, that sounds like a radical move. But maybe it is a wise thing to look into. Perhaps we do need to take this exercise just to settle the matter.
Of course, the look into outsourcing can also be considered a tactic by the city to get city employees to agree to contract concessions. The truth, though, as Councilmember Catrina Stackpoole pointed out, is there are no more options left for the city.
Hamtramck is going to be unable to pay its employees or its bills by March. It’s going to be broke.
City employees have refused to make major concessions. A majority of councilmembers have blocked applying for a state loan and refuse to raise property taxes to the legal limit.
Something has to give.
Do we like the idea of outsourcing our police and fire services? Hell no. But none of the unions are willing to give up anything. Folks, sooner or later the city will run out of money. Sooner or later the state will appoint an emergency financial manager who will then have no other option than to recommend the city file for bankruptcy.
When that happens, Hamtramck will have to be reinvented. Hopefully, the option of simply merging the city with Detroit will never happen.
But with a new governor who has been calling for mergers, there is no guarantee what Hamtramck’s future will be.
There is now word in some pockets of the community that an emergency financial manager should be brought in. We have only one thing to say about that: Be careful for what you wish for.