City Hall Insider …11/9/12



What is our City Council up to these days? We have the highlights of the latest council meeting.

By Charles Sercombe

Here is part two of the Oct. 23 city council meeting. All councilmembers were in attendance.

In a proposal to transfer a liquor license from the former owner of Atlas Bar to a new owner who plans to rename the Brombach and Yemans St. establishment to “Club Irene,” Councilmember Robert Zwolak reminded his colleagues that the previous owner had a “good neighbor” agreement.

The agreement calls for the owner to keep the noise level down.

All councilmembers, except Councilmember Abdul Algazali, voted in favor of the license transfer. Algazali did not explain why he opposed the transfer.

The council OK’d expending $16,850 to upgrade the city’s water meter reading device.

In a proposal to officially designate Hamtramck as a “Welcoming” community to immigrants and all others, Councilmember Algazali objected to a reference calling Hamtramck “Hamtown.”

He said a number of Muslims in town object to the word “ham.”

“Ham is a pig, and a lot of people don’t like that word,” Algazali said.

The council OK’d the proposal.

In a report from Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag, he said that if the city pays back $500,000 to the street repair fund, there won’t be enough money on hand to meet the next employee payroll.

“This is worse than we thought it was,” Tertzag said in reference to the city’s financial woes.

Carl Johnson, the city’s contracted financial director, said the city will have to start to decide which vendors to pay in the near future.

Councilmember Cathie Gordon said the city needs to look into asking retirees to agree to concessions. She said the city also needs to look into shared services with other government agencies.

Councilmember Anam Miah asked when sidewalks that were torn up for gas line repairs will be replaced.

“Please get on it,” he said to the city administration.

Councilmember Gordon called for the city attorney to release his billing invoices. Gordon said that Jim Allen refused to release the invoices in a recent Freedom of Information Act request on the basis that they are protected under the attorney-client privilege.

Gordon said Allen works for the public, and those invoices are public information.

She added that she talked to two attorneys about Allen’s refusal to release the invoices, and they were “appalled.”

“The people of this city have a right to know about his billing,” she said.


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