A state loan will buy the city a year to get it right

After all the huff and puff last week about the possible layoff of police officers and firefighters, and hours of special meetings, there won’t be a single cop or fireman without a job.

A plan to file for bankruptcy was also scrapped, not because that’s still the desired plan of action but because Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her administration said no.

Instead, the city is going to take up the state’s offer for a loan of $2-$3 million, which will allow the city to ride out another year before running out of cash.

You can read more about the details of what the city is going to do in our front page story. Our concern is not about the wisdom of a loan, but why the City Council took hours to talk the issue to death when the only alternative the state was going to allow was asking for a loan.

This council has an awful habit of over-analyzing issues and worse yet, allowing councilmembers to grandstand on issues and pontificate in endless, and pointless, detail.

Enough already.

If the council finds itself adrift in an issue, do this: ask the city manager for his opinion and then follow it. The city manager, after all, is the guy in charge and the person with expertise.

Stop wasting the public’s time and more important, stop scaring public employees with talk of massive layoffs if that is not truly an option being considered.

But having said that, our public employees – most notably firefighters and police officers — are going to have to rethink their position on not allowing the city to switch over to a less expensive health insurance plan. That cost is killing the city.

The loan indeed will only buy a certain amount of time. This issue over health insurance costs won’t go away.

And also not going away is the ability of Hamtramck to continue maintaining its own independent police and fire departments. There is serious talk that Gov.-Elect Rick Snyder is going to make drastic cuts in the state revenue that is distributed to cities.

Hamtramck bought itself a year to think this through. Maybe by then economic reality will sink in with our police and firefighters.

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