City pays for political snub

Hamtramck Mayor Amer Ghalib

By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck Mayor Amer Ghalib has joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in endorsing Detroit City Councilmember Mary Waters for her run for congress.
Waters is challenging current first-term Congressman Shri Thanedar for his seat in the 13th District, which includes Hamtramck, part of Detroit, and elsewhere.
Thanedar, who is an immigrant from India, has been criticized for not addressing the concerns of voters, and also because his election meant there is no African-American representing Detroit in Congress.
In his announcement in supporting Waters, Duggan said of Thanedar: “He’s not a bad person; he’s just not helping. We can’t afford to carry a congressperson who isn’t responsive.”
In Hamtramck, Thanedar lost the support of Mayor Ghalib and the city council for his support of sending military aid to Israel, in light of Israel’s invasion into Gaza and the resulting deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians.
Ghalib and the city council have passed resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza as well as for Hamtramck to divest from any investments in Israel.
At a recent gathering at Aladdin restaurant in Hamtramck, Ghalib said on his Facebook page:
“Her (Waters) position is clear, and she is one of the first to call for an end to the war and genocide in Gaza. Her opponent is the current congress member, Shri Thanedar, (who) stands on the dark side of history, supports genocide, and does not support the establishment of a Palestinian state. …”
The mayor conceded, however, that their criticism of Thanedar came at a price for Hamtramck. Ghalib said that Thanedar told the city that he would not be supporting two grants for infrastructure repairs – continuing to replace lead water lines to households, and alley improvements – because of the snub by the city.
Cit Manager Max Garbarino confirmed the loss of the grants, which he said had been on track to come here, and will mean the loss of millions of dollars.
Ghalib’s response to Thanedar holding back the grants was a simple: “But that’s OK.”
At hearing that, the gathering at the event erupted into applause.
Asked to respond to the criticism of city officials, Thanedar told The Review:
“I support the latest proposal for a ceasefire, the release of hostages, and humanitarian aid to Gaza.
“I serve 20 municipalities and have received more than 45 proposals for community funding. Unfortunately, I can only submit 15 requests. Hamtramck’s requests did not make it to the top fifteen.
“My staff ranks these projects on the merits of the request, and thirty projects could not be funded, including the two for Hamtramck. We will be happy to consider them next year.”
Thanedar added that he has backed federal projects for Hamtramck.
“I was thrilled to secure $956,000 for Hamtramck’s Green Alleyways project in our most recent budget, and I am expecting to see those funds come in this year,” Thanedar told The Review.
He continued:
“These funds will go a long way to support infrastructure needs and prevent flooding for my constituents in Hamtramck. I even invited the mayor to join me and speak in a press conference in April, to celebrate this project for our shared constituents.
“I look forward to bringing in even more funding for Hamtramck in the years to come.”
Ghalib further justified his stance.
“We are used to standing for our principles, no matter what the consequences are,” he said.
Ghalib added: “We always stand on the right side of history.”
He also had a warning to those who serve in elected office, saying that “those who ignore us” will suffer at election time. That’s when, Ghalib said, voters can withhold their support “as a punishment tool.”
As of now, Thanedar is projected to win re-election, political observers say, but there are a couple of months to go before the August Democratic Primary Election.
Up until last week, former state Sen. Adam Hollier had the support of the Michigan Democratic Party, but he was dropped from the race because he failed to submit enough legitimate voter signatures on his nominating petition.
Hollier is taking it in stride, however.
“We fell short of where we wanted to go, but this is certainly not the end. There is far too much to do, far too many in need, and far too few who are willing to step up and do the hard work,” Hollier said in a mass email.
“I hope you will join me in the coming months and years as we fight to protect our rights and give voice to those who have too often been left behind.”
In 2010, Waters plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false tax return. Waters admitted to accepting a $6,000 Rolex watch as compensation for her help in allowing a businessman to relocate a pawn shop in Southfield.
According to a press release, issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan:
“Waters admitted that, although she understood that the watch was a form of compensation, she failed to report it as such in filing her 2008 taxes. Waters also agreed to forfeit the watch, a Ladies’ Rolex, to the United States.”
Then-U.S. Attorney Barbra McQuade said, in the press release:
“People who engage in public corruption will be held accountable. It is reprehensible when people cheat the taxpayers of cities that are already struggling financially.”
Posted June 7, 2024

One Response to City pays for political snub

  1. Elias Al shami

    June 7, 2024 at 9:06 pm

    Thanader served his time and he was exposed as a person with thin skin, to say the least. He took out his frustrations on a small working class city like hamtramck. Anyone with such a temperament can’t lead. If he truly didn’t care about personal gain, he would have supported the grants. Selfish is too much of a nice word for him.

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