Guest editorial: Tertzag’s Two Cents …

By Kyle Tertzag

Acting City Manager

Hello Hamtramck!  I wanted to write today to set the record straight on a few issues that are floating around our town lately.  The firefighters union has recently been passing out flyers that are unfortunately factually inaccurate.  I’d like to address some of these inaccuracies here. For instance:


  1. The Ambulance service that our department provides is BASIC life support (BLS), while DMCare provides ADVANCED life support (ALS). ALS paramedics can administer medications that will save lives. BLS cannot administer any medicine. In a BLS situation the first time medications may be administered is when the patient arrives at the hospital.  With ALS, the paramedics can administer life-saving medications at the scene and on the ride to the hospital.  This saves lives that would otherwise be lost!  Anyone that tells you that BLS is superior to ALS is lying.


  1. The grant writer (that the union likes to take credit for bringing to us) along with the rep from FEMA, told us that the grant does NOT have to be paid back.  As a matter of fact it is what is known as a reimburseable grant.  They did not send us a check for a blanket amount, they reimburse the city the cost of some of the firefighters.  This will amount to about $1.2 million per year for two years.  NOT $3.5 million!


  1. I have not heard of any plan that includes outsourcing to Detroit. PERIOD!


  1. If there was a move to outsource to Highland Park, they would staff OUR station with firefighters.  They would not have to drive all the way from Highland Park. The fire trucks and ambulances would be stationed at the Hamtramck Fire Station.


  1. There’s talk about our insurance rates going up, but those are based on fire ratings and Hamtramck and Highland Park currently have an IDENTICAL fire rating (PPC 5) and this is what insurance companies use in setting rates.


These are facts, not opinions.  We are in a tough situation and everyone knows that.  Scare tactics won’t change the math problem that we face. Neither will flyers or lawn signs.  The fact is the City has to live within our means just as you and I do.

Now onto a better note, the Hamtramck Fraternal Order of Police have stepped up to the plate and offered to work on even more concessions than they gave the city just this past June.  As was stated by FOP President David Cornwell, “We’re willing to do whatever it takes to insure the survival of our community and our members while continuing to provide excellent services to the residents.”  We are working with the FOP to increase the efficiency of the Police Department.

I’m Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag and that’s my Two Cents!

3 Responses to Guest editorial: Tertzag’s Two Cents …

  1. sugarbear

    March 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

    You are right, ALS is superior to BLS. So why didn’t the city upgrade their ambulances to ALS in the last 6 years? Wouldn’t this have served the citizens better? The fire department already had plenty of trained licensed paramedics(and still does) from what I hear.

    It must just be about saving money and not the safety of the citizens, if you are thinking about bringing in Highland Park FD..Have you seen their city? They are the cheapest in the “biz”, and you get what you pay for. Hamtramck will look like Highland park in no time.

    The FOP will do whatever it takes? So they are going to work for $10 an hour and no benefits, part time, like the city wants firefighters to be paid?

    Well, I’m sure you know what you are doing though, seeing as how you did such a fine job in Allen Park, and Woodhaven right?

  2. Only the facts

    March 23, 2013 at 2:07 am

    “These challenges have
    not happened overnight. They
    took years to create and they
    are not going to be easily
    This a quote from your most recent guest editorial.
    Yes the challenges the city faces now are years in the making but not nearly as long as you would have people believe.
    I think it was 2007 when the EFM,Louis Shimmel,gave the mayor and council back control of the city. At that time I would have to guess that he thought that the city was on stable financial ground and he left all union contracts in place after receiving concessions from them.
    His main goal while here was to revise the city charter and was successful in doing so. The charter was changed from a strong Mayoral type of government to a City Manager type of government.
    I thought that at that time the city had a chance and I still feel the city would have prospered if the politicians had not filled the city managers position with individuals that had been released from their jobs in other communities due to the fact that they were inept. The politicians in Hamtramck seem to have knack for hiring other communities rejects. With you being the most recent person to fill that spot. Perhaps if the cities leaders were to hire a competent city manager,that person could find a solution to the cities financial problems without sacrificing the citizens public safety. I don’t hold you solely responsible for the cities difficulties. A pattern of corruption has permeated this city for years and even though the new city charter should have eliminated these obstacles,until a competent city manager is put in place and the people of Hamtramck wake up and stop re-electing officials that are only interested in holding onto their perceived power, this city will continue in its decline. I,for one,have pretty much given up hope. Apathy on the part of the citizens and arrogance on the part of its leaders seems to be the one thing Hamtramck has more than its share of.
    Trust this…In a few years,you too will be gone and there will be some other communities “Sloppy Seconds” to take your place. I just hope there is still a Hamtramck left at that time. Maybe you will have the dubious distinction of being the cities last city manager. Now there’s something to put on your resume!

  3. Only the facts

    March 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Mr. Tertzag,if in fact you even take the time to read these comments in regards to your guest editorial,could please answer one question?
    Was it on your recommendation that the city of Hamtramck seek bankruptcy or do you think the city would be better served by avoiding bankruptcy???

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