Like it or not, a dramatic change is on the way for our city

The year 2011 might go down in Hamtramck’s history as the last year of a budget surplus.

That year ended with $2.7 million in the black, thanks to a settlement with the City of Detroit over a tax dispute involving the GM Poletown plant.

At the end of the current fiscal year, which will be June 30, 2012, there will be a projected $3.4 million deficit.

City officials have already mapped out several ways to combat the deficit, but if one looked at what really needs to be real done, there is little chance it’s going away.

Frankly, in order to avoid a financial meltdown, the city has to drastically re-invent its police and fire departments. While firefighters and police officers say they are prepared to sit down and talk with city officials about ways to save money, we doubt they are going to agree to a wholesale makeover.

We don’t blame anyone for saying no to drastic change. We have enjoyed a comfortable way of life for many years.

But these are not typical economic times, and the chances of a financial recovery any time soon looks pretty grim.

Time is ticking away, and there could be a problem with cash flow within the next couple of months.

It’s going to take some serious action to turn things around. City officials and public employees are going to have to come to terms in the coming weeks, or else risk having the state send in someone to do the dirty work.

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