Taking a state loan is the sensible approach to saving the city

Judging by what we heard at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, it looks like the council may take another vote on whether to apply for an emergency state loan.

Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and vote for the loan. What we witnessed at last Tuesday’s council meeting was nothing short of madness. Never have we seen such a display of militant ignorance on the part of Councilmembers Tom Jankowski, Kazi Miah, Mohammed Hassan and Cathie Gordon.

Fortunately, it looked like Financial Director Nevrus Nazarko talked some common sense into at least one of those four, which will allow the mayor to cast a tie-breaking vote if the council deadlocks at 3-3 on this issue.

We still can’t believe what we heard, and wonder if the above mentioned councilmembers purposely want to sabotage Hamtramck. Councilmember Hassan went on record saying he would welcome a state takeover, which begs the question: why did you run for office in the first place if you are so willing to abdicate your responsibilities?

Councilmember Jankowski has it in for the city unions, particularly the police officers’ unions, and is demanding they agree to contract concessions before he agrees to a state loan. Mr. Jankowski, you don’t want to go down that road toward a state takeover. There is a new administration in Lansing and word is, if the state takes over there could be severe changes to the community – including a possible merger with Detroit.

This isn’t a time to gamble with the city’s future.

Councilmember Miah, from what we can tell, doesn’t want to take loan if things will proceed as usual. On the surface that sounds good, but what does that mean exactly?

Well, according to Miah, that primarily means fixing the city’s website.

Yeah, right, like that will turn things around. Miah’s comment only underscores his inexperience and lack of qualifications to hold a position on council.

Councilmember Gordon is a bigger puzzle, lashing out all over the place without any coherent theme.

The city needs to take a low-interest state loan to tide us over for the next couple of years. During that time it’s hoped that the city will settle its dispute with Detroit over how much tax revenue Hamtramck should receive from the GM Poletown plant.

During the next year the city needs to convince city employees they have a stake too, and the unions need to agree to contract concessions if employees expect to save their jobs.

Time is what Hamtramck needs to sort out its finances. Many other cities in the state are also struggling and face financial disaster. At least Hamtramck has an offer from the state for assistance, giving us a chance to steer the city back on track.

If a majority of the City Council decides to do essentially nothing, to just sit on their hands and allow the city to hit payless paydays, that will be the height of irresponsibility. It may mean there really is no reason to ever trust local officials to manage this city again.

For the record, bravo to Councilmembers Catrina Stackpoole and Shahab Ahmed for standing up against this insanity and voting to save Hamtramck. And that also goes to Mayor Karen Majewski, who has consistently pleaded for the council to take the right course.

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