Tax abatement issue reveals a rudderless city

Someone take leadership of this city.
For the last several weeks, some members of the city council have stumbled over themselves in holding up a request for a tax abatement that would clear the way for a major redevelopment of the old Missant site.
The latest incident involved three councilmembers, Adam Albarmaki, Mohammed Alsomiri and Khalil Refai, who were no-shows at last week’s regular council meeting where the tax abatement issue was scheduled for a vote – finally.
Their absence caused confusion over whether there was truly a quorum to hold the meeting. In other words, were there enough councilmembers present to even hold a meeting?
Well, based on erroneous advice, the meeting went forward, and items on the agenda were voted on – including the approval of the tax abatement.
But guess what?
That advice on whether there was a quorum was dead wrong.
So, the council had to do the whole meeting all over the next night, but this time the tax abatement issue was removed from the agenda.
One has to wonder what the site developer is thinking about the ability of this city to conduct business in a timely and professional manner.
It’s a possibility that, if a vote ever does come down, and the city council remains evenly divided on the issue, the mayor will be forced to break a tie.
Unfortunately, the mayor says he won’t offer his opinion on the matter unless he is forced to break a tie vote on the issue.
Perhaps if the mayor were to speak up now, that would help provide direction for the council.
So, this continued game-playing continues, making Hamtramck city government looks unstable.
Folks, do your jobs. And realize, too, that some issues and votes are going to be divisive, no matter what.
You were elected to make decisions. Running away from them will only make Hamtramck look directionless, and like a city that is not worth doing business in.
And, while they’re at it, city officials need to actually read the city charter, and familiarize themselves with the rules of how this city operates.
What an embarrassment.
Posted September 23, 2022

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