HAMTRAMCK (WWJ/AP) – Hamtramck has asked Gov. Rick Snyder to send an emergency manager to fix finances in the small Detroit-area city.
The City Council voted in favor of a manager last week after Snyder declared a financial emergency. It will be Hamtramck’s second manager since 2001.
Hamtramck, bordered by Highland Park and Detroit, is just 2.1 square miles with about 22,000 residents. Mayor Karen Majewski told the Detroit Free Press that retirement and health care costs are hurting the city’s budget, although she would have preferred a consent agreement with the state rather than a manager.
Hamtramck gets $700,000 in tax revenue from a General Motors factory, down from $1.7 million. The city also lost tax revenue when an American Axle factory closed.
“These are problems most cities are having,” Majewski told the Freep. “Until the state looks seriously at the mechanism in which municipalities are funded, we are going to see more and more cities go through this.”
Under Michigan law, an Emergency Manager has the power to develop financial plans, renegotiate labor contracts, revise and approve budgets to help control spending, sell off some city assets and suspend the salaries of elected officials.
Michigan took over Hamtramck in 2000 because of debt. State control ended in 2007.
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