By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News
HAMTRAMCK. Mich. – Hamtramck’s election season is coming into focus with the Aug. 3 Primary Election Approaching. On the ballot will be three city council seats and a mayoral race that could either break a record for longest serving mayor or decide the first new mayor in more than a decade.
With a race filled mainly with political newcomers, voters looking at the City Council election will decide the who to fill three available City Council seats. Fighting for the three available seats are Adam Albarmaki, Armani Asad, Lynn Blasey, Amanda Jaczkowski, Cody Lown, Muhith Mahmood, Abu Musa and Khalil Refai.
To varying degrees, the majority of City Council candidates have been engaged with Hamtramck’s political system. During one debate, nearly every candidate showed they had a clear plan for the various challenges of the city.
Voters will be asked to select three City Council candidates for their ballot, with six proceeding into the November general election.
The four challengers running for Hamtramck City Mayor each hold special qualifications. Whether it’s practicing medicine, clear and profound budgetary experience, long-standing procedural expertise or a tried-and-true leadership style, the race for City Mayor is a hard one.
Challengers for this position are: Saad Almasmari, Amer Ghalib, Karen Majewski and Asm Rahman.
But along with voting for these candidates, voters will be asked to consider a controversial ballot proposal asking whether Hamtramck taxpayers should fund the Police and Firefighters Retirement System for retired Hamtramck employees.
Funding the retirement system is constitutionally mandated for the city, meaning that there is an absolute legal requirement that the city pay for the retirement system. When asked for advice from financial experts at Plante Moran, the city was left with a sobering fact – a court will probably decide that taxpayers will need to foot the bill regardless.
In an effort to avoid a more expensive judgement levy, the Hamtramck City Council approved the language of this ballot proposal earlier this year.
When candidates were asked whether they support the proposal, nearly every candidate was either reluctant in their support, or outright against the proposal.