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Hamtramck ratchets up bankruptcy debate

Businesses in Hamtramck, Michigan
Ian Freimuth
creative commons
Businesses in Hamtramck, Michigan

The city of Hamtramck is ratcheting up the pressure on the state to allow it to file for bankruptcy.

Hamtramck’s city attorney has sent a letterto Governor Granholm urging her to issue an executive order allowing the city to seek federal bankruptcy protection. The letter also says appointing an emergency financial manager would not give the city the tools it needs to correct its financial problems.

"What happens is, under an EFM, all authority is put under him, and he does not have the authority to set aside union contracts," said Hamtramck city manager, Bill Cooper. "He has the authority to renegotiate. I have that same authority."

If the city files for bankruptcy, it could throw out its union contracts.

Cooper says none of the options the state has presented so far would help the city’s bottom line. All of those options include borrowing money.

Contact Sarah Hulett at sarahhu@umich.edu

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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