CHICAGO — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday appointed an administrator at the city of Pontiac to serve as the emergency manager of Hamtramck, which now enters its second state takeover in less than 10 years.
Hamtramck, a small city of 22,000 that is mostly surrounded by Detroit, becomes the state’s 11th local government under emergency management.
Snyder tapped Cathy Square, who currently works as Pontiac’s administrator, HR director and director of public works, to take over Hamtramck.
In Pontiac, Square works under emergency manager Louis Schimmel, who has restructured the city mostly by selling assets, outsourcing services, and cutting employees and the budget. Square was quoted in a local report as saying she plans to take the same tact in Hamtramck.
Snyder declared the city to be in a state of fiscal emergency in early June, about a month after a state review team said it found major problems in the books. The city has delayed making required monthly pension contributions in order to manage cash flow and has had a general fund deficit for the last three years. The current projected general fund deficit totals $3.3 million in a $16 million 2013 budget. The city also had an emergency manager from 2000 to 2007. Three years ago, local officials pressed the state to allow it to become the first Michigan government to file for bankruptcy, a request the state denied.
“I am certain Cathy will work collaboratively with local officials, citizens, and others to address the financial crisis in Hamtramck and ensure residents receive the essential services they need and deserve,” Snyder said in a statement.