Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Barry sums up the various plans to save the Troy Library

from Barry at Truth In Troy:

How I see it
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm not engaged. These issues are very intense, potentially explosive, and quite controversial. And that's why this site is about the truth. I could say something every day about the latest "news" or did you hear what so-and-so said. But that's not how I operate. It's been a time for reflection and deliberation for me and I wish more people would do that more often. I think we'd have a better understanding of things if we thought more and talked less.

Regardless, now 14 days after the fact, here's what I see:
  1. City council won. Yes, that's right. TCU did not win. City council won because they got what they wanted - continued control over the library issue. I tried to warn everybody about how this outcome would just create more dysfunction within our community, but evidently not enough people saw it this way. Just wait until you see this go on a few more weeks/months and once city council acts, or doesn't, then we'll get to see TCU hyperventilate and act, based on city council, and the game that cleaves this community will continue. Remember, I warned you. Several times.
  2. No one at TCU has a plan, a clue, or even a thoughtful idea to move us toward a solution. It's just more of the same "get your financial house in order" nonsense. This is nonsense because there are no actual suggestions on how to do that. I'm sorry, but gutting the few egregious pensions is a drop in the bucket and, while a nice political gesture (TCU's stock in trade - all show, no go), does not fund the library. The devil is in the details, as the old saying goes. To that end, there needs to be a real plan.
  3. There is a real plan. Clint Meyer and I submitted a planback in early May. Our plan, the one we call "Option 3" and "Option 3a" is not rocket science. It's across-the-board cuts that balance the budget and saves the services, if not all jobs. Yes I know others have suggested across-the-board cuts, but they listened to the city council and the city manager talk about $22.6 million "deficit" and so they argued for a 7-10% cut. It seemed logical, though it wasn't. The city manager just sat there and repeated, "That won't work" without saying why. He still hasn't. Why won't it work? Check out the numbers: the actual deficit is over $82 million! Our plan is backed up with numbers, the city's financial data, and a rationale for action. It spares no one, but it destroys no one either. No one else has produced such a plan, to my knowledge. It's very tough medicine, at around 25% cuts per department, based on where we were in May, but it's the only path forward and the only path to demonstrate good faith to the community. This is something entirely lost on the council majority and the city manager. Until that broken faith is restored, we are lost. And eventually, even the police department will be cut dramatically because they'll be the only ones left.
  4. The Ed Kempen "plan", which really is only a wish, will either be ignored by city council or if it's seen in concert with the 15,000+ Yes voters, not to mention the other 1,546 possible Yes voters on the other proposals (the difference between total ballots cast and the total number of Yes and No votes cast on Proposal 1), it might yet have some political influence, though I don't see it moving a fourth vote. We'll see.

Read more here.

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