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Friday, November 5, 2010

How the 2008 City Charter change has ruined Troy -- and guess who lead the charge back then

November 4, 2008 - A City Charter amendment Section 9.16.5 that limited the City Council’s “ability to increase the millage rate unless first approved by a majority of the City Electors.” passed by voters. Any millage must now be approved by voters.
So Howrylak says here and here let's have another public vote on a half mill?
Words escape me...
Well, not really.
As we know, the library will have to start the process of shutting down in January, because it takes a long time to dismantle and mothball a world-class library.
So it would take months to put up a new vote and cost more tens of thousands of dollars. And maybe that will lose too, since Howrylak has done such a fine job of convincing the people of Troy to embrace their greedy, anti-community spirit! They have been lead to believe that Troy has the highest tax rates in Oakland County, when actually we have the lowest--our taxes are higher because our property values are higher (for now).
So why do we have this problem? If Crown Prince Marty wants his 0.50 mills, how come he can't simply make it so with a wave of his scepter?
Well, that's because the root of all of our problems in Troy finances is an amendment to the Troy City Charter made in 2008 that took away the city council's ability to temporarily raise taxes in a crisis, such as the one we are facing now.
Other cities have the flexibility to adjust spending and up millages in the short term. But not Troy. Ever since 2008, just before the recession hit, our city council has had their hands tied behind their backs. 
All they have been able to do each year is to watch the city income go down (as our taxes have gone down) and cut, cut, cut. And in the next four years it will continue to shrink and they will continue to cut, cut, cut.
Now that may seem like a good thing to some of you, but I moved here not long ago for all of the city amenities that are being axed because of this change.
And who was the architect of the change? Why Mr. Howrylak, of course. And in this article even he admits that they can't save the library now--they have to have another election. 
When will the madness end?
When will the adults take over?


  1. This truly takes my breath away! We moved here not that long ago for all that Troy had to offer for not much more than we were paying in our previous city. We had a much smaller home valued at a quarter of our home here in Troy. In addition to property tax, we paid income tax, and this city did not plow our residential streets of snow so as a neighborhood, we paid a private contractor for that. We also paid a private security company to patrol our streets at night. So when you add it all up, we paid whole lot more than here. So we thought Troy was a bargain - safe, beautiful with so much to offer. Oh, how we wish we could go back in time and choose some other place to live - not just for the bare bones services we will endure (we did that for years and sure thought we wouldn't face that again) but especially for the nasty political climate. But here we are stuck In Troy and I am really sad about that.

  2. I have to correct you on one thing.

    That's "CLOWN" Prince Marty, not "Crown".

  3. It's terribly upsetting how the very people who argued that only the voters should be able to make these decisions then utterly subvert the process by forwarding the bogus proposals. That effort exposes their duplicity and I'm deeply disappointed in Mr. Howrylak for his silence on this score.

    Regarding the bogus proposals, there is a difference of 1,546 between the combined Yes and No votes on Proposal 1 and the total ballots cast. In other words, there are an additional 1,546 votes cast than Proposal 1 totals, which means that since both sides were voting No on those a case can be made (not legally, of course) that those are Yes votes on those other proposals. So their strategy worked and I remain more convinced than ever that a straight up or down vote on one proposal would have saved the library.

  4. Thanks, Barry. That's a key point.
    What good is it to have the right to vote on your taxes, when Mr. Howrylak and his cronies are going to lie and cheat to prevent us for voting for anything they have decided they don't want us to have?
    That's democracy????????
    Then you hear about what HE is willing to accept in terms of tax increases? Is there no limit to his arrogance? It's kind of sick, really.