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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I can't stop (was: Last night at city council...)

I'm taking no joy out of appearing in front of city council at every meeting and trying to tell the truth about what's happening in Troy. I feel, rather, like I'm on a mission.

Twice now I have been on the opposite side of the folks of TCU in an election. Twice I have seen the lowly level to which they are willing to sink in order to win.

In February I was on the City Council's Ethnic Issue Advisory Committee with a young man named of John Witt. I knew nothing about him. But just before the special election to raise our city millage by 1.9 mills a four-page TCU mailer came out. It was filled with untruths and dis-information, just like the one they used in the subsequent November Library millage. But the most distressing bit of information was on the back page.

The mailer claimed that "Members of these city committees recommend voting NO on" the millage. And there was my little committee endorsing a NO vote. It was Friday before the Tuesday election. There was no time to fix it. Calls to committee members by our chairwoman proved that no one she could reach had anything to do with the mailer. Everyone was voting YES. Then I learned that Mr. Witt was in a leadership position in TCU.

When I asked Mr. Witt how he could have done such a thing, put lies in that mailer and send it out just before the election so there was no time to correct it, he said to me, in City Council Chambers, "That's the way the game is played."

And thus began the radicalization of Sharon of Troy.

The library, the city's welfare, the city's amenities are not a game to me nor to my family. This is our lives we are fighting for, not some bullet point on a political resume.

Our committee virtually censured Mr. Witt at the next meeting, voting unanimously that no one should use the committee for such political purposes in the future.

In the months after the February election, I began to see the TCU pattern of destruction and how the same suspect's fingerprints are always on everything: Howrylak, Witt, Daniels, Clark, Gosselin.

On November 22, 2010 Keep Troy Strong blogger Sue Martin and I spoke before Council, as is our right, I believe. And we took some heat from a woman who I have often seen pointing fingers at and being rude to Mayor Schilling. She angrily criticized us for being mean to Mr. Howrylak and repeatedly called us Angry Women.

The woman completely defended Mr. Howrylak and said of his letter, asking voters to vote NO on Proposal 1, "You're giving Councilman Howrylak way too much credit if you think he could influence the election by 700 votes."

But then why would he bother?

Why would the TCU put three phoney proposals on the ballot if they didn't think it would help kill Proposal 1?

Why run the Mandate Petition to Nowhere if you didn't think it would influence the election?

Why would TCU cheat so much if they didn't think it would work?

After Proposal 1 was defeated, Councilman Martin Howrylak's dad Frank told a newspaper that he is, "humbled" by the election results. I guess our councilman's daddy is proud of his boy's achievements, even if the nice lady last night doesn't think he has the power to influence elections.

They know cheating works. That's why they cheat.

This is my problem.

I don't want the cheaters to decide Troy's fate.

I don't want the cheaters to win every time.

I don't want the cheaters to run this city, either. Because they prove by all that they say and do that;

  1. They don't understand how city government works (e.g., you can't change legally-binding, arbitrated pension plans ala Janice Daniels' claim that you just go ahead and do it, law be damned, apparently), or
  2. They don't care about the truth and say whatever they have to say to win.
So, yes. I am an angry woman. Sue is, too. And Ellen. And so many more.

And we have to keep telling the truth.

And hope someone is listening.


  1. Keep telling the truth!

    But it is sad, and good people will choose not to run for office because they're tired of being villified.

  2. I watched last night's meeting from home and was stunned at how Howrylak could continue to lie even during the response to Public Comments portion of the meeting. "I think everyone is reading more into that letter," as if the letter didn't say WHAT IT SAID. I mean, it's stunning. He lied about his lies. Yes, Sharon, I too am so angry. These folks are playing partisan politics and proving they are incredible operatives. Lies, lies and more lies. Keep telling the truth, Sharon. More and more people are starting to see through the lies as more light is placed on what is really going on here.

  3. Thank you Sharon, thank you Sue, thank you Ellen for speaking out and informing others about what is really going on with politics in Troy.

    Sarah W.

  4. I thank you and people like you for telling the truth. How can Howrylak be a hero to so many people when he is destroying Troy.

  5. Thank you for the time and energy you are giving to this vital cause. Please keep going. We need more people like you to "keep Troy strong".

    Ken Bixby

  6. Prop 1 vote very close: ~50% for and ~50% against. If that is a sign of the entire city population, the library could stay open for a longer period of time (until issues are resolved) if the "for" citizend voluntarily donate the requested (by mil increase) taxes. Even better, donate twice as much and keep the library open.

  7. There is something called community.

  8. another anonymous here.

    I actually posted a voluntary pay type plan @ truth in troy. The dollar figure is at least $3/week for the yes voters. The comercial / business taxes need to be accounted for.

    I believe such voluntary acts define a community: People donating freely, of thier own will, to help themselves and thier nieghbors.

    My neighbor recently put her car in the ditch. Myself and a few other passer-bys pushed/lifted her out. Should we have went around the block and forced the residents to move the car under threat of lien?

    I know which one of those two I would call community.

  9. oops - make that $6/week

  10. Hi Anonymous, if that is indeed your name.
    I think you must have failed to read the article that you are commenting on. What you and the rest are missing here is that I'm not complaining about Prop 1 not passing. I'm angry that everytime an election comes up in Troy, Troy Citizens United, Gosselin, Howrylak, Witt, Daniels, et al refuse to allow a fair up or down vote. They dis-inform (4-page mailer filled with lies), they cheat (3 extra proposals designed to confuse voters rather than allow a fair vote), they lie (Howrylak claiming the new Independent Library wouldn't have access to current library's assets, oh and his and Ed Kempens promise that they had a workable plan, which they did not).
    My problem is not with people who voted against Prop 1. My problem is with the desperately selfish political swine in Troy who won't allow us to save something as innocent as a library and then take proud credit for it in the media and on their websites.
    So go on and on about people paying individually for the library--sounds good. Maybe you can go door to door to pick up the donations.