Thursday, November 11, 2010

Library Mandate Petition filed by Kempen, but city attorney maintains it won't save library

I know I'm repeating, but hear me out.
If our opponents had allowed a fair up or down vote on Prop 1, we would have a library. Instead we have Ed Kempen's Mandate Petition that was, at first-glance, poorly written by people who don't quite know what they're doing. Now it may well prompt legalistic wrangling that will continue to waste city time, effort and resources and keeps the library teetering at the edge of the precipice.
So basically, the city attorney Lori Bluhm tells the Free Press that Kempen's Mandate Petition is non-binding because it deals with an administrative function--funding a library. She says such petitions can only address "legislative functions."
Bluhm says in the article, "“And it will be my recommendation that it doesn’t get submitted to the voters at all.” Bluhm initially wrote a memo to city council on September 29 outlining her view city council should consider the petition non-binding and set it aside.
The scary thing is it sounds like this will end up in court. However, the taciturn Mr. Kempen seems a little glum about the mandate's prospects. He tells the Free Press, “In either case, if it’s put out under advisement, it’s a pretty strong message,” Kempen said. “And our city council should respond to it just as if it were binding. That’s our expectation: that we go and reanalyze the budget and start reprioritizing things.”
That's how brilliant these people are who prompted 2,500 people to sign their mandate and vote against their own self-interest on sure-thing Prop 1. They completely screw it up, then say “And our city council should respond to it just as if it were binding."
Huh? That's the plan that's going to save the library? That city council should respond to something poorly concocted and legally irrelevant as if it were brilliantly done and binding?
The city attorney has been saying for weeks that the mandate was a waste of paper, but the TCU wouldn't listen. Neither did the people who signed it. But they were lied to by the folks asking them to sign it who said it would guarantee keeping our library open for free.
We had a beautiful bird in the hand with Proposal 1, but that bird has flown. Now we're stuck with two elusive, non-binding birds in the bush.
This would be hysterical if it weren't so horrible.
So the question again is, What's the plan, Howrylak?
Here's the article~
The Detroit Free Press, November 9, 2010
Citizens file petitions to save Troy library
BY Tammy Stables Battaglia
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
A group of Troy citizens filed petitions today to force Troy City Council to fund the city’s library, despite the city attorney claiming the petitions legally mean nothing.
The move by Edward Kempen of the group Friends of the Library with No New Taxes comes a week after voters defeated four ballot measures to create and fund an independent library board. Troy City Council slashed the library’s hours and funding earlier this year, cutting funding altogether in the 2011 budget. The library is scheduled to close June 30.

1 comment:

  1. So, yes, Kempen is going to ask Council to do something they already did. The budget process showed that the shortfall driven by a dramatic drop in revenue to the City, in turn driven by declining home values, leaves no alternative. And we all knew that when we voted last February. I can't figure out if Kempen and the TCU are just delusional, full-on stupid or so caught up in their ideology they can't see the forest for the trees. Either way, they're screwing this community up. They have put the entire infrastructure of city services at risk. It's irresponsible and, well sickening. How did these people get such a loud voice? Why do residents find them to be more credible than those who are held to truth and integrity by laws and rules of governance? I am mystified. And miffed.

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