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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don't kid yourselves. Perception is not reality, folks

OK. I am getting really tired of this perception, perpetuated by the people at Troy Citizens United--who are destroying Troy--that the city is "punishing" taxpayers by dumping our all important city services. 
WE the people have made our own bed. And now...well, here we are lying in it.
In Troy we are all to blame for the fact that our library will cease serving the public in April of 2011.
In 2008, a majority of Troy voters voted to amend our city charter so that our tax rate, or millage, could never be raised by a vote of the city council as it always had been. Due to that amendment’s passage, any increase in the city tax rate has to be approved by voters. And guess what? People don’t like to raise their own tax rate, even when their taxes are going down every year.
No other city has volunteered to tie the hands of its local government this way. No other city is suffering with budget cuts because of limitations they put on THEMSELVES! This is lunacy.
So as our taxes continue to plummet, and thus Troy’s city revenues continue to plummet, all our city council can do to balance the budget is cut, cut, cut.
Cut the Nature Center, cut the library, cut the museum, cut the cops! Bob Gosselin thinks that outsourcing our public safety would be a great way to save money. And trust me, Gosselin sets the agenda in Troy.
Our city is going to hell, not because of any sinister city government actions, but because the people voted YES on the charter change in ’08 and they voted no on both millage elections to save our amenities. Of course it didn’t hurt that the likes of Troy Citizens United and Councilman Howrylak and a host of shadowy political operatives spread cynical dis-information campaigns to convince Troy voters to vote AGAINST THEIR OWN INTERESTS.
But the people are to blame too. Guess what? If you keep voting to weaken your city, you will have a weak city.
So the two times we have voted on millage increases—the city-sponsored initiative in February and the citizen-sponsored library saving plan in November—the people voted no. The library lost by just 700 of 30,000 votes cast.
So will those of you who voted no feel proud when the library closes in April? Will that show the city council something? Ha ha ha. Or will it simply hurt our community, HURT or property values and HURT our children’s opportunities to study and research in a safe environment?
Troy Citizens United (Kempen/Howrylak/Gosselin/Witt) has been behind all of these “anti-tax” schemes. They pushed the tax cap amendment in 2008. And they cheated to defeat the special millage in February and library-saving Proposal 1.
Yet on their website this group, a Scrooge-like group that values pennies over community, dares to ask the question, “If the County of Oakland is committed to balancing its budget without a millage increase, why can’t Troy do the same?” Well, the answer is that the city is balancing the budget, Troy Citizens United. That is why our library is closing next April.
Mr. Howrylak, as you insisted you “personally” not officially asked Troy citizens to vote against Proposal 1 because you had a better plan.
So what’s the plan, Councilman Howrylak?


  1. We lived in a third rate city for many years. We saved our money and plunked down a good deal of cash to move to a first-rate city, Troy. Guess the joke is on us.

  2. I'm extremely angry, angry that a few wealthy people are calling the shots, and the obviously don't care about the value of a community. It is easy to dupe the general population, just scream socialist, taxes, anti-America. WE need to change this, we need invest in this city, or we will continue to get what we pay for.

  3. I really don't understand any of this. What is the point of making Troy a crappy place to live? Over a few bucks? How does this help anyone? I lived in a crappy city for a very long time. It is pretty obvious to me that the TCU folks have not. But I fear they are about to. yippee for us all. It seems that the "Me first - Ive got mine" mentality is alive and well In Troy.

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  5. Anonymous -
    It's philosophical to them. Their time to shine in the sun as Teapartiers and anti-taxers just happened to come to the fore at a time when the recession struck. Cutting taxes is what they've always want to do. They are not paying attention that this is a terrible time to not raise our taxes a FRACTION of the amount they have gone down. Their philosophy is destroying our city.
    They don't care because their ideas will win--library, children and residents be damned.
    Troy Citizens Shortsighted!