The Troy Times article explains what is really happening with the Kempen Petition -- without the kooky, Tea-Party, ain't-TCU-a-victim hysteria and, more importantly, without taking sides.
Action on library petition awaits court ruling
By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer
TROY — Although one citizens group charges that the Troy City Council has violated the city charter by not taking action on a voter-initiated petition calling for the city to fund and operate a library, city leaders say there is no violation.
Last spring, the City Council approved a rolling three-year budget that does not include funding for the library past July 1.
Troy Citizens United, a group that opposed a tax increase to establish an independent library board last fall and a general operating millage increase in February, believes that the council violated the city charter by not passing the request into law or taking action to place the request before voters by Jan. 4, 30 days after the City Clerk’s Office verified the signatures.
In November, the council voted 6-1 to allow City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm to seek clarification of the petition from Oakland County Circuit Court. Councilman Martin Howrylak opposed the move.
“Council has done neither and is in violation of the Troy city charter and their oath to uphold that charter. … Council did not authorize attorney Bluhm to exceed her authority by requesting the court to extend the 30-day charter limitation. The council resolution did not authorize attorney Bluhm to violate city charter,” states Troy Citizens United.
Ed Kempen initiated and circulated the petition, which states: “In order to assure access to quality local library service, the city of Troy shall operate and maintain a public library open to the public for not less than 55 hours each week.“
Bluhm said the petition language for the proposed ordinance does not provide a funding source for the library, and the city filed the lawsuit for guidance from the court and for “more time.”
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