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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ed Kempen represents the people of Troy?

Reading the court documents in the case of the City of Troy vs. Ed Kempen and his initiative to fund the library when the city is near broke, I feel a pang of discomfort.
I don't like the idea of this, that he has to file documents and spend all this time fighting his own city.
But as I read on, my sympathy wanes fairly quickly,
I was in the trenches AGAINST the Kempen Initiative last fall. What's particularly upsetting to me in today's (Jan. 3, 2011) Oakland Press article about the case is these lines: 
“The library is a substantial part of the community and is important to the citizens,” Kempen said. He said there would be an uproar in the city if the petition is rejected.
Kempen also said closing the library could further erode property values, which in turn could cost the city more than it would to keep the facility open."
These are the very lines I and people fighting to fund and save the library with a millage proposal last fall were saying. Kempen and folks from TCU laughed at these arguments. TCU leader Janice Daniels laughed at our claims that losing the library would hurt our property values.
Now Kempen uses OUR language to save his own skin.
As I worked to save the library via Proposal 1, a woman in my neighborhood ran from door to door getting signatures on Kempen's petition. She also had a guest opinion piece in the Oakland Press in which every fact she stated was completely WRONG. So that is how she got those 140 or so signatures, with lies and disinformation.
There is nothing good about the Kempen initiative, from them making up a fake name that sounded like the Friends of the Library, designed to trick people into signing it to the fact that it could force the city into another $100,000 special election. When asked why he risked that special election with his petition, Kempen said, "I didn't want to do that, but I was overruled." Yet in his court documents he claims his petition was completely his own effort and then kindly groups joined in spontaneously to help him. 
That is a lie.
Mr. Kempen is a tragic figure in my eyes. A puppet of the darker forces in Troy who, like roaches, hide in the dark and let patsies like Mr. Kempen stand in the limelight and get knocked down and sent to court to support their greedy, selfish causes.
As The Oakland Press gives Mr. Kempen not only precious print and Website space, they also give him an unanswered online video to claim that he is simply a man who loves his library and represents his people.
Ed Kempen does not represent me.
Ed Kempen does not represent my children.
Ed Kempen was never elected by the people of Troy to do anything.
Ed Kempen did more than any one person, except perhaps Martin Howrylak, to bring on the demise of the Troy Public Library. 
Ask the Friends of the Troy Public Library if Ed Kempen represents them!
Ask the workers at the Troy Public Library if Ed Kempen represents them!
Ask homeschooling moms in Troy if Ed Kempen represents them!
Ask anyone who has tried to save our library if Mr. Kempen has done the right thing by them and you will have your answer.
An impassioned and resounding, "Hell No!"

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