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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Great Debate

From Sue...

Several weeks ago, Troy city councilman Martin Howrylak put forth a resolution to fund the Troy Public Library. The resolution looked surprisingly (not) like a mailing received in many households that was authored by Troy Citizens United (TCU). The merits of Mr. Howrlak’s resolution were discussed at length during a special session of the Troy city council – webcasts are available for download. Any viewer can see Mr. John Lamerato explain why he feels Mr. Howrylak’s resolution isn’t worth the paper on which it was printed.

Now, we can debate these numbers ad nauseum (in fact, I believe we have…). We can debate philosophical budget procedures and theories as to whether a city should spend fund balance NOW or save it for known revenue shortfalls. We could debate how a councilman could put forth a resolution with a demand for answers “no later than Feb. 21, 2010” and not proofread his own work. But those debate topics get us nowhere. The fact is…I DESPERATELY hoped that Mr. Howrylak’s resolution actually did RESOLVE something. I WANTED him to be right. It would be nice to be able to defend a home-grown figure, a Troy boy doing good for the citizens of this great city. But Mr. Howrylak, you let us down mightily…again.

No, the debate we need to have should focus the ethics and motives of a councilman who appears to be working AGAINST solvency in his very own city. See, I contend that if Mr. Howrylak had only taken a little more time and finesse in presenting his resolution, and a LOT LESS hubris and petulance, we might be somewhere. If he had truly cared about saving the library…about keeping our city solvent…he would have taken the time to explain his numbers. He could show us all how he arrived at them using the data from the three-year budget adopted last June as compared to the more current budget updates that had been provided to the entire council in November..

Further, he should have explained his logic and plan for the future if the city had adopted this resolution. How would he account for those predicted shortfalls? Did he still back a millage as he stated last November – the day AFTER he helped defeat Proposal 1? Does he see the dire revenue shortage the city is in, and if so…what thoughts does he have to increase revenues?

At the council meeting where this resolution was introduced, Mr. Howrylak said he would have loads of questions for Mr. Lamerato in order to gain further information as to why his resolution wasn’t workable. It was revealed in the next council meeting that he and Mrs. Robin Beltramini HAD met with Mr. Lamerato. What did they learn? Did he share THAT? How did it change his resolution other than asking for an extension?

We got none of those answers. We are left only with what is clearly evident in the councilman's actions during his time in office:

-- He is against tax abatements that would entice companies to come to Troy.

-- He was in support of a Charter Amendment to prevent the council from levying operating millages in dire situations.

-- He helped block both the Feb. 2010 millage increase and Proposal 1 to form an independent library.

All of this leads us logically to the debate we need to have now: why is Martin Howrylak hell bent on bankrupting Troy?

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