The library we are all arguing over now would not exist if 5 Troy City Commissioners had not overruled the anti-tax, anti-library people of the 1960s, and built the darned thing anyway.
Over 40 years ago, when the Troy Public Library opened, it was a tiny corner in the high school library. The city commissioners and citizens of the time knew that Troy needed more than that.
Twice the city tried to get the people to vote yes for a bond and then a charter amendment to fund the library... and the people, short-sightedly, voted no. However, the 1968 Troy City Commission would not let that stand. So they wrote and approved a resolution to issue library bonds in order to raise 475 thousand dollars to build Troy’s first real library. Of the 5 commissioners present, only one voted no. So they overruled the citizens of Troy and built the first Troy Public Library building. Then the whole library was housed in today’s children’s section.
They had some guts. They did the right thing.
Fourteen years later the people showed their support, too. In 1982 Troy citizens voted nearly 2-to-1 for $2 million dollars to build a 35,000 square foot addition, to make the library the size it is today.
I guess they were the greatest generation—these people who had the courage to build up rather than tear down, to be LEADERS of the people rather than followers.
Because sadly, we stand here today, with less than 3 months before our hard-fought-for library closes its doors to the public. N one is willing to budge, to compromise, to make any concession to save this library.
We have magic numbers of funds that don’t exist, posing as an answer. Won’t work.
We have a ridiculously low tax millage rate in Troy, yet the anti-tax crowd people act like we are taxed heavily. They use their dis-information campaigns to make people look down on our city government and distrust those who are TRYING TO SAVE the city. But the uniformed won’t listen. It’s easier to blame the city and save a few bucks now (that will cost us dearly in the long-run).
And those who dis-inform won’t budge, because keeping our millage rate absurdly low is more important than the education of our children and the jobseeker support for our unemployed.
Four city council votes on the Michigan Library Law option to open an independent library, with all-important dedicated funding, will save the library, but city council has no guts for that either.
If you don’t know, people, even journalists here in Troy and throughout the area are starting to notice this silliness, this shame of ours. A section of a Ferndale newspaper OpEd from Sunday:
While Ferndale can take great pride in its support of the library -- it is astounding that just a few miles away, the city of Troy is getting ready to shut down its library. Various plans and millage proposals to save the library have failed, and unless a lifeline is found quickly, the library will shut its doors in June. That is shameful. Troy is a major, fairly affluent city. But the anti-tax movement there appears to be adamant and will not support the library. And with each day, the chances of saving the Troy library grow dimmer. But that is Troy's problem — and its disgrace.
Who cares to distance themselves from this disgrace?