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Sunday, February 20, 2011

This is why Troy is the laughing stock of Michigan

Those TCU wacky fear-mongers are at it again. And remember for years to come, that we will not have a library in Troy because of the TCU-Troy Citizens United-and Martin Howrylak.
Mr. Szerlag included a list of options in the current city council meeting agenda to keep the library open. I would love to see city council use the most viable one--They could, according to Michigan State Library Law, vote with a simple majority to raise our ridiculously low millage rate by 1 mill to 10.28 (it would be the 5th lowest in Oakland County rather than the 3rd lowest of 19 cities). Voila - we have a library.
But no. The lying hystrionics have officially commenced. Here's the letter on their FB page. And as you read it, keep James Kufta's article on TCU Bullshit in mind. And see why people are so mad.
Council emails more on Feb 21 council meeting

by Troy Citizens United on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 10:32pm
Subj: TROY TAX HIKE to be passed Feb 21? No - there's not even a resolution on the table.
Dear Fellow Concerned Troy Taxpayer:
At their next meeting this Monday night, February 21, the Troy City Council is considering passing a PERMANENT TAX INCREASE of up to 1 mill for the library.  Not true. It was a mild suggestion from Mr. Szerlag. Incredibly, they would do this WITHOUT A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE OF TROY.  Yes, because state law allows it, if they so chose. This is exactly what the voters defeated only 3 months ago! Indeed, voters have said no to tax increases in two elections in less than a year! Because the liars at TCU told them there was a way to have a library with no taxes WHICH IS NOT TRUE.
This tax increase will be permanent. No it would be year-to-year. It cannot come up for a renewal vote of the people because the people won’t be allowed to vote on it in the first place. Now you are a lawyer.  This might be allowed under an old 1877 library state law that is still on the books. Yes, it IS ALLOWED UNDER LAW - As a matter-of-fact, Deb DeBacker spoke about it on Friday to a reporter for today's Oakland Press article. So they have known about this for days. No clear legal justification has been offered. Um, how about the desire to save the library.
We dug out the memo from City Manager John Szerlag that he buried in a meeting agenda item.  It wasn't buried - we all found it easy enough. His memo is attached to this email.  He suggests that on February 21 council “pass a resolution increasing the millage rate up to one mill” and to “take immediate action (tonight).” He didn't recommend they hurry, he said if they want to do it they would have to get started as there is very little time to change the budget to save the library!!!!! Mr. Szerlag wants this done with virtually NO NOTICE to the public, and to have it done immediately, WITHOUT THE PUBLIC HAVING A CHANCE TO VOTE ON IT.  Rem,ember, it doesn't require the people's vote! Notice his memo is dated only a few days ago on February 16.
This is proposed even though at the February 7 meeting, we learned cash reserves came in at $1.7 million more than budgeted, and a pension contribution at $0.4 million less.  Every penny they are claiming here was discredited by the city and every single newspaper in town! These numbers are horse hockey (or BS if you listen to Mr. Kufta. This unanticipated $2.1 million extra cash flow would fund the library through June 30, 2012 - with no affect on other city operations.  We urge you oppose this tax increase as follows:
** Email or phone the Mayor and council right away.  There is a group of tax increase supporters who were apparently leaked information about this tax hike scheme.  No, The Oakland Press reporter told Deb DeBacker on Friday -- she responded to it fools! We hear they are actively emailing council members.  
** Attend this city council meeting at City Hall at 7:30 PM on Monday, February 21.  If possible, speak out against this tax hike during the public comment session. This is the absolute last chance to save the library.
**Pass this information on to others.
We apologize for the short notice, but remember, this has been sprung on all of us as a very unwelcome surprise. Why didn't Deb DeBacker tell you on Friday? And Dave Lambert wrote about it on Friday as well 

Thanks so very much,
Troy Citizens United


  1. Is there no end to their egregious fact-twisting and paranoia? There was no LEAK...this is public knowledge. There is no RESOLUTION...there was a list of options being summarized for council -- options about which they are EXCEEDINGLY familiar. There is no "buried"'s on the agenda like any other agenda item every other meeting.

    If they weren't so dangerous, TCU tactics would be laughable. Thank goodness more and more residents are becoming aware of their antics and are speaking out.

  2. Dangerous - really? Little too much drama there Sue. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black don't you think! How about we all agree that there are lies and misinformation enough for everyone and that this council is acting irresponsibly! I am not part of TCU but I don't want a tax increase when they keep spending money (latest early retirement plan that was approved 5-2 just a week or so ago)irresponsibly. If they stop the spending I will be happy to pony up for the Library but that is not going to happen. We have the "Hooters/firehouse park" Brick street scaping on Big Beaver and the latest Rochester Road disaster as proof of that! This council and City manager are the worst ever!

  3. If you could dig through the propaganda? The retirement offer is exactly what the big 3 did to get rid of expensive folks with fat old-school pensions and replace them with cheap kids with teensy benefits packages. (The purpose is to save money!) Sadly you really don't know what you're talking about. You have bought into the propaganda. It's so sad you can't figure this out.

  4. Anon - tell my why you have a problem with that park. That looks great compared to the bare, ugly corner that was there for a couple decades. It was built with DDA money that has to be spent within the DDA and is part of an adopted multi-decade plan to reinvent the Big Beaver corridor from Rochester to Adams. I like it, and I'm sure the residential development behind the fire station will enjoy it as well.
    And what do you mean by the Rochester Road disaster? That was an improvement plan that was on the books for years and is a great traffic improvement over the traffic jams that were there less than a year ago. Yes, it was sad that some businesses couldn't stick it out. Sometimes, however, getting a major road improvement done in an expedited manner means a few months of inconvenience. And by the way, that was a joint county/city project with a little federal funding thrown in, I believe.
    And, Sharon is exactly right on the early retirement stuff. This is nothing new; it happens everywhere, including the City of Troy beginning just a couple years ago. It's a quick and relatively painless way to reduce the workforce.

  5. Anonymous, I am not being dramatic.
    It is dangerous to mislead the citizenry and whip them up into a frenzy over something that amounts to little more than a summary of options. To use inflammatory language and to accuse the City Manager of subverting the will of the people is reckless and irresponsible.

    When that anti-tax-at-any-cost sentiment starts to put my roads, my safety and my children at risk?

    You are darn right it's dangerous.

  6. Oh...and please, point out ANY LIE ever told on this blog or by Sharon or me. Point out any lie every told by the Citizens to Save TPL.

    That's can't. There haven't been any.