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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Troy-Somerset Gazette - Howrylak and TCU plans DISCREDITED

We finally did it. Troy finally has enough feet on the ground to catch both Mr. Howrylak and the TCU spreading dis-information. The Free Press, Daily Tribune, Detroit News and the Troy-Somerset Gazette all reported on it this week.
In its Feb. 14, 2011 issue, Troy-Somerset Gazette notes that the proposals made by TCU and Martin Howrylak to save the library have been discredited (that's polite news speak for "they have been caught either lying or not bothering to know whether their own propaganda was true). Much of the issue revolved around claims that there was $1.7 million sitting around doing nothing, as it was referred to as "undesignated funds" in early December. However, the new group in town, TRUST, was able to easily fact-check the misinformation and find that the $1.7 million had already been  designated to cover holes in the budget coming from falling revenues.

Excerpts from 

Is There a Way to Save the Troy Library?

Councilman Martin Howrylak and TCU Library financial plan discredited

City officials, in a special session of council to review the city budget and Mr Howrylak’s and TCU’s proposal, verified that the funds were indeed already designated. Other sources of income in Mr. Howrylak’s proposal were similarly discredited, as he used the proposed budget and not the audited budget figures. So there really wasn’t the extra money his resolution stated. Moreover, the extent to which the city has gone to protect city services may have already gone too far. 
Troy has the third lowest millage rate in Oakland County next to Orchard Lake and Bloomfield Hills both of which have no library.
A vote on Howrylak’s and TCU’s resolution is expected at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on  Monday, February 21.

The newspaper also reported on the demise of the Kempen Initiative last week, which was announced at the same city council meeting. The reporter takes a chance, to point out some old disinformation spread by the TCU last year about library staffing numbers, Mr. Kempen's dedication to saving the library (when his minions circulating the petition lied and guaranteed it would save the library--both in front of the library and at the polls, where they were extremely aggressive).

According to  the City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm, the legal issue turned on whether the petition was legislative in nature, or council’s prerogatives in budgetary matters.
“The court found the petition was not a legislative petition so that it therefore it is not subject initiative (by residents),” and therefore the ruling is in favor of the city.
“So as a result this matter is now concluded. No action is necessary for council to take,” Bluhm said. She added that she felt bad for those who had relied on this flawed petition as a means to keep the library operating.
It’s a well known fact that petitioners were at the polls last November saying “sign this and vote no and they’ll have to keep the library open.” That was obviously not true. Nor was it true that the library ever had 211 full-time employees. There were, in fact, just 11 full-time employees at the library, and the city has since laid off four of them and half of the about 85 part-time employees, who never got any benefits anyway. 
The court added that the proposed initiative “would impair the efficient administration of the municipality and therefore it concludes it is not a legislative matter.”
The library is scheduled to close the first of May.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. he TRUST group has a Facebook page dedicated to sharing the big picture of the story in Troy and the facts. There is a lot of misinformation swirling through the is a place to go and seek understanding and perspective.

    The more insight you have, the more you will understand the budget issues are even bigger than you might think ... and it's not an expenditure issue. It's a sustainable revenue issue. Caught in the grips of a capped millage and dropping home values, the only way to manage the budget here is through deep, deep cuts. The Library, unfortunately, may be the least of our challenges.

    Don't follow this TCU/Howrylak/Gosselin/Daniels et al mantra. Discover for yourself what that issues are. We are behaving as an electorate like a bunch of lemmings willing to vote according to the most creative sound byte. The damage to Troy's reputation and hour home values is huge. We need to be more discerning and help our City Council, City Management navigate this difficult time.

    We only need to look to Sterling Heights for a better model of how to do this ... a combination of cuts and revenue enhancement.

  3. what's revenue enhancements? Taxes?