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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wishin' Upon a Star! ... But Disappointed

From Ellen … Reflecting on the ICMA report and Councilman Howrylak’s recent resolution to save the Library:

To put it bluntly, I was disappointed in what the report showed clearly and unequivocally. I wanted it to reveal some great area – or maybe multiple areas – where there is vast waste so we can redirect resources. Yes … I was sorta kinda maybe hopin’ – wishin’ upon a star! – that everything the TCU has claimed would be true. I was salivating at the prospect of opening a big ole can of “crow” and scarfing it down. Because God almighty, it would be awesome if they, Ed Kempen and Councilman Howrylak and his well-timed, political letter in November had been right.

They said there was a way to keep the library open with no new taxes and deep down I hoped it was so.

Instead … no matter how many times I read the ICMA report it confirms what common sense tells you. As the city with the 3rd lowest millage rate in Oakland County, our infrastructure is at huge risk due to the cuts the city has already implemented.

Then comes Councilman Howrylak’s resolution. I read it with an open mind. I’m sick at its inadequacy. It’s shortsightedness. It’s lack of leadership. I wish this was a viable plan, but I’m sick because it is not. Talking about undesignated dollars that are clearly designated, talking about retirement savings that are more than offset by even greater revenue shortfalls … talking about, what? It didn’t even make sense.

The thing is. I hate taxes. I don’t like paying them. But I knew when I moved in here what my taxes would go to and I signed up for it. Because I did my homework. While Janice Daniels and her kind keep talking about the Constitution and big government and civil liberties I’m thinking this: why in God’s name did you even move here in the first place?

I’m done trying to be all excited about these anti-tax folks keeping pennies in my piggy bank because while they’re busy doing that, they’re not keeping an eye on my overall investment portfolio that includes my home. I am. And I’m not happy with what is going to happen to it if this continues. And I realize to stay quiet -- to try to be oblivious and go about my business with my head down -- is to be complicit in the demise of this community.

I am heartened by the fact that there is a middle ground of people ready to do what they can to do triage and then repair the wounds that have been inflicted upon this community.

We’re a whole pile of ideologies coming together. Republicans, democrats, independents … Our common bond? Keeping the city from going off the cliff it’s quickly racing toward.

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  1. Like you Ellen, I was hoping to find some glimmer of hope in the ICMA report, not so much that the library could be saved, but that that City could be stablized. I was greatly disheartened at the number of departments identified as "unsustainable". And we haven't gotten the report about the Police Department back yet! I suspect that my homeowner's insurance will be taking a big jump as the bad guys realize that we have so drastically cut our police protection.

    As far as taxes go, yep, everyone hates paying them. And they hate paying for insurance, doctor's bills, tuition, pretty much everything that thins out the wallet. What's important is the VALUE you get for your dollar. And up until a couple of years ago, we got terrific value for our City of Troy taxes - low crime rate, snow cleared off roads promptly and thoroughly, superb, heavily used library, and some of the lowest City taxes in the county. Like the song says, you don't know what you got 'til its gone.

  2. What gets me is the rationalization of the anti-sustainability folks.

    They want all the city amenities and protections for "free" -- meaning for lower taxes and no forseeable increase -- but they're usually the first ones to complain about the following welfare, Obamacare or other programs where those TRULY IN NEED might actually benefit from free or low-cost services.

    I dunno...some might call that hypocrisy. ;)