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Monday, March 7, 2011

Repeat after me...

From Sue...

There's a parenting/teaching technique that involves simply repeating an answer to an errant child until he/she realizes that you are firm and he/she gives up.

To this point in the fight to save our city and restore serivices to a viable level, we've all been victim to the "broken record" technique being used by the anti-taxers. Some of us gave up performing due diligence and gave up solid chances to restore funding to some very important services in Troy.

They repeat that there is money in the budget to fund a library -- BUT WE KNOW THEY'RE WRONG.

They repeat that the city is mismanaged -- BUT WE KNOW THEY'RE WRONG.

They repeat that we're taxed too heavily -- BUT WE KNOW THEY'RE WRONG.

They say Troy's taxes are too high -- BUT WE KNOW THEY'RE WRONG.

Begin rant at city government.

Now, make no mistake: none of what I've just stated means that I or anyone who feels this way blindly supports the city, nor does it mean that we are spokespeople for them. None of what I said means the city and its leaders can do no wrong in my eyes. Quite the opposite is true; I have railed at the entire council and the manager in letters and here many times. I was irritated at the lack of public education FROM THE CITY regarding the Feb. 2010 millage and Proposal 1 ballot issue. In fact, the Citizens to Save Troy Public Library knocked THAT one out of the park and came THISCLOSE to winning -- NO THANKS TO ANYONE AT CITY HALL. I begged them to choose any budget option that SAVED library funding, and told them how disappointed I was when they failed to do so. I was FURIOUS with the child-like antics of Martin Howrylak on any number of occasions! I was dismayed by the City Manager's disingenuous sound bites in local papers threatening to "close the city down" without explaining how dire the situation truly was.

In other words, I was upset that our city council and mayor and city manager were so obviously out of touch with what the voters really knew about the situation that they let their voices be drowned out by the anti-taxers and their supporters. After all, if they really thought Troy voters would turn down a millage -- and then Proposal 1 -- they CERTAINLY would have worked harder to see both issues pass, right?

Newsflash: I'm not sure how many residents watch the city council meetings, but I guarantee you it's not enough to consider THAT venue adequate communication.

Now, in their defense, Troy's voting history shows very high support for ballot measures in favor of minor property tax increases as were on our ballot twice in the last year. But if Martin Howrylak's very disturbing letter could sway voters, there is no earthly reason the other council members couldn't have found a way to share their opinions, too.

Rant over.

That's all behind us now. We have to move forward and restore Troy's services and reputation. At the core, I AM 100% PRO-TROY. I support whatever it takes to bring this city back to sustainability. I support whatever we were doing that made us award winning, efficient and desirable. And guess what? The current city council is responsible for a lot of that success. Each one of them was VOTED IN BY US to represent this city, and they give countless hours toward that endeavor for the greater good of us all. They want to see Troy restored to a viable and vibrant city, too (well, at least five or six of them...).

So if that means I have to lose my voice and turn blue repeating the very real and crushing truth about our situation to help city government convey the message, I'll do it. In fact, anyone who wants a better Troy must begin to use the broken record technique now more than ever.

We must repeat what we know about the situation in Troy until every citizen knows it.

-- The city needs more operating revenue to remain sustainable.
-- There isn't money enough to run the city like we're used to having it run -- that means YOU CANNOT have your snow cleared within 24 hours of a snowfall. It will now take up to three days.
-- The city HAS MADE CUTS TO EMPLOYMENT COSTS AND CONTINUES to negotiate with unions over concessions. But there are LAWS that prevent anyone from simply cutting all salaries and benefits and pensions.
-- The city has done some restructuring and continues to explore more cost-saving measures but that has made some departments UNSUSTAINABLE (there's that word again).
-- Troy has the LOWEST OPERATING MILLAGE RATE of any comparable city in Oakland County.
-- The city needs more operating revenue to remain sustainable.

Will you join me? Will you raise your voice and repeat the facts to those who either don't know or refuse to believe them?

Will you help restore Troy???

PS: Guess what, anti-taxers? All of them up there at City Hall??? Not entirely pleased with me, either. Contrary to what some of you believe, no city council member has ME on speed dial, nor do they tell me what to think or say.


  1. Sue,
    I use, and very successfully, the broken record technique to my students (I am a school based Physical therapist and teach at a local community college), my family and friends. I have found that I too have been using it on anyone who dares to repeat the lies that TCU has supplanted in people's minds. It feels rather like unwashing the brainwashed!. But I keep doing it and I will keep doing it until sanity is restored. Keep up the good work!!