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Monday, April 4, 2011

Mythbusting

In their increasing frenzy of paranoia, the Troy Citizens United has continued to play their tired old games. Namely, they seem not to be able to operate without doing the following:

-- stirring the pot of hysteria.
-- stepping up their rhetoric of misinformation.
-- twisting facts so far I begin to wonder if we live in the same city.

A recent claim regarding the Community Engagement sessions was found in last week's sensationalistic press release from the TCU:

"Citizens have found that these discussions are attended substantially by former, retired or present city employees or their relatives, and members of TRUST—those who stand to gain from tax increases."

I've been trying to figure out how this statement is evidence of a bad thing -- other than I'm not sure who is asking for a TAX INCREASE. I've heard talk of perhaps raising the OPERATING MILLAGE, but that doesn't always mean an increase in taxes.

I do suppose we can admit that current city employees and any relative WHO LIVES IN THEIR HOME might benefit from an increased operating millage IF that employee's job is guaranteed to be saved in the current budget. However, many of those jobs are not protected.

MANY HAVE ALREADY BEEN LOST AND ARE NOT COMING BACK ANYTIME SOON. Looks like that's been mythbusted.

Let's move on to the next targeted group, according to TCU: former or retired city employees. I suppose TCU is trying to say that because SOME of these former or retired employees receive retirement packages, they want the city to "raise taxes" to pay those out. Only problem with that logic? The city HAS TO pay those out regardless of any millage increase...they are in no danger of losing contracted and lawfully guaranteed benefits.

Sorry, TCU, that's a busted myth, too.

Finally, TCU claims that "members of TRUST" will benefit from a millage increase. So let's explore the ties of members of TRUST to the city:

-- they all live in the city.
-- they all love the city.
-- many raised children or are raising children or are planning to raise children in the city.
-- they span age ranges over many decades, from single school children to retired homeowners.

If the city is able to pass an increase in operating millage revenue, all of those kinds of people in this city will benefit. They will all have solid public safety and services, they will have a well-run, award-winning library back in operation, and they will have adequate infrastructure to support traffic, drains, water use, and more.

HOLY COW...looks like TCU said something true: the members of TRUST WOULD BENEFIT from an increased operating millage.

And guess what?

So would TCU.

And you.

And everyone else who lives in Troy.

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