Remember the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray? Every day he wakes up to the same exact day and has to live it over and over again, until he realizes that if he changes his behavior, he gets another result. That change of behavior is what must happen in the city of Troy if it is really going to save the Troy Public Library.
Since November, residents of Troy have been talking as if the idea that the library was actually closing was something they had never heard before. “We have to save the library.” “Somebody do something.” Those comments make the hundreds of Proposal 1 supporters who spent over 5 months working 14 hours a day to save our library lose their collective minds. But okay. People are now starting to pay attention. So while we have their attention, let’s recap so we don’t all become Bill Murray, trapped by a sickening groundhog existence in Troy.
One year ago, the city council stated that revenues were so dire they were going to have to close the library. Library supporters who were paying attention back then went to all the budget sessions, just like the ones they are having now. They went to speak at all the city council meetings, just like the ones they’re having now. They held rallies, made signs, engaged the community, begged the council to keep the library open. Supporters, led by the Friends and Citizens to Save TPL, held forums, did research, made speeches, wrote letters and answered questions.
Today, just like one year ago, the city council will decide whether or not to fund the library. Today, like one year ago, a millage is being considered to save the library from closure. And today, like one year ago, the council is divided and seemingly unwilling to put aside partisanship and political agendas to do the right thing. Every other community in Michigan over the past year, save Troy and Romulus, has voted “yes” to a millage that will save their public library. That citizens of Troy have been poisoned to believe the city is untrustworthy and evil while defeating attempts to assist in tough times is shameful and damaging to the future of Troy.
So, the question now is, if the Troy City Council decides to put a millage on an August or November ballot, will we see the Groundhog Day political shenanigans we experienced last time around? Obfuscated ballots and misleading mailings? Deceitful math? Eleventh hour letters from a sitting councilman with more lies? Illegal petitions and harassing voters at polling places?
If the citizens of Troy are really paying attention, then they need to be reminded of all that happened last year. The supporters of Proposal 1 battled all of that and more, but perhaps THIS time around people will be ready and go into this second year of saving our library with their eyes wide open. Hopefully, voters will let facts and truth win and our civic leaders will do what should have been done a year ago. We must change the behavior to achieve a different result. We must change the conversation for the city of Troy to get a foothold on any sort of future for our community. People want a library and must be willing to financially support it.
Voters of Troy, your alarm is going off. Wake up. End this nightmare. Pass a dedicated millage to save our library with the level of service we currently have and let’s move on to a new and better day in Troy.