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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The TRUTH about TCU's 4-page lie

This is the third TCU 4-page piece of garbage since they started lying about the city's financial condition last February. They have done nothing bit fudge numbers and slander the good name of everyone working for the city, in these past 2 years. We MUST stand up to them.
Here are a few corrections to their nonsensical bit of fiction mailed to your mailbox in the last few weeks. Of course, they had at least three mailings. Trust me, the rest are just as filled with fiction as this one.
Don't fall for their pack of lies.
Vote YES on Tuesday, for Troy and for the Library.

Bogus 11% tax increase claim

Of your total tax rate, the .7mil for the library is a 2% increase, of the Troy only tax bill it is a 7% tax increase. With the assessment reduction of 4.5-5% next year, the net average will be a 2.5-3% reduction in total taxes or a 2-2.5% increase in your Troy only taxes. What a great deal to save this amazing asset.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

TCU Leader Bob Gosselin's arrest record

Republican state congressman Knollenberg used Gosselin's hooker trouble in his 2004 campaign

"Gosselin, who had built a reputation in the legislature as a conservative lawmaker who espoused family values, was the subject of Knollenberg's campaign mailings announcing a 1998 arrest in an undercover prostitution sting and a previous conviction where Gosselin had plead out. The 1998 solicitng charges against Gosselin were dismissed."

As they quibble about who was in the audience on the YES side at the debate on Thursday, maybe they should worry about who they had fronting their cause.

I received the Republican anti-library mailing - Whoops!

But it's crap.
It's a TCU mailer.

This is not a partisan issue. Many, if not most, of the hardest working pro-library-millage volunteers are Republicans. 
TCU is a one-issue group that will stop at nothing to starve Troy of revenue.
TCU extremists who are running the No campaign against the library are trying to use their bogus accounting methods (like comparing employee total compensation packages to the governor's salary and declaring the employees make more) to tear this city apart. I don't blame their followers. I'd be mad too, if I believed their fake numbers.

Vote YES for the library and for Troy on Tuesday.

Friday, July 29, 2011

And you don't have to be defined by TCU crackpots

One of the shames of this millage campaign is that the TCU folks who keep disinforming the public with inaccurate information are also pointing fingers at everyone and labelling them politically.
They say anyone who plans to vote YES for the library is a "tax and spend" liberal. They attack city council members for putting political signs on their front lawns, as if they don't have the right to do that. 
And when Republicans in Troy stand up and say they are WRONG, TCU people label them RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only.
Can someone just explain to me why these people need to see everything through political party lenses? I mean, are they incapable of getting along with anyone they don't agree with?
And why do THEY think they get to decide how Republicans should vote. TCU, maybe YOU are RINOs. Maybe YOU are wrong. Maybe YOU are the wacko extremists.
I'm thinking that's the most likely answer.

Samples of the Yuckiness?
Babs writes: "Troy Trivia time: Which side of the tax hike debate keeps advocating the concept of "shared sacrifice" (Obama's current favorite term) which roughly translated means: "I know how to better use your money than you do"? Give up? It's the "YES" side! Because, even though the "tax-and-spend" liberals on city council have shown they are not responsible with the money they have, they want more of ours for revenue (i.e: taxes). Three strikes they're OUT! November's coming! ;o)"

Maybe we have kids and want a library and maybe we're not all "liberals"

Babs: "Hey, I think I saw some of the "YES" (for a tax hike) group's new lawn signs. Pretty slick! Blue and white like the NO signs. Pathetic. Wonder who paid for those? Or maybe I should ask "which union"... ;o) Just so you all understand, TCU is supported by individuals - Troy residents and business owners. Professional people who are sick and tired of this junk, volunteer their valuable time to do the research, maintain a web site, post the information they uncover, and participate in panels - all because the liberals at City Hall con't get it through their heads that we ARE NOT THIER A.T.M.!."
"Oh and Rick - maybe you, Lori, Sue Martin, Mary Kerwin, the Troy Democratic tax-and-spender club members, et al. would like to pay my and other rational NO voters share of the city-created and run "calculation" page figures. If this pases, please forward me the names and addresses of the other YES voters you know so we can send you all our tax increase bills"


You don't have to be a liberal to vote YES for the library

Dave Henderson just doesn't get it..., Part 146

Dave writes: 
More reasons to vote No August 2 on the tax hike. We currently have $ 9.2 million in the 2011 budget that is specifically earmarked for the transit center. It would pay for 3 years of the library budget without raising taxes... and we don't even have a transit center...  

No, Dave. That 9 million is federal and state money that disappears if we don't use it exclusively on the transit center.
How can you not know that? TCU stopped lying about that when we caught them at it last year, I thought. Or have they started again.
I wrote about it last October. Here's what I wrote:

Here is the truth from the city's website:
In terms of funding for the Troy/Birmingham Intermodal Transit Facility, major funding for the project is provided by three federal grants awarded in 2010 totaling just over $10 million. The largest grant is $8,485,212 awarded under the 2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program. This grant is administered by the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) and the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth awarded $250,000 to the City of Troy for LED lighting under an Energy Efficiency & Conservation LED Demonstration Grant. Also awarded was $1.3 million under the Fiscal Year 2010 U.S. House of Representatives Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. This earmark is administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The City of Troy has allocated $1.3 million and the City of Birmingham has
allocated $300,000 toward the Transit Center Project for a funding total of just over $11.6 million.

Dave! How can you run for council when you know NOTHING about the city????????????????? 

Chatty Cathy

from Linda
Many of us remember the Chatty Cathy Doll.  She would say certain phrases when you pulled her string.  These phrases included, “Tell Me a Story,” “Where Are We Going,” “I Hurt Myself,” and many more.  After hearing these phrases repeated day after day,  without inflection or meaning, many mothers around the country wanted to permanently pull the doll’s string.

This reminds me of the situation we have today in our community.  Troy Citizens United keeps repeating their canned phrases, “manufactured crises,” “tax and spend,” “more compensation than the Governor.”  Again, phrases without any validity or judiciousness.  We hear it in their speeches,
advertisements; any time the Troy library millage comes up.  They did, however, borrow a phrase from the doll, “Let Me Tell You a Story,!”

The idea is, if you hear it enough, you will believe it.  I am tired of hearing the same rhetoric again and again and having to explain to people where to find the truth.

There was a recent show that talked about the mob mentality in our society.  This is where the public hears things over and over again and sees the publicity that the mob that is leading it is getting and they end up following that mob.  An example was given of the fascination with the Casey Anthony trial taking center stage over the true issues facing our country.  People got caught up in the drama and overlooked what was important in the world and key to their futures.
The show went on to say some feel there is comfort in a mob.  They feel they belong.  But ask yourself; what is it you believe?

The host questioned, do you have honor and courage to stand up for what you believe? Do you want to have conviction?  To do so, you must:
Educate yourself
Question everything
Repeat #1

With that in mind, are you a Troy citizen who acts with honesty and integrity and makes informed choices.  A citizen who is fiscally responsible, by looking at the big picture, not just the mantra of “no new taxes,” but the impact on your property values and the community as a whole.

You can quiet the Chatty Cathys and their meaningless chants by showing them what is important to you, what you believe in.  Not meaningless, unfounded rhetoric.  Not spinning the numbers to suit your position, but doing your diligence and finding the facts.  Stand up for your community.  Pull that string and make it your words this time.  Vote YES on August 2nd.  

Save the Library

Voting Yes for a Library and the Value of Public Spaces

by Pastor Bob Cornwall of Troy

On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, the people of Troy, MI have the opportunity to vote for a property tax increase (it's really not an increase because housing values are diminishing and so the amount of tax we're paying each year is decreasing).  But, we will go to the polls to vote yes or no on a .70 millage for 5 years.  That "tax" calls for property owners to pay .70 cents per 1000 dollars of taxable property value (half the assessed value).  I can tell you that my increase will be well below $100, and I'm quite willing to pay for it.   Now the opponents of this increase have used all manner of convoluted arguments, many of which are false or misleading, to try to convince the community that we can have a library without an increase.  This simply isn't true.  If the library stays then cuts elsewhere in the budget, probably in public safety, will have to be made.  So, my family and I will all be voting yes on this very reasonable assessment to protect a vital service in our community.  
But perhaps you wonder why we need a public library.  After all, we can just as easily get the information we need on the Internet (unless you happen to be one of many who doesn't have a computer at home and make use of the ones at the library) or by downloading books and magazines and newspapers on your e-reader.  This is true, for many people today, but there remains a digital divide that only a library is able to bridge.

But, let's move simply beyond the point of delivery of information services and think about the value of public spaces, places that are free and open to everyone, no matter who they are.  It doesn't matter your age, your ethnicity, your social status, or your education.  It doesn't matter if you can afford to buy a book or not.  A library is a place of public gathering, a place where people can bump into each other and share ideas with each other.  And this is important as we watch the public sphere become increasingly privatized.  That is, we are seeing a nation retreat into smaller and more compact spaces, where the stranger need not be engaged.  This isn't good for us as individuals, but it's also not good for our nation.  Indeed, much of our current political debate is little more than echo chambers, where people of like mind talk to each other, with little cross fertilization.

In his very important book Healing the Heart of Democracy,Parker Palmer speaks of the importance of creating public spaces, spaces where social and political bonds can be built, where we can learn from and about others, and help us move out of our private spaces.  Libraries are such a place.  This is especially true in suburban communities like Troy, MI.  We don't have a downtown.  There are no public streets lined with shops and restaurants.  There are only private malls, and the library, community center, the public parks.  All of these are under threat, but especially the library.  As to the purpose of these spaces, Palmer writes:

The most vital purpose served by all such places is hidden in plain sight.  They give us an experience of civic community beyond the narrow confines of private and political life.  They offer us opportunities for creative interactions without which the social fabric of democracy soon becomes tattered and frayed and will unravel sooner or later.  They allow strangers with interwined fates a chance to keep restoring the fabric of a good society.  (Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy, p. 98).

It's not just about education or information or big government versus small government -- it's about the good society.  It's about creating spaces where together we can work for the common good, and not just a privatized good.  Ultimately, in the end, we're all in this together!  One step toward maintaining the possibility of working toward the common good, in my mind, is to make sure that our library has a steady stream of dedicated funds so it can operate effectively!  So, if you're in Troy on Tuesday, vote yes!

[Sharon's note: And if you're not in town - call the city and vote absentee!!!]

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

By the Very Definition...

Triple AAA bond rating by all three ratings agencies.

Top rated schools.

Safest city due to a top-notch police force.

Award winning library.

These are the benchmarks of a great city: the kind of place anyone would want to live, work, shop or play.

This is Troy.

Over the next week, you’ll be hearing even more outrageous claims from anti-tax groups and individuals who will try to convince you otherwise. And they want – no need -- you to believe that Troy is mismanaged. Why do they need that from you? It’s all part of a well-financed strategy to further their own personal agenda. Make no mistake – for them, this has very little to do with our library and EVERYTHING to do with politics.

The reality is that Troy is a strong, fiscally responsible and well-run city.

You'll hear how everyone else is wrong or lying. And they want -- no need -- you to believe that there is money everywhere, the city employees are overpaid, and that anyone crying foul about their numbers, shock and awe presentation style and misinformation campaign is simply too stupid to do math. Make no mistake -- for them, this has very little to do with truth, integrity and accuracy.

The reality is that Troy has a revenue problem, not an expenditure problem.

We have one decision, one issue before us. It is simply this: Do we want a library in Troy or not?

Take the politics out of our library. VOTE YES ON AUGUST 2.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shame on you, Martin Howrylak

There is so much to say about last night's council meeting...but frankly, to address most of it would only serve to give credence and attention to those who do not deserve it.

So let's instead go right to the root cause: Martin Howrylak.

He, like many of his supporters and cohorts, often latches on to one minute detail of something, takes it out of context, and then uses it to further personal agenda. Last night, I said THIS in public comment:

We know that draining our emergency fund balance would put our bond rating in jeopardy. And using it to fund the library would be like draining our own savings accounts to pay for some recurring monthly bill, like our electricity or cell phone. In the end, that money would be gone in a year or two and the library would STILL close.

How fiscally responsible is that?? And consider this – right now on Tallman Rd., repairs are being made to NOT ONE, BUT THREE water main breaks. This was a huge expense that wasn’t expectedand THAT’S what an emergency fund is for – not for bankrolling a core service.

In the council response to comment, Mr. Howrylak chose to correct the record on my behalf, saying that I was dishonest in stating that the fund balance paid for the work to the city infrastructure on Tallman

So what's the problem? I NEVER SAID ANYTHING OF THE KIND.

Mr. Howrylak, how dare you insinuate that I was being less than truthful in my remarks last night. I never once said that the water main repairs were being funded by the fund balance. What I said, AGAIN, and what will be on record on the playback, is as follows:

This was a huge expense that wasn’t expectedand THAT’S what an emergency fund is for – not for bankrolling a core service.

Emergency funds are for unexpected expenses. What about THAT is dishonest??

That is but one example of Mr. Howrylak -- and people like him -- using only pieces of information that serve to bolster personal political agenda. It's shameful that any of the rest of us are exposed to it day after day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Is this Troy?

He said the movement is "ideologically extreme, refuses to compromise and cares more about purity than problem solving," and carries most of the blame for the "extraordinary polarization" in....
Washington, actually. This is Fareed Zakaria talking about the problem in America with the Tea Party.
Little does he know it's also Troy's problem.
For example? Janice Daniels--TCU Spokesperson and founder of the Troy Area Tea Party. 
Just like Howrylak -- purity of their ideology is more important than anything--books, children, community and our property values be damned.

Video from YouTube

Martin Howrylak says mayor is "part of the problem"

Yes, the council member who works so hard to obstruct the work of the city and sent out a deceitful letter days before last year's library millage vote is pointing fingers at someone else.
That's amusing.

The Truth

Thomas Berk says the site is dishonest.

Spread the Word

Last week, Save Troy ran a very successful “moneybomb” event in which they capitalized on social media to raise money for the campaign to SAVE TROY LIBRARY.

This week, let’s help them run an “infobomb” campaign.

What’s that?

Well, it’s the same premise as the moneybomb…simply SPREAD THE WORD as quickly and as far as you can about the REALITY of the situation in Troy right now.

How can you do that?

Same way as the moneybomb…use e-mail, Facebook, Twitter…the phone. Point people to the following resources so that they can educate themselves with real facts, not manufactured fiction.!/pages/Save-Troy/167985783265124

Tell everyone you know who lives, works or shops in Troy.

Tell every Troy voter.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

And Right on Time...

Just as I said below...TCU is reframing their message...trying to toss that noodle out there on the proverbial wall of Troy.

In their own frantic, desperate (and misspelled) words:
When you think of this library tax issue on August 2nd, think of the lottery ruse. You were told that the lottery would fund schools, but just as the City of Troy is saying this new tax will fund the library, they are taking the money they used to spend on the library and spending it on expensive consultants, command buses, transist (sic) centers to nowhere and Golden Parachute early retirements for top employees.
Let's break this down, shall we?

1. The money they used to spend on the library...DOESN'T EXIST. It's gone...out of the budget, and that budget is now SMALLER than it was. That's what happens when you spend less because you HAVE just eliminate line items.

2. The money for consultants who haven't been hired yet...HASN'T BEEN SPENT. But if it were to be spent, it would be because the city would be using contract employment vs. direct hires. Why?? IT COSTS LESS to hire a consultant than it does to hire a full-time employee for whom they'd have to provide benefits.

3. Command buses...ummm...hmmm...I don't know what that is. Do you? Need to look into that one...

4. Transit center...DOESN'T EXIST YET...the city has spent about $300K on that, and the rest of the proposed budget for it was re-absorbed into the fund from which it came. The rest of the proposed spending was GRANT MONEY...not out of our pockets. "Transit Center" is just a buzz word TCU likes to toss out there because it raises the ire of anyone ignorant of the facts. We call that a red herring...

5. Oh, yes, let's not forget those other red herrings with which TCU loves to stir the pot..."golden parachutes" and "Cadillac benefits." Spare me...I've already shown you all how Golden Parachutes don't exist in Troy and never have. And those benefits? Phased out since 1997. Again, the rantings of desperate, bitter and jealous people who have nothing new to say.

They have to create this false sense of mismanagement in Troy...this manufactured crisis.

They have to do it so they can tell you that we don't need more revenue. But we know they're wrong...after all, wouldn't our streets have been plowed if there were money paving the hallways of City Hall? Wouldn't 150 people still have jobs in the sidewalks of the Civic Center were gold-plated?


It's all a facade...a trick...political wrangling by an ideological group trying to fleece the residents of Troy. Did you know that Troy is actually one of three cities in the entire STATE to obtain and maintain a Standard and Poor's AAA bond rating?

Did you know that Troy also maintains a AAA rating from the other TWO rating services?

Friends, that could not happen if Troy were mismanaged.

Say no to politics as usual...SAY YES TO THE LIBRARY ON AUGUST 2.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Spaghetti Test

You've heard of an acid test, right? It's what people apply to a situation to make sure it's reasonable, feasible, workable...just plain old worth pursuing.

It occurs to me today that the Troy Citizens United and their minions like to use what I call the spaghetti test. You know what I when some people like to test the done-ness (is that even a WORD?) of their noodles when they cook them by throwing them against the wall. If they stick, they're done. If they don't, they need to cook longer. You're probably wondering what that has to do with the TCU, right?

Here's how it's defined for them:

When they make an outrageous and false or misleading statement, they throw it out THERE, you know...on the wall of society.

-- if it sticks, it becomes reality. They repeat it over and over in word and in print, and they start to believe it.

-- if someone is listening well enough, it won't stick. They get called out on their nonsense. So they have to 'cook' the statement a bit more. That means they have to reframe it by changing the details, math or context to shock and confuse the listener back into believing it.

--if that doesn't work, they go to their standard fallback: blame the accuser of attacking them for supporting smaller government and fiscal responsibility. You know...toss some buzz words out at the wall and see if THOSE will stick.

You should know that as a fully competent Sicilian cook, I've never thrown a noodle at the wall to see if it was cooked. (Who would DO that? Not only does it waste the noodle, but then you have to clean your own wall!)

I don't believe in applying that test to my words or beliefs, either. Neither should you.

Nor should you trust anyone who would.

Over the next two weeks, I am quite certain that the TCU will be cooking a LOT of noodles. Those noodles won't be done...they shouldn't stick to anything. Don't believe a word that comes out of their mouths. Their track record has shown that their ONLY interest in Troy politics is to keep the city from being able to generate revenue to sustain our core services and quality of life amenities.

We need to take the TCU politics out of the library decision. Knowing how to vote on August 2 should be as easy as cooking noodles...if you ignore the tempest in the spaghetti pot.

Apply the REAL test by asking yourself this very simple question: DO YOU WANT A LIBRARY IN TROY OR NOT?

If you do...YOU MUST VOTE YES. A no vote closes the library on August 5.

Face For Radio

Every time I speak at council, I pray I don't suffer from Cindy Brady stage-fright induced catatonia. You see, as you speak...your face is projected right in front of you on the jumbotron so that the viewing audience is privy to the sweat of your upper lip and the trembling of your hands at the podium.

Talking on the phone to someone is much easier.

On a related note, when staffing a community table at the Troy Democratic Club's annual summer picnic, we had the chance to meet a local radio talk show host -- Tony Trupiano from 1310 WDTW, Detroit's Progressive Talk Radio. He invited us to come on his show to share what is REALLY happening in Troy with our revenues, services, and...MOST IMPORTANTLY...our library.

No phone! Win, win...I could talk about the issue from the comfort of my home in my usual early morning state -- wild hair, 15 year old gym shorts and even older t-shirts with coffee stains from the mug I end up waving wildly while talking on the phone.

Tony gets it. He doesn't live in Troy, never has...but it doesn't take a genius to look into the cess pool of Troy politics to see what is happening.

For those of you just tuning in, here it is again...

Over three years ago, our city manager projected this exact perfect storm of financial distress because of the following factors:

-- drastically decreased revenue from falling property values
-- revenue STEALING by the state -- they've cut our share of revenue by 40%
-- ill-informed political influence by the TCU and tea party sentiment that is sweeping not only our city, but the entire country. They are the ones responsible for the cap on our millage rate that forces the council to put any increase to a vote.

In other words, Troy can't keeping doing more for less. We're getting LESS FOR LESS...and we desperately need more.

Tony let me share that. Take a listen by clicking here. Pass it on to any Troy voter...spread the word.

Troy has a REVENUE problem, not a problem with expenditures, mismanagement, or any of the other things TCU claims.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Drop a Bomb on Us

From Save Troy Fundraising Chair...

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask for your help in our final fund raising effort for the campaign to save the Troy Public Library. Starting tonight, July 21, at 11 pm, Save Troy will conduct a 24-hour internet fundraising drive, also called a money bomb. A money bomb sends out a shockwave of support toward a worthy cause – in this case, our Troy Public Library. Whether you are able to give or simply help spread the word, your help is essential!

The most critical element of a successful money bomb is getting the word out. Below you will find the text of a sample email you can use to send to 5 or 10 friends who are interested in saving the Troy Public Library.

If you use social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, then please see the sections below. We’ve included a FB link to share and a sample text description to use with the link. You can “tweet” with the tiny url and sample text along with the hash tags #saveTroyLibrary. Both of these options allow you to ask for help in an easy, unobtrusive way – while still reaching a large audience!

Of course, if you prefer to call people personally, we’ve included a sample script to use in the phone section.

Perhaps MOST importantly, don't forget to Vote Yes on Tuesday August 2nd – and tell all your friends and neighbors to do the same!

Neil Yashinsky

Fund Raising Coodinator for Save Troy

Sample Email:

Dear Friend,

The Troy Public Library faces closure if a millage doesn't pass on Tuesday August 2nd. Save Troy, a ballot initiative group dedicated to passing that millage, is doing one last fund raising push for the final week of the campaign to save the library, and we could really use your support.

The Troy Public Library is an award winning institution beloved by people of all ages. We need your donation of $5,$10,$20, $50 or even $100 dollars to keep it open. Your donation may be the one the lets us afford one final mailer during this critical period.

If are able to help, you can donate online and ensure we get the money right away. If you would like to send a check, please follow the second link and print out the “donate by mail” form. Whichever option you choose, TIMING IS CRITICAL! We need your support now in these final days!

Please forward this email to anyone you know who might want to help, too, and share information on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Thank you for your help and support in SAVING TROY LIBRARY!

Link to donate online:

Link to donate via mail:

Sample Facebook message:

Share this link:

With this description:

Help me save the Troy Public Library! We have 24 hours left to help the only official group dedicated to passing the millage keep the library from closing. Donating now give you the chance to put your money where your mouth is if you’ve voiced your love for the Troy Public Library. Share this link now before it’s too late!

Sample Twitter message:


Help Save the Troy Public Library by donating now:

It’s our last chance to help the campaign to #saveTroyLibrary

Sample Phone script:

Hi ____, If you have a minute I would like to talk to you about the Troy Public Library. As you may know, it will close unless we pass a dedicated millage on Tuesday August 2nd. I am calling to ask if you can help the campaign with a donation of 10 or 20 dollars or more! It will really help with our efforts in these final weeks. Of course, if you are able to make a larger donation that would be great, too.

Would you like to join me in helping to Save the Troy Public library? (wait for response)

If yes:

Great! To donate just go to and click on the button to donate online or donate via mail.

If no:

Thanks for your time. The most important way you can save the Troy Public Library is to vote yes on August 2nd. Goodbye.