Throughout this process of sorting out local politics, I've stumbled upon voices ripe with clarity.
They are not always individuals with whom I agree 100%, but they offer a view that is RESPECTABLE because the view is often backed up with common sense and a grasp of the facts.
Here is one of those views regarding the recent spate of ballot issues on taxation in Troy and the ensuing debacle they presented:
What was not a debacle is that each issue went before the voters which should be considered a victory for anybody who thinks taxation requires representation. The voters spoke, finally, on a ballot initiative that made sense. Moving forward, I suspect more tax issues will be placed on the ballot, and the voters will make their voices heard just as they have in the past two years. It might not be pretty, but it seems to be working. We did, after all, and on part cause of TCU's involvement, pass the taxation/voting initiative here in Troy creating this type of management system, so, why is there so much talk about which "party" if you will, will increase your taxes? If the voters decide, then the issue is moot, it's up to the "parties" to present their planks so voters can make a call. To simply say "they'll increase your taxes" seems a bit overstated in light of the fact that no taxes will be increased without voter approval. So I'll ask again there TCU, beyond saying that the other side is going to raise taxes, what are you trying to tell me?
In part, he appears to be responding to the following mistake-ridden attack piece by TCU supporters:
See where it says, "Favors increasing taxes again" ? They are referring to THIS QUESTIONNAIRE where the candidates stated whether or not they were in favor of "increasing revenue to balance the budget."
"Increasing revenue" doesn't mean or say "I will raise taxes."
Indeed, as the above gentleman points out, NO ONE ON COUNCIL can raise your taxes. Only YOU AND I can raise our taxes with a majority vote by ballot measure.
The TCU gave us that dubious privilege when they worked to pass a ballot measure capping the tax and prohibiting our city council from levying it higher without putting it to the people.
What's more, the representation of the candidates' stances on this issue is WRONG. They cherry picked SOME of the answers where it supported them, and used question marks where they wanted to create doubt. Go check out the link...there was NO QUESTION about how Mr. Hashmi felt. Mr. D'Aoust -- a STAUNCH Conservative, was NOT unclear, nor is he an advocate for increasing your taxes.
No...they are collateral damage. Both are not accepted as being the RIGHT kind of Conservative by the TCU and their supported candidates.
Ask yourself why.
Ask yourself why an avowed Republican with major party support from L. Brooks Patterson, John Pappageorge and Michael Bouchard like Mr. D'Aoust isn't fully accepted by TCU.
Ask yourself why Mr. D'Aoust was threatened by a MAJOR Republican party member in Troy because he wouldn't drop out of the race and lend his help and money to the other TCU supported candidates.
Ask yourself why TCU and their supported candidates are not even fans of the enactment of their tax cap regulations that force a vote of the people for increased taxes. Why would someone like Dave Henderson, candidate for council and supporter of that issue, say this:
So it's a CONCERN that we should be allowed to do exactly what Henderson and his TCU friends WANTED us to do in February 2010 by putting a council-led proposal on the ballot?
There's a concern that they allowed the Citizens to Save Troy Public Library have a proposal on the Nov. 2010 ballot because they FOLLOWED THE LAW and got the proper signatures to do so? (Was he concerned that the TCU got three copy-cat measures on there, too, or is THAT ok with him???)
REMEMBER: if a citizen wants an issue on a ballot, all one has to do is collect proper signatures, have the language approved, and have council approve the language. If they deny the motion, and there is no legal reason for doing so, they open themselves up for a lawsuit.
There's a concern that they listened to the outcry of the residents and gave us one more chance to vote for our library in August 2011? We ASKED them to do to this...we BEGGED for the chance for a straight up or down vote, yes or no, to save the library.
Mr. Henderson is CONCERNED that we were allowed to have a FAIR SHOT without TCU interference???
Well, Mr. Henderson, here's a concern I have.
When presented with CLEAR LANGUAGE that would be difficult to misunderstand, you knowingly translate it to fit your own personal agenda. Case in point regarding that same candidate questionnaire which you refused to submit to TRUST:
And then your interpretation of the actual documented fact:
One thing Mr. Henderson got right: there ARE limited ways to increase revenue.
But Mr. Henderson, your interpretation that the above named candidates will unequivocally raise taxes is based on WHAT? Mr. D'Aoust, for one, is not even in any way associated with TRUST. Mr. Hashmi worked with TRUST only to advocate for the library. He was clearly against the other millage increases.
And as far as raising taxes being a "common theme" amongst "folks" at TRUST? Ummmm...TRUST didn't exist until the November ballot failed, and then came together ONLY to save the library. It evolved into a respected, diverse and nonpartisan coalition that helps Troy residents collectively achieve our civic potential by advancing ideas, enabling understanding, and provoking constructive dialogue throughout the community while promoting outcomes that benefit the entire community.
In other words, TRUST is about making Troy better.
Helping pass a millage for a library made Troy better. That's as far as you can go with your logic, I'm afraid. Many of our library supporters were STAUNCHLY against the two previous ballot measures.
Further, you asked to see the plans of the candidates for increasing revenue in other ways. DID YOU READ THE QUESTIONNAIRES?
So here's more clarity I've gained:
It's clear you are not doing your due diligence before you speak.
It's clear the "Troy Voter Guide" and those who published the above mailer did not do their due diligence before they published.
It's clear that mailers like this, speakers like Mr. Henderson and the TCU are only after one thing: a win no matter what. It's clear they do not care if they lie, misinterpret, slam, slander, or malign anyone who disagrees with their brand of Conservative logic.
It's clear we need to vote for anyone but them.
SAVE TROY...be informed, and enter the polls knowing who will truly stand up for you.