Saturday, April 30, 2011

Who wants to move to Troy now?

I have heard countless stories about people who are NOT moving to Troy because of the library and infighting. COUNTLESS. 
Tell me ONE story about a person moving here becuase they think paying low taxes and getting crappy services is a great thing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Politeness

You know, I'm just waiting for someone to tell me I'm not being polite.
Janice Daniels and that Deb DeBacker love to stand up and say that we are being so MEAN to them! We're so bad. We're name callers.
Well, you know what, folks?
These people are destroying my children's hometown.
Why the hell do I have to be nice to them? 
They are a disaster to me, my family, my property values and my city.
I don't have to be nice.
I have to fight back.
When will you?
Where the hell are the lionesses protecting the interests of their young in this town.
Stand up and fight, damn it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"If you don't starve the system, you won't make it change."

Yup. That's what some guy in York, PA is saying. Sounds just like the guys here wrecking our library, our city and our whole community.
If they don't wreck it they can't fix it. (interpret that to mean--if they don't wreck it, they can't get "elected" to fix it--of course then they'll just wreck it more.)
...But I don't want my town wrecked, TCU. Can't you go F%%% up some other town and leave Troy alone?
Here's the article from the Wall Street Journal. It just shows how these "grass roots" organizations, like TCU are nothing of the sort. They get their marching orders from high above. And they are all doing the same thing in unlucky communities ALL OVER AMERICA. 
First they do anything to defeat millage increases needed by cities left starving by the real estate crash.
Then they go to starve the schools. Faced with this attack on her community a mom in York says, "Starving education is the last thing that makes long-term economic sense." 
Stupid, stupid, stupid people listening to TCU. They are destroying us only because they think a few pennies in their little Dickensian Scroogey pockets are more important than children, libraries, communities, their friends and neighbors and families and Troy. 
Greedy jerks.


┌∩┐



Me, too...me, too!

Never one to let anyone else steal the "GOTCHA" moments, Councilboy Martin Howrylak had his little moment of perceived triumph last night, too.

Following up after Wade Fleming's failed Hail Mary pass outlined in the post below, Howrylak stammered his way through a comment about comparing Troy;s millage rate with other cities in the area.

He, too, felt it was unfair to say that we pay the LOWEST MILLAGE RATE in the area when Bloomfield Hills isn't even on the list of cities normally compared to Troy. "They don't have a library, either!" he stated triumphantly.

Hold on, Marty...simmer down.

Typically, when comparing millage rates, most informed people will compare similar cities...other full-service cities to Troy, specifically.

Bloomfield Hills doesn't have a library. We ALWAYS HAVE AND STILL DO under the current budget.

Troy has consistently had the lowest millage rate with comparison to OTHER SIMILAR FULL-SERVICE CITIES...Bloomfield Hills is NOT included because they are not full-service.

Points for effort, I guess...but ultimately another failed attempt to throw egg on the face of anyone trying to share the reality of what is happening in Troy.

Which begs the perpetual question: WHY IS MARTIN HOWRYLAK SO INTENT ON DESTROYING OUR CITY?

Monday, April 25, 2011

GOTCHA!

Troy's millage rate is 9.280.
Madison Height's milage rate is 18.00

Residents in Troy get police and fire service plus all the other city amenities.
Residents in Madison Heights get police and fire service plus all the other city amenities.

So in simple terms, residents in Madison Heights pay TWICE AS MUCH per every $1000 of taxable home value as we do for essentially the same services.

Yet, inexplicably, Councilman Wade Fleming thinks that because Troy is so efficiently run with a volunteer fire department, we shouldn't be compared to cities who pay for that service out of their revenues. CLEARLY we'd have a larger burden if we had to pay for a fire department like Madison Heights does, and well, gosh...we need to know that.

Let me explain this again: residents in Madison Heights pay TWICE AS MUCH as we do for the very same services. Troy is utterly efficient and successful with HALF AS MUCH, and Councilman Fleming is trying to portray that as a bad thing...as an unfair comparison.

John Szerlag, our much-maligned City Manager, very patiently explained the folly of Mr. Fleming's failed "GOTCHA!" moment. Paraphrasing his words, he basically explained that we really can only look at what we pay for what we receive.

Again, residents in Madison Heights pay TWICE AS MUCH as we do for the very same services.

How in the world is that not a fair comparison??

What's In It For Me?

Troy residents have been categorized as seeing the city issues from a "me" perspective. As in...

-- don't raise MY taxes!
-- why should *I* fund *your* library?
-- I don't use those things...shut them down!

We have more than a revenue problem. We have a PRONOUN problem. In Troy today, there is no "we" or "us."

With few issues is this so apparent as it is with the library. From the Albert Shanker Institute blog:

Closing libraries – there is no other way to put this – is a symptom of societal decay. Libraries are a symbol of functional democracy and informed citizens – and, indeed, of an enlightened people. Many of our nation’s most celebrated figures, from Benjamin Banneker and Abigail Adams to Abraham Lincoln, Ray Bradbury and Jack London, educated themselves in public libraries. These institutions represent our collective commitment to equal access to knowledge and information, regardless of status or income.

Today, even in the full presence the ardent effort of library proponents and those wanting sustainability in Troy, anti-taxers are still coming from a place of "me" and don't see why THEY should have to pay for MY library.

They don't see the collective benefit to a city that a library provides. They will try to CONVINCE you, in front of TV cameras, reporters of city council at the podium that OF COURSE they want that library.

But their every word and action elsewhere belies that sentiment.

In the end, it still comes down to a "me" problem.

Great communities aren't built on "me" perspectives.

Troy used to be great because it was about "US." Until we get there again, we will not be able to rebuild this community.

Time to go check out a grammar book from that library and figure out how to use the correct pronouns.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another great Daily Trib OpEd


Enjoy the swipe at "opponents" -- Troy Citizens United -- in the last few sentences

Council still has a few options left to preserve Library

We hope Troy city council members can see a way to keep the city's Library open in the fiscal year start ing July 1, and that they can come up with a way to do that in next month's budget talks.
They appear about to consider asking voters once more for a dedicated library tax. But even if voters approve such a tax, it would be many months before revenue rolls in.
If council members don't have a glimmer of a plan for interim funding, it seems cruel to keep the library open through those discussions in hopes that something will materialize.
The facility was scheduled to close April 30. Council members at a recent meeting appeared ready to let it remain open through May 16, although no vote was taken.
But they were looking at the results of another kind of vote which showed strong support for the library.
A survey of city residents, introduced at the same council meeting, indicated nearly three-quarters believe the city should retain or expand library services, with 41 percent calling for expansion.
Nearly a third said the issue was their highest priority. A majority said they would prefer cuts or an elimination of city funding for Troy's two golf courses, special events and festivals and the aquatic center.
Voters last fall defeated a ballot issue that would have provided about 1 mill to fund the library. The ballot question, the result of initiative petitions from Friends of the Troy Library, was narrowly defeated. But three other virtually identical questions were also placed on the ballot, presumably by opponents aiming to confuse and anger voters. They were defeated more decisively.
Those ballot questions followed a decisive defeat a year ago of a 1.9-mill tax which would have blunted the effect of other declining revenues.
The recent survey, using 400 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent, also showed that 43 percent now would support a 1.9-mill tax increase and another 9 percent would lean toward it. About 40 percent would vote against such an increase, 2 percent would lean toward opposition and 6 percent were undecided.
Respondents were also asked about a 1.5-mill increase. A total of 61 percent would vote for it or lean toward a yes vote.
The survey and its results may point to the range of options city council members and administrators will consider in coming weeks.
If new ballot questions are among the options, proponents had better be prepared for more dirty tricks.
Opponents, those who placed legal but fake proposals on the ballot, showed residents that an honest discussion of an issue is not a favored campaign strategy.

Why TCU must debunk the survey

It's so simple.
For years TCU has been putting out flyers filled with lies and lying at the microphone at city council meetings and to reporters.
And what is one of the common refrains?
The anti-tax group loves to say, "The people want..." and "The people of Troy want..." 
They never say anything that I want.
They don't represent me.
They don't represent anyone I know.
They represent greed, intoloerance, dirty politics and selfishness.
TCU represents TCU.
The LAST thing these selfish people want is to hear what the people REALLY want. 
The survey shows what the people want.
Bob Gosselin, Glenn Clark, Jack Witt, Martin Howrylak, Janice Daniels don't care what you want or think.
They have their Libertarian, anti-tax agenda and that's ALL THEY CARE ABOUT....
...Library, city and people be damned.

Survey Says...

From Sue...(ignore the odd formatting...every time I write a post in Word and paste in here, it goes wonky...)

The City of Troy recently contracted Target-Insyght (www.target-insyght.com), a professional polling company, to survey the residents of Troy in a statistically significant and scientifically sound way. Did you get that? I said, statistically significant and scientifically sound.” It’s important to know that because from the moment this company was chosen, detractors have tried every which way possible to discredit the Target-Insyght, its owner, Ed Sarpolos, and the entire contents of the poll.

A Step to the Left…

You see, because Target-Insyght does work with government bodies and schools, the first complaint about the firm is that they MUST be left-leaning. (You all knew that all of government and all teachers are left-leaning by definition, right? No? They’re not? Someone needs to tell Troy Citizens United that, then…) So right there, every piece of data produced is tainted with that left-leaning slant. And left-leaning is obviously bad because it's not unbiased. Now, I have a feeling if the poll and/or the pollster were considered RIGHT-LEANING, detractors would have no problem.

But give them unbiased...point out a few things that don't jibe with their philosophy, and it's left-leaning crack pot shenanigans.

Making a Push…

The second biggest complaint about the firm and the owner is that they conducted a “push poll.” By one definition, a push poll is “a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.

Let’s break this down. The charge is that the city attempted to influence results based on the way questions were asked. In reality, the poll stated what is happening in very clear terms with regard to budget cuts that have been made or will be made over the next several budget cycles. Then the poll asked which things that have been or will be cut should be maintained, reinstated or cut even more. Residents were able specify in thirteen separate areas what services they most value, from police to the library to park and rec.

For example, one area states, “The number of police officers has been reduced from 131 to 120 police officers. In the next couple of years they will be cut to 93 positions, which will cause slower response times, especially for non-emergency calls.” This reflects the sad truth that soon, our police force will reflect the same level of staffing as we had in 1979. Economically, that represents a vast cost savings. However, we have several thousand more residents and over 50,000+ more individuals who pass through our city to work or shop in a DAILY basis than we did in 1979.

But present Deborah DeBacker of the TCU that very straightforward information and you only hear inflammatory language meant to misinform residents. Completely ignoring the fact that the police cuts will result in THIRTY – EIGHT FEWER OFFICERS in the future, she only referenced the eleven positions already cut and scoffed "Eleven people do all this work? Come on!" Ms. DeBacker is clearly using that famous TCU “mathemagic” in trying conduct her own little push poll party with the media. It’s too hard to maintain support and influence the electorate with honesty and integrity, so instead she and her supporters rely on half-truths, inaccurate data and scare tactics. They call the inevitable cuts and losses “threats,” yet so many of those “threats” have already come to pass.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when that’s the case…isn’t that REALITY?

Is There a (Spin) Doctor in the House?

In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll.

So a push poll is supposed to lack data analysis. Obviously those who called it a push poll are unaware of the gobs of data analysis that were presented to City Council on Monday, April 18 by Ed Sarpolus himself. Not only that, the entire poll and results are available online on the city’s website here. (Click)

The results show that citizens of Troy seem to be more concerned with personal interest rather than supporting those things that build community – with one exception being the Troy Public Library. What that means is that the majority of those polled – whose data can be scientifically extrapolated out to represent a statistically significant body of residents (there I go again, reminding you that the poll is valid) – supported the things that affect them most directly: the library, police, snow plowing, and roads.

“Quality of life” venues like our museum, nature center, community center, parks and rec programs and more were only rated at 1% importance as compared to 40% for the library and 14% for police service. Therefore, Mr. Sarpolus categorized Troy as a “bedroom” community, meaning most residents tend to sleep here, but go out of the city for recreation, work and more.

Remember, this is not simply Mr. Sarpolus’s opinion. It’s based on the results of the polling. It’s based on the habits of the residents of the city of Troy, and on their reflection of what is most important for the city of Troy to fund and maintain. It’s not a “spin job” or an editorial – Mr. Sarpolus gains nothing personally for portraying us as we are. He’s already been paid, folks. What possible incentive is there for him to lie, given his years of experience and work ethic with many reputable entities??? (Click)

True Colors?

The only ones who seem to have any vested interest in portraying the whole survey process as a sham are the TCU and the anti-tax advocates. If they can discredit Target-Insyght, the city leaders and our city manager, they can try to sway any future ballot issues attempting to raise millages to SAVE TROY.

If they can discredit any opponents, they can try to convince you that the truth is a lie. They will try to tell you that EVERYONE ELSE is lying, yet the evidence is usually right there in black and white to show you how they’ve manipulated it, presented only half of it, or cherry-picked it trying to make it fit any number of arguments. (And if you e-mail them directly to please tell you where you have lied, they will ignore you. We’ll take that as proof that they cannot produce that documentation.)

Most frustrating is how they will take up a new fight like a chameleon changes colors. After the marathon council meeting on Monday, April 18, where the library received a “stay of execution,” TCU attempted to portray themselves as the impetus behind it. On their Facebook page, they crowed, “Do you think the council is getting the message that we know they can keep the library open with no new taxes? Keep up the pressure.”
Nowhere was there credit for the masses of children in attendance with hand-made signs.
Nowhere was there credit for Neil Yashinsky and his children, the subject of news coverage on Channel 4 and in print media for several days.
Nowhere was there credit for the work of TRUST, Troy Residents Unified for a Strong Troy – a grassroots group that has been gaining speed and support quicker than any other citizens group I’ve seen in a very long time, if ever.
Nowhere ESPECIALLY was there any credit at ALL for the Citizens to Save Troy Public Library, the Friends of the TPL or any of the individuals involved in the Proposal 1 campaign. Rhonda Hendrickson spoke and presented TIRELESSLY week after week, championing the cause. Literally hundreds of volunteers knocked on doors and spoke to neighbors about the issue. True, sincere and heartfelt effort was put into trying to save our library.

And now? NOW the TCU wants credit. They ignore what was set into motion by countless others before them.

TCU wants credit for it all, even though the ONLY REASON our library is still in such peril rests squarely on THEIR shoulders. Anyone who opposes them are the minions of the city, and anyone in favor of millages to SAVE TROY are left-leaning tax-and-spending Liberals.
Enough is Enough
It’s time to put an end to the reign of terror the TCU has had on Troy with their scare tactics, manipulative game playing and outright disinformation campaign.
It’s time to join with your friends and neighbors and help other like-minded citizens take our city back.
Become educated on the issues. Search out answers rather than simply believing catchy phrases on lawn signs. Research and fact-check whatever ANYONE tells you. Here are some links to get you started:
www.troymi.gov
www.trustroy.org
www.oakgov.com
Whatever you do…do it before you vote. Informed voters make the best decisions. Informed voters can SAVE TROY.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Library Conundrum!


from April
I am happy that council is going to discuss the library issue again and try to find funding to keep it open until a viable solution and revenue can be found to sustain the library, not just for the moment but for the long haul.  I applaud Ms. Beltramini for her efforts to keep the doors open.  
As much as I want MY library to remain open, I am afraid that more cuts will be made to the budgets of the police, fire, and other core services the city provides.  If Troy is not a “safe” and structurally “sound” place to live, what difference does it make if we have a library or not?  
Unlike TCU, I am looking to the entire city council, all 7 members, to carefully examine all sides of the issue, examine all the data that has been gathered in context with the entire budget, to weigh all the pros and cons, and to make a rational decision, not an emotional decision about where the budget needs to go.
What has irked and goaded me into writing this, is, that I just read the library website and saw TCU just falling all over from patting themselves on the back for keeping the library open beyond May 1.  They are reveling in the “Great” Howyrlak, Fleming, Beltramini contingent for their efforts.  
TCU, in all your euphoria, do you really think I’M going to forget that it was TCU, Mr. Howyrlak, and Mr. Fleming who were to blame for the library being on the chopping block in the first place?  
Let’s see, who was it that lied to the citizens of Troy about the size of the tax increase in  February, what was it you touted a 29% increase in your taxes when it was really a 29% tax increase in a line item resulting in about a 5.5%  tax increase in your entire  tax bill?  It was TCU that’s who.  
Who was it that promised voters they had a viable solution to fund the library that needed no new taxes in November when proposal 1 was defeated?  Ed Kempen and TCU that is who.  
Who was responsible for 3 additional proposals that were placed on the ballot to confuse and anger voters instead of letting them simply choose yes or no on the merits of Proposal 1?  TCU once again.  
Who was it, who, at the last minute, sent out a letter to the citizens of Troy full of misinformation and ½ truths and warning them to vote NO on proposal 1?  That was Councilman Martin Howyrlak and TCU, surprise! Surprise!.  
The only reason I can see as to why you are so happy the library isn’t closing, is because you are afraid that the rest of Troy would finally and clearly see how you are trying to destroy the fine city we live in.    
If you want me, and the rest of the city, to believe you really care about keeping the library open, then you had better get over yourselves, and be prepared to support wholeheartedly the millage that will come to fund the library, and it had better be for the library we, the real library users, expect from the city of Troy, not some reading room open only a few days or hours per week staffed by volunteers, and lacking the programs that mean so much to the citizens of Troy.  
So TCU are you up for that?   

Who backs TCU (besides its wealthy leaders)?

from Michelle
Did anyone read the article regarding Meijer buying votes in the Traverse
township of Acme today in the Free Press? Troy is a large city, with a lot
of commerce.  The millage would affect many corporations and owners of
commercial properties (including mine, although I am always happy to pay to
keep Troy a great city).  Are we sure that these initiatives are not being
funded by businesses in Troy who need to watch their bottom line?   I think
the real enemy here is not a person, but a corporation.  I just don't know
how to find out where the money is coming from.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Debunking stupid TCU complaints

This week has been rife with ignorant statements by several TCU members and supporters. I'll try to debunk as many as I can.

Ignorant Statement #1: "Is Ms. Kerwan (sic) kidding when she said that the average Troy tax is $998.00? If so, I'm getting ripped off big time."

Dear Homeowner: Are you really that uninformed? Your tax bill is made up of several line items. Only ONE line item is paid to the city to provide you with all of the services you've come to expect. The remainder of the tax bill is paid out to the school district, the county, the garbage pick-up, and more.

In reality, Mrs. Kerwin is actually incorrect, though. The average Troy city tax is only approx. $928 toward operating expenses. Simple math: average TAXABLE home value is hovering around $100,000...city mill rate is 9.280...there's your $928 per average household that is supposed to cover your police and fire protection, your streets and drains, your services and amenities.

So Mrs. Kerwin is not kidding...and the average household burden to the city is LOWER than she proclaimed.

Be that as it may...that you don't even understand your total tax bill is appalling. Get educated, and maybe you'll understand why it is that with falling property values and decreasing revenues the city is UNSUSTAINABLE.

Ignorant Statement #2, as piggy back to #1: "See thats (sic) the kind of stuff I despise about our council (mayor included), it's o.k. for them to call TCU liars and cheats because they use that portion of the tax bill (the portion paid to the city for your services -- the $928) to prove the 29% increase... but not one of the leftys (sic) at trust (sic) or otherwise even raises an eyebrow when she pulls the same magic out of her hat."

What this silly man is trying to say is that when Mrs. Kerwin referred to the average amount a Troy citizen pays TO THE CITY DIRECTLY for services, she was obviously being misleading by not stating what the TOTAL average tax bill is -- you know, not including all that money we pay to everyone else. How dare anyone point a finger at TCU for saying you were going to pay 29% more taxes last February if Mrs. Kerwin doesn't pretend that all your tax money goes directly into her pocket!

Remember, TCU claimed that the Feb. 2010 millage proposal for a 1.9 millage increase was a "29% tax increase." They never explained that it was a 29% millage increase on ONLY A PORTION of the city operating millage. It was only a 29% increase on only 6.5 of your city mills, NOT the total city millage rate, and certainly NOT YOUR TOTAL TAX BILL.

They just let everyone believe it was 29% of your total tax bill because they're good like that.

Let me provide it for you in simpler terms: imagine a Happy Meal from McDonald's. Say it costs $2.99 for that soda, burger and fries. Now imagine that McDonald's decided to raise the base price of JUST THE SODA by 29% -- from $1.00 to $1.29. Your happy meal will now cost you $3. 28.

TCU would have had you believe that the 29% increase would make your meal nearly $4.00.
In reality, it was only $.29 cents more.

Dear Silly Man: It's interesting how quick you all are to point fingers at so-called wrong-doing -- except when it would mean pointing back at yourselves. To even make the argument that the two issues are related in kind is just proof again that TCU and its supporters will say anything to deflect blame for misleading the citizens.

Ignorant Statement #3: "Not to bash to TPD, but much of the reason behind Troy's "safest city" status is its citizens: They tend not to commit crimes and they are intolerant of them."

Dear Resident: You're a fool. Much of the reason behind Troy's "safest city" status is because the CRIMINALS know that we have a stellar police force dedicated to protecting us. They are in partnership with several other municipalities and organizations that allow them to optimize resources for our protection. It has little to do with the average Joe Citizen being intolerant to crime and everything to do with the fact that criminals know they will be caught and dealt with handily by the Troy Police Department.

Moreover, if Troy were to sublet our police coverage to the Oakland County Sheriff, we couldn't come CLOSE to providing the same kind of coverage for the kind of money Rochester pays as TCU apparently proclaimed. They would have us believe that since Rochester only pays the Oakland County Sheriff's office $9 million for services vs. Troy's $27 million police force, we should cost cut and contract out our services, too.

But comparing Troy to Rochester is both foolish and ignorant -- the two cities are vastly different. Not only is our population greater, we bring in 100,000+ individuals on a DAILY BASIS to work and shop.

Even more alarming is that if there were some sort of large emergency in another city utilizing the sheriff's office for coverage, any Oakland County Sheriff's personnel assigned to Troy WOULD LEAVE THE CITY to go cover it. We would NOT have dedicated police protection here for our sole use.

Are you REALLY willing to bargain basement price your safety out to the Oakland Sheriff? Do you REALLY think less spending in that area will keep us as safe as we are now?

If so, please feel free to post your address.

Ignorant Statement #4:
"libraries are secert (sic) democrat fund raiseing (sic) Tools(sic)..when a democrat (sic) writes a book, most libraries BUY that book,, (sic) not so for conservative books."

Dear Sir:


(I'm sorry. I'm speechless. I got nothing.)


Will the Real TCU Please Stand Up

I had an opportunity to spend some time with someone in the city largely detached from the situation I've been consumed by for the last six months.

He asked a question that gave me pause...even though it's so elementary that I'm appalled with myself for not seeing it this way sooner.

He asked, "Will the real TCU please stand up?"

He was referring to the sinister way members of the TCU will stop dead in their tracks and suddenly cover themselves in the mantle of someone else's words and position...how they hold their fingers out in the wind to see where it's blowing so they know how to reframe their arguments to better garner sympathy from the electorate.

You know what I'm saying...remember how six months ago our library could have been burned to the ground and they wouldn't have batted an eye? How many of their members and supporters argued that libraries were obsolete...used only by un-taxed minority renters or residents from out of the city...populated by pedophiles using free internet?

But NOW? Now that the media is taking notice and closure is imminent -- AS IS THE NOVEMBER ELECTION WITH OPEN COUNCIL SEATS -- NOW the TCU is among the most ardent supporters of our library??? They'll stand up at the podium at council meetings and chastise the council members who voted for Option 1 budget that defunded the library, they'll argue vehemently that our very existence is predicated on a library in a community, they'll play on the heartstrings of anyone who will listen how the little children won't have somewhere to go.

They are liars.

They are shrewd and dangerous politicians.

They are bankrolled by shrewd and dangerous politicians.

They don't care about the library as anything else except a vehicle to populate our city council and position of mayor come November.

I know the real TCU. I wish they'd sit down now.

CW Beltramini's plan not perfect

Just so you all know, I'm aware that Ms. Beltramini's plan to keep the library open is not perfect. I don't want a 15 hour library forever. But it's a starter. That is how negotiations work.
I also disagree with her comments in today's Free press that she thinks a library millage can't pass. Who knows? Maybe she is right. 
However, my feeling is that we should find a way to keep the library open until the end of the year by squeezing blood out of the budget. If the people of Troy won't fund a full-service library, by voting yes on a millage, fine. Shut it down and give up.
Then I'll go to Royal Oak's library and spend my money there instead.
Where we are now is that it doesn't make sens to take 2 months closing the library now, only to take two months opening the library later, should funding become available.
But for now, maybe we can have access to the books in our library for the next 8 months until we have a final answer.
What I want to know from Mr. Howrylak and his friends at TCU is whether they will cheat again this election. Whether they really want the blood of Troy, a dead city, on their hands.


The Free Press article:


Troy holds off on library closing



The library is likely to stay open until May 16.
"I don't want to give people false hopes. The library still might close," because no funding decision was made, Mayor Louise Schilling said Tuesday. The city should put a dedicated millage on its November ballot to assure long-term library operations, Schilling said.
But Troy residents saw a blur of four proposals to fund the library, each slightly different, on last November's ballot, and none passed. Library supporters accused opponents of adding three proposals to the official one to confuse voters.
Libraries of surrounding communities have raised their nonresident rates in anticipation of Troy's nearly 81,000 residents seeking library services outside their hometown.
Although no vote was taken at the lengthy council meeting, there was a consensus on the council to keep the library open through upcoming budget study sessions that are to conclude May 16 with a vote to decide the city's 2011-12 budget and whether the library can stay open, Assistant City Manager John Lamerato said.
The move to postpone any closing was bolstered by the results of a citywide survey, announced at Monday's meeting, showing that 72% of Troy residents believe library operations should increase or stay the same, according to the scientific telephone sample of 400 respondents, city spokeswoman Cindy Stewart said. And 32% said it was their No. 1 issue, the highest rating for any one issue, Stewart said.
Read more here


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yay, Councilwoman Beltramini...

from Sharon
I like Councilwoman Beltramini's idea of finding a stopgap solution to save the Troy Public Library temporarily until we can find REAL funding to support a REAL library in the future.
The key words she said last night were that there should be a way to maintain Troy resident's "access to the library collection." Why mothball the collection?
This makes sense to me, as a parent who is about to have to go out and buy a membership at another library 10-20 miles away just to keep my kids in books until we can get real funding for the library that is 1 mile from my house.
Folks can argue as much as they like that it's better to close the library than to keep it open two days a week temporarily, but in my position that is a ridiculous argument. Good for them, perhaps, not for me. Not for someone who uses it.
The library is only a symbol, they say? Yeah, and closing it is a symbol of capitulation and lack of leadership and failure. 
Looks like last night was the start of Ms. Beltramini's mayoral campaign. A+ for leadership from this observer.
Go, council, go!

Something's coming ...

From Ellen ...

Leveraging a statistical boost from the citizen survey they so wisely commissioned in an effort to sort through the political rhetoric plaguing Troy like a cancer, Troy’s City Council finally plowed through the brick wall of discourse surrounding the Library at last night's City Council meeting.

I know, I know. There was no specific solution decided upon, but let’s be real here. The discussion was a clear turning point in the battle to save Troy. If you’ve been watching these meetings all along, you could just feel something at work here.

It’s something positive. Something that transcends politics. It’s … well, something.

You could see it as Councilwoman Beltramini threw an idea against the wall to see if it would stick. The idea is, as she admitted, way less than optimal. A classic compromise that really makes no one happy. But it’s viable. And in the watch-and-see-if-it-will stick, we get discussion. Brainstorming. This is something.

You could see it as Councilman Dane Slater was clearly emboldened by the survey results he was waiting for and clearly energized by the fact that the first budget discussion this coming Monday provides the opportunity to weave together a solution.

You could see it as City Manager John Szerlag confirmed that he is to keep the Library open come May 1st, thereby giving Council one last chance to figure a logical approach in the budget discussions in May.


You could see it … yep, actually "feel" it through the television screen.


The only thing that would have made me more hopeful would be an apology from Howrylak, Fleming and the TCU for putting us in this position in the first place. (How dare Howrylak accuse others of “obfuscation” by the way; anyone else find that as ironic and maddening as I did? And now Fleming is worried about what this doing to the employees? Huh? Where was that worry in the fall? Whatever … I simply must move on.)


The fact is, there was very real discussion last night. Discussion focused on the greater good of the community, not extreme political self interests. The brick wall is not gone, but there sure are a pile of bricks on the ground and the light is shining through the holes.

In a nod to a favorite song from West Side Story: something’s coming ... I don’t know what it is, but it is gonna be great.

I’m committed to rallying in support of our City Council as they attempt to come up with this "something," It sure is better than nothing.


Go Council go!