In every step of the way through candidacy, election and settling into office. Janice Daniels has tried to take a national rhetoric and big-party politics and apply them to Troy. She constantly repeats that she is a Conservative female committed to small government, low taxes and fiscal responsibility.
Well, Troy has small government, low taxes, and is fiscally responsible. In fact, Troy has ALWAYS had small government, low taxes and been fiscally responsible. We are the benchmark for many local cities...regional cities...heck, we're the benchmark statewide and even into the nation-at-large!
We keep hearing from Mayor Daniels and her supporters about waste, over-spending and bloated salaries. But those who do their homework and are actually willing to look at facts find that to be completely and utterly false.
Granted, did Troy make some necessary cuts to the budget to get through the recent economic down slide? Was there some bloat to jettison? Of course! In fact, here are some examples of the "waste" Troy cut:
-- Police presence in the high schools. The schools budget now has to account for private security. But hey, GOOD NEWS! The school budget comes from your tax dollars...you know, the same tax dollars that have seen drastic cuts over the last five years.
Right. Our school are running on just as much of a loss as the city. And now they have to make room for something that used to be covered by the city.
-- Community awareness programs run by the police department. These have been cut drastically. Wonder why your kids aren't getting the same level of safety and drug programs like they used to? No money. Have we seen troubles with drugs in schools lately, like with K2?
Gosh, good thing we don't have that "waste" anymore, eh?
-- Police presence OVERALL. Did you live here in 1978? I did! Troy was so much smaller, then, wasn't it? Far fewer residents, shoppers and business people traveled in and out of Troy than today.
Well, too bad. We now have the force of 1978 to cover today's increased needs. THANK GOD our dedicated policemen and stellar Chief Mayer work as hard as they do. I worry about the toll it's going to take on them over time, though.
-- Parks and Recreation programs and staffing. Remember when your kids and you could take any number of enriching classes taught by numerous teachers and volunteers? Not anymore. No money to pay teachers, staff to develop a program, or advertising to fill the classes. One of the most economical resources citizens had to better themselves physically and emotionally is, for the most part, gone.
-- City employees...cuts leaving often ONE PERSON to run an entire department, such as in Community Affairs. Don't like having to wait at a counter or have phone calls returned when someone has time? So sad. That's what happens when you cut "waste" like employees...about 1/3 or more of the staff has been cut.
-- Notification, mailings and publications. Every time you
hear a resident ask, "Why doesn't the city do this, tell us that,
publish the other thing anymore???" it's because they don't have the
manpower to do it all anymore. There isn't money to mail it out if they did.
-- Salaries and benefits...the "lucky" employees that are left have taken at least 10% cuts, lost benefits and have furlough (unpaid) days on top of that. The REALLY LUCKY ones been reduced to part-time status so the city doesn't have to pay for benefits or cut completely. We know it's the same treatment lots of us have faced in our jobs.
But remember, according to the FACTS, civic employees in Troy were already paid at or BELOW the mid-range for the same positions. Overall, public sector city employees are paid below similar private sector employees for the SAME positions. Their salary trajectories are slower to rise and don't usually get as high as those in private sector, though benefits tend to be somewhat better to compensate.
This was all laid out in the ICMA report from last year. It's interesting reading if you care to know the facts.
Think someone in the city STILL makes too much money? Tell us why. Give us comparisons. Don't say, "Well, *I* don't make that much!" because that's not valid. I mean it...if you can TRULY justify that opinion with fact, I'd be glad to hear it. Until then, it's just sour grapes from someone who never seems to have any real evidence to back it up.
In two years of fighting to save Troy from ideology that is irrelevant, I've NEVER heard one single fact that makes any sense to prove that Troy employees are over-paid or over-compensated. I've heard PLENTY of jealous sounding judgment from someone who believes they've been done wrong in their experience (like realtors who have taken a loss of income due to the housing slide). Listen, I work in private sector parochial education. You want to compare your poor salary to MINE?
I didn't think so. And even given my paltry salary, you won't hear me complaining about someone being paid what they are worth. (Oh, and Mr. Nosy Daniels supporter who was interrogating me at the council meeting about my job? I don't belong to a union. Never have. Bet that deflates any argument you were trying to make about me, eh?)
None of this is news. This has been shared on this blog repeatedly. It's been in the papers. It's been announced at council meetings. Troy has been cutting, saving, economizing for YEARS...long before Daniels and her sound-bites came on the scene.
So actually, Mayor Daniels, take it from THIS Conservative-leaning female who loves her small government/low-tax/fiscally responsible Troy: your efforts really aren't needed here. Troy is run well, has been run well, and will continue to run well after you are recalled. Do us all a favor and stop spreading lies and innuendo.