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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dear Dave Henderson...

In the flurry of comments in the previous entry, a sincere question was asked of Councilman Henderson.  But it got lost in the fray.  So here it is...

 I know it's off-topic, but since we've got Councilman Henderson on the line, I've got a question.

When Dave ran for office, he said there was enough money to fund the library without any millage increase. Does he still think that today? If not, what changed? If he does still think that, why didn't he propose to cut the city millage rate by 0.7 and fund the library for 7 day operation during the budget sessions? I'll hang up and listen.


75 comments:

  1. Henderson isn't going to answer this question.

    He doesn't have the stones for it.

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  2. Oh, I think if history is any indication, he'll not only answer it...he'll set off a firestorm of controversy.

    Should I make popcorn?

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    1. He won't respond. That would force Davey to admit that hes' both ignorant and wrong!

      Davey's ego won't permit that.

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  3. I asked Janice the same question at the last council meeting. There was no response so I sent her an e-mail with all the questions that were not answered. Again, no response. So I resent it "in case it got lost in transmission." That was yesterday, what do you predict she will do?

    I also indicated that during her campaign she said she would answer all inquiries quickly. I think she said it would be done in a 24-48 hour time frame. She must be on a different clock and calendar.

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  4. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Please let's not lose this important question in other stuff. Keep the tone civil for the sake of any real honest dialogue on this answer.

    After working for nearly a year and a half to save the library, I would sincerely like an answer to this question. The anti-millage people were insistent, especially Ms. Daniels, that the city had money for a 7 day a week library prior to any millage passage. There has been no explanation what-so-ever since getting into city government, where that money exists or existed.
    Mr. Henderson, if you would please answer this, I would personally appreciate it. I think that it might at the very least help to shed light on some of the lingering disillusionment on the library issue.
    Thank you.

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    1. Nice try but two other idiots have already set the tone for this. Argumentative and name calling. Pretty standard fare for KTS.

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    2. There is a millage in place to support the library. There is no dissolution. Everything else is water under the bridge and should be moot.

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    3. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 5, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Not really. Yes, there is a millage in place to support the library. But it was at the expense of our sense of fairness and integrity in our community. And I do not care if the world thinks that fairness in politics don't matter, just look at our community and you will see that they do.

      If the people who consistently said there was money were dishonest about that and put that out to the people of this city as truth, then it is not water under the bridge. It is a toxic stream that is infecting every other issue that comes before this city.
      It is only moot to those that once they got into office realized that they were either wrong about the city budget or purposefully misleading. This goes to why there is a rising tide of discontent on the part of citizens who have never had any participation in city government and business and are now very disillusioned about our town and fellow citizens behavior.

      So, please understand that calling people idiots is also "argumentative and name calling."
      Try to see that there are people, myself included, who are so sad about the state of our city and the ugly turn it has taken that I find it hard to even believe that this is the place that I raised my children and lived for over 20 years. For me, it is not about right or left or political allegiances. It is about the loss of decency, caring, community, civility, patience, compassion and honesty and integrity. That may exist within individuals, but it seems to be sorely lacking when engaged in group think.
      So, yes, I would still like an answer to the library question. It is a subject that is near and dear to me. I think that the mayor or council members that were against the millage have an obligation in the name of transparency to show us what they were talking about. They said that they were fulfilling campaign statements when they cast their vote on the transportation center and against garbage millages. So it is time they put this topic to rest and just answer the question. If they don't, then they will only continue to fuel the notion that they were purposefully lying. And that, is a big problem.

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    4. Rhonda, for you only because you seem like at least you want to play nice. First off I don't believe the forecasts city management gave us for declining revenues. The author of this question knows why, and daily my forecasts are proving that i was more right than sue or city management. My vote for this budget was in part a wait and see vote. We have the opportunity to hire a new manager and get a new set of eyes to look at the budget for 2013. I also like the addition of Tom Darling to the team. We'll see next year where we're at. Keep in mind, the devastation forecast is 5 years out... We have a little time to verify, and adjust. If I'm right, we have plenty of money. Time will tell. Another small issue is looming that needs further investigation... We all need better intel on that. Stay tuned.

      That said, I'm not talking further on this one, except to just chuckle at the comment about me asking stupid questions... I thought I was supposed to make sure I had all the pertinent detail before casting a vote. Some of you are simply impossible to please.

      Dave

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    5. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 6, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      Thank you for your response. I guess I would like to clarify my question. What I was trying to understand, is that for the Nov. 2010 Prop 1 millage, it was said of that budget there was money enough for a 7 day a week library. That would amount to approximately $3.5million. Then for the 2011 .07 6/day millage there was money in that budget. Without spending down the necessary savings/reserves of the city, where in the budget would that $3.5 or approximately $2.7 million have come from?

      I know that forecasts are just that and they are hard to hear. I remember a man from Oakland County came to the city and gave a 20 year projection for the county and I felt like I needed a bottle of Scotch afterwards it was so dire. We will have to wait and see what actually happens as we go forward. The 2013 projected rolling budget is not the money that was talked about "being there" during the library millages, so that is a budget for current and future spending. Fiscal responsibility and what constitutes "plenty of money" and how that is saved and spent responsibly will be the issues going forward.

      I am not impossible to please, if you were referring to me. And anyone that knows me knows that I am a research and fact wonk ( I have a masters in library science). I am curious how your forecasts are more accurate than those of the city and county. Could you provide a link? I actually want the same thing that everyone that was against the library millages wanted from then city officials...truth and transparency. It is just that now, the people at the podium are now at the council table and there is an expectation that they will provide the information they demanded citizens were entitled to.
      With that, my question is where in the city budget during the library millages and prior to this 2013 budget that you voted on, was the $3.5 million dollars for a 7 day a week library?

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    6. Last post I promise. The sacred unallocated fund balance has millions and the forecasts I mentioned are specifically related to residnetial real estate values. They are on the rise, and I'm also hearing good news daily in the commercial sector. All increases in Real estate values increase tax revenues. They won't increase as fast as they fell, but more money is good money, and I'm betting we can survive without a tax increase provided something catastrophic doesn't happen. A big enough catastrophe occurs and we're all in trouble.

      I never positioned for a 7 day library. I was against closing it on Saturdays. I was against a 1.9 mil increase without irrefutable proof we needed it, I always said if the manager could prove we've made enough cuts, maintained sustainability first, then needed some cash I might even support a tax increase. Had we voted for the 1.9 mil increase, we may never have seen the cuts that were made right after that vote. We may be right sized currently,we may have more work to do... again time will tell, and a new management team will help us determine what is in the weeds in the 2013 budget.

      Dave

      P.S. last comment, I promise. If you want more info, please email or call. I address just about everything you want to talk about (regarding Troy) on my facebook page where I have a hand on the delete button to prevent mean spirited attacks like the ones that abound here... talk amongst yourselves now :0)

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    7. You call it mean-spirited; some call it keeping you accountable for what you say.

      Over and over and over you say the line about being told there wasn't "irrefutable proof," yet I've researched that line. At best, we're talking about a he-said/she-said thing. That's NOT what she claims to have said...yet you continue.

      Over and over and over you say we might not have made the cuts if the 1.9 had passed. YET CUTS HAD ALREADY STARTED AND MORE WERE PLANNED! I've spoken to the actual people MAKING THE CUTS. Did you?

      That's what sets folks off, Dave. Your irresponsible insistence on repeating information that has been refuted here, on FB, at council, in news papers...EVERYWHERE. But you continue to claim YOU know better. I'm not buying it. And I'm not alone.

      That's not mean-spirited. That's reality. And here, unlike on your FB page...it's unfiltered and uncensored.

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  5. Would you please lay the hell of of this man. Don't you have anything to do (not anything better, anything). How is the question designed to do anything but light up that firestorm (by your own admission). I hope, in the interest of not pouring gasoline on your never ending attempts to set fires that he doesn't even bother to afford this any of his time and does not get sucked in.

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    1. I know...how dare we ask an elected official to explain a statement he made when trying to get elected. HOW DARE WE!

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    2. He is already elected Sue. So why is this relevant ? How does this amount to a hill of beans. I was just reading the Hyland/Meyer information on another blog . WOW. If any of that is true (which of course you will deny), what someone who is elected said during the campaign is small potatoes by comparison. Certainly something is broken here in Troy. What does THIS do to fix it? How about if you answer that question (and not with another question, but with real information of what YOU would do to fix things)?

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    3. This needs to die of death by crickets . So, for that reason, I'm out.

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    4. Dear Anon 6:00PM...Let's try to break this down.

      1. How is it relevant? Mr. Henderson was elected to be part of a team that manages our city budget. I expect...NO, demand...that our council people understand that budget. I think it's highly relevant to his work on the council and how he'll go forward year to year.

      2. How does this amount to a hill of beans in light of the Hyland/Meyer budget option. I am, in fact, VERY aware of the Hyland/Meyer information and have conversed in depth with one of the creators of that information. I do NOT deny the entirety of the document, nor the sincerity of the two gentlemen. But I fail to see how it has ANYTHING to do with what is being asked of Mr. Henderson.

      3. What does this to do fix what is broken in Troy? Well, for one thing, it requires the transparency that Mr. Henderson promised when he took office. He demanded straight answers from council members when he was a regular little citizen like us...I expect him to provide answers now.

      4. What would I do to fix things? I'm doing it. I'm working faithfully to recall an inept mayor, I'm helping provide links and resources to VALID information about the city and its workings, and I'm educating citizenry via both those endeavors.

      What are YOU doing to fix things? :)

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    5. Lay off him? He asks for this. He begs for it. For years I've watched him shoot off his mouth with totally ridiculous claims about stuff he just got totally wrong. He never admits when he is wrong, even when proof is put right in front of him. And he can't help but come stir stuff up, spin it to make him look so innocent, and then go complain about getting "beat up on a blog." He thinks because he ran, got elected and sits up there asking stupid questions week after week that he's actually doing something. Give me a break. I say never lay off him, Sue! Keep holding his feet to the fire and make him own his own words!

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    6. FYI sue, read my facebook posts the day after the meetings. I went into depth on my budget votes. Never hide never will... Just wish the folks here would give me half a day to respond before going crazy about my lack of response, or better yet, email me. I do respond to questions, I don't respond to emails slamming people.

      Dave

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    7. " I'm working faithfully to recall an inept mayor, I'm helping provide links and resources to VALID information about the city and its workings, and I'm educating citizenry via both those endeavors."..

      Basically, armchair quarterbacking... why dont you run for office?

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    8. "But I fail to see how it has ANYTHING to do with what is being asked of Mr. Henderson"

      It's a matter of scope. A question regarding the library (again) , vs, what has been indicated by that report. You should spend more time on that. In other words, bigger fish to fry.

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  6. If Dave can't take questions, he should have never run for office. I would also love to know the answer to this question because he obviously had "information" that many others who were qualified to interpret a budget didn't.

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  7. Anonymous at 6:00, it's relevant because it's the crux of what is wrong in Troy. He either deliberately mislead people into believing there was money or he was wrong. If he was wrong, does he feel morally obligated to tell us he was wrong? Or would he like us just to forget about it? No answer tells us exactly what kind of man we are dealing with. He should be held accountable for the things he said to get elected.

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  8. Now do you see, Sue, why I harp on this? Both sides want to run away from it because both sides are complicit in the status quo.

    Regarding Anonymous, don't you dare use our report to make your argument. Mr. Henderson is very much a part of the problem. He makes statements like he makes meetings, only to avoid his own commitments. His being elected is not somehow relevant? Are you insane? His being elected DEMANDS he answer the question. Or are we now going to play the same game the past crew did and call it something different?

    So yes, Sue is asking a fair and legitimate question. And I too would very much like to hear his answer. I already know the answer (yes, everything in our post is all quite true - including the city's NOT ONCE replying to us even though we had city council members trying to get a response), but I'll give him this, he's the only council member to respond so far. Him and the mayor. Although neither had any concrete thing to say.

    Maureen? Dane? You know better and you both, at least, gave us the time and respect others didn't offer. I expect you both to participate, even though I largely disagree with you both, I respect your intentions. Can't we all start there? Mr. Fleming, however, do you think you can stand aside forever and not be tainted? Mr. Teitz? Mr. Campbell?

    We're waiting (I think I hear crickets - again).

    Honestly, we're not trying to reignite the fire. We've had enough of that. We had enough of that the first time through. It just must end. Eventually. So do have to wait for another generation or can all of us adults begin to swallow hard, look in the mirror honestly, and find a path of shared mission?

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  9. Not sure this will get posted here or not... The one I left last night seemed to get ignored. I recap every meeting including the one after the budget vote on my facebook page. If you're interested in the fresh response to the question above, take a look there. Or better yet, you can email me directly, the address is on the city page. I always respond to questions, I rarely respond to demands or vicious talk.

    One of the things that is so frustraing is that I absolutely am out in front with transparency on the issues, yet a post here that isn't responded to within 10 hours gets all this furor because "I won't respond". Sue, if you truly want to provide a service for your folks, post this question when it pops up on my Tuesdays with Dave blog... You may not read it, but some of your friends do. It would answer your questions practically real time without requiring you to fire up the angry mob. But do what you want in your effort to "fix" the city. We chose different paths.

    Dave

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    1. " without requiring you to fire up the angry mob"..

      But Dave,

      "The play's the thing'.

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    2. Again, folks are rarely fired up UNTiL Dave responds.

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  10. Let's clear some things up, shall we?

    This was not my question...this was a question asked by a reader.

    There is no "angry mob," just people looking for real answers from someone who purports to "know better" than experienced professionals in the fields of finance, assessing, planning, etc.

    This isn't a matter of Dave not having time yesterday to answer soon enough; for some, it's knowing a history of Dave claiming to have answered but never really answering the right question. The Tuesday recaps? Well, all I can say is that if you are going to read those...make sure to have actually watched the meeting. See if you think both match up.

    Finally, this isn't about me. Turning the questions to me and why I'm not in office merely deflects the focus from where it belongs: on those who ARE there and who owe it to all of us to be honest, forthright, educated on the entire process, and focused more on TROY than personal political ideology.

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    1. Sue - keep up the good work!

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    2. Let's break this down shall we?

      1.) "This was not my question...this was a question asked by a reader.

      Your a funny person. If running for office isnt your cup of tea, perhaps stand up?

      2.) You really want to try and skate by saying, 'hey this wasnt my question'?

      Sue you were waiting for the firestorm by your own admission:
      "Oh, I think if history is any indication, he'll not only answer it...he'll set off a firestorm of controversy.

      Should I make popcorn"..

      3.) you cant deny (well you can deny it, but you are wrong) that you ABSOLUTELY' baited the hook here, and watied for the bite.

      4.) Its ALL about you.

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    3. It's so flattering to have such an ardent fan. :)

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    4. I just want to add that Mr. Henderson has no formal education in Government, city planning, finance, economics or any other speciality. He sells real estate, which is a pretty easy license to get. How he knew better than educated professionals with years of experience is beyond me. He must be some kind of psychic to know that real estate markets are going up and won't go back down. Cause if it goes up in never goes down, does it? When I need to make a big decision I defer to experts, don't you?

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  11. Dave Henderson has become very adept at the game of politics. Not directly answering a question by deflection is the number 1 tool in a politician's arsenal. But let's try to figure out what he's really trying to say based on his comments above.

    First, let's review the original questions:

    When Dave ran for office, he said there was enough money to fund the library without any millage increase. Does he still think that today? If not, what changed? If he does still think that, why didn't he propose to cut the city millage rate by 0.7 and fund the library for 7 day operation during the budget sessions?

    After telling us for 2+ years that there WAS enough money to fund the library WITHOUT any millage increase, Dave now says he's taking a "wait and see" approach. You see, he was ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that there was plenty of money for the library without any tax increase whatsoever. Now, he's not so sure. In fact, he probably realizes, but doesn't want to admit it, that he was wrong.

    So the answer to the question, "Does he still think that today?" is clearly "No."

    The answer to the question, "If not, what changed?" is left unanswered. I can only assume that the answer to this question would be, "I had to actually look at the budget and the dire warnings for future revenues and take a more cautious approach." You see, it's easy to criticize the decisions by others. But when you're actually charged with making the decisions, a more cautious, risk-adverse approach is usually necessary.

    Finally, this question is now moot: "If he does still think that, why didn't he propose to cut the city millage rate by 0.7 and fund the library for 7 day operation during the budget sessions?" Since Dave must now realize that he was wrong about the need for a millage, he can't propose to cut the city's tax rate by 0.7. That's why he didn't do it.

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    1. Anon 9:35AM, I think your assessment is correct.

      Here are the things I appreciate about Dave now:

      1) He does seem to be looking after the city's interests now. He did not support Janice Daniels's 7-day library resolution which would have cost an additional $1.3 million. He did vote yes on the Saturday hours, which residents wanted. He voted yes on the Michgan Municipal League membership because he saw the insurance pool and legal fund advantage for our city. He voted yes on the budget.

      All these votes were opposite to Janice Daniels's votes, who clearly is in office for self-aggrandizing and solidifying her anti-tax image.

      2) He explains his voting decisions on his FB page the day after the council meeting. This helps simmer down a certain contingent in this city.

      3) He is not involving himself in issues outside of Troy in a highly public way, even though that would be his right. I am thinking of Daniels and her Tea Party engagements and Tietz and his organizing an anti-DIA meeting.

      4) The stupid question criticism? No question is stupid, pretending to have all the answers like Daniels does is stupid.

      So in summary, I'm pleased with Dave Henderson's CM performance so far and I am not going to make him eat crow now. He is doing what I would have expected Janice Daniels to have done once she was Mayor, which is assess the material at hand and govern accordingly. But I can understand the bitterness of people who have been fighting for the library for such a long time since I've read some of Dave's past comments. I'm glad that the library has its own dedicated millage, maybe citizens of
      all political persuasions will now support its renewal.

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    2. Wow anon 9:35... thanks. I wish everyone would do a little research before pouncing. It's the same old "lets punch Dave in the chops because 5 people told us we should hate his guts and he hates libraries, the Police and city managers", game.

      It's one thing to spout off about everything you think you know as a civilian, and quite another to actually get invited to the inner sanctum and discover things.

      I ran for council because the city was threatening us with a 1.9 mil increase, and neither side was giving the whole true story. And Sue you'll say the city's story was 100% accurate, I still say no it wasn't. Therefore, the wait and see approach is non radical and appropriate. Funny how people figured I was all for reversing the .7 millage increase even before I was elected. This just shows how saying something often enough makes it so in peoples minds... I think I've heard this blog accuse others of this tactic?

      Maybe a stop over to my facebook Tuesdays with Dave is in order for more of you, and again a simple phone call now & again (or email) can help discover whats going through my mind.

      Thanks again for the acknowledgement anon...

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    3. You're welcome, Dave. I hope you can see why I'm going to vote yes to recall the Mayor. Not just the social issues that she gets herself into but it is her continual nonsensical voting and lack of adequate logical explanation for it that put me over the edge for the yes to recall decision. No need, and probably better that you not response to this :-)

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  12. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Dave,
    I am not on facebook. I know it seems incredible, but makes my teenager happy. I did not know that you had a blog that outlines and clarifies your positions and decisions on City Council.
    If you would provide me with a direct link to the answer about the money that would have been used to fund the library prior to the millage, that would be great. I am looking for specifics on line items that would have been eliminated, where and what would have been cut and how that would have been carried over and sustained over a period of at least 3-5 years (since the library is a business with over 50 employees and vendors to keep and maintain relationships with). Plus, the library can not be a year to year operation and be successful. I will look over that information and if I have further questions will email you at the city address.
    I am currently a one issue person. I am a library professional and taxpayer and have a seriously vested interest in this topic. I attended the American Library Association annual conference this year and library funding, library closure and our city's situation was a hot topic of conversation among other library professionals across the nation. I was inundated by people unknown to me, but knew all about Troy and the library fight, if you will. I spend hours of my week as a volunteer working to support the library as President of the Friends. I want long-term success for our library and stable funding. This is an important and ongoing topic as the current millage is only for 5 years.
    I am painfully careful when posting my thoughts and think that my requests have been neither angry or vicious. I will admit frustration with what feels like pivots we see from pundits and politicians when they are asked a direct question and turn the topic away from a direct answer. A direct answer to this question will involve numbers, data/stats and source information. I will then study it and draw my conclusions about the plausibility of funding the library should the millage not have passed and sustainability for the future.

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    1. "If you would provide me with a direct link to the answer about the money that would have been used to fund the library prior to the millage, that would be great".. as the saying goes 'do your homework'. You have all the infomatiion to go find this information yourself if you really want to know. If you dont want to 'be on facebook', ask your daughter to go find it and show it to you. Since you have a vested interest, this wont be a problem now, will it?

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    2. Ah, so, in other words, Dave, you're not about to lift a finger to clear this up. Why would that be? You said the info is in there--surely you must know its location--after all, it's a pretty big deal.

      Do us all a favor, councilman, point us all to the relevant info you have that shows that the money was there.

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    3. 12:03... the post above yours was not mine. I sign my name to all my posts.

      Dave

      Anyone wishing to talk about the library issue further please feel free to call or email me. All my contact information is on the city website. The free for all of a blog is not worth the effort to be honest. Rhonda or Sue somewhere got the impression I felt Rhonda was being sarcastic. Not at all. Many aren't, I only responded to her request because she wasn't and was actually trying to play nice in the park. Rhonda, when you get a chance, please do call.

      Dave

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  13. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Thank you Anon 10:01 for making my point about pivoting. Your reference to my not being on facebook and "getting my daughter to find it" (which I don't have a daughter) is exactly the tone that I have been trying to maintain is not necessary. But retorts like this make it very difficult and are just designed to wear down people's goodwill. Why can't there be civil discourse on this topic?

    I do not "have all the information to go find this myself." Because this information you speak of was some idea or financial plan in the minds of people who opposed the library millage. I looked at the city budget during that time, often. I does not mean that I have any idea WHERE in the budget this money would have been taken to support the library ACCORDING TO THEM. At that time and until the present, they have never proven this declaration of available funding. If the millage had not passed, where would the current .07 mils (plus the additional funding for day 7) have been found? So it isn't about MY homework, it is theirs. As in school, you have to show your work and how you arrived at your answer.

    I am not responsible for proving someone else's assertions made to the public both verbally and in print many times. I am asking, politely, for public officials to show me from whence they draw these conclusions and continue to stand by them. Mr. Henderson said the answers were on his site(s). I am simply asking him to do a courtesy and send the link. He is posting here regularly and copy and pasting off his own site is not that much to ask. He stands by his statements on this subject, so this shouldn't be a problem now, should it?

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    1. Here Rhonda, knock yourself out

      http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/210418259000905/

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    2. I reread this thread. Dave answered your question. Twice. You keep 'rephrasing' the question, and not liking the answer, so, a no win situation for him . Nuff said.

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  14. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Dave; I did not scroll upwards to see your 9:08am post. I think that perhaps a conversation away from this forum would be useful. I will be in touch.
    Thank you.

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    1. Rhonda,

      As a long-time library user and Troy resident I just wanted to say I am appreciative of your years of advocacy and volunteer work for the library. It must have been heartbreaking and disillusioning to have three millages fail, and see it about to be closed. I agree with Barry, above, that it is the heart of our community.

      I hope you get your private conversation with Dave and perhaps an explanation for his previous, pre-CM days stance on this issue.

      Many thanks for perservering and saving our library!

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    2. Rhonda, I look forward to the call. FYI, another reason I answered your post... it's not from anonymous. I hate when people hide behind that.

      Dave

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  15. Rhonda -

    While I respect that you may be a "one issue person", the city of Troy has many more issues than just the one you are interesed in. You have taken great time and care to research this one item that you are passionate about and that is great. However, it is not the only issue facing this city and for now, it is time to move on.

    I think it is the responsibilty of our elected representatives to, if asked, explain their reason/rationale for a vote. I do not think that it is this person's responsibilty to provide you with data, facts, figures, and line item detail. These people are elected and should generally explain a vote, he did that. This is not suppose to be a full-time plus job. It barely constitues a part-time job, but certainly comes with full-time headaches.

    While you may not like or find the level of detail you would like from Councilman Henderson, he at least responded and continued to attempt to explain his reasoning to you. Honestly, he does not have to do even that. Good luck getting Councilman Teitz to answer anything. He flies under the radar and is the one behind cutting citizen comments short and trying to protect the mayor by moving comment to the end of the meetings.

    I also think that your posts while polite, are also a bit sarcastic in tone. If every citizen asked for personal replies and links to be provided, I doubt Mr. Henderson would have time to do his other job, you know the one that pays his bills. Everybody needs to take a step back and take a deep breath and realize that we all want a great city. Let's start with real civility.

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    1. The problem comes when someone like Dave insists he knows better, but can't/won't back that up. If he were a bit more humble in his rantings, perhaps people wouldn't get so upset with his less-than-substantive explanations.

      At one time, he DID tell me that an inter-office memo from a real estate manager reporting higher sales (SALES...not VALUES) showed him that he couldn't believe in the county projections that have a 98-99% reliability rate. I think what Rhonda is asking for might be information like that -- the facts/figures/numbers that Dave bases his decisions on.

      Because he votes on issues related to our budget, it ISN'T out of line to ask for that, IMO.

      As to stating Rhonda is being sarcastic...you must know her. She is NOTHING close to it here. Not at all. Read my words...Dave's words...anyone else's words...THAT'S sarcasm. Not Rhonda. :)

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    2. "The problem comes when someone like Dave insists he knows better, but can't/won't back that up. If he were a bit more humble ...." BLAH blah bladdy blah blah.

      You just can't let it go can you? Anon 1:34 has it right. There are bigger fish to fry. It's time to move on..

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    3. Ha ha Sue... you sarcastic??? I never noticed. That's probably why we seem to be at logger heads most of the time :0)

      Dave

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    4. But the thing is, Dave, at the end of the day...the ONLY reason I write, educate, share links, etc., on any of this is to hold elected officials accountable and to encourage the electorate at large to stay engaged. You say you are passionate about this city...it's clear I am, too. And I don't believe one needs to hold office to effect change

      Words have consequences. Actions have consequences. Everyone should choose both wisely.

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    5. I spent plenty of time singing the blues about how I felt the millage was being jammed down our throats without even a fight from the council. In a bad economy, you can't ride it out on the backs of the people solely and thats what looked like was happening. I woke up one day and realized, I can keep whining or I can step up and actually take part in the process. To my surprise, here I am because there are a lot of people, just like me, that felt the same way. Believe me, I knw from experience, rabble rousing is far less productive than taking action, and taking action is far more gratifying.

      Enjoy

      Dave

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  16. My point is that there are literally hundreds of decisions a councilperson must make each year, there is no way that someone can explain what goes into each decision, nor should they.

    If each concerned citizen or one that follows Troy government (this probably only really numbers in the several thousand) asks a question of a councilperson, they would do nothing but explain prior votes and would never have time to be adequately prepared for the next issue coming up the pike.

    If Dave Henderson, through his profession, has information that he believes is useful in helping make his decisions on council, then he has every right to use it. He is also not required to make this information public. He is under no obligation to provide documentation to prove anything to you, no matter how much you may feel you are entitled to it.

    You are entitled to your vote and entitled to make it each and every time Mr. Henderson's name appears on a ballot, beyond that he truly does not have to answer your questions. Maybe we should be thanking him for being as approachable as he has been and for being willing to take the brow beating in the social media that he has taken thus far.

    So, thank you Councilman Henderson. Thank you for being willing to step-up and run for public office while most only want to sit on the side-lines and arm chair quarterback. Thank you for your blog that explains your vote and your rationale for that vote that is so timely written. Thank you for being willing to answer our questions and bring our conerns to city managment. Lastly, thank you for knowing what so many of us seem to have forgotten, even though we teach our children this from a young age; there are no silly or stupid questions, merely silly or stupid people who are afraid to ask them.

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    1. Thanks anon 4:27, my pleasure

      Dave

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  17. Rhonda HendricksonAugust 6, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    As stated above, I will take this conversation offline. I cannot get my head around the fact that when you are trying to get some information in earnest you are met with "move on", you are "rephrasing", "knock yourself out", "do your own homework", or you are "sarcastic."
    So, I will contact Dave Henderson and when it is convenient for both of us, I hope we can sit down and have a dialogue on this subject and others.

    I am fully aware that there are many issues facing this city and I have thoughts on all of them that I debate with my family, friends and neighbors. But since I care about the library and it seems to be a flashpoint, I pay attention. What is problematic here is the library millage shenanigans set off a firestorm of ill-will for people that never paid attention before. Me included. It appears that the inability to discuss the elephant in the room is what is festering under the surface. People felt betrayed and were incredulous at what was being said and done in this matter. For the seasoned politician or gadfly, it was business as usual. But for the rest of us, it was not. I mistakenly thought when I asked the question here of Dave, if we could just get this one asked and answered fully once and for all, maybe folks could settle down and on to other things. I was wrong.

    I have moved on, make no mistake about that. I have faced way too much family tragedy and loss in the past year for this to even make the top 10 list of worries for me. It is the spirit of this town I fear for. I don't know if or when this community will recover from it all. There is a deep chasm that continues to widen with every ugly public comment session, posting and mailer.

    I can say I have never met Dave Henderson in person. I never even heard of him until he ran for City Council. I can only judge him on his comments in council, his positions and votes and things he posts online. He does not know me. So, perhaps we can meet and hopefully he will allow me to report on our discussion. I have been civil, respectful and patient and will continue to act in that manner.

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    1. I stand behind Rhonda. What Dave will never fess up to is how hard he undermined the library votes with ridiculous statements that made no sense--like nobody needs a library 'cause we can all have Kindles (which cost three times the amount of the annual millage would have). I have a Kindle. They are expensive to operate. He didn't know what he was talking about yet that didn't stop him from continuously saying things that hurt the library.

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    2. Sharon, I'll only answer that with this. The Kindle statement was made when the city was asking for a 1.9 mil increase to save the library. That would have generated $ 9 million a year, far more than was required we ultimately discovered, once all the cuts were made... just imagine if that millage had passed, and the pressure was taken off to right size the city operations. We'd still be wasting 1.2 mils of your money and my money. almost double what the library millage that passed is. All I was asking for was proof, nothing lying in the weeds (my new favorite term), and it wasn't provided. I used another snarky quip about librarians (which I have since apologized to the individual who was most offended by it) at the time. No offense was intended, I'm simply not allowed the same art of sarcasm for effect as Sue and others. Trust me I've learned that.

      I stand behind Rhonda as well, and thought I had answered the question, she needs further clarification and I've offered a phone conversation, heck I'll meet one on one to discuss it... theres a lot to talk about, We've lived this for two plus years.

      Dave

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    3. Not to split hairs (though I know one of my biggest fans loves to say I do), but those statements were made leading up to the November Proposal 1 ballot measure. I know because I have screen shots of them. :) And when you said them, there was NO HINT that you weren't perfectly serious. Were the statements sarcasm? Yes. But you MEANT THEM, and they were hurtful to library staff and citizens who literally gave all they had for that fight. To retract them after the fact and act as though it was all part of a joke and/or object lesson is disingenuous.

      The bottom line is that your opinion will not waver, no matter how much evidence you're given. The opinions of lots of us will not waver because we've done the hard and deep research into all aspects of the issues and believe the majority of the evidence. So we have to figure out how to go from here.

      In so doing, let's remember that words and actions have consequences. Choose them both wisely.

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    4. Maybe the statements were "retroactively" undone. That's a thing now.

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    5. "let's remember that words and actions have consequences. Choose them both wisely"..

      Its probably just me, but doesn't that sounds a little thinly veiled....

      Nah, it's not just me. It IS thinly veiled. Good job on that deniability aspect.

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  18. Over? Over?

    In the immortal words of my fellow Faberian, Bluto Blutarski, "nothing is over until we say it is."

    In other words, we won't be done with this until they show us the money. Hey, another movie quote.

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  19. And another thing... As Dave whined to people that he had to cut back and buy an old Cadillac, my household budget was falling to bits. With elementary school kids in the house I knew I needed the library. His Kindle comment was elitist, ridiculous and irrelevant.
    Dave, you asked me last week if I would apologize for calling you stupid, which is odd, because you keep telling me that you don't care what I think. I don't know whether I said you were stupid or said stupid things. If I said the latter, I was right. If I said the former, I'll say it differently. You think shallowly and talk loooong before you think.
    I appreciate that you do keep the lines of communication open, however, you constantly say horrific, insulting, generalizations about GROUPS of people, things that show a very shallow understanding of complex issues, and then when you are caught you wink, wink and lay on the charm.
    Guess what? That charm may have gotten you elected, it may even make me like you a little bit, but it doesn't wipe away the horrible, inaccurate things you said and did to prevent us from saving the library. If it hadn't been for you and Janice Daniels we WOULD have a 7-day-a-week library.
    But you guys are just too obsessed with tax pennies to care about the common good.
    That is what I believe.

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    1. Horrific? Really?

      Dave

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    2. Sue, Did I mean that we need to look at all salaries across the board, and not just cherry pick a line item to extract from a budget? Absolutely. Did I literally mean I could get myself a set of horn rimmed specs and run a library? Absolutely not, and if you of all people can't see the sarcasm in all that in an effort to drive home a point, you are being disingenuous. I was condemning at the time, taking the whole library out of the budget instead of looking at big salaries across the board, and pensions, and union contracts and punishing the people by eliminating the library instead of spreading the budget woes evenly across all departments.

      More importantly... I also agree about the comment above. What exactly do you mean words and actions have consequences. I've screen saved that threat as well. Maybe you'd like to explain yourself a little more in depth. Threats to politicians are not taken lightly, and I mean that in all sincerity. And personally I don't fool around when it comes to that sort of rhetoric, trust me. Any thoughts before I forward that?

      Dave

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    3. Dave, feel free to forward that to Chief Mayer. It's nothing more than what I teach my children. WHAT THE HECK IN THAT IS A THREAT?

      I'm shaking my head in astonishment. That you would take that leap is...it's...there are no words. You've gone too far.

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    4. Henderson,

      My god, you're a raving narcissist. Nobody has threatened you!

      You can't handle the fact that people now recognize how full of crap you are, and you now realizes that a real estate license doesn't qualify you be be a councilman!

      Jig's up, Dave! You're Troy's version of Dan Quayle.

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    5. Anon, 10:44, are you a law enforcement officer? What qualifies YOU to make the call? I hope this shakes out properly, but you, anon 10:44 are only expressing your opinion to which you entitled. Doesnt make you right. If he feels that it is a threat, then, he has every right to call it that, and do what he needs to do.

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    6. Dave, dear, someone who lives down the street from me once said he was going to get a gun and teach me something over the library issues.
      Pull up your big girl panties and just stop talking. Save yourself.
      Stop!

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    7. Anon @ 11:04,

      Am I a law enforcement officer? Nope. But I can read!

      This is what the Michigan Court of Appeals defined as a "threat":

      "Those statements in which the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals."

      There was no threat here. This is just Dave being made uncomfortable with a constituent asking him hard questions.

      He can't answer them, so he claims that he's being threatened! It's Davey's way of shutting down the conversation.

      But I'm not fooled. Dave's a coward that cannot admit that HE WAS WRONG.

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    8. Seems like what we have here is the classic kobyashi maru Dave. Time to put on the cloaking device and get the warp outta here.

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    9. Sue- When I read your "actions and words have consequences", I thought that is exactly what I tell my kids. Then I read you stated the same thing. My kids consider it a good lesson, not a threat. Dave, I want to quote a good friend of yours, "would you like a little cheese with that whine"? If you are wasting police time and taxpayer money on this, shame on you. God save us from these tax fighters who cost us more money at every turn. I hope the police gave him a stern talking to about frivolous 911 calls. Geez I would say it's like dealing with a teenager, but mine have better judgement!

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  20. What I find interesting is I have been trying to get an answer from Janice Daniels to this same question, long before this post started evolving. She is just blatantly ignoring it or just refuses to answer it since there never was money for a seven day library.

    Dave says he got involved after the 1.9 mil question and that was when the cuts started. Why then was he still so adamant that the money existed when the proposal for a dedicated millage of .98 with a dedicated library board was presented and even with the .7 mil.

    I remember sitting in a Troy Citizens United presentation about their perception of the budget and not needing a millage. That presentation could not explain this either, though try as they must by using parts of the budget.

    I agree that this is a simple question to answer. Where is the money that the campaigns so viciously insisted was there? There were even claims that it was "hidden." Well, why don't they step up to the plate and explain? Where's that "transparency" they talk about?

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  21. Thank you, Rhonda, for your due diligence on this. I, too, have asked for the numbers Mr. Henderson and the anti-millage crowd claim shows them "the money is there."

    I have personally met with Mr. Henderson, before he decided to run. He was very vocal about our police department, among other topics. And I truly sought to create more understanding of the realities of municipal work. I took my personal time to do so. I have taken time to meet with another very loud voice in the social media discourse who told me he had not even taken time to watch/review the Budget Study Sessions. I keep trying for rationality.

    One time, Mr. Henderson shared with me the numbers regarding sales of homes. They were going up. Not the values, but the actual number of homes being sold. While this is a hopeful sign, this is not a data point on which to make a fiscally responsible decision about the city budget. And it fails to recognize how long it will be before the numbers will positively impact the operating budget.

    As I recall, Mr. Henderson did share some numbers in one of the council meeting packets showing projections from a real estate perspective. I can't recall which meeting, though. I do recall they were more optimistic than the data Troy's City Assessor uses.
    As a fiscal conservative, I'm trusting the more conservative and proven numbers Mr. Licari brought to the table. Not because I am being mean to Mr. Henderson, but because the accuracy of those projections is proven. And, well, I'm a fiscal conservative.

    As a point of comparison, I have read that Wayne County made some budget decisions based on overly optimistic projections. I think it's important we learn from that error as they are in the very position I seek to prevent Troy from being in.

    Rhonda, the point is, I appreciate your attempting to find the facts of the matter. We need this. This will help our community go back to dispassionately and pragmatically managing itself going forward.

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  22. Why can't Dave Henderson just admit he was wrong about the need for the 0.9885 or 0.7 mill rate increases? Admitting you're wrong, when you are, is an important component of being a good leader.

    Just say it Dave: "I was wrong about there being plenty of money to keep the library open without a tax rate increase." You'll feel better when you do and people will gain respect for you!

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