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Friday, October 12, 2012

Illogical Logic

Listed below is an example of  the logic used by Mayor Daniels and her supporters regarding stances of Troy residents like me over the last two years.

We've shared some of this before -- check out this post from over a year ago.

Those who are responsible for sharing any or all of this logic also include a current council member, frequent speakers at council meetings (names can be found in archived council meeting minutes, like for October 8, 2012); a failed school board candidate and Republican precinct delegate (who is also the main mouthpiece for Troy Citizens United on their current Facebook group page); and a controversial Troy Patch blogger.  Many times their inaccuracies have been pointed out and corrected, and yet they often continue to willfully spread them anyway.

Here is what these individuals and others have shared about residents like me:

We supported the Feb. 2010 millage = We must be tax-and-spend Liberals.

We supported the Nov. 2010 Proposal 1 attempt to fund an independent library and the Aug. 2011 library millage request = We must be tax-and-spend Liberal Crybabies.

We believe public libraries are the right of a citizen and should be available to all residents of a municipality = We must be tax-and-spend Liberal Crybaby Socialists.

We support our TPD and the salaries they earn, and we appreciate the work they do, like with the distracted driving ordinance, for example = We must be tax-and-spend Liberal Crybaby Socialist Communists.

Some of us are teachers, factory workers, police and firemen = We must be tax-and-spend Liberal Crybaby Socialist Communist Union Thugs.

We were appalled that our Mayor talked about human sexuality in ANY REGARD with our teens, especially when sharing inaccurate information on that topic = Not only must we be tax-and-spend Liberal Crybaby Socialist Communist Union Thugs, but we CLEARLY are not a Bible believing Christians.

We support RECALLINGING JANICE DANIELS = We must be tax-and-spend Liberal Crybaby Socialist Communist Union Thugs who CLEARLY are not a Bible believing Christians, and  we OBVIOUSLY are a Hate-Filled Losers with bitterness in our hearts.

Mayor Daniels and her supporters have a compulsion to boil down ideas to juvenile and simplistic soundbites.  That's because the truth of the matter is often confused by their spin, inaccuracies and rewriting of history and events.  Have you heard the Mayor claim she totally supports the library and its seven day operation?  Then ask her why she fought against every measure to keep it funded in a fiscally responsible way, and then even voted down HER OWN RESOLUTION to keep it open on Saturdays.  They're all about the empty buzzwords and catch phrases.

Here, then, is a phrase for you, Mayor...SHOW US THE MONEY!  You know, the money you claim was there to run five libraries.  More on that below...

Mayor Daniels and her supporters have a compulsion to inaccurately portray complex budgetary details and fiscal obligations in ways that make it look like there's always more than we need and that we're over-taxed.  That's because they find the process overwhelming and out of their grasp.
Now, I haven't been fully engaged for very long...about three years.  But for that ENTIRE TIME, I knew who Mayor Daniels was because she spoke or showed up for nearly every meeting I attended.  I saw her on the live broadcast on the nights I wasn't there, and I had read all her (inaccurate) op-eds. That woman was ALL OVER the budget of the City of Troy.  She claimed to have a business background, and touted her number sense.  She claimed there was oodles of much that we could run FIVE LIBRARIES with the surplus.  Except that now that she's the Mayor...she can't tell us where that money is.  She complained that she wasn't given enough time to learn the budget before the study sessions. 

THAT'S who you want managing your municipal budget?  Someone who told you she knew better than the previous manager and council, but NOW claims it's too hard?

Mayor Daniels and her supporters have a compulsion to judge individuals solely on perceived labels and/or job titles -- often without ever having met many of those whom they judge.  That's because they cannot see beyond meaningless labels to look at the entire picture of an issue and/or a person's beliefs.  One frequent speaker and supporter of the Mayor has been hounding me for weeks, asking me repeatedly, "Aren't you a teacher?  You're a TEACHER, right?  Yeah.  Yeah, I thought so.  Huh.  Teacher."  And then he'd smirk and walk away.  Seems he has the whole problem in Troy figured out:  IT'S THE UNIONS!  Those who support a Troy run with integrity, decency and honesty HAVE A LIBERAL UNION AGENDA JUST LIKE ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES!  Apparently that I a am a teacher proves it, and that means I MUST be the root of the problem in Troy.

Except I've never been a member of a union, teach in a Christian school, and I'm joined by over 8,000 who signed the petition to recall the Mayor and countless others who support it as well...

We need to put an end to this ignorant, mean-spirited and disingenuous bullying. 

We need to begin to unify the divide it has created in our city.

We NEED to RECALL JANICE DANIELS to set all of that in motion.

Vote YES to RECALL JANICE DANIELS on November 6, 2012.


  1. I think this is a seriously wonderful blog entry. Thank you very much for writing it. I have been thinking exactly the same things.

    I have noticed a lot more chatter on the patch lately, mostly with made up names. You describe many of them very well. There is no use of facts, just innuendo, name calling, and labels.

    1. A new podcast, DecodeDC (run by Andrea Seabrook, formerly of NPR), has an excellent episode discussing how the opponents of the Affordable Care Act, who felt it imprudent to say things like, "we don't think we should force hospitals to insure people with preexisting conditions", instead used emotive language (which the podcast referred to as "government takeover death panels") to encourage people to be resistant to the concept of a national health care law even if they agreed with every single detail in the law. It seems that the Daniels camp is pursuing a similar strategy - if you disagree with her, you must be a LIBERAL, and you wouldn't want to be a LIBERAL, would you (although that line of argument's wasted on me - I'm fairly content with my liberalism, as much as I'd like to see changes in the party championing it)?

  2. Oh but Janny didn't mean it. She waa just being whimsical.

  3. I agree w/ Anon 10:10, you captured the essense of this furious slapping on of labels by this group. As far as I'm concerned they are the ones who are hate-filled and angry as an upset wasps nest that the Recall made it to the ballot. I think they regard Martin Howrylak as their hero because he is a CPA, supposedly can read budgets, so anything he says is golden. I think Howrylak is an extremist, his top issue listed on his website is "Introduce a mandatory phase-out of the personal income tax" (misc fact: 47 states in the union have a personal income tax). Is he kidding, in these economic times? Where is he going to get the revenue to make up for it? I asked one of his supporters about this, and he said he didn't know, but "Martin is very smart, I'm sure he has that figured out".

    1. I'm a CPA too. I think it's important to bear in mind that CPAs signed off on Enrons accounting. Every profession has its cranks. Who has Howylrak ever worked for? What is his résumé?

    2. He has worked for his dad. Martin went over the city budget with my spouse who is a finance/econ major and is a bankruptcy expert. My spouse thought either Martin didn't know what he was talking about or that he was lyiing. Either way, bad for the voters. Oh, and my spouse is a fiscal conservative.

  4. Let's not forget that they believe that police, fire, military and veterens are "looters" because their salaries are paid for with tax dollars. Ms Daniels has stated that they should work as volunteers (for free) because they have "services" in their title. You know, police services, fire services, military services. Just like those who provide medical, legal or any professional services work for free (?)- ya, right! She is just not very smart and her own financial problems cast a shadow over all her decisions with our money.

    1. That's a pretty standard argument I've heard by so-called "fiscal Conservatives." They hear the word "public servant" and honestly feel that "shouldn't be getting rich on our tax dollars!"

      Um...I've seen their salaries compared to public sector. They AREN'T getting rich on our tax dollars. They've suffered along with public sector and they don't see rises in salaries/benefits over the long term at the same rate as public sector...even though they are often far more educated/certified/experienced than many in the public sector.

      But you know...they should be for nearly free...and be so happy to do it. Right.

    2. Sue, I am a fiscal conservative and you're right, I don't honestly think that public servants should be getting rich on our tax dollars. I believe that they should be compensated fairly and eguitably.

      If I may take the liberty, I think in your second paragraph where you mention "public sector" several times that you meant to say "private sector".

      I don't know if public sector personnel are often far more educated/certified/experienced or not. If I was to accept that as a fact, I would have to caution that formal education "isn't everything". For example, Bill Gates and many of the tech giants are college drop outs. Before I get some nasty knee jerk comments back from other posters(not you), I am not anti-education. For the record, I, my spouse and all our kids are college grads. As far as experience goes, I think that would only be true if the average age of public sector personnel is higher than for those in the private sector. I don't know why that would be, but if it is, than your point on that would be valid. I won't comment on certification because I have no useful knowledge about that.

    3. Oh. Ooops. Yes, I meant private sector. Too much multi-tasking, I guess.

      Anyway...there is evidence that public sector employees are often paid at a lower rate than those in PRIVATE sector for comparable jobs...often have more education and are required (in some positions) to have specialized certifications...and do not see the same level of pay raises/compensation that private sector did/does. However, they often DO have benefits packages that are better than in some private sector jobs, and that's where some balance is achieved.

      That's the point I was trying to make.

    4. And this is exactly why I hate social media. It is too easy for us to miss each other's points. Let me try again.

      I was basically agreeing with you in my first paragraph. Then I added that: "I believe they should be compensated fairly and equitably.". From your response, perhaps you thought I was disputing how much they are currently paid. I wasn't, I think that is a moving target as we adjust to the global economy. It all depends on which city and/or what company made the last cut. Sometimes the City of Troy will be above their peers and sometimes below, I would speculate.

      And, I wasn't disputing that public sector employees are often paid at a lower rate for comparable jobs. I'm a little older than you, so you may not know that at one time the prevailing wisdom was that if you want job security, Lincoln benefits and are willing to accept a lower salary then a government job is for you. It's only very recently that the job security benefit has been shattered.

      So I guess I wasn't so much questioning your premise, as I was disputing your proof statement regarding "educated/experienced". I pretty much agree with your last post with that caveat.

      Apparently my electronic communications skills leave something to be desired. Perhaps I should stick to verbal communications so that I can be assured that I make myself clear.

    5. I know that at least five years ago, the average Government worker was more educated than the general population. Not saying that means anything, just saying it may still be true. The Goverment hires many, many scientists and engineers. Think NASA, CDC, Dept of Agriculture, Veterens Affairs (Drs. and nurses), etc. The Government has also eliminated alot of jobs that require less education, like office managers or admins due to technology.

    6. Anonymous 8:05 PM, I'd advise you to reread our posts. We're not discussing the educational level of the average government worker versus the general population. We're discussing the level of education for COMPARABLE jobs in the public and private sectors.

      So your post is really not relevant. I should leave it at that, but I have to tell you that I find the latter part of your post quite odd. Do you think the private sector does not hire many, many scientists and engineers? Do you think Drs. at Veterans affairs are more educated than those at Henry Ford Hospital? Do you think the scientists and engineers at NASA, CDC, Dept. of Agriculture have more education than their peers at Boeing, Amgen and Monsanto? I don't think so!

      And finally, are you not aware that the private sector has also eliminated alot of jobs that require less education, like office managers or admins due to technology?

      Those are rhetorical questions that don't require a response.

    7. I believe teachers teaching above elementary level are required to get their Masters degree, and all teachers seem to attend workshops to keep their skills current...I'm not a teacher but have relatives that are.

      Having had two children who have gone through the Troy public school system, I can say whatever they are paid (no matter the downturn of my own personal economic situation in the private sector) they deserve every penny of their salary. I had a child who I despaired of ever catching up to his grade level, until one talented third grade teacher made the difference. Or when I would come to pick up my other child in 2nd grade, and witnessed the teacher making use of every moment before the bell rang to do addition chanting exercises with the children while they were lined wonder my child picked up math so well. Or the 8th grade English teacher who had my son reading Oliver Twist and Tom Sawyer with avid pleasure. These were all teachere who had over 20 years experience and deserved whatever pay raises they had received. What is more important than our children, it's our collective future. It breaks my heart to see the Tea Party contingent here in Troy attacking the salaries and benefits of public employees, our teachers among them. But I guess if you home school and have a gun to protect yourself, what need do you have of teachers and police?

  5. It's interesting that, regardless of party affiliation, when one can't counter their opposition's positions you turn to name calling, scare tactics, misrepresentation of the facts and over generalization. Clearly, the labels the Mayor and her supporters have placed on opponents, Troy public employees and city staff are intended to create an emotional appeal, not a factual one. The facts are not on her side. Now, don't think for a minute this is a tactic exclusively the approach of conservatives. Just look at the TV ads for the proposals, the debates and national candidates. Funny how one can be so critical of the other side for employing this tactic, while self-righteously doing the same thing.
    Mayor Daniels has proposed nothing that is intended to stabilize the financial challenges Troy face. All the work was done by Szerlag and his staff and endorsed by the previous council; the city continues to follow that plan.
    This fact can be confirmed.
    It's my hope that people will see beyond this tactic and party politics and vote to recall her. Maybe Troy can demonstrate some political sanity in the midst of all the craziness.

  6. What is really interesting is that Martin wants a "mandatory phase-out of personal income tax" which means then he would not only NOT pay property taxes (he lives at home with his parents) but also no income tax. Now there's someone you want deciding how your money should be spent!!

    1. First time I heard Howrylak mention this mandatory phase-out of personal income tax was at the LWV candidate forum. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, went home checked his website, and yes, there it was. Googled it to see if this was a widely held view or movement in the MI GOP, no hits. Ummm, how are we to pay for road up-keep, education, state police, various state level agencies...I know he's for "small government", but does he want to make government disappear altogether? I really think THEY (Troy Tea Party) are the extremists.

      My fear is that Martin Howrylak will get into office on the coattails of Romney's projected win. It's just easier for people to pull the Republican lever (or, in this day and age, color the bubble) and be done with their voting.

    2. I believe Mr. Howrylak used the wrong phrase; there is a movement to repeal the "personal property tax". That tax allows city's to tax business equipment; hence, Martin's quip about his "desk" being taxed. This repeal is being supported by the GOP; but, there has been an acknowledgement that the revenue must be replaced. The issue is still being discussed and nothing has been decided as of yet. As an accountant he should know about this because businesses are allowed to depreciate equipment for tax purposes. Clearly, its repeal, in light of property value decrease and revenue sharing cuts would devastate many cities.
      Now, if I'm correct, Mr. Howrylak's failure to use the correct terminology (and allowing that error to be placed on his website and campaign literature) could be an example of his lack of understanding of the issues and/or his failure to pay attention to detail. "Income" tax is just that; a tax on income. If he's really advocating a gradual elimination of the state's income tax on individuals, is he proposing that sales tax be the only source of revenue? He should be challenged on this and asked to either acknowledge his error or lay out his funding plan.

    3. I'm pretty sure that they were separate issues for him. I attended the LWV forum and heard his "desk" complaint about having to pay personal property tax as a business owner, and then in his closing statement he mentioned the phase-out of personal INCOME tax, along with the comment that it hasn't been around that long why should people (not business owners) accept it? I thought his "elimination of income tax" thing was some remnant leftover from his Libertarian days. At any rate, it'd probably never fly in the state legislature, just like IMO, Romney's proposed elimnation of taxes on interest and dividend income would not pass. But too many people fail to see you can't eliminate taxes from one pot without taking from another pot. I did email Howrylak's campaign about the personal income tax and will post back when I get a reply.

    4. Martin never replied back to me about the personal income tax phase out, but here it is in the Free Press:

      • District 41 (Troy, Clawson): This open seat should be a guaranteed Republican win, but Republican primary survivor and former City Councilman Martin Howrylak, 37, is about as conservative as they come, promoting elimination of both the corporate and PERSONAL INCOME TAX, along with tax credits for parents whose children attend private school or home school.

      Caps in the above are mine. Geez with all this elimination of tax where is he going to get money to give out tax credits to non-public school parents? His CPA magic is at it again!


  8. The Troy Citizens United Facebook page recently posted a link to to the Vote No Recall website. Of course, it is not based on any facts. It appeals to the emotional vote; people who are not following the recall and do not want to take the time to do their homework.

    One bullet quotes: "Working with Oakland County leadership to make more services available for your tax dollars."

    Another bullet: " Voting against City budgets that are wasteful and out of control." What are they talking about?

    It was the uninterested voter that did not vote that allowed this election to happen. It was also the voters who believed the lies that allowed this to happen. THank you for this website, I try to make others aware of it whenever I can.