Over the last year of your service to our city, I've seen you grow and learn. I've seen you attempt to ask the right questions of yourself and city administration. I've heard words come out of your mouth that hint at a new understanding regarding the city budget and its limitations. I've seen you reach out to meet with local residents --- and though you often refer to them as political "activists," they really are no different from you: concerned Troy citizens wanting what is best for all of us.
But (and you knew there was a "but" coming, right?) in the past, you were one of the loudest voices claiming that we didn't need the library millage. You said the money was there in the fund balance to support it without a new tax, and that once in office you'd ask to refund the millage to the people.
You stated that not only did we not need the millage, we likely wouldn't need it to be renewed in five years. Honestly, I understand how you could have come to that conclusion. I understand the atmosphere of mistrust and misinformation that was being fed by all forces in the city.
Like many others, I studied every detail of that budget. Everything I pored over told me you were wrong about "then." And I sincerely hope that you are right about five years from now. Because I can't think of anyone in this city who would be displeased with allowing that particular millage to disappear. Having it do so would mean we've recovered enough to continue funding our world-class library from increased revenues.
It would be a win on all levels.
So we disagreed about then...and we share the same hope for later.
But (another "but!") let's look at NOW. Recently, you listened to Cathy Russ present her strategic library plan, which included the possible necessity of hiring more employees. You said that you'd support the hiring of new library employees as long as it was covered by that same library millage. Are you beginning to recognize that taking it from fund balance wouldn't have been wise...and that being able to use the reasonable funding from the millage was best?
Given all of that, we want to ask you something: Is it possible that you were wrong about that millage? Can you see that the money was never there?
And if you can...will you say it out loud?
I do not ask seeking to embarrass you, nor do I ask with rude intent. Rather, I ask with heart felt sincerity because I believe that you wish to do good for our city. I ask with the desire for your help in continuing to patch the divide. The divide is slowly closing, but that could still use a bit more TLC. I ask so that the last traces of mistrust and misinformation can be wiped away.
Please, Mr. Henderson, consider admitting you were wrong.