Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Save the library, save Troy," continued

In our previous installment, I wrote:
Troy City Council asks for August library ballot question
Special to The Oakland Press
If the council formally adopts the ballot language at its next meeting on Monday, the council will have to vote on a measure to keep the library open at least until the special election. The library was originally scheduled to be closed after April 30. The council called off the closure last month until it had an opportunity to discuss ways to keep it open.
Here's to the City Council approving the measure and putting it on the ballot in August. That's a nice "maybe."

"Next Monday" was yesterday, and there's no maybe about it.

The Oakland Press: UPDATED: Troy City Council approves August library ballot question, budget
By Bonnie Caprara
Special to The Oakland Press
May 17, 2011
TROY— The Troy Public Library will remain open — at least until August when voters will be asked to approve a 0.70 mill, five-year dedicated library millage.
That's good news right there, as the city found the money in its budget to keep the library open until the vote.
TROY— The Troy Public Library will remain open — at least until August when voters will be asked to approve a 0.70 mill, five-year dedicated library millage.
That's the next "maybe." Is it ideal? I'll let the Free Press tell that story.
That amount would fund a library that is “less than the full-service, award-winning library we had a few years ago,” but more than a bare minimum of library services, “which I thought was a good compromise,” Mayor Louise Schiling told the council members.
That's not ideal, but it's a lot better than closing the library for the next fiscal year.

Speaking of Mayor Schilling, she had more to say in the article from The Oakland Press about why August and not November.
“I think August is the right time to have this election,” said Mayor Louise Schilling, who proposed the ballot question at last week’s Troy City Council meeting. “It would be a clear vote on one issue. It would not be confused with other things on the ballot. This community has asked time and time again to have a clean vote.”
When I first wrote about the plight of the local libraries here in metro Detroit, I made the following remark about the scheduled closing of the Romulus Public Library:
The millage defeated in February included support for other services and would have cost residents between $150 and $300 in increased taxes.
Looks like the library was collateral damage.
Looks like that was the case in Troy, too.
Councilman Martin Howrylak presented an alternate resolution to place the ballot question on the Nov. 8 general election ballot in an effort to bypass the $90,000 cost of holding a special election on Aug. 2. Councilman Wade Fleming was the only councilmember to support Howrylak’s resolution. They both voted against the Aug. 2 ballot proposal.
Yeah, but while the November election would have cost less, it would have resulted in the library closing, or costing the city more to keep it open. The first way would have defeated the purpose, while the second would have been penny wise and pound foolish. Besides, as the Free Press story mentioned, "Residents who spoke at recent forums said they wanted the issue resolved quickly, and the lack of a secure future for the library was hurting property values, those in the majority said." Even the most conservative councilmember should appreciate the property values argument.

Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be lots more on this issue between now and August.


  1. "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." — Oliver Wendell Holmes

    What's the matter, Marv, don't like civilization?