Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I haven't forgotten about Troy's library

It's been two months since I last posted about the plight of libraries in metro Detroit, and even longer since I posted specifically about Troy's library. This is somewhat ironic, considering the advice I gave you.
Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be lots more on this issue between now and August.
I was right. Since the election is a week from today, the campaigns for and against the millage are heating up.

I'll start with this video, which was posted to Keep Troy Strong by Sharon.

Troy Library needs you. Vote Yes August 2nd.

This millage question is the first one where I've seen commericials, such as the one I embedded here. It's also the first library millage where I found out that there will be a televised debate.
Representatives on both sides of the debate surrounding a proposed millage to fund the Troy Public Library will have a chance to make their case this week during a televised meeting.

The meeting, which is being presented by Community Media Network TV and The Oakland Press, is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Wednesday, will be held at the station's studio, 1230 Souter Blvd. and is open to the public. Viewers will be permitted to call in with questions at 248-589-7778.
If you live in Comcast's service area in southeast Oakland County, you can watch the debate on channel 18 on Comcast cable. If you don't or, like me, you do but don't have Comcast, you can watch it online at Community Media Network TV.

Still more from the article on Troy Patch.

Joining moderator and legal analyst Charlie Langton will be Phillip Kwik, head of public services at the Troy library; Janice Daniels, who will represent anti-millage group Troy Citizens United; Bonnie Caprara of the Oakland Press; Troy Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Kerwin, and Sue Martin, representing Troy Residents Unified for a Strong Troy (TRUST), which supports the proposed millage.

The discussion will precede an Aug. 2 special election authorized by Troy's governing body that will allow voters to decide the fate of a proposed 0.7-mill property tax levy to provide a dedicated funding source to the city's library. If approved, the tax would be levied for five years and generate about $3.1 million in its first year.
A live televised debate co-sponsored by The Oakland Press--that tells me that this is a big deal. How big a deal? Big enough that the local major party chapters have become involved.
Troy Citizens United is joined by the Troy-Clawson Republican Forum in opposing the library millage.
Kathy Martin, chair of the Troy Democratic Club and a founder of TRUST, said last week that she believes the groups leading the opposition to the library millage care less about taxes than they do a political agenda. "They want to take over Troy and have it be a base for the extreme right wing for the state of Michigan," Martin said. "There are people who are trying to manipulate for political control in the city ... they are trying to confuse voters."
The Troy Democratic Club is one of the two largest in the county along with the Pontiac Democratic Club, so it getting involved is definitely a big deal.

In case you're wondering what the business community in Troy thinks, they're supporting the millage.
The board of directors of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, per the recommendation of its Economic Development Committee, has approved a resolution in support of the city’s millage request of 0.7 mill for five years to sustain the Troy Public Library’s operations.
The resolution is the result of a thorough evaluation, and the acknowledgment that a library is essential to the long-term economic viability of Troy, according to board members.

“Quality of life features are frequently key drivers when businesses look at locations to house their operations,” said 2011 Economic Development Committee Co-Chairman Jordan Kotubey of International Academy of Design and Technology.

“The lack of a library would place Troy at a significant disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining businesses. It is for this reason that the committee felt strongly that the Troy Chamber board members, as representatives of the nearly 700 member companies, should support the passage of the millage.”
If things were business as usual, the local GOP would fall in step with the local Chamber of Commerce and there would be no problem passing the millage. These are not business as usual times.

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