Monday, October 12, 2009

A Moment for Troy Michigan

The city I now call home is at crisis point. Troy is by most estimates an affluent, increasingly diverse, city sitting just a few miles north of Detroit. It is known for its amenities and for being a safe city. It is also a city with low taxes -- in part due to the businesses that helped provide a sound financial basis. But the economy and a loss of businesses and homeowners have cut into this tax base, and the services, from police to the library are in danger of either cut backs or elimination.

The current City Council is dominated by an ultra-right group that apparently run each election cycle as "Tax Fighters." They have put up a group of three to run for the three vacant seats on the council, you can vote for them if you would like to see the city of Troy dismantled all in the name of a few dollars in tax savings. There are, it appears, other ideological issues at play as well. To give you a sense of this: I know that a few years ago when a group that included Hindus, Jews, Muslims, asked if they could participate in an annual National Day of Prayer gathering that was held on city property, the city council, dominated by this ultra-right group, chose to back a group declaring that this was a Christian event.

Although I tread into electoral politics with fear and trembling -- and do so as a private citizen and not as the pastor of a local church -- I do believe that it's beyond time for a change. It's time for a non-ideologically driven council that is concerned for the common good of all Troy's citizens, whether or not they are conservative Christians. If we lose police and fire (if we had a full time fire department rather than a volunteer one we'd need at least 10 million more a year in revenue), library, museum, community center, nature center, that which makes this city attractive to new residents (like me) and to businesses will be lost -- and our home values will continue to decline.

Last night I went to a meet and greet event at a local home. I met the three candidates that offer Troy an alternative vision. Dane Slater, a retired police captain; Will Molnar, a local CPA and former County Commissioner; and Maureen McGinnis, a life long Troy resident and attorney. I'm impressed that they have the best interests at heart for this community. I would encourage anyone caring about this city to vote for all three. It will take a victory by these three to make a real difference.


PoliticsAsUnusual said...

Couldn't agree more!

Padma said...

Go Bob. Why is it hard to distinguish between being religious/faithful and having a religious agenda. I am glad to have an interfaith friend in you.

Anonymous said...

Bob, maybe another approach is practical: move to downsize three seats away from the council. Consider the savings! Hey, everybody else is tightening the belt— shouldn't the politicos be forced to do so, too?

We're doing this across the lake, in the Buffalo area (Erie County). I recently helped our town pull two chairs away from Alden Town Board. Google this: Kevin Gaughan + Buffalo, to see the effect of pull chairs from under politicians on this side of the lake.

Anonymous said...

Suck enough tax dollars out of your cash strapped residents and they're bound to move out, as well as business. Then you'll really be hurting for tax dollars.

City council's goal of watching pennies gets them my vote.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I'm so glad now to live in a backwards little town that voted in May, 2009 to expand our library services almost a couple million bucks. Maybe they'll move here in spite of anonymous' saving a few pennies. Sounds too American I guess. What would B. Franklin do? David Mc

Anonymous said...

if they have the "best interests" the city wouldn't have burned through millions of tax payer dollars. The city needs to incent small business to come here by providing tax breaks. This gets $$$ flowing, tax paying residents to Troy, and consumer spending in local establishments to increase. Everything else is hogwash and is the only way to recover....unless we plan on yet another bailout

marv rein said...

save the library people r just FRONTs 4 the Demcratic party..HOW much TAX does your church pay in TaXES,,B4 U raise mine.AND I hope your GOD will punish your FAKE CHURCH.

Sharon said...

Not to worry. Marv Reinhart is the local village idiot.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Wow Marv, you're commenting on something I wrote a year ago -- But while the church doesn't pay taxes, I do as a homeowner. I'm willing to do so for the good of the community.

Sharon - don't worry, Marv has called me these names before.

But, the point is simple -- libraries are important to the welfare and liveliness of the community. Their benefits far outweigh their costs.