A Sad Day for a City
I know that in some circles today, there are victory parties and high-5s. They will say that they have brought the city of Troy to its knees. Interestingly it is former leaders of the city who have led the charge. But with the votes in, the property tax millage went down to defeat. I know that I received fliers, letters, and robocalls that not only urged a no vote but defamed city leadership and city staff. Now, we face the loss of services -- closings of one of the best municipal libraries in the country, a beautiful community center that provides meeting places for community groups -- including young people, seniors, the disabled, and more. The nature center and the museum face closure, and there will be cuts to the police force that makes Troy one of the safest cities in the country (we may pay less taxes now, but we'll likely pay more in insurance).
Should we be all that surprised? Probably not. There is an anger and a frustration that is present in society, that is being stoked by interest groups. The Tea Party folks, who played an important role in this round of defeats wants us to believe that the government is evil or dangerous or socialist or whatever. My recent anonymous commenter crowed with delight, noting that the evil ones have been defeated. Excuse me, the librarian, the police officer, the person that plows the streets, they're evil? The city council (which we elect), the city manager, the assessor -- they're evil? What have they done that is so evil?
I hear people say, well, we can take care of ourselves? Really, we can take care of ourselves? We don't need anyone else? There is no commitment to the common good of the community? I am concerned about the country, and for reasons far different from those expressed by the Tea Party Movement. Reform is needed, dismantling the nation (or the city) is not.