Troy residents succeed in keeping their library open - Congratulations!

in Troy, Blog
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Groups Respond Positively to Millage Approval for Troy Public Library
By: Kevin Elliott

Proponents of Tuesday's proposed library millage said the vote is a victory for the community; opponents say efforts helped reduce initial tax requested. Proponents of a proposed library millage to provide funding to the Troy Public Library were optimistic but hesitant Tuesday night as the first favorable voting results began trickling in from the Oakland County Elections Office. "The numbers are positive, but its too soon to form a conclusion," said Kathy Martin, chair of the Troy Democratic Club.

The first results came in at 9:36 p.m. Tuesday, as backers of the millage crowded around a small computer screen on a table at Joe Kool's Bar & Grill, 1835 Big Beaver, where more than 50 people gathered in anticipation.

Troy City Manager John Szerlag questioned the initial numbers, wondering what precincts had been reported. "Are absentee ballot numbers in," he questioned. "That will be the tell, the absentee."

The answer came about 10 minutes later, just seconds after Szerlag put down his cell phone and announced to the crowd: "We're ahead by 1,300 votes in the absentee ballots!"

Those gathered at the establishment, including two council members, Mayor Louise Schilling, Mayor Pro Tem Mary Kerwin, members of Troy Residents for a Stronger Troy (TRUST), Save Troy, and various other supporters, erupted into cheers upon hearing the news. Hugs, high-fives, handshakes and victory speeches ensued throughout the night.

Final unofficial results released by the county election's office show the ballot measure passed by 58.19 percent to 41.81 percent, with 12,246 ballots in favor of the millage and 8,799 opposing the millage.

Kathy Russ, who was told that the library was going to be closed Aug. 5 if the millage didn't pass, said she was happy she and the staff will be able to keep their jobs.

"Most of all, I'm happy that Troy has a library," she said.

Russ, who was raised in Troy and returned to the city to run her hometown library, said the last few days were the most difficult to work through, as she contemplated the thought of closing the library.

Chris Hill, who celebrated at the gathering, said the loss of the library would have been a loss for Troy.

"It's more than the library," Hill said. "It's about our community."

Councilman Dane Slater echoed the sentiment.

"Nobody was going to win if it didn't pass because the library would have closed," Slater said. "Now, we don't have to focus on that anymore. We can focus on public safety, infrastructure and roads."

Barbara Harrell, a member of Troy Citizens United, who opposed the library millage, said by phone late Tuesday that she is proud of the effort her group made.

We are just grassroots people," she said. "They had to call out the big guns.

"It took them three times to get a tax hike, and they spent a lot more for getting a lot less."

Opponents of the millage said money to fund the library should have been available in the city's General Fund because reductions in the workforce and employee salary and benefits concessions were made.

Szerlag, said he wasn't surprised by the final vote.

"I think it was the grassroots efforts to verify what is going on in the city of Troy," he said. "And they realized we are a lean operation... the city has done an excellent job in delivering services and is ahead of the curve in best practices. If there is another city who is ahead of us in best practices, tell me who it is and I'll be happy to emulate them."


Vote YES on August 2nd to save Troy Public Library
Troy Public Library is scheduled to close by the end of this summer due to decreasing property values and city revenue.Save the Library!

Vote YES on August 2nd. Your tax will increase only by about $30/year (as compared to 2010). Spread this news and Save the Troy Library!!!

Voting YES keeps the library open for the next 5 years
Voting NO will close the library permanently on August 5th, 2011

Remember just one of the many letters Troy kids received from the the world famous literary people:

“Congratulations to the people of Troy for carrying forward America’s tradition of public libraries. Nowhere is the desire for knowledge better expressed than in their support for libraries. I concur with President Eisenhower that there is a connection between freedom and knowledge. Troy’s library must make this connection stronger.”
Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME), to the Children of Troy, April 15, 1971
June 20 at 10:15am



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