by CINDY KMETT
Voters Overwhelming Approve School District Sinking Fund
There were no real signs going into last Tuesday’s city election whether those who wanted to make drastic changes to how Troy operates or those who saw those changes leading to potential disaster would win. Both sides had been campaigning throughout the late summer and fall to tell their side of the story.
The Save the Troy Civic Center had included a number of other parts to their initiative petitions besides not building on the Civic Center property without a vote, from the sale and lease of city land to “use” of a city-owned facility. That change the would have sent voters to the polls every November to vote on everything from who would collect our garbage and operate the golf courses to who could use the Community Center to prepare Meals on Wheels or play football in our parks.
The opposition wanted to stop this drastic change in how the city does business, and everyone on City Council and the Troy Planning Commission favored a ‘No’ vote.
In the end, the ‘No’ voters carried the day, 9,686 to 7,225.
“The people voted ‘no,’ but that’s saying ‘yes’ to our city’s future,” said Oakland County Commissioner Doug Tietz, who headed up the committee leading the fight to defeat the charter change, to the large gathering at Joe Kool’s. “It’s time for the community to come together now that this change has been rejected…We want to move forward with no negativity.”
Sue Matthews concurred. As president of the Friends of the Troy Public Library, her group could have been out a business on Wednesday because they “use” the library to raise the funds for library programs. “Let’s hope this is the way Troy will work into the future. It was awesome to unite so many forces for good,” she commented.
Councilman Dave Henderson acknowledged that Sue and the Friends were of great help in the “No” campaign. “To all the rest that did the heavy lifting on this. It was a great effort, and we all appreciate it. The way forward is not as clear, but I know for certain, we can figure it out,” he observed.
“This is healing the city, bringing the city back together,” observed Councilman Ed Pennington, who was elected to another term on council. He noted that he had been appointed five years ago when the former mayor had been removed from office and Dane Slater became mayor. “It’s time to heal again and stop the negativity,” he agreed.
There was also a council election last Tuesday. There were seven candidates for just three seats. Six were men and only Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek represented the female side on the ballot and she was the top vote getter with 8,591 votes. She edged out newcomer to politics David Hamilton who garnered 7,797 votes, with the third seat going to Ed Pennington who had 6,677 votes. Losing his seat was Paul McCown with 6,129 votes. Also in the race were Sunil Sivaraman, Kumar Giri and Mark Gunn.
Right from the first votes counted in last Tuesday’s election, it was evident that Troy School District voters not only wanted a great education for their kids, but to keep the buildings in good working order. They approved a building and sinking fund millage of 1 mill – that doesn’t raise their taxes as a bond millage is retiring – that will be used for upkeep to keep the district’s building in good working order. With a 9,553 to 4,554 votes, 69 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to the new millage.