Last week, Troy Mayor Louise Schilling attempted to censure Councilman Martin Howrylak. Censure is no trivial matter, especially when initiated by the Mayor herself. What was at issue was Mr. Howrylak’s sending Troy citizens a pamphlet outlining the various ballot proposal issues with regards to the funding of the Troy Library.
Mr. Howrylak’s literature explained that contrary to what the City Council and the Mayor wanted everyone to believe, additional funding to keep the library open was not needed. All that needed to be done is to allocate already existing money to go to the library. It further explained the costs of the ballot proposals and its increase in taxes for Troy residents. As a resident of Troy myself, I received one of these mailings and found it very enlightening. I was very grateful for the information. I was unaware of the fact that there was money that could be made available to the library, but it was not being done. Instead Mayor Schilling and the City Council preferred to again attempt to squeeze money from the taxpayers, many of whom are either under employed or not employed at all in order to allocate the already existing money to things they would prefer to spend it on – like their own salaries.
Mayor Schilling objected to this mailing of literature by Mr. Howrylak and claimed that this was ‘campaigning.’ She and others on the City Council sought to both embarrass and discredit Mr. Howrylak’s position on the issue of the Library by claiming that he had no right to express his opinion on the matter publicly because of his position on City Council. Essentially, this is nothing short of an attempt to deny Mr. Howrylak his 1st Amendment rights protected under the United States Constitution. Mr. Howrylak never ceded his rights to free speech when he became a member of City Council.
The actions of Mayor Schilling and some members of the City Council are egregious enough, but by far the worst part of the entire ordeal would be that Mayor Schilling sought to silence Mr. Howrylak from expressing his political position, while she was quite busy exercising her 1st Amendment rights herself. Below is a photograph of the front lawn of Mayor Schilling’s house:
Perhaps Mayor Schilling would like to explain to the citizens of Troy exactly why she believes she has a right to express her political opinion but others do not? I think this is a clear demonstration of abuse of power. To my knowledge the residents of Troy did not crown her queen. They didn’t appoint her dictator, and I highly doubt anyone in the City of Troy is much interested in living under an oligarchy.
I suggest that the residents of Troy consider very carefully whether they would like to continue being ruled by Mayor Schilling. Last I checked we were supposed to have a representative government. That is, they are supposed to act upon the will of the people, not in their own self-interest. I think Mayor Schilling and a good portion of the City Council clearly don’t understand this concept.
It’s a very good thing that the citizens of Troy saw this clearly for what it was: blatant hypocrisy and abuse of power. The two council meetings were filled to overflowing with people supporting Mr. Howrylak’s right to free speech. Mayor Schilling was forced to close down the meeting without a vote. I would like to extend my thanks to Councilman Howrylak for acting in the best interests of the people and not himself. It takes an honest man to say, ‘We don’t need the money,’ especially when it required his own money in order to make the statement.