Troy: How To Be Voted Out Of Office

They’re at it again!

Remember this article from the third — just a few days ago?

Well, “No” means no.  When it’s sex anyway.  When it’s various other forms of behavior.  But….. when it’s robbery of the citizens for the benefit of certain corporate interests, committed and put forward by government, well then “no” means we’ll try to sneak in a second vote when nobody’s paying attention so we can claim we said “no” but really say “yes”, and you, the fine citizens, get violated once again.

This hit my mailbox this morning — to be shared with you.

If you live in Troy, show up at the meeting and make clear that a “Yea” vote will be prosecuted in the next set of elections as a resignation of the Councilmember’s seat — that you will run against any “Yea” vote, will campaign against them, and will expel this vermin from your town.

Dear Troy friends
The Transit Center is on the agenda again for Jan 9th, and this time they seem to have  lowered  it to a price that only Wade Fleming seems to be happy with.   But who knows in this agreement what was left out and will come back later for us to pay for i.e. landscaping etc.  There still is no mention of paying for road widening or maintenance costs with our federal tax dollars, rather than our city tax dollars.  These things always seem to come back and haunt us. Below is the resolution from the agenda.
  Email [email protected] with your opinion on the issue.  I think putting your opinion in the subject line is a good idea   Also your presence and opinion at the microphone is needed on Monday at 7:30pm.
(As you know a Magna employee was not happy with the last vote, but do not fear- Magna headquarters, the beneficiary of our tax abatements has issued a press release saying that they are not going to bad mouth Troy to other businesses or remove their businesses from Troy.  It is attached.)
Here is an article that relates to our issue sent by a fellow Troy citizen:

High-speed rail is a fast track to government waste Washington Post, Monday, February 14, 2011   

Robert Samuelson writes a weekly economics column that usually runs in The Post on Mondays. He was a columnist for Newsweek magazine from 1984 to 2011. He began his journalism career as a reporter on The Post business desk, from 1969 to 1973. He was an economics reporter and columnist for National Journal magazine from 1976 to 1984

“High-speed rail would definitely be big. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has estimated the administration’s ultimate goal – bringing high-speed rail to 80 percent of the population – could cost $500 billion over 25 years. For this stupendous sum, there would be scant public benefits. Precisely the opposite. Rail subsidies would threaten funding for more pressing public needs: schools, police, defense.


Email to:    [email protected]
Here is the resolution to be voted on Monday.
A resolution on the Transit Center again, on the agenda for the Monday, January 9th,  City Council Meeting:

WHEREAS, A 2.41 acre site was deeded to the City of Troy as part of a Consent Judgment, with the condition that it be developed as a transit facility.

WHEREAS, The City of Troy received a $8,485,212 federal grant for the final design and construction of the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program, Federal Rail Administration (FRA), as secured through a TIGER grant; and
WHEREAS, The facility will be served by AMTRAK and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), which will utilize the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility as a central hub for their bus network; and
WHEREAS, The Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility complements transit oriented initiatives throughout southeast Michigan, including the Detroit Region Aerotropolis project; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the project is to benefit intercity passenger rail service, and the City is committed to helping achieve, to the extent to which it is capable, the anticipated project benefits; and
WHEREAS, the highest rated bidder, Hubbell, Roth & Clark (HRC), Inc. of Pontiac, MI was selected using a Qualifications Based Selection process; a required process as a condition of the grant; and
WHEREAS, on December 19, 2011 City Council took no affirmative action on a proposed MDOT sub-contract between the City of Troy and HRC to provide architectural and engineering services for the final design of the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility; and
WHEREAS, based on express statements made by City Council members at the December 19, 2011 City Council meeting, there was an indication that there may be support for the transit center project if there were cost reductions; and
WHEREAS, HRC volunteered to review the project, at no cost, to see if reductions could be made to the project that would meet the requirements of the federal grant and comply with federal, state and local requirements; and
WHEREAS, Councilman Wade Fleming and Troy Chamber of Commerce representative John Tagle met with Mark Miller, Director of Economic and Community Development on December 22, 2011, to request permission to meet with HRC to obtain some clarification as to the costs associated with rail projects; and
WHEREAS, on December 23, 2011, HRC hosted a meeting to explain some of the required costs of a rail project, and to discuss possible cost reduction ideas, which was attended by Troy City Council members Wade Fleming and Dane Slater, as well as architect/Troy Chamber of Commerce Representative/ Planning Commission member John Tagle and architect/Planning Commission member Tom Strat and Mark Miller, Director of Economic & Community Development; and
WHEREAS, subsequent to this meeting, HRC prepared a revised cost proposal that modified the scope of the project to be at an estimated cost of $6,272,500, excluding contingency; and
AND WHEREAS, the City wishes to construct a Troy Multi-Modal Transit Center for a total cost not to exceed $6,272,500 which includes contingencies, and will still meet State and Federal requirements, and not jeopardize the functionality of the project,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That Troy City Council hereby AWARDS the MDOT sub-contract between the City of Troy and HRC to provide architectural and engineering services for the final design of the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility at an estimated cost not to exceed $648,750,
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the total estimated cost of the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Center shall not exceed $6,272,500,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the award is contingent upon consultants’ submission of properly executed proposal and contract documents, including agreements, insurance certificates and all other specified requirements.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, The Mayor and City Clerk are authorized to execute the agreements once in acceptable form as approved by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Note the underlined: The “estimated” cost — capital cost only — is over $6 million.  There is no penalty for exceeding estimates (and it will), there is no “hard stop” at the quoted price, nobody will go to jail if they waste $6 million of your money and the project is not complete and there is no bar against anunlimited amount of tax money being spent in the future both to complete what will almost-assuredly turn into a boondoggle and require millions in continual and permanent expenditure by the City.

Troy is one of the wealthier areas in the Detroit Metro area with a median family income of roughly $80,000.  Less than two percent of the population of the city lives below the poverty line.  It has a population of approximately 81,000 people, meaning that this project’s “estimated costs” are about $75 per person, or roughly $300 for a family of four — a cost that will come back to you in the form of increased taxes, and this is before overruns (which I’m willing to bet will at least double the price) — for something that will have zero benefit to Troy residents.

How many Troy residents don’t have a car to get where they want to go?  None!  How many will use this mass-transit system to get where they want to go instead of driving their car?  None!  Where is this thing going to go that the residents of Troy would want to travel to?  Pontiac?  Are you kidding me?

This project will bring no value to the city of Troy at all.  What it will bring is massive cost overruns and tax increases, and if it is ever completed the people of the City of Troy will almost-certainly not use it, since it will go nowhere they need to travel in their daily lives!

It will thus be a massive and outrageously-expensive white elephant — a “make work” project that will bring negative economic value to the city and it’s residents.

It was properly voted down previously and this cat-and-mouse game of “let’s vote again!” needs to be met with a strong showing by the people of Troy who stand and say in a loud, united voice: Cut that crap out or lose your job!

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