Home
Email List
Issues
Future
Donate
Endorsements
Request a Yard Sign
   
Vote Tuesday November 6


Issues

Taxes:

Every one who runs for office claims to want to reduce taxes, but more often than not, without a corresponding plan to reduce spending. During my time on city council, we have actually implemented three tax rate decreases. In total, these decreases are now saving the taxpayers of Troy over $1 million annually (0.15 mills). I worked to achieve the spending cuts that made the decreases possible, then insisted that the surplus be returned to the taxpayers, rather than put back into the general fund to be spent somewhere else. I know that it was not a significant decrease, but I am hoping that it is the beginning of a trend that we can continue in the future. At a time when most other cities are going back to their residents asking for a tax hike, I think it is significant that Troy was able to give their residents three tax cuts - even if they were small ones.!

Traffic Problems:

The master plan calls for widening those roads which are currently congested. As much as I hate dealing with construction traffic, I understand that this is the only solution for the long term. Additionally, I am very concerned about additional development that adds to the problem, so traffic control is a major consideration for me when ever a new development plan comes before the council.

Open Meetings:

During my first term, one of my issues was to open all meetings to public scrutiny on cable TV, - previous councils had opposed this. I believe that all of the workings of your council should be available to the public. The law is very clear on what items can be discussed in closed session - (employee evaluations, litigation against the city, and sometimes land development to prevent price inflation due to speculation) and I fought to make sure the council complied with the law. I worked for full open, available and televised meetings, and I am pleased to say that today your council now conducts business in open meetings, rather than behind closed doors.

Private Property Rights:

I believe that each homeowner has the right to enjoy their property as they see fit, as long as there is no damage to the property of their neighbors. This is sometimes a "balancing act" that could try the wisdom of Solomon. I oppose condemning property that is in the way of a proposed park or development, thus have sometimes voted against certain developments because I believe that people should not be forced out of their homes. Further, I supported the homeowners in the previous "wetlands ordinance" because I felt it took far to much control away from the homeowners and placed far too much control in the hands of bureaucrats.

Corporate Tax Abatements:

This was also a huge issue in my first election - because the previous council had a policy of granting tax abatements to just about any company who wanted to locate in Troy, or threatened to leave if they didn't get one. I see this as just short of blackmail, and worked to put a stop to it. The policy has been revised. Troy is a great place to locate your company, because we have outstanding city services, lower tax rates than others in Oakland County, a highly educated work force, and a prime location. We don't need to bribe companies to locate here. We want to make it as simple and easy as possible - that means streamlining red tape and unnecessary regulation - for businesses, but also make certain that they don't make traffic problems worse or ruin our neighborhoods.

Fiscal Responsibility:

I am in the process of earning my degree in accounting from U of M. As such, it is often my responsibility to evaluate proposals that come before the council for their economic impact and viability. You would be amazed how often things look like a good plan, or appear to be a cost savings, when the opposite is true! I will spare you a long discussion of cost/benefit analysis here, but suffice it to say that this is one of my primary concerns when I vote or speak out, and the other council members know that I can be counted upon for this. Troy's credit rating has improved in the last 3 years - we now have a AAA rating. Our tax rate is one of the lowest in the state. No matter how good a proposal may look on paper, you may be certain that I am going to do my homework and make sure that the numbers add up. It's part of who I am, and what I do.

Respect for the Citizens of Troy:

When I first ran for council, citizens had to wait until the end of meetings to speak. Sometimes that meant staying until after midnight! Meetings were not on TV, and many, many decisions (like the pension plan!) were made without full public awareness. Corporate tax breaks were offered at the expense of the residents. Since my election, we moved citizens comments to the beginning of the meetings so people could have their say and then go home if they wanted to. All council meetings are broadcast on cable TV and tapes are available at the library for people who don't have cable. Corporations are no longer favored over residents. Citizens who have problems or feel that they are not being treated properly by the council or the administration are welcome to call me at home and let me do whatever I can to solve their problems. It is my hope that I have demonstrated by my actions that the residents have my respect.

On Teaming Up:

I have sometimes been the lone, independent voice on the council. I believe that this is because I will always put what I believe to be in the best interests of the residents ahead of everything else. Luckily, in the last few elections, the voters of Troy have seen fit to send others to council that feel the same way as I do, and we have managed to accomplish many of the things that I have discussed above. Frankly, sometimes I agree with the Mayor, and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I agree with other council members, and sometimes I don't. I will always speak - and vote- according to what I believe is best for our city, without regard to personal friendships or alliances. Even those who disagree with me, respect this. I have always tried to be "the voice of the residents" on the council. If that sometimes means I stand alone, then so be it.

I believe that I have covered most of the issues that are currently important to you. If not, you are welcome to call me at 248-643-6653, or email me at Martin@Troycouncil.org. I welcome your feedback and will add issues to this site as they come up.

I ask that you honor me with your vote on November 6.

Thank you,
Martin


Email: Martin@TroyCouncil.org Webmaster: webmaster@TroyCouncil.org
Paid for by Citizens for Martin Howrylak
3035 Newport Ct. • Troy, Michigan   48084