News Release: Libertarian City Councilman Rescinds Pension Plan

Libertarian City Councilman Rescinds Pension Plan
Tim O’Brien

CONTACT: Tim O’Brien
(313) 562-5778

DEARBORN. The Libertarian Party of Michigan’s newest elected official, Troy city councilman, Martin Howrylak, wasted no time in getting to work.

Sworn in Monday, April 10, the “kid councilman” as the 25-year-old has been affectionately dubbed by local media, immediately followed through on his campaign promise to rescind the recently passed pension plan for elected officials.

Councilman Anthony Pallotta, barely reelected a week ago in the same election that saw Howrylak win in a landslide, introduced a motion to repeal the pension that would have paid him more than $14,000 a year for the rest of his life following his retirement from the council (due to term limits) in 2003. Howrylak seconded the motion. It then passed by a 7-0 vote.

Howrylak made opposition to the pension plan one of three main issues in his third run for city council in Michigan’s 11th largest city. The Libertarian also opposed special tax treatment for the Delphi Automotive Systems world headquarters and plans for an incredibly expanded new municipal complex.

But it was the pension plan perk — also attacked by a coalition of unhappy taxpayer/residents and Libertarians not connected to the Howrylak campaign called “Friends of Troy” — that quickly came to dominate the election.

The Friends of Troy distributed a piece of literature done in the style of an old west “Wanted” poster that featured unflattering drawings of incumbents, Pallotta and Eldon Thompson, accused the pair of “Greed, Arrogance, and Contempt of Taxpayers,” and labeled them “Troy’s most UNWANTED.”

A piece of literature identified as coming from “Troy Citizens for Honesty and Integrity in Government” (but bearing no address) fired back at Howrylak, calling him “a pawn of the Libertarian Party” and claiming, among other things, that he wanted to disband the Troy Police Department — a charge which Howrylak called “absurd.”

In what local newspapers described as “the most contentious election in memory” Howrylak swept to a stunning victory — garnering nearly four thousand votes and leaving all three of the other candidates, including both incumbents, fighting it out in the low two thousands for the other council seat.

Libertarians were, of course, jubilant. “One Libertarian in one election turned around all the other councilmen,” said Oakland County LP vice chair, Greg Dirasian. “We can and do make a difference — even when we don’t have a [council] majority.”

Asked about the unanimous reversal of the pension plan scheme that had passed unanimously only seven weeks earlier, Howrylak smiled and shrugged, then in a masterpiece of understatement observed: “I guess they got the message.”

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