It’s rare to find a candidate you can support completely. I’d offered to write a letter to the editor supporting Councilman Martin Howrylak if he chose to run for State Representative, so I was pleased to get the postcard announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination.
He’ll Write Good Laws, Not Just Vote for Them
It’s one thing to vote conservative, quite another to write a solid law and persuade others to vote for it. During his twelve years on the Troy City Council, Martin Howrylak voted against property tax abatements as being unfair to other businesses who are paying the full rate and explained his reasons quite well. Other conservatives viewed that as just the way things are; the city council can’t change it, so they voted for them.
As State Representative, Howrylak will have the opportunity to write a law preventing Troy, Sterling Heights and Warren from granting favors to businesses to lure them from neighboring towns while keeping it fair for cities that truly need economic development like Detroit, Pontiac and Flint.
Tested by Fire, a Gracious Professional
You need a thick skin and a cast iron stomach to serve on Troy’s non-partisan city council, which has sometimes been highly partisan, subtly from other members and viciously from others in the city. Howrylak has responded with grace and professionalism, never attacking his critics, only defending his ideas and pointing out the flaws in the logic of others.
In twelve years on the Troy City Council he worked well with those of opposing political views. He can disagree without being disagreeable. I can see him cooperating with urban Democrats on meaningful property tax reform.
I have never heard him speak ill of a fellow Republican (Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment). He had a typical gracious response when I criticized someone in a private conversation. For that matter, I’ve never heard him attack anyone, only ideas in a gracious manner.
No Enron Accountant – Library Funding Debate
Licensed and practicing CPA Howrylak is a fiscal conservative with a Masters degree in accounting from the University of Michigan, so he understands the budgeting process. His desire for limited government (which today means smaller and more efficient) has earned him praise from supporters and unfounded attacks from critics. He understands that budgets are one big pot and having a separate tax for every service reduces flexibility and is overall a bad idea. This was highlighted in the recent library debate.
He wrote a letter at his own expense opposing the dedicated millage increase and creation of a separate library board (more government). Mayor Schilling tried to discredit his letter on the eve of the November 2010 election to influence the outcome. The millage and her censure attempt failed.
In 2011 he and Councilman Fleming proposed a budget which funded the library without a tax increase. It was dead on arrival in the council which was then dominated by progressives who ignored the clear desires of the people for public safety first, then the library, then other items way down the list.
The liberals on the council allowed the library to close rather than rework the budget. Finally slightly more than half the people voted to pay the extra taxes to reopen the library, a service nearly everyone in town wanted as a high priority.
The electorate was so fed up with the library funding drama that there is now a 4-3 conservative majority on the council. One of the first actions of the new mayor and council was to direct the library to reopen on Saturday, the busiest day. The new conservatives also campaigned in opposition to the Troy Transit Center.
Wasteful Spending no Matter Which Pocket it Comes From
Unlike most in government, Martin Howrylak understands that it’s all our money, no matter where it comes from. He was just as careful spending federal or state money in Troy because he realizes that we are all U.S. taxpayers. If we don’t need the project, let’s not spend the money and pile debt on future generations. Just because some other town might get the funding doesn’t mean we should take the money if we don’t need it. He voted consistently against the Troy Transit Center while he was on the council and explained why.
Entrepreneur and Eagle Scout – Character Matters
Councilman Howrylak understands the needs of small businesses, having built his own landscaping business as a teenager without debt. He operated with low overhead, walking and riding the mower to many of his jobs instead of using the typical truck and trailer. By the time he sold it and its loyal customer base, he had reinvested the business profits to buy commercial landscaping equipment. The new owner only had to keep up the reliable service they had come to expect from Martin Howrylak; I know firsthand, because he mowed our lawn for several years when we were gone on vacation.
As a hardworking teenager, Howrylak also earned his Eagle Scout badge, which requires steady effort towards a goal over a long period of time. Gerald Ford is our only President who was an Eagle Scout; it’s not surprising that Richard Nixon was not. It’s no guarantee of being a good leader, but generally Eagle Scouts learn to own the Scout Law, which starts out with Trustworthy, and follows with Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
Eagle Scouts don’t usually end up in prison. I don’t know if Kwame Kilpatrick or Rod Blagojevich were even in the Boy Scouts, but I’ll bet you a quarter that they didn’t make it to Eagle.
To learn more about Councilman Howrylak’s campaign or to sign up for a yard sign, visit www.martinhowrylak.com. You might not agree with him on every issue, but he can be trusted to look out for the best interests of the people of Michigan. We need creative ideas from all different perspectives. By combining our best ideas, we will find the best way forward in these times of limited resources.
Term limits in the Michigan Legislature cause the cream to rise to the top. It would not surprise me if Martin Howrylak is elected Speaker of the House during his six years as State Representative. He could someday even be our governor. He would also have my vote for President of the local chapter of the National Eagle Scout Association if the Boy Scouts had such an office.