(From the Detroit Free Press)
There may be an effort in Troy to undermine a November ballot proposal public library supporters drafted to save the facility.

Three additional, nearly identical proposals have been submitted — something the city clerk and library supporters worry will confuse voters.

The Troy City Council will receive a report tonight on the new proposals, which will be sent to Oakland County to be put on the ballot, City Clerk Tonni Bartholomew said Sunday.

The Friends of the Troy Public Library and the Citizens to Save Troy Public Library’s initiative supports the library, which is to close in July because of budget cuts. It would be run independently and administered by a nonpartisan elected board of trustees. The proposal the Friends drafted asks for 0.9885-mill for 10 years.

The three new proposals ask for millage amounts that hover just above or below 0.9885-mill; they all begin with a 9 and end with a 5.

“We think that this is an attempt to split our vote or make the ballot complicated or confuse voters,” said Rhonda Hendrickson, a Friends spokeswoman. “This is an insult to the intelligence of Troy residents.”

The residents who submitted the additional proposals — Kathleen O’Laughlin, Robert Outland and William Redfield — could not be reached for comment over the weekend.

According to Oakland County campaign finance records, Outland contributed $500 to a political committee called Troy’s Taxfighting Team in 2006. In 2004, O’Laughlin ran for state representative of the 41st District as a Republican, according to state campaign finance records.

In February, Troy voters turned down a millage proposal that city officials had said would have saved the library and other facilities.

Bartholomew is worried November’s election will be chaotic.

“The true will of the people is not going to be heard because they’re confusing them and not allowing them to make a sound choice,” Bartholomew said of having multiple proposals. “The voters are going to be very upset.”

Contact GINA DAMRON: 586-826-7269