BTL strongly endorses a YES vote to recall Troy Mayor Daniels
TROY – With less than a week before election day, Tea Party Mayor of Troy Janice Daniels has given the public another reason to recall her from office, adding to the list of multiple reasons Between The Lines has previously reported on.
During a Proclamation of Recognition presentation at the Troy City Council meeting Oct. 22, Mayor Daniels argued with former council member Mary Kerwin about the origin of Kerwin’s recent 2012 Distinguished Citizen Award. The award was given to Kerwin by Leadership Troy, a nonpartisan community service group that has been giving out this award to deserving members of the Troy community for more than 40 years.
According to the Troy Patch Online, (http://troy.patch.com/articles/troy-mayor-speaks-out-about-argument-with-kerwin) Mayor Daniels insisted that the award going to former council member Kerwin, a supporter of the effort to recall the mayor, was from the partisan Troy Democratic Club.
Mayor Daniels said, “This was a proclamation that was given to Mary Kerwin in recognition of being the Democrat Club Troy’s Citizen for 2012, Distinguished Citizen for 2012.”
Kerwin interrupted Mayor Daniels to clarify the award was not from the Troy Democratic Club, to which Daniels replied, “Yes, this was given to you by the Democratic Club, my understanding is.”
Kerwin wants to serve her community as a state legislator and is running for the 41st State House District seat as a Democrat. “I have been involved in city government and civic matters for 24 years and have never seen a mayor be so dismissive of a city proclamation during a formal presentation,” said Kerwin to The Detroit News (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121023/METRO02/210230430/Troy-Mayor-Daniels-argues-award-recipient-while-reading-proclamation). “I tried to correct her and three times she again misread and misrepresented where the award came from. I’m very honored to have received it and don’t understand why she would make a point to misread it. But I can’t get inside her head and nor do I want to,” said Kerwin. “There must be a lot of noise in there.”
In response to the negative press Mayor Daniels has received, she told Fox 2 Detroit ( http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19908015/troy-mayor-argument-during-award-presentation-being-exploited?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7879502) that “This is another example of the way every word that comes out of my mouth is being used by my political opponents to destroy me, and I think it’s very unfortunate.”
Mayor Daniels has been the center of controversy since she took office in Nov. 2011. It began at her inauguration when she changed the traditional city wording of the mayor’s oath of office regarding allegiance to the city charter. She said, “Local officials are bound to take an oath only to the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution, and any wording involving a local charter is optional.”
Not long after in Dec., the Troy High School Gay Straight Alliance led by Troy High School seniors Zach Kilgore and Skye Curtis, revealed a June 25 statement posted on her Facebook page which garnered national attention. Mayor Daniels said, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” Her post came a day after New York state legislators voted to allow gay and lesbian marriage in the state. She defended the post as her First Amendment right to speak freely, noting only that “it may not have been the most appropriate language.”
Later, Mayor Daniels told the GSA students that the homosexual lifestyle is “dangerous” and wrote a lengthy position paper personally attacking city employees and council members. She further upset citizens of Troy when she voted in Dec. to reject $8.4 million in federal grant money for construction of a transit center. The City Council later approved a scaled-down version of the project over her opposition.
In an effort to right her wrong, Mayor Daniels invited members of the Troy GSA to the Troy Community Center Jan. 9. The purpose of this meeting was to try and reach an understanding and was also supposed to allow for Mayor Daniels to hold up her end of an agreement previously made with Troy GSA members to organize an anti-bullying awareness event.
Things did not go as planned. According to Curtis, Mayor Daniels told students she wanted to invite to an event, “a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality is a mental disease.” Mayor Daniels’ anti-gay statements were recorded by herself and she was forced to release them to the public by way of the Freedom of Information Act.
Mayor Daniels made headlines again when she compared the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle to the dangers of cigarette smoking on Talk Radio 1270 with host Charlie Langton in June. She faced further criticism for inviting co-author of Michigan’s 2004 Anti-Marriage Amendment Gary Glenn to speak at a Troy City Council meeting the same month. Glenn, a former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on an anti-LGBT, Tea Party platform, and the president of the American Family Association’s Michigan chapter, supports Mayor Daniels previous anti-LGBT remarks.
In July, the Oakland County Director of Elections announced that members of the Recall Janice Daniels campaign (http://www.recalljanice.com/) reached their goal by successfully collecting 8,877 valid signatures and certified the recall question for the Nov. 6 ballot.
At this point, any attempts made by Mayor Daniels to do good in the community or to keep her political career alive have been overshadowed by the controversy she continues to create. Facebook is where her trouble began, yet she posted another comment in August justifying the behavior of Sterling Heights Councilman Paul Smith, who publicly announced his support for Mayor Daniels. A YouTube video (http://youtu.be/oN1yPJLyr7c) resurfaced showing Smith during a 2009 Tea Party rally in Troy holding signs depicting violent illustrations of the impaled head of President Barack Obama and then-Governor Jennifer Granholm with a noose around her neck.
“He is a man who is not afraid to voice his opinion and vote his conscience, so now because he created and carried a sign that was offensive to many he has been bullied and asked to resign from the city council. Thank God we live in America where the rights of the individual supersede the whim of the majority who happen to hold power at any given time in any given legislative body,” said Mayor Daniels.
According to public records at both the Macomb and Oakland County Circuit Courts, Mayor Daniels has been married and divorced three times. The role of a public servant is not to be a hypocrite, which is why Mayor Daniels came under fire when she recently considered putting restrictions on marriage and divorce in the city of Troy with a Community Marriage Policy. This would permit local clergy to sign a covenant agreeing not to marry any couple who has not had a specified, substantial amount of pre-marital counseling. They also agree to create strong, lasting and satisfying marriages through the use of trained marriage mentor couples. “I believe that marriage strengthens communities; therefore my involvement in setting the stage for a community marriage initiative is in keeping with the stated goal of mayor as a promoter and defender of the community,” said Mayor Daniels in a post on her Facebook page. Yet, she does not practice in her personal life what she preaches when deciding what she thinks is best for the public.
These incidents, which have received national exposure, raise the questions of Mayor Daniels’ character that need to be taken into consideration when voting. Can Mayor Daniels work effectively with the employees of the city? Can Mayor Daniels move forward into the future with sound leadership, integrity and prosperity? It is up to the voters to decide if Mayor Daniels is fit to serve the city of Troy, such a large and diverse community.