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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today's most popular article on the Free Press - Queen Janice

Controversial Mayor Janice Daniels thrusts Troy into national spotlight
by Bill Laitner
Before August, Janice Daniels was a relative unknown in political circles.
The Troy real estate agent had never been on the City Council or served on any civic committees.
"But she was at 90% of our council meetings, for years, and she always spoke," Troy Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis said.
Then, four days before the August filing deadline for Troy's mayoral election, after seeing that an incumbent councilwoman was running unopposed for mayor, Daniels decided to run.
"I have a strong marketing, negotiating and communications background, and I immediately decided -- winning was the only acceptable option," said Daniels, a tea party activist and upset winner in November.
Daniels works at a small mortgage firm and is a single mother with a 19-year-old son. She said she prides herself on being determined and resilient. She sometimes walks Troy's neighborhoods on the weekends, ringing doorbells to meet the citizens she represents.
"It's something I did during my campaign, and I definitely thought it made a difference. I'm a good communicator," she said.
The personal touch paid off, as Daniels captured 52% of the vote in an election with a 28% turnout.
What she also quickly captured was a storm of critics, from gay people and diversity advocates, to business leaders and national pundits -- on the Internet and in the mainstream media.
While being sworn in, Daniels changed the oath of office, dropping language that says the mayor shall enforce the city charter. She riled business leaders by blocking federal funding of a bus-rail transit center -- a project Gov. Rick Snyder endorsed. She inflamed gay people by not backing down when they found she'd called them "queers" on her personal Facebook page before she ran for mayor.
And, last week, Daniels triggered a secondary burn among gay people when she told teen leaders from Troy High School's Gay-Straight Alliance that she'd recruit "a panel of psychologists" to discuss the dangers of homosexuality at the Troy Community Center.
Still, Daniels said that, overall, "things are going as well as I could expect them to go."
In a nutshell, Daniels' goals mirror the broad outline of the tea party platform: smaller government with less spending and fewer intrusions on personal liberty and traditional values.
Daniels' critics said it's hard to balance such ideals with a firebrand mayor who, within only a few months of taking office, has managed to draw such ire.
"We've become the joke of the Midwest," said Sharon MacDonnell, a co-founder of Troy Residents United for a Strong Troy, or TRUST, founded last year to support the campaign to pass a library millage in the city.
The escalating furor led bloggers nationwide to pillory Troy as a symbol of backward thinking. Tonight, the Troy City Council could reverse some of that publicity by approving the bus-rail transit center that Daniels tried to shelve last month.
Councilman Wade Fleming said the project could pass in a revised form that took shape in hurriedly called meetings over the holidays when Daniels has said she was in Japan visiting her son, a Marine stationed in Okinawa. He is to be deployed to Afghanistan on Jan. 24 -- two days after his 20th birthday, she said.
Upset by the turn of events, Daniels let fly at last week's council meeting, criticizing Fleming and Councilman Dane Slater for holding the meetings without her, criticizing city staffers for letting them do it, further assailing them for opening her city mail without permission and telling City Manager John Szerlag that she had "no confidence in (his) ability to continue to perform the duties granted to him."
That remark sent Szerlag scurrying to his office to write a rebuttal letter. It had Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart shaking her head.
But Daniels' supporters said much of the criticism has been unfair.
"Some people from the liberal side have tried to smear her and ended up smearing the whole city," said Bill Murray, 66, who said he's a strong fiscal conservative for whom " 'tea party' is not a dirty word."
Although Troy has endured a bitter political divide for years, perhaps even decades, "what is different is this time, it hit the national news, and it's being reported in a very hysterical, twisted manner," retired nurse Mary Ann Bernardi said.

Just a few thoughts.
1. How is it we have "smeared" Daniels by quoting her? Think about that idea. Her ideas and statements are so bad that we smear her just by repeating them. Huh.
2. "Daniels' goals mirror the broad outline of the tea party platform: smaller government with less spending and fewer intrusions on personal liberty " - These may be her goals but she is only interested in defending personal liberties she approves of.


  1. Once again Daniels has shown she is not interested in what the public has to say and does not know how to run a meeting.

    At last night's council meeting, after all the public comments had been given, Daniels abruptly ended the meeting. Wade Fleming interjected stating there were questions to be answered that had been presented from the public that evening. Daniels just rebutted back that it was "not on the agenda" leaving Fleming confused by this action.

    Not on the agenda? She obviously very unprofessional and does not understand how to handle the meetings. Nor does she care to discuss anything other than what she wants to hear.

  2. Agree, it would have been a nice, concilatory, graceful gesture if she had forwarded a motion to allow council/city staff responses. So many times at meetings I've heard her ask the city attorney or Mrs Bittner advice about meeting procedures or extending a meeting, so it seemed like a slap in the face when she abruptly cut Flemming off without doing her usual dithery consulting. Apparently, flexibility only applies when it suits HER agenda. As it was, she came off as vindictive. If being Mayor of Troy is in a large part ceremonial and conveying a positive public image, Ms. Daniels needs to work even on this stuff, as well as keeping her non-Troy related opinions to herself.

  3. She also muttered at the end of the meeting that public comment should have come before the vote but that wasn't on the agenda either.

    She's just way out of her league. I give her a vote of no confidence.

    Off with her head!

  4. Bill Murray says the "liberal side" has tried to smear Janice and ended up smearing the city. I hate to tell you, Bill, but Janice has taken care of the smearing all on her own. Don't bring party politics into it like you usually do. There are many Independents and Republicans who would love to see her step down and finally do something right for the city!