From time to time I feel the need to come to this blog to rant and rave. It’s cathartic. Thanks for indulging me.
I am part of a group that is reaching its one-year anniversary: Troy Residents Unified for a Strong Troy. We work hard to get accurate information out about issues in Troy and we formed because a political group was purposely sharing misinformation with residents, thereby misleading them into poor voting decisions that do anything but keep our community healthy.
The tipping point for many of us was when the three fake Library proposals were placed on the November 2010 ballot. They say misery loves company. So do people who know they have been victimized by crazy political games – including a subversive letter from a councilman issued just before a vote filled with misinformation. Republicans, Democrats, Independents and people who aren’t even sure (or don’t typically even care) came together. It’s one of the nicest groups I have ever met. We came together to figure out the facts of the matters here in Troy. Together, we fought for the Library Millage in August. (Success!) We also worked to get Robin Beltramini, Bruce Bloomingdale, Jim Campbell and Neil Yashinsky elected this past November. Only Jim Campbell made it. (Not so much success. But we’re glad his business know-how has a seat at the table.)
Fast-forward to now. We recently listened to the audiotape of the Meeting with the Mayor with the two teens at her open office hour at the Troy Community Center. Imagine our wonder when we clearly hear one of her campaign supporters and the Mayor say that TRUST is the cause for all of the mayor’s negative media coverage. It’s all about our tactics to politicize her, apparently. We learned that we are bullying her. We’re creating the media frenzy. Holy Mary, Mother of God! Go figure! Turns out this is our fault.
Wow. Ok. Really? Well. If it will help, I will step up and accept responsibility since the Mayor has failed to do so in a meaningful way.
Following is my fantasy Media Statement in response to the allegations against TRUST made on that tape:
We are sorry that we did not have the foresight to tell the Mayor she should take her personal Facebook down and no longer keep a personal page, but if she were going to keep a personal page she should remove anything remotely close to objectionable because she is now representing a large, very diverse city and, as such, her posts would be subject to scrutiny.
Since we neglected to do that, we are deeply sorry that we did not contact the mayor and urge her to remove the Facebook post immediately upon its discovery (Friday). It never occurred to us that she would leave it up for the entire weekend, up until Sunday night.
Further, we’re sorry we don’t have the technical know-how to keep something from going viral; we’re sorry so many people were finally paying attention to her. Perhaps that’s because she changed the Oath of Office and drew a whole pile of attention to herself? (We’re sorry she didn’t ask us about that; we would have told her to leave well enough alone, especially as a newbie.)
We are also deeply sorry that we did not have an opportunity to coach her to immediately -- that very same day it started to go viral (Friday) -- issue a heartfelt, tear-filled apology; an apology that would include a mention that the Facebook post had already been removed and that she was deeply sorry for offending anyone. We would have noted that refraining from issuing a gay marriage stance would be in order. We’re sorry we didn’t do that. (Listening to the tape, she seems to think Monday is “immediately;” we’re sorry that’s not the case in this era of the 24-hour news cycle and we’re sorry we didn’t let her know this was the case.)
We are also sorry we didn’t tell her to just stay away from the student protest so that those folks that we cannot control in any way (because we weren’t there to participate, though she assumes were were!) couldn’t chant bad things that would become television news eye candy.
We’re also very sorry we didn’t tell her to take full advantage of the opportunity to be part of the anti-bullying event being planned by two amazing teens and a classy, smart adult who mentors teens and knows how to do this kind of stuff. We should have told her it would be a “no-brainer” thing that she would just have to show up to and say a few words and then reap the reward of the positivity. We should have also made sure she didn’t offer an opinion, especially a rather harsh one. Because – and we’re sorry we didn’t try to help her understand this point – the event proposal was not about her.
Yes. We clearly fell short. We’re very sorry that we’re the issue. Sure. Go ahead and blame us.
Should we also accept responsibility for her thumbing her nose at our business community and Governor Snyder on the Transit Center vote?
And for attacking the city manager in a position paper filled with so much wrong he had to waste time writing a lengthy response?
Are we at fault for that, too?
Come on, now.
Truth be told, what we’re really sorry for is this: that we failed to get Robin Beltramini elected. We just couldn’t get people to pay close attention. Yep. That is so true it hurts. Many voters truly thought candidate Janice Daniels was what she described herself as in the Troy Times: a grassroots Independent. And we couldn’t get people to see the truth of the matter. For that, we’re beyond sorry. We truly are.