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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Three Ring Circus of Council Meeting: You Decide

Part 2

The second issue iseven more ludicrous.

 Janice Daniels wants to put her philosophies, along  with her bio, on the City website. The norm is to put up
your bio, as Maureen McGinnis, James Campbell and Dave Henderson
have done. It is done in a basic format, which allows the information to be
presented in a common format with common information. But, NO, that is
not acceptable to Janice. She is special, or at least thinks she is. She
insists that her philosophies be added.; the type of information that is used
when one is “campaigning” for that seat. Isn’t it interesting that she has
been in office since November and NOW this is a pressing issue? The
best part of this act is that Councilmen Tietz, Henderson and Fleming agree
with her! They see nothing wrong with this, even after our City Attorney
had indicated her concerns previously to Janice and in the meeting.

City Attorney, Lori Grigg Bluhm, indicated that this might not be the time to
address this due to the recall. She further explained that this could open
up the city to campaign finance act violations, or just the mere perception of
impropriety, the perception that the city’s resources are being used in
support of or opposition to the recall campaign. She feels there is some
exposure for the city.

Once again, the gang of four; Wade Fleming, Doug Tietz, Dave Henderson
and Janice Daniels disagreed. After all, they all went to law school didn’t
they? What is wrong with this picture? They won’t agree with the City
Attorney’s recommendation, they know better? Why do we have a City
Attorney if they have all the answers?

Dave Henderson and Doug Tietz suggested she sit down with the City
Attorney to review this further. Doug asked if “she would be willing to sit
with the City attorney?” To which she replied, “If that is what the council
wants me to do.” How noble of her. When Councilman Slater said, “I
thought you already met with the City Attorney?” Her reply was “I have” and
ran on to the next item.

Now, as a citizen, how do you feel about the limited city staff being
stretched even further to address Janice and others’ personal agendas?
This is not fiscal responsibility. It is someone who is just hell bent on
having her own way, no matter what. She would rather put the City at risk
of campaign violations, the perception of using the City’s website and
resources to benefit her in preventing her recall, etc. than do what is right
for the City and its citizens.

Another embarrassing part of this meeting was when Janice interrupted
Councilman Dane Slater. She continues to ignore the rules and was not
only rude, but obnoxious. Mr. Slater, on the other hand, kept his cool and
politely called for “point of order” to which she replied, “I think you are out of
order because you signed the petition.” She further violated the rules
afterward, trying to speak out of turn. I am grateful that we have at least
three council members who demonstrate knowledge and integrity and
perform their duties with the City in mind, not their personal agendas.
By the way, Wade Fleming now wants the staff to do more research on the
pensions, etc. stretching them even more. Did he forget they are trying to
hire a new City Manager? Oh, I forgot. It doesn’t matter unless it is self
serving for the gang.

The odor coming from these antics is worse than those at Zug Island where
the foul smells are strong enough to cause dry heaves.

Let’s put an end to this and start to restore competent leadership. We can
do this by first recalling Janice Daniels. We need to let these politicians
know that we care about our city, not their ideologies and self-serving
interests, and that we will not tolerate their behavior.

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  1. Regarding Councilman Fleming's request for pension information, made without adequate explanation, perhaps he ascribes to Ms. DeBacker's stated position: "public pensions, a promise we can no longer afford to keep". What if when asked to respond to a report of someone shooting people, our police officers said "I know I took an oath to go to these type of calls; but, I have a spouse and children, that's now a promise I can't afford to keep".

  2. Given that yestarday the Michigan Legislature voted to a approve a bill that, in part, requires all retired teachers to pay a minimum of 20% of their health care premium, I assume this is what Fleming and Henderson are planning to propose for retired city employees. Rather than make the request for the information that they did (at an open meeting, without explaining the reason for the request), which appears to require extensive research on the staff's part, wouldn't it have been more appropriate to speak with the City Manager and determine what the savings might be if such a plan was adopted in Troy and what must be done to accomplish it? It seems they are going to do the computations themselves and based on the City Council's previous accounting adventures their figures will probably be wrong. Also, this fails to meet the transparency test; just tell us what you're thinking, don't try and hide your motivation. Finally, there are probably some really old pensioners to whom 20% of the health care costs would cost them the majority of their pension. See, it's not as simple as it first appears is it?
    Kudos to Mr. Slater. I suppose the Mayor saw his name on the petition to recall her and she's now attempting to punish him. So much for her stated strong support of the First Amendment.