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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hail to the Chief

At last night's City Council meeting, Troy Fire Department's Fire Chief, William S. Nelson, was scheduled to be recognized for being the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs "Fire Chief of the Year."

He was in the crowd at the meeting in his (impressive!) full dress uniform surrounded by his loving family.

About six minutes in to the meeting, Mayor Daniels read a short explanation of the award, the Chief's history and accomplishments, and his experience in Troy.  Then she asked him to stand so the room could applaud him.

Two minutes later -- eight minutes in to the meeting -- Mayor Daniels called the Director of Community Affairs to the podium to explain another ceremonial recognition.  This one was for Mayor Daniels's son in honor of his military service.  You can read about it in a recent post on this blog.

That portion of the meeting lasted over four minutes.  The Mayor's son was invited to the podium, the Mayor read the proclamation out loud to him, and she hugged her son.  The audience clapped.  Pictures were taken.

Both men deserve recognition.  Make no mistake about what I am saying here.  I honor and respect the Mayor's son's military service.  She has every right to be a proud mother and offer him the chance to be recognized as any other Troy resident serving in the military should be.

But Chief Nelson deserved more than he got.  He should have been brought to the podium.  He should have had a special commemorative proclamation written for him.  He should have had a presentation of the same and pictures taken as well.  I've seen countless similar presentations over the last few years.

The Mayor has seen the same...she's been at many of the same meetings I've attended where it's happened.

Her failure to recognize Chief Nelson appropriately and/or to encourage the rest of the council to do so is yet another failure of her leadership.  It gives the impression that NO ONE, not even the long-standing, highly lauded and accomplished Fire Chief, is above her or her special interests.

Shame on Mayor Daniels.

But HAIL! to Chief Nelson.  I applaud you, sir.  Thank you for protecting Troy.


  1. My sentiments exactly. I am so proud of Chief Nelson. Unfortunately, he couldn't be used as a pawn in Janice's political escapades, so she basically blew him off. How awful! Once again, Janice brings a black eye to the City of Troy. Let's stop the pain - VOTE YES TO RECALL JANICE DANIELS! For more information go to:

  2. So accurate....she is always a disappointment ...RECALL!

  3. It's pretty well known that she doesn't like the police, fireman or city workers, but this was pretty low. The Chief did a great job at a very hard job. He deserved proper recognition. Janice always touts her management experience, but let me tell you as a manager if you have an employee recognized by an outside organization you make a big deal out of it. It costs nothing to recognize good people who work for you. It's the best part of management. She not only screwed him over, but she missed a good opportunity to show some leadership.

  4. Nelsons always at every meeting in uniform.
    Someone representing fire is at every counsel meeting.

    1. No officer is routinely in their full dress uniform at every meeting.

  5. To Anon September 13, 8:53 PM:
    Are you implying that Chief Nelson's presence at the meeting was just part of his routine duties and not to receive formal recognition for being named Michigan Fire Chief of the Year? If so, Sue is correct; he may attend in uniform but not in dress uniform and he typically doesn't bring his family. Also, the recognition was on the agenda.
    What a classless move on the Mayor's part; of course she was excited to recognize her son, so she minimized another public servant's opportunity to be recognized to fulfill her childish need for attention. By the way, Chief Nelson is a military veteran also. I have met and talked with him many times, he's the consummate professional. He never speaks an ill word about the city or it's leadership, and always seems to have the citizen's safety at heart.
    If I've erred on your intent please feel free to clarify. If not, I'm sure what I wrote was lost you.
    A Conservative Troy Supporter

  6. The recognition that he got: "Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs "Fire Chief of the Year." Is the recognition that counted. Nuff said.

  7. Of course the recognition from one's peers, particularly when the peers are distinguished professionals, means more than political recognition. However, one would hope the elected leader of a community possessed sufficient political acumen to recognize that one of the communities key public safety officials had received the highest honor an individual in their respective public safety field could be awarded. Such honors are to be shared by the community; it says volumes about both the public safety official and the community served. That is unless you don't believe employees of governmental units are worthy of praises. I do recall a comment from the Mayor in her pre-mayoral days that was to the effect of "public employee salaries must be placed where they belong, that is second to private sector salaries" ( this is a paraphrase if someone can find the exact quote within the hours of rhetoric she dumped on the council that would be great). My thought is, really? Without specifically saying so she provided her opinion of public employees. Suggestion: next time there's a fire, call Mr.'s Gosselin, Clark, Howrylak and Ms. DeBacker to fight it. Think they'll show? The Fire Chiefs recognition is
    certainly worth more that her accolades; but, what amounted to a public "he got a an award, no big deal..." is wrong. By the way, I was at the police officer's memorial day ceremony where the police department recognized three police officers who died in service to the city. The Mayor's speech somehow turned to the military that her son is part of. Coincidence? I think not. Now, the military deserves every honor they get, and if she talked about police officers or fire fighters on Memorial Day or Veterans's Day that would be wrong also. Her whole approach strikes me as self centered.

  8. Did you happen to catch last night's (9/24) city council meeting? A question was directed to staff regarding this by one of the council members. The explanation given seems self explanatory.