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.