If you’ve attended or watched a Troy City Council meeting lately, you may have noticed quite a lengthy lead in to public comment. You can read the full text in any of the archived minutes, but the pertinent bit is as follows
…please do not use expletives or make derogatory or disparaging comments about any one person or group. If you do so, then there may be immediate consequences…
This entire portion was added to the rules and procedures as an outcome of the actions of Janice Daniels early in her term. She encouraged the addition of these warnings to speakers for what one must assume was HER OWN protection.
You see, in those early days, she had to sit through quite a few lengthy meetings in which all manner of residents voiced their strong opinions of her. Many times she’s referenced the so-called “attacks” she receives via these remarks, though she never acknowledges that these statements are often REACTIONS to what SHE HERSELF has said. Often, it’s a resident repeating the Mayor’s own words and expressing dismay.
Telling the mayor you are unhappy with her treatment of you is, apparently, an ATTACK.
Fast forward to the last council meeting in which a supporter of Mayor Janice Daniels got up and got rolling with her comments. She started with high praise for Mayor Daniels.
Then she went off the rails.
She spat out the names of the Recall Janice Daniels organizers and chastised them for their “radical, hateful and bully tactics.” She accused them of being “twisted and sick” for enacting their legal rights by organizing the recall…oh, I mean “stealing our election process of Nov. 2011.”
‘Cause you know…those over 9,000 people who signed the petition - many of whom were so eager to sign they grabbed the clipboards out of our hands - must have been coerced, frightened and brainwashed, right? Insert heavy sigh and eye roll…
And then she had a special message to the women of the recall – including me – and venomously spat out our names, too. Here is what she said to us:
I also want to point out several women who apparently have nothing better to do. These women are not the voices of the women or the people. These women are hate-filled LOSERS. I can only imagine that they look into an enchanted mirror due to their bitterness, and this is what I want to say to you, “Get off your high horses.”
As you might imagine, there was some commotion in the chambers as this woman spoke. Several audience members gasped (I was one of them!), others sat up and showed great shock on their faces, and even some of the council members looked toward each other or the Mayor to see if she’d stop the OBVIOUS violation of the rules.
My own daughter burst into tears later that night when I explained what was said about me and my friends. "It's TOO PERSONAL," she cried, and she's right.
But what did Janice Daniels do?
She sat in her chair, smiling sweetly at the woman speaking. She neither moved nor reacted. And when the woman was done, she called the next speaker. No emotion, no recognition of the slanderous and disparaging remarks.
Several others spoke, including more supporters of the Mayor. Every one who spoke in defense of the Mayor disparaged the recall supporters. Again, that was allowed to go on in spite of the rules the Mayor reads out loud each and every meeting.
When it was time for Council response to public comment, Dane Slater was quick to bring up the situation at hand. At his prompting, the members of the council discussed what had transpired. You can read an account of it on the TroyPatch. Almost to a one, they agreed that citizens doing nothing more than engaging in the legislative process shouldn't be disparaged for speaking their opinion. Private citizens shouldn't have to be called names for being in disagreement with someone else.
The bottom line is that six members of the governing body agreed that what we’d heard was wrong, and that future incidents like that needed to be stopped.
One person disagreed with all the other six. One person didn’t think anything we’d heard was awful.
That person was Janice Daniels.
It’s time, once again, to call the Mayor’s behavior – and that of her supporters -- for what it is: it’s bullying. The actions of that woman in that meeting were the actions of a bully.
Janice Daniels protects bullies because Janice Daniels IS a bully.
We have to stand up to the bullying that Janice Daniels has brought to Troy.
We have to say YES to RECALL JANICE DANIELS.