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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preserving the Will of the People

Much has been made over the last several months about preserving the will of the people as it related to the recall of (now ousted) controversial Troy Mayor Janice Daniels. Apparently the idea is that the open spot should be filled with a Daniels look-alike, politically speaking.

Specifically, Troy Patch blogger Dale Murrish has said REPEATEDLY that council MUST preserve the "power balance" of a 4-3 "fiscal Conservative" majority. He says decision makers must respect the MINORITY voice of those who wanted to keep Janice Daniels in office.  Never mind that council should respect ALL Troy voters.  Never mind that the Troy City Council is meant to be a non-partisan coalition. Never mind that we haven't really seen 4-3 votes since this new council was seated.

Never mind that his entire argument is pretty silly anyway...there was a reason the majority voted to get rid of her.  Why would we replace her with a clone??

Furthermore, Councilman Dave Henderson said just today on his Facebook page that his desire for the open council spot is to "choose someone that maintains the will of the people as stated in the November 2011 election that saw three fiscal conservatives riding the wave of the tax battle discontent."

There's one glaring problem with all of this: the electorate voted Janice Daniels in AS AN INDEPENDENT.  Local papers quoted her as saying she was not only independent, but a political newcomer.  She herself stated she was independent.  It was in her campaign literature and in her candidate bio in the Troy Times -- a publication from which a great majority of residents takes their information.

It was only after Janice Daniels was in office did her far-right, Tea Party, overly-personal ideology come to light to a large majority of Troy voters.  And once they knew it, they embraced the efforts to recall her.

That made one thing clear.  

The will of the people is to have AN INDEPENDENT, MODERATE VOICE.  The recall proved that what Troy DIDN'T want someone as partisan as Janice Daniels representing them.  Many of us ARE ALSO fiscally conservative.  But we are gifted with the ability to evaluate issues on their own merits, not simply on our myopic vision and/or party identification.  Daniels couldn't. 

We don't need someone new like that.

Councilman Henderson states that choosing the person to represent us on council is the "bigger test" of our governing body's ability to work together. In addition to preserving the will of the voters of Troy, he's looking for wisdom as the six members work this out.

So are we, Mr. Henderson.  Let's hope we're all defining the terms in the same way.

6 comments:

  1. A truly independent would be the only correct thing ... no more tea party in Troy. It is not the will of the majority of the people to have another far right wing conservative.... please be aware that the recall was for a lot of real reasons and we don't want any more of that group involved here.

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  2. The MO of these people is to campaign as middle of the road, sneak into office and then use their election as endorsement for extreme ideology.

    Would JD have been elected if if she campaigned as tea party or the most vocal opponent of tge library millage? Absolutely not. That's why she wasn't forthcoming.

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  3. Absolutely, a middle of the road independent. That person would be the most amenable to compromise and the good of the community. The majority did speak, several times actually.

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  4. Sue, this is yet another well written thoughtful post. I concur with most of what you say and I want to commend you for considering Councilman Henderson’s thoughts and not just dismissing them out of hand because they come from Councilman Henderson. You are being fair in your analysis of what Councilman Henderson is saying. Mind you, I said fair, I’m not necessarily judging on whether the analysis is right or wrong.

    I have a lot of problems in where we are today. I don’t think we’ll take one step forward until the issue of the seventh Council Member is resolved.

    You say: “Councilman Henderson states that choosing the person to represent us on council is the "bigger test" of our governing body's ability to work together. In addition to preserving the will of the voters of Troy, he's looking for wisdom as the six members work this out.

    So are we, Mr. Henderson. Let's hope we're all defining the terms in the same way.”

    From things that I’ve seen and read it appears to me that Councilman Henderson and a whole bunch of folks are under the erroneous opinion that this Council has worked well together most of the time. In my opinion, there have been few issues over the last year that have come before Council that would rise above noise level. So if one is looking at trivial stuff, well duh. On the ones that did rise above noise level, I don’t think they worked well at all. For example: The Transit Center, the distracted driving ordinance, the selection of the Mayor, what to do about the letter from the State were all way more contentious and partisan than they needed to be. I only point this out because I am pessimistic about the Council passing this, as Councilman Henderson calls it – “bigger test”.


    Sue, I think you know as well as I do, that unfortunately we are not all defining the terms in the same way, regardless of what you hope. As an aside, I used to believe in the saying “Hope springs eternal”, but after living in Troy the last couple of years, not so much. I’m concerned that people are not even defining the meaning of words like conservative, liberal and all their variants the same. For example, someone may consider a candidate to be moderate while others may consider the candidate to be a flaming liberal or ultra right conservative. I think that disconnect will be prevalent. And the big question is how do we resolve it? There may not be a satisfactory solution.


    You say: “That made one thing clear.
    The will of the people is to have AN INDEPENDENT, MODERATE VOICE.”

    I agree with you. However, where are you going to find that “independent, moderate voice”? I may be more perceptive and/or suspicious than most, but I don’t believe that the vast majority of people are “Independent, moderate” regardless of what they maintain. I say this because actions speak louder than words and I’ve observed many politicians, activists, wannabes, etc. in the community and they all have some bias and aren't necessarily independent nor moderate no matter what they claim. I’m not trying to be overly critical, some of that is just human nature.


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  5. John -
    I think the word "independent" is even more important than the word "moderate". You are correct in your belief that there is a subjective element to the labels of liberal/conservative/moderates.

    When I think of independent, I think of someone who is not influenced by politicians or by political agendas. Their agenda is based on their own personal values and what they truly believe is best for the city. An independent person is someone who is not looking to make a statement to the state or nation, but is only looking to make the city a place that people are proud to live in. An independent person is someone who wants Troy to be a community rather than a city. An independent voice is one who has no political aspirations or motivations beyond just helping their city get back some of the integrity and dignity it has lost in the last few years. Lastly, an independent voice would be focused on working with the other council to find solutions that work for a vast majority of the citizens, rather than making one of the fringe extreme groups happy.

    There are people out there that could lead the city in a independent and collaborative fashion like I described above. I don't care what label someone gives them, but they do exist. Most of them just are busy living their lives and aren't wrapped up in the negative cloud that has hung over our council for the last few years. It is possible to find people who aren't motivated by the politics. The challenge is to find a few of them that are willing to stick their nose into this mess and try to move the needle in a positive direction.

    This appointment might be a chance to do that. This would be a unique opportunity for the council to find someone that could work with all of them, rather than one that got the support of one group or another. I am hopeful the council can work together in the same collaborative manner they used to find the new City Manager. Right now, that is the shining example of what they can do when they truly block out the political white noise that surrounds them and just focuses on the city.

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