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Monday, November 19, 2012

Will the fun never end?

Troy City Council Calls Special Meeting on Mayoral Replacement Procedure
Council will meet Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Troy City Hall.
By Jen Anesi
Troy City Council will meet this Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the council boardroom at Troy City Hall to review and discuss "the conflicting requirements of the Troy Charter and State Election Law regarding the appointment of a replacement of the Mayor position and the process to fill that position's remaining term (until November 2015)."
The purpose of the meeting is also "to discuss and determine whether an alternate course of action needs to be pursued." According to Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm, one of the suggested alternate courses would be a February special election to elect a new mayor.
“We are not comfortable having a February election because that would require us to violate some of our charter provisions," Bluhm said. "It's not enough notice."
The meeting was called at the request of councilmen Wade Fleming and Dave Henderson.

Hmm, those two, eh?
Read more here.




19 comments:

  1. Hmmmmmm. I wonder. If Wade Fleming had been selected last Monday night to be the next Mayor, would Ruth Johnson have bothered to send a letter on November 16th? I bet the $50,000 it would cost Troy to hold a Special Election that would not have done any such thing. This smells awful fishy. Wonder who contacted her and provoked her to find a reason to get involved? It's curious, because the TCU page is the one with a copy of her letter. I'm sick of these people harming this city. And I'm sick of them getting away with it.

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  2. This is perplexing. Our legal authority vetted this months ago. The state wouldn't just RANDOMLY look into this at this point. And anyone watching the special session the other night CLEARLY saw Mr. Fleming work it harder than necessary to direct a decision toward him as the pick for interim mayor.

    Very perplexing indeed.

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  3. Anon 10:29, the source of the letter that 'TCU' linked to was indentified as Brietbart.com. Perhaps someone should ask Brietbart how they got it?

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    1. Apparently, the source was joking, his Brietbart.com (which is a well-known national right-wing website)has been removed. Instead he now says he got it directly from author of the letter, the SOS Director of Elections, Christopher Thomas.

      I dunno about the SOS. Their latest administration plays partisan politics. I google Ruth Johnson's name for a contact email and what I get is a summons for her court appearance for going against the State mandate that the citizen check box should not be included in voter application.

      Also, the timing of the SOS raising this issue sucks. Ruth Johnson is an Oakland County resident, lives in Holly according to googled info. She can hardly be unaware of the recall. Also recalls are so rare, the last successful one was 10 years ago and overseeing elections is their ballywick, why didn't they bring this up this possible conflict with State laws with our city attorney months ago?

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    2. Anon 1:58: "Also recalls are so rare, the last successful one was 10 years ago and overseeing elections is their ballywick, why didn't they bring this up this possible conflict with State laws with our city attorney months ago?"..

      well, for these same reasons OUR city attorney should have done more homework, and perhaps reached out to the state and see what they thought.

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    3. True, Anon 1:58, it doesn't look good for our attorney. But then again, who's to say she didn't reach out to them earlier and gotten some kind of informal OK. There also seems to be a misundertanding on the definition of "regular election" (Feb or Nov?). I just think since the SOS determines election rules and since the recall got on the ballot, it has been heavily publicized what would happen, with the specific November 2013 date as selected; why wasn't the SOS pro-active and said "Hey,no" that's not how we view it, like two months ago would have been good. I kind of feel like our city is being made to look like a fool by the SOS...sorry but I don't feel like our attorney is the only one to blame here. What's less expensive, taking this thing to court or having an earlier than planned "special" election?

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    4. Nnow we find out that our attorney and city clerk got the green light from the Oakland County City Clerk. If we go up the chain of command, wasn't it up to Bill Bullard's office to check with Ruth Johnson's office...that is generally how it works in a large hierarchical organization. Otherwise, was it up to our attorney to check with the our Attorney General, the Governor, the President, where does it stop?
      For SoS to hand-down their pronouncement NOW in what looks like a response to a routine communication, REEKS! When is Ruth Johnson up for re-election, she's got to go. WHOEVER is running against her has my contribution and my vote. I can't believe Candace Miller or Terri Lynn Land could have been this bad.

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  4. Wary and Weary in TroyNovember 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Trying to figure out the end game. Clearly Fleming wanted to be mayor. He was down right petulant when he didn't get it. The mayor's vote is exactly the same as the council member. He stated, plainly and repeatedly (because Tietz said that this was the reason to vote for Wade) that he was NOT going to seek office next November. Yet, this feels desperately like Wade wants to be the incumbent to run again.
    He is acting all innocent like he just suddenly received this letter out of the blue sky. With a Republican Secty of State, Election office and Governor, seems like having them swoop in to decide this (either Wade is psychic, or this was in the works and just came too late for election day) this is more than fishy. Why to use the words of Fleming I'd say its "a set-up." Force a special election, blame the recall and city.
    It is unreal that this group of "fiscal conservatives" would force a special election and cost the city unnecessarily for personal gain. Because this is personal. This is all about Fleming and I hope that it comes back to bite him. He might not win a special, he might not win in 2013. We can only hope he doesn't.
    And don't even get me started on Henderson...These guys are the most duplicitous men I have ever seen. They can not be trusted in any way, shape or form.
    And for the record Mr. Fleming, enough with the aw shucks, gee whiz good ole boy act. You dispelled that notion at the last council session meeting. Your true self came out for all to see.

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  5. Wow - My gosh people, is everything a conspiracy?

    Hmmm these two? what is that suppose to mean? What it really should mean is that two council members decided that the receipt of this letter was serious enough to warrant the council at least getting together to discuss the issue, and that it should happen soon, rather than wait for the next regularly scheduled meeting. It takes two council members to call a meeting. Kudos to them for doing that.

    As a group that always talks about facts, stop speculating. It is fine to ask questions, there are certainly plenty to ask. Realistically we need to look forward, not back. The recall was successful, in that there is no doubt. Now it is what happens next that seems to be the issue, not who was the tattletale to the Secretary of state. It may be that there was no issue until the process to select the next mayor played out, and that raised the red flag. Who really knows at this point.

    Fleming has nothing to gain in this mess. Remember, if a special election is required, council people who wish to run may be forced to resign their current seat to do so. This was avoided by some table talk and concensus at the council table. If all three council people who were deemed appropriate to become mayor had resigned as the rules stated, we would have had three resignations and lots of open seats now.

    So does it really matter how we got here, the fact is we are here and it must be dealt with. Until the FACTS are known, we should all just step back and not look for a reason to begin attacking one another again. I think some people just like to either be in the fray or worse yet, fan the flames.

    Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving, because even with the new issues, we all have much to be thankful for as Troy residents.

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    1. Wary and Weary in TroyNovember 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      Sorry Anon 9:04am, my comments do feel very cloak and dagger. But in the last several years, residents have been given MANY reasons to come to this way of thinking. It is a conditioned response. With the false TCU mailings, Howrylak 11th hour letters of lies, false library ballots and petitions and too many other things to list, we are wary and weary indeed. It is frustrating that there is never any acknowledgement that those actions created the angry, suspicion out there today. They act like they have NO culpability.
      If this is a legit situation, then we will see how the people in the meeting handle it. That will give a window into the matter. But, history has taught us, that nothing is ever as it seems with this TCU group. The maneuvering and underhanded political gamesmanship is really nauseating. That is what everyone is ultimately quite sick of and it has to stop or we will never move ahead as a community.
      So, do I jump to the negative conclusion when things like this happen? You bet. I am just mad at myself for always expecting that maybe THIS time, it won't be that way, only to be disappointed again. I actually hope against hope that I am wrong about all this.

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    2. Anon 9:05 AM: Because of the games played by the same political contingent these two are tied to, people are reacting with suspicion. It's frustrating, isn't it? But that's what you get from leaders who love to slam city employees and create an atmosphere of mistrust. If it doesn't seem odd that the Secretary of State is suddenly offering an opinion and doesn't cause suspicion then you haven't come up first hand against their games. Many of us have. So, no. We don't trust them. At all. This is a learned behavior because they taught us well.

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  6. This kind of thing has happened in Michigan for years. It is right out of the extreme right wing playbook. I have worked several initiatives fairly and squarely to have them swoop in at the last minute and pull something like this. The associated meetings are always planned for a very inconvenient time - last minute, scheduled during a work day, right before or during a holiday period that makes it very difficult for citizens to drop their plans and run to a meeting. However, their side is adequately warned and packs the house. This seems exactly like what has happened before when they are on the losing end. I truly believe if Wade was selected none of this would be happening. I hope the city just sits on this letter. We do not need a special election. The council came to a consensus. Interesting that the guy who calls the meeting is the one who thinks he should be Mayor. And it's disturbing to see that Henderson can't seem to be independent- he needs needs someone to lead him. Used to be Janice, now it's Wade.

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    1. Here' what the law says regarding elections to fill vacancies created by recalls:
      “Once the result of the election is certified to have
      removed an elected official, the office is vacated. If
      the officer is recalled, another official must perform
      the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled
      (either by appointment or as empowered by law,
      depending on the office). A special election to fill
      the vacancy is held on the next regular election date.”
      So, the question is "what is the next regular election date?"
      State law indicates: "168.641 Regular election date; special election; report; direction and supervision of election consolidation; short title of section.
      Sec. 641.
      (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and sections 642 and 642a, beginning January 1, 2005, an election held under this act shall be held on 1 of the following regular election dates:
      (a) The February regular election date, which is the fourth Tuesday in February."
      Given this information it appears a conflict exists between Charter and State Law and that it would be prudent for the City Council to meet ASAP and direct the City Attorney to work to resolve this. I don't see a conspiracy (right or left wing) to promote a political viewpoint. Sometimes things just happen and they have to be worked out.
      If everytime someone makes a suggestion that either you or I disagree with and they have to go through the process of defending themselves we'll be back to where we were before. Sometimes your political opposite is right...or, better stated "correct".
      My read is if the City "sits on" the letter they expose themselves to some form of civil or possibly criminal charge and certainly more confusion. You can't disregard the law because it's inconvenient or you don't agree. That's what the courts are for; judges interpret law. Calling a meeting and providing direction to the City Attorney in a timely fashion seems like the right thing to.
      Can't buy the conspiracy theory on this one.


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    2. Looks like you correctly accessed the strategy. The following is from the patch article.

      "Likewise, an organized group of Troy citizens gathered outside City Hall after the meeting for a press conference where they stated that their plans to once again ask the city consider advice from the Attorney General."


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  7. Anon 7:25.. Ok, you keep up that line of thinking. Remember that if the lawsuits start flying. 'What IF', we are really wrong, and the state law trumps local charter (I believe it does, but, not a lawyer, so...)? Theoretically, any decisions made by this council going forward under that method could be challenged as not valid. I'd rather have some agreement between the state and the city regarding what needs to happen. Wouldnt you?

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  8. Diregard my last comments regarding the law, charter and not seeing a conspiracy; if you can delete them from blog please do so. I just tuned in to Council meeting online; I thought I was watching Fox or MSNBC, nothing but blame placing and name calling. I only wanted to try and be fair; isn't going to happen, too much political divide. What's right is a moving target. Sorry

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  9. It sounds to me like the "no action" decision was a right one. Regardless of the state law, do we really want both monetarily and emotionally to have another bruising and divisive election so soon?
    The "law's an ass" (Mr. Bumbles, Oliver Twist) if it trumps what is good for Troy at this point. Hopefully this will go away and become moot when we reach the time for planning next November's election. Also, what would be the penalty for Troy, will we have to pay a fine to the State for not having a special election?
    And indeed, if Wade Fleming really did want to be Mayor this badly, I'd gladly give it to him in exchange for not having this Secretary of State mess. I really don't care who is temporary Mayor among our council members, at least Janice Daniels is out of office.

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    1. I would agree on the Mayor. I just don't care. But I do care if these people get the majority vote. They are nuts. The fourth councilperson, in that regard, is more critical than the Mayor.

      Having said that, I think Wade looked like a fool yesterday. Both he and Henderson. Where is their sense of dignity? Then to see Glenn Clark working the media with a a press conference on this. Really? What is his goal with this? Wade's comments and Glenn's were from the same playbook, and very well coordinated. I'll give them that.

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  10. Wary and Weary in TroyNovember 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    I would have said I didn't care who sat in the center seat for the coming year until Nov. 2013, until all of this political maneuvering. What this shows me is that Wade Fleming is in the middle of the ugly, partisan politics every bit as much as Daniels, Howrylak, Clark and Gosselin. He can no longer pretend that he is " just doing the right thing for Troy," and golly gee whiz. NO. Until recently, he worked under the radar to the average viewer/citizen. Surely not to those who keep watch on this crowd. But it is time to expose all of them. Glenn Clark needs to get the message that the unseemly, dirty politics that he utilized in other communities illegally, is not going unchallenged here. What is unnerving, is that the State of Michigan officials are going to pull partisan politics against our city and to what end? Really, what is the motivation of the state to take this on over a volunteer position for 11 months? Makes no sense whatsoever.
    Not to be dramatic, but this is a battle for the soul of this city. These men are soulless and will do anything no matter the detriment to our community, to win for their ideology at any cost. And that will cost us plenty.

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