Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Had enough of the local tea party, Janice Daniels and tea partiers in Washington?

Enjoy this rant from HBO's Newsroom!
I just about passed out from glee when I watched it Sunday night!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why have an ethics policy for advisory/committee board members? (A: to stop the cronies!)

I was very surprised when talk at the Monday, Aug. 27 Troy City Council meeting turned to the ethics of the city advisory boards and committees, particularly when the mayor pro-tem started talking about a particular example that I knew very well.
It is the very reason I got involved in city politics. Please read it here.
Clearly, Janice Daniels was quite rattled about the idea of forcing ethics on the committees. Why? She was a leader of the group that told the member of my advisory board to act unethically!
Janice Daniels and her friends at the somewhat defunct TCU (hopefully defunct because we at Keep Troy Strong helped kill it!) wish to politicize the boards. That is why the people that Janice Daniels nominates for city boards are usually completely unqualified in their skill sets, but wholly in agreement with her ideologically.
Whatever will she do if her buddies can't abuse the boards to support their ideology above the needs of the people of Troy?

Driven to Distraction

At tonight's City Council meeting, Troy's REVISED distracted driving ordinance comes up for vote.

Click this link to see the resolution.  (CLICK)

Effectively, a move by Councilman Dave Henderson prompted the council to vote 4-3 in support of asking City Attorney Bluhm to re-draft the ordinance, striking out the part that covers a multitude of behaviors that COULD prompt an officer to ticket a driver under the ordinance.

Striking that portion means that IF a driver is pulled over for driving recklessly and an officer decides to ticket, he/she can ONLY ticket under a LAW, not an ordinance.  It would mean a greater offense for a larger fine and possibly points -- making insurance go up, too.

Part of CM Henderson's angst appeared to be with officers using discretion.  He insinuated several times on record that it was offensive to him that the officers don't uniformly ticket every single time they pull someone over.

Chief Mayer tried to explain that a major purpose of the ordinance is EDUCATION.  Having it on the books allows officers to pull distracted drivers over, evaluate how dangerous the behavior was, and then either WARN or TICKET based on that -- resulting in more awareness and safer roads.

I fail to see why this is so awful.  I don't understand why it's considered a governmental overreach, as Henderson and his supporters like to view it.

And frankly, the day officers DON'T use discretion is the day I call for anarchy.

Consider writing the members of City Council (use council@troymi.gov to get them all in one fell swoop) today about this ordinance, asking them to KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Businesses moving in? Thank the previous mayor and council!

While Janice Daniels will have you believe that the recent upswing in numbers of new businesses moving to Troy is due of her brilliance and steady helmsmanship, we all know that isn't true.
I ran into a veterinarian who opened a new practice in Troy in October of 2011, a month before Janice Daniels took office, who told me that previous zoning would have forced her to have a practice on a major street because of the perceived noise level of a veterinary clinic. This vet couldn't afford to develop on prime real estate, but when the previous council worked with the city to radically change and relax zoning ordinances with the express purpose of bringing in new business, she immediately looked for new digs in Troy.
Same goes for the new restaurant Smashburger. Although Janice Daniels did appear at the grand opening (though not for the ribbon cutting -- did she not see the email for that?) and showed off her true skills flipping burgers, one hopes she did not attempt to take credit for the new business.
As the reporter from the Troy Times wrote:
Troy City Planner Brent Savidant explained that the parcel where the restaurant is located was rezoned from office to business in 2010, a time when the office vacancy rate was hovering near 40 percent. Savidant said the developer, Dennis Bostic, thought the different zoning would improve the marketability and redevelopment potential for the site. “It’s (now) a busy spot,” Savidant said.
So as we all know, mayor Daniels is going to rush to the fore to take credit for these new businesses, but please remind her and her followers, the business upswing is thanks to the previous mayor, council and staff, all of whom Daniels has time and time again deemed incompetent and unworthy of the salaries they earn and the offices they held.
Who is unworthy?
It's time Troy sent Janice Daniels packing and let her return to flippin' burgers.
Recall Janice Daniels.



Due to popular demand, I am removing the video of Janice flipping burgers. Videos from Patch are always auto-play, but I loved having that video here. If you'd like to watch it, go here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You've Got to Change Your Evil Ways, Janice!

Just in case you missed the very successfull Recall Janice Daniels Fundraiser tonight, here's part of a song by the band, sung by one of our favorite contributors here at KTS - Rob!
(Don't have time to edit, so forgive it's raw quality.)




Friday, August 17, 2012

Forty-Eight Hours

Here it is two full days after Monday's council meeting...and folks are still talking up a storm about two major issues that were discussed.

Issue #1
You can read an article on Troy Patch about the Mayor's request to put her personal philosophy and bio on the City website for purposes of letting people know "who to vote for or not," in her own words.  Remember that statement -- she was specifically told she could NOT do any such thing for that exact purpose, and yet she still SPOKE THOSE WORDS in defense of her request.  You can see the play back of the meeting HERE; watch the last few minutes of Web Cast 1 and the first few minutes of Web Cast 2 to get the full picture.

Issue #2
You can read an article on Troy Patch about the distracted driving ordinance issue. The distracted driving ordinance has been hotly contested by Councilman Dave Henderson since its inception.  Dubbed the "cheeseburger law" by Henderson, he's been against TPD having discretion to ticket under the ordinance vs. ticketing under stricter reckless driving laws.  Councilwoman McGinnis stated that she couldn't really see a negative aspect to keeping the ordinance in place.  Former TPD Officer Slater stated it would be "foolish" to get rid of it.  And in the face of evidence from the Chief of Police that it's done well and not been used arbitrarily but rather as an educational tool for both police and drivers, Henderson still persisted in forwarding a motion to abolish the third portion of the ordinance .Henderson, Tietz, Fleming and Daniels -- dubbed the "gang of four" by a local resident did just that, though...voted to get rid of it.

All of this begs some questions:

-- Why do realtors and business people purport to know more about legal and law enforcement issues than the experienced professionals the City of Troy has hired?
-- Why does Councilman Henderson, and now joined on nearly every issue by Fleming and Tietz, immediately jump in and defend every single thing Janice Daniels does, even when given nearly "irrefutable proof" (his favorite buzzword) that it's unwise to proceed with her wishes?
-- Why are Councilman Fleming and Henderson suddenly so interested in the pensions/benefits of RETIRED City employees, including police officers?  
-- Do they not realize that proceeding in an unwise fashion on this issue could harm the future of all union contract negotiations, even knowing that our Police unions VOLUNTARILY opened their contracts two years early under a different administration that was more sympathetic to their outstanding service?
-- Why DON'T we have a social media policy that governs what an elected official can use and place on personal websites?
-- Why is it ok to suggest the City Attorney take EVEN MORE TIME to tell Mayor Daniels why her city website request is potentially harmful, but using the City staff to work on universally beneficial projects is a waste of taxpayer dollars?
-- Why was a successful ordinance on driving voted down, yet one of adding more layers of government voted in regarding fireworks?  So some of the council wants to eat in their cars w/o fear of being ticketed, but don't want their beauty sleep disturbed?
-- Why is big government bad, then, only when we don't like what it advocates, but awesome when it serves our own selfish needs?

The only answers to these questions lie in seeing elected officials with more interest in their pet peeves than in serving an entire community.

The answers lie in what is becoming an obvious rush to get some things passed while there still exists a majority to do so.  Once the recall is successful, we'll have a different make-up on council, and the selfish desires of partisan politicians serving only their cronies won't be as easy to shove down our throats.

The answers lie in seeing some council members for what they are.  And that's not good for Troy.

Start solving the problem by supporting the Recall Janice Daniels effort.

Recall Janice Daniels...Save Troy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pride Source: Daniels Proposes Marriage Policy for Troy

An astonishing article, originally in Between the Lines, not just because of what Janice Daniels is all about, but also because of what the other council people say about her.
The battle is on.

By Kate Opalewski

Originally printed 8/16/2012 (Issue 2033 - Between The Lines News)

TROY - Mayor Janice Daniels is making headlines again. This time, she is considering putting restrictions on marriage and divorce in the city of Troy with a Community Marriage Policy. She continues to draw attention to herself while facing a possible recall in the Nov. election, which was added to the ballot in July after 8,877 signatures were collected and verified by the Oakland County Director of Elections.

A Troy Community Marriage event was held at the Zion Christian Church in July where Mayor Daniels hosted a meeting with 40 religious, political and civic leaders to discuss her goal of reducing the area's divorce rates and to raise marriage rates.

According to the policy website, local clergy sign a covenant agreeing not to marry any couple who has not had a specified, substantial amount of pre-marital counseling. They also agree to create strong, lasting and satisfying marriages through the use of trained marriage mentor couples.

"I believe that marriage strengthens communities; therefore my involvement in setting the stage for a community marriage initiative is in keeping with the stated goal of mayor as a promoter and defender of the community," said Mayor Daniels in a recent post on her Facebook page. "If we can divert tax dollars from addressing societal challenges to infrastructure improvements (roads, sidewalks, drains, etc.) we will provide a better environment for the private sector to grow businesses and for families to move to Troy."

The policy, established by Mike and Harriet McManus of Potomac, Maryland, is not designed for same-sex couples. "That's a different culture with different issues. I have no competence in that field. I plead ignorance," said McManus, President of the Marriage Savers group. While McManus was able to provide a plethora of statistics and information regarding heterosexual married couples, when asked whether or not same-sex couples would be recognized under this policy, he said "It would not affect them. This policy is meant to restore traditional marriage only."

"The implementation of a 'traditional marriage' policy in Troy would be a thinly veiled attempt to insult and marginalize same-sex couples and their families. Not only does it send a message to LGBT adults - you are not welcome here - it also tells sexual-minority youth that they cannot aspire to 'happily ever after' like their peers. And that message, of course, can have devastating effects," said Dr. John Corvino, chair of the Wayne State University Philosophy Department and co-author (with Maggie Gallagher) of the new book Debating Same-Sex Marriage.

While the policy has not been introduced to council members yet, they are aware of Mayor Daniels intentions. "I wouldn't support her desire to legislate or develop policies on this issue and I do not agree with her decision to use her position on the council to forward her personal ideologies," said Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis.

"Mayor Daniels is again mixing her personal ideology with the business of the city of Troy. The city has absolutely no business getting involved with personal issues of marriage. Further, in my opinion, the Mayor has no authorization to represent her views or views of other council members in the name of Troy on a project such as this," said Troy Councilman Jim Campbell. "Her justification that her policy will save money for the community and it can be used to improve the infrastructure of the city is totally unfounded. Based on her past performance I am sure the policy does not include ALL the people in Troy."

Mayor Daniels has been the center of controversy since December when she posted an anti-gay statement on her Facebook page in June prior to being elected into office in November. In response, the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance organized a protest urging Mayor Daniels to step down. Later, she told the GSA students that the homosexual lifestyle is "dangerous" and wrote a lengthy position paper personally attacking city employees and council members. She further upset citizens of Troy after voting against the Troy Transit Center.

"In the past I have had the pleasure of working with many of the kids at Troy High School through various venues. When all of the uproar started I was very proud and impressed with how many of the students from both Troy and Athens came forth to speak on the issues that had surfaced. I am still proud of them today," said Campbell.

Read more here.




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Three Ring Circus of Council Meeting: You Decide

FROM LINDA, A READER
Part 2

The second issue iseven more ludicrous.

 Janice Daniels wants to put her philosophies, along  with her bio, on the City website. The norm is to put up
your bio, as Maureen McGinnis, James Campbell and Dave Henderson
have done. It is done in a basic format, which allows the information to be
presented in a common format with common information. But, NO, that is
not acceptable to Janice. She is special, or at least thinks she is. She
insists that her philosophies be added.; the type of information that is used
when one is “campaigning” for that seat. Isn’t it interesting that she has
been in office since November and NOW this is a pressing issue? The
best part of this act is that Councilmen Tietz, Henderson and Fleming agree
with her! They see nothing wrong with this, even after our City Attorney
had indicated her concerns previously to Janice and in the meeting.

City Attorney, Lori Grigg Bluhm, indicated that this might not be the time to
address this due to the recall. She further explained that this could open
up the city to campaign finance act violations, or just the mere perception of
impropriety, the perception that the city’s resources are being used in
support of or opposition to the recall campaign. She feels there is some
exposure for the city.

Once again, the gang of four; Wade Fleming, Doug Tietz, Dave Henderson
and Janice Daniels disagreed. After all, they all went to law school didn’t
they? What is wrong with this picture? They won’t agree with the City
Attorney’s recommendation, they know better? Why do we have a City
Attorney if they have all the answers?

Dave Henderson and Doug Tietz suggested she sit down with the City
Attorney to review this further. Doug asked if “she would be willing to sit
with the City attorney?” To which she replied, “If that is what the council
wants me to do.” How noble of her. When Councilman Slater said, “I
thought you already met with the City Attorney?” Her reply was “I have” and
ran on to the next item.

Now, as a citizen, how do you feel about the limited city staff being
stretched even further to address Janice and others’ personal agendas?
This is not fiscal responsibility. It is someone who is just hell bent on
having her own way, no matter what. She would rather put the City at risk
of campaign violations, the perception of using the City’s website and
resources to benefit her in preventing her recall, etc. than do what is right
for the City and its citizens.

Another embarrassing part of this meeting was when Janice interrupted
Councilman Dane Slater. She continues to ignore the rules and was not
only rude, but obnoxious. Mr. Slater, on the other hand, kept his cool and
politely called for “point of order” to which she replied, “I think you are out of
order because you signed the petition.” She further violated the rules
afterward, trying to speak out of turn. I am grateful that we have at least
three council members who demonstrate knowledge and integrity and
perform their duties with the City in mind, not their personal agendas.
By the way, Wade Fleming now wants the staff to do more research on the
pensions, etc. stretching them even more. Did he forget they are trying to
hire a new City Manager? Oh, I forgot. It doesn’t matter unless it is self
serving for the gang.

The odor coming from these antics is worse than those at Zug Island where
the foul smells are strong enough to cause dry heaves.

Let’s put an end to this and start to restore competent leadership. We can
do this by first recalling Janice Daniels. We need to let these politicians
know that we care about our city, not their ideologies and self-serving
interests, and that we will not tolerate their behavior.

Go to www.recalljanice.com

Three Ring Circus or Council Meeting? You Decide

FROM LINDA, A READER...

Part 1
Last night’s City Council meeting was a joke to say the least. Two items in
particular were:

1) The distracted driving ordinance and

2) Putting Janice Daniels biography/philosophies on the city website.

Our distracted driving ordinance took months to prepare for a vote. During
this time, council worked with the Troy Police Department, Traffic
Improvement Association of Oakland County, input from citizens, etc. This
materialized in an ordinance that won Accolades for being proactive in
safety, as well as setting an example for other cities.
In fact, ABC News had a story a few months ago about another midwest
city that implemented a similar ordinance such as ours. The news story
said it was the first of its kind anywhere in the country and was expected to
be an example of a safety standard for other cities. (I e-mailed ABC News
to correct them and say that Troy was the first.)
At a previous council meeting, Councilman Henderson suggested removing
paragraph three of the ordinance:

3.! COMMON DISTRACTIVE BEHAVIORSThe ordinance reads: Any action by the driver of a motor vehicle that diverts his or her attention resulting in the failure to use duecare and caution in the safe operation of a motor vehicle while the vehicle is in motion on any highway or street or place open tothe general public within the City of Troy. Such action can includebut is not limited to: eating, reading, writing, performing personalhygiene/grooming, physical interaction with pets, passengers, or unsecured cargo, any of which is done in a manner that prohibits the driver from maintaining direct physical control of the motor vehicle steering mechanism with at least one hand that is free of  all other objects and used entirely to form a controlled grip on thesteering mechanism.

From the City Website: A common question is why did we need a new ordinance? Why not just
have the police officers enforce the laws currently on the books and write
tickets for careless or reckless driving? The trend around the country is to
legislate distracted driving laws. The penalties for those laws are generally
fines but no points. To be consistent, the Troy ordinance follows this
practice by offering penalties that include fines but no points. In contrast, a
Careless Driving ticket currently carries a fine of $205.00 and three points.
Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor crime where a judge/magistrate
determines fines and costs in addition to six points. By organizing the new
Troy ordinance in a three-part distracted driving package, with
penalties as fines but no points, we are consistent with similar laws
around the country.

Chief Mayer provided council a great amount of information before the
meeting showing the positives of our ordinance, NO negatives and the
Accolades attributed to the city for developing it. He was still acquiring
more information, but a murder investigation had taken priority, as it should
have.

In spite of this, and Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis’s explanation of the
effort and resources involved, the gang of four council members, Wade
Fleming, Doug Tietz, Dave Henderson and Janice Daniels voted to remove
the third paragraph of the ordinance. Basically, they thumbed their noses
at all who were involved. It was also quite evident that the information
provided meant nothing, if they actually read it. The majority of this council
is taking us backward rather than forward. Pay attention and beware of
what they have on their agenda.

Here is a video regarding distracted driving:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t8Sj0cTMRM&feature=related

Janice Daniels shouldn't be able to advertise her "philosophies" on the Troy City website

Now let’s think about what the Troy city attorney said Monday night. She doesn’t think that Mayor Janice Daniels would be wise to post certain information on the city website.
What did she want to post? Janice Daniels wants to go against tradition in our city government. Instead of posting her biography like everyone else, Janice thinks she deserves special dispensation to post her “philosophy,” sprinkled with all the dog whistle words that show people she is a Tea Party conservative.
I assume the purpose of posting biographies is so that the people know which council member to go to about various issues they would have with the city. Go to the real estate person for some issues, to the lawyer for others.
But for Janice Daniels there’s not much advantage to posting her resume. She doesn’t have great experience. She ran for office as a real estate agent, but apparently was not an agent at the time she ran (meaning she was not telling the truth). She also ran as a “businesswoman” who in truth spent much of her career as an office manager.
It’s also kind of ironic that Janice, who says she cares about the private sector more than the public sector, doesn’t want to show her private sector credentials. She wants to show her POLITICAL credentials.
Hmmm. Kind of odd when the mayor and city council are supposed to be nonpartisan—or at least TRY to appear nonpartisan.
So anyway, what did she want to post instead of her work credentials? This:


There is so much here to debate. Like her attendance at South Oakland Mayors meetings—she forgot to attend the one in Southfield in May, never RSVPing or whether her appearance anywhere creates positive synergy.
And that’s the point. This is not objective provable fact. This is subjective, pro-Janice drivel from Janice.
The city attorney doesn’t want to put it up because it’s clear the purpose is to further her own political career – or to convince people not to recall her. Even while claiming it only defined who she was, Janice said that this document would help people figure out who to vote for -- meaning it is partisan, political and inappropriate!
The city attorney was concerned that using this mini-Tea Party manifesto, rather than an objective resume might put the city at risk to be charged with breaking Michigan Campaign Finance laws.
But why would our attorney fear that?
Perhaps it’s because in 2010, Citizen Janice Daniels reported the mayor and some city council members (two who are still in office and no doubt remember!) to the State of Michigan for allegedly breaking Michigan Campaign Finance laws. 
Our little hypocrite is at it again! 
Back then Janice supposedly knew what the rules were, while now they completely escape her!
She and her friends at TCU claimed that the city council was offering biased information sent out a brochure on the 1.9 millage.
Yes, Janice Daniels and friends Martin Howrylak (whom she supports for MI State Rep), Bob Gosselin, Deb DeBacker, Glenn Clark and all the rest of the old TCU cast (who she has now placed on all of the boards and committees) fought bravely against saving our library, nature center, staff, etc. They did so by coming up with the rallying cry, that the 1.9 millage would raise property taxes by 29 percent. Truth was, with property values, and thus property taxes, in freefall, even with the millage approved, our taxes would have continued to go down. And we would have saved facilities, services and staff that are now long gone.
Gee, Janny, thanks.
Janice also filed a Campaign Finance complaint against the city council members she didn't like (some of whom she works with today). So wee innocent Janice Daniels knows precisely why the attorney is concerned today. Janice did the very thing to the city that she is pretending could NEVER HAPPEN!
What.a.hypocrite.

Of course, Janice Daniels is on the verge of being recalled for her incompetence, pesky continued evidence of bigotry and supporting and even giving bigots important volunteer positions on city committees.
We might be able to assume that she is having a much harder time raising money than the recall campaign is. It’s kinda hard to defend her, after all, which means it’s hard for her to raise money to get her message out and defend herself from the recall.
So what is she doing? She’s trying to use the respectability of the City of Troy to defend herself.
Daniels has both a website and Facebook page. For both she has gone to extreme ends to ensure the pages look like official city pages AND to ensure both pages reject any input or comments from “the people.” Now what on earth is the point of being the people’s mayor, as she claims to be, but refusing to let the people speak?
Well, Janice is a hypocrite.
And as if it isn't bad enough that she creates fake city websites to spread her "philosophies," now she wants to put them on the website we pay for.
And why does she want to put her “philosophy” on the city website?
Is it to help the people?
Or is it to help Janice?
The latter, bien sur.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Socially Networked Detroit: Another way Janice Daniels doesn't get it

by Bonnie Caprara

Forgive me for getting inappropriately political on my professional website, but there’s a professional point I want to make.

As a former journalist who used to cover the City of Troy, Mich., for The Oakland Press and as in my current capacity as a director of public relations for a marketing firm in which part of my responsibilities include overseeing Facebook accounts for my company and several clients, I really have to get this off my chest … Janice Daniels just doesn’t get this Facebook thing.

No, I’m not talking about“that” Facebook post, the one in which she embarrassed herself and the City of Troy on a national level last December by posting a gay slur, but her Facebook fan (not personal) page: Janice Daniels – Mayor Troy Michigan.

I’m all about companies, government entities and elected officials that Facebook as an open and transparent two-way communication tool. However, I cringe when I institutions and people use it as a one-way propaganda vehicle.

Normally, Facebook allows users to leave a comment on somebody’s page, but on Janice’s page, she has disabled that function. Likewise, public pages have contact information on their “About” page, but if you go Janice’s “About” page, the only contact information she provides is:

• A link to her Twitter account, which actually links to her website. (Her actual Twitter account is @JaniceTroyMayor. I hope that the misdirected link was an unintentional error.)

• A link to her website where the contact page only incudes: two phone numbers — a City of Troy voice mail number (248-524-3500, option one (1)) and a phone number with a two-minute recorded message with no voice mail — and two U.S. Mail addresses — the Troy City Hall address (505 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084) and a P.O. Box address (P.O. Box 4643, Troy, MI 48099). There is no email address.

Janice Daniels, mayor of The City of Tomorrow, Today? Am I in a time warp? I haven’t sent anyone a letter via snail mail in at least a 15 years.

Not only does Janice make it impossible for people to reach her, but she has clearly stated “rules” for “discussion” on her Facebook page:




This facebook page is not a forum for debate or defense of the issues that are chosen to be promoted on it. If anyone wants to discuss issues with me I have Meet the Mayor office hours from 2pm to 3pm every Monday that a regularly scheduled council meeting is held and the following Tuesday evening from 6pm to 7pm. These office hours are a part of the complimentary outreach that I make to the community because I love this city and all of the people who live, work and play here. Anyone who knows me knows that to be true. – Posted Aug. 2, 2012

So if I wanted to discuss something she posted on Facebook with her that I’m supposed to take time out during my work day or dinner hour? Also, this highly disappoints me from a elected official who had often talked about governmental transparency during her campaign and her many public comments before previous city councils.

In case you were curious about the “issues that are chosen to be promoted on” her Facebook page, between Aug. 1-14 …

• Aug. 2: Her post stating her Facebook page rules for comments and discussion. (See above.)

• Aug. 5: An inspirational quote by Norman Vincent Peale.

• Aug. 5: A post with a link promoting Classic Auto Showplace.

• Aug. 6: A patriotic “poem” about America written by a woman during World War II.

• Aug. 6: A post lauding “some great people representing the Troy Community Lions Club” that she met at the Troy Classic Car Show.

• Aug. 7: “The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity” …

• Aug. 9: A long-winded defense of her friends, Sterling Heights Councilman Paul Smith and his wife, Moira.(Paul Smith has recently asked Smith to resign following the discovery of him carrying signs at a Tea Party rally three years ago of a photo of a simulated hanging of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and a simulated picture of President Barack Obama with his decapitated head on a spear.)

• Aug. 12: A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men …

As a Facebook reader, but not a resident or registered voter of the City of Troy, I think it was appropriate of her to pass along kudos to the folks she met from the Lions Club, the car show, and a local business. However, I’m a little bothered by an elected official of a non-partisan seat espousing strongly conservative opinions of what the United States of America and her
principles of what democracy in this country are all about. But to heap praise on another elected official who’s in the middle of a PR crisis? Some would call that political suicide for an elected official whether or not he or she was facing a recall election.

Now that is something I think would make for an interesting discussion on Facebook. As much as I want to “debate” her and post a link to of this post on her page, I still think it’s unreasonable to send it via snail mail or carve out time out of my busy schedule to talk to her in person on her own turf (see video below at 1:11).

(See video on Bonnie's website here.

Twenty-four Hour Rule

From some perspectives, last night's meeting was a barn-burner.

Therefore, I'm invoking a twenty-four hour rule on commenting because I am taking my own advice:  words and actions have consequences.  We need to choose them wisely.

For now, then, do me a favor.  Watch the last few minutes of Web Cast 1 and then the first several minutes of Web Cast 2 from last night's meeting.

Ask yourself a few questions:

-- Is this the mayor we want for the next three years?
-- Why do council members with no formal legal training seem to act as though they know more than the City Attorney?
-- Who is the Mayor truly trying to represent?

Share your thoughts in the comments...and I'll be getting ready to share some of my own soon...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dale's war on 'other' religions

So over on the Patch Dale has gone a bit goofy, defining others' and their religions how ever he sees fit, and always negatively.

It's in response to my complaint in a letter to the editor that Janice Daniels is inappropriately focused on religious programs that wish to convert the non-Christians of Troy and create a city-wide, Christian-Conservative-approved (that's not the only type of Christian, Mr. Murrish) pre-marriage counseling program. It's a dangerous mix of small-town politics, political Christianity and the second most diverse (both ethnically and religiously) population in Michigan.

A sampling of some of Dale's responses:
Daffy/Matt, secularism is a religion, just like all the others. It’s basically atheism for some or religion a la carte for most (pick and choose what you believe) and it’s in fashion nowadays. The adjective is not the same as the noun.
Biblical Christianity is currently under attack by secularist (not secular) mayors in Chicago, Boston and New York. A secular mayor would not try to discourage a business based on the religious beliefs of the CEO, but be neutral towards all religions.
They admit they cannot legally stop Chick-Fil-A from locating in their cities (they might change their minds if they ate there and experienced the great customer service they give to everyone), but they are trying to intimidate Christians who believe the Bible to shut up on this issue of gay marriage.
This is an important religious freedom issue. People can attend a church that believes in gay marriage if they wish. They can also lobby the government to change the laws regarding civil marriage. Churches that follow the Bible will never perform gay marriages regardless of what society at large accepts.
If people want freedom from religion, they should consider moving to Europe where secularism is much more prevalent and far fewer people attend church rather than trying to transform America.
Note to Dale: People may want freedom FROM religion, but also from YOUR religion. You only talk about the dastardly work secularists are doing. What about other religions? Are they permitted freedom and RESPECT in your America?
Most Americans like the freedom to believe in God or not believe in Him and live our lives as we please. Americans of all faiths, including atheists, should back Chick-Fil-A and its CEO.
Everyone is free to live their lives in America but gay people and secularists, apparently.
A Jewish woman wrote this, but Dale didn't respond:
Dale, our Mayor is NOT neutral towards religion. Troy is diverse culturally and religiously. She is promoting Christian-based divorce restrictions and the conversion of non-Christians to Christianity. She prayed to her prophet a couple council meetings ago. How is this neutral? What happened to the separation of church and state? I'm not a Christian yet the leader of my town is promoting Christianity. How can we be a multicultural and multi-religious society if we are promoting one religion over the many others in this city? Am I a part of this city? It sure doesn't feel like it when we are praying to someone else's prophet at city council meetings. Try to imagine yourself as a cultural or religious minority. Put yourself in my shoes. This is not a liberal or conservative issue. It's a fairness issue.
He ignored her and chose to fight with someone else:
Jeff -
Secular = open, neutral forum to all religions, yours and mine included
Secularism = indifference to religion or atheism
There’s no contradiction.
Biblical Christianity = beliefs based on the Bible
No one should have to move. You’re welcome to continue to struggle against biblical Christianity here. My point was that it would be easier to move to Europe because the work has already been done. Reading it again it sounds hostile. I didn’t mean it that way.
In my opinion the Obama administration has been hostile to particular religions and not had an open forum for all to compete fairly. Most Bible-believing Christians agree with me on this. Others obviously see it differently. I'm just sharing my opinion, which is held by a significant number of people in this country.
I like how he always makes sure we know he is in the majority. What he doesn't understand is, that is the whole point, isn't it? Janice and Dale seem to heartily believe that it is the majority's right to trample on the rights and desires of the minorities of all kinds. My my. WWJD indeed?

Here's another.
Today's Secularists have added abortion rights, which are not only against science but the clear teaching of the Bible, and "marriage equality" for all when homosexual sex is clearly taught as outside of God's good plan. Some are also very intolerant of those who disagree, which makes them not liberals at all. (I'll have to find a better word, since I looked up the meaning in the dictionary.)
Isn't divorce also against the bible? Aren't you allowed to stone people, according to the bible?
Again, Janny can be whatever religion she wants, I just don't want her to constantly impose her beliefs on the diverse citizens of Troy.
(And what on earth does it mean that abortion rights are against science - huh?)
Here is my response:

Dale, you are a tiresome fellow. You admit that there can be no religious test in America, yet you support Janice Daniels officially selling of her brand of Christianity from her mayoral pulpit on a daily basis. Listen to the way you talk. You are so incredibly offensive. I'm sure you don't think you are, because you believe you and you alone have the truth at your disposal.

I am not doing what you say --"You’re welcome to continue to struggle against biblical Christianity here."

I am saying that it's inappropriate for our mayor to openly support one brand of Christianity, even publicly trying to push a "pro-marriage doctrine" upon our houses of worship that comes from a specific, political, Christian Conservative point of view.

She wants to INDOCTRINATE PEOPLE.

This is fine for a private citizen. It is wrong for her to do it as mayor.

It's wrong if she's a Muslim.

It's wrong if she is a Christian.

It's even wrong if she is your limited view of what a Christian must be.

A Jewish woman wrote right after my last comment and told you how she feels. What about her? Where's your response to her? Are you going to tell her that like "secularists" she has no right to her faith?

Who invited you to define anyone?

Who ARE you?

Are the Hindus and Muslims and Jews and Sikhs in Troy 100% insignificant, just like people you don't know, whom you label Atheists?

Now I want to know if part of your helping immigrants "assimilate" involves hoisting your religion on them in your USA Melting Pot program? I understand you open it with a Christian prayer? Why? In respect for THEIR customs? Apparently not, unless you have also invited clergy of all faiths to pray as well. Have you?

Are you like Janice and her friends at the Who's My Neighbor who moved to Michigan because there are so many Muslims to convert? Do you think the only value of religious diversity is that it gives you more people to try to convert?

You see, I am TRULY for personal freedom. I believe that you and my mayor should let people marry the way they want and worship the way they want and to not be afraid that every official and quasi official city function is going to be a hidden attack on their personal belief system.

You haven't got a clue.

Speaking out of both sides of their mouths

Just a very quick observation...
Both Janice Daniels and Paul Smith responded to their respective, repulsive scandals in a very similar way.
Both said:

  • there was nothing wrong with their statements, 
  • they stand by their statements and 
  • they have every right to say whatever they want, because America is a free country and the 1st Amendment and blah, blather, blah, yawn...
Both also said:
  • My enemies are trying to destroy me by making my comments public! 
    • But if the statements are fine and initially said/shown in public, what's wrong with making them a little MORE public?
  • How dare people say bad things about me!!!! 
    • But what about freedom of speech and all that?
  • How dare you judge me by what I say/write??? 
    • Well, how else would we be able to define you besides by what you do and say?
  • There is just a small group of malcontents against me/trying to recall me/tattling on the Secret Service about me! 
    • If it's a tiny little group of people, then why do these horrible things you both do and say go viral and create such universal anger and disgust?
Janice, Paul, Moira and their defenders...
Think about it, won't you?

And now, in lighter news...

Janice Daniels makes the 'How NOT to' section of 'A Politician's Guide to Social Media.'


Thursday, August 9, 2012

OAKLAND PRESS: Secret Service visits Sterling Heights city councilman

Hey Janice, Moira and Paul!
This is not a liberal conspirancy. Even the Secret Service is concerned about Janice Daniels' friends' intentions.

Secret Service visits Sterling Heights city councilman who made derogatory comments about President Obama, Jennifer Granholm and Nancy Pelosi
By GORDON WILCZYNSKI
For The Oakland Press
Two U.S. Secret Service agents on Thursday interviewed Councilman Paul Smith, one day after the Sterling Heights City Council voted 6-1 to ask the freshman councilman to resign over derogatory statements he made at a Tea Party rally in 2009 against President Barack Obama and other political figures. Smith said he won’t resign.
Smith said his interview with federal officers at City Hall on Thursday morning went well and it was more of a friendly dialogue than a grilling.
“Some joker called the Secret Service and made a complaint about me,” Smith said. “They told me that their policy is they respond to every complaint and that’s exactly what they did. They asked me a lot of questions dating back to when I was a kid. I answered them honestly and I guess they believe I’m not a threat or some kook."
Yeah, sure they do.

Janice Daniels and Paul Smith said their worst comments IN OFFICE

Janice Daniels defends her good friend (and future SPLC star) Paul Smith by saying that he said his naughty words before taking office.
Apparently she didn't see the piece on him on Channel 4 48 hours ago.
What's really funny is that HE is throwing HER under the bus by mentioning her EVERYWHERE he is interviewed, pulling her into his negative press.
With friends like this guy, you should watch your back (and neck, and face, and sanity...)

Madame Mayor Responds to Friend Paul Smith's Horrific Behavior

Now that Paul Smith has earned his fifteen minutes of infamy -- and thrown good friend Janice Daniels under the bus -- our illustrious and controversial mayor has responded on her Facebook page.  I'll let it speak for itself:






Not to be left out of the commentary, ANOTHER of Daniels's good friends weighs in.

Jasky is best known for www.fedupusa.org.  Among his many talents, he produced a child who was COINCIDENTALLY chosen as one of Mayor Daniels's winners in the Mayor for a Day contest.  And he likes to call those with whom he disagrees on the local newspaper, Patch, a special name.  They are "Patch-holes."

You cannot comment on Mayor Daniels's page if she doesn't like what you say.  So feel free to exercise your right to free speech in the comment section here.

Detroit News article on Smith

Smith believes he was targeted because of his support of Troy Mayor Janice Daniels.
Nope.
There's a backlash because his words and signs show him to be scary, crazy and not terribly nice. (Or, in short, a psycho and embarrassment to his city!)

From the end of the article:
Smith said he suspects the video's surfacing this week is tied to his support of Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, who sparked controversy with her use of the word "queers" in a Facebook post and for telling a group of high school students that "the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous."
Daniels, who Smith called a close friend of his family, will face a recall election in November after members of Recall Janice Daniels last month submitted enough valid signatures to place the recall on the ballot.
Daniels did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120808/METRO03/208080472#ixzz231BchM45

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sterling Heights does the right thing

The city staff reacted swiftly and properly yesterday after the news of Paul Smith's disgusting signage and even worse TV interview broke yesterday.

Official statement regarding the YouTube Video
By: cr - Tuesday, August 07, 2012
STERLING HEIGHTS -- The City of Sterling Heights has worked diligently over the course of the past 45 years to build a community of inclusiveness. This effort has enriched Sterling Heights and contributed to the city being recognized as a community that is welcoming and tolerant for people from all over the world and all walks of life. Sterling Heights has also built a reputation for being a safe place, where residents are protected from the violence that is now all too prevalent in our society.
It is in this context that the City of Sterling Heights must strongly disavow the personal viewpoints expressed by Mr. Smith on the signage displayed in the YouTube video and his attempted defense of the disturbing content.
It is regrettable that such images and the intolerant and violent viewpoints that they espouse are brought forth in the public discourse. It is the city's hope that those who are exposed to these images judge them as the personal opinion of one man. Otherwise, the dedication of the many in Sterling Heights who have put forth the time and effort to foster a culture of acceptance will have been paid a great disservice.

Smith's wife responds to criticism of her husband and herself

"How dare you call us homophobes," she asks...
?



Sterling Heights' CM Paul Smith responds to calls for his resignation

Someone in Sterling Heights shot this video from tonight's city council meeting off their TV.
Thank you!
Apparently Smith still doesn't know the interview he did voluntarily in 2009 is still on YouTube and has been since the piece was produced.
Then he claims his message was distorted by Channel 4. Ha!


Conservative Sterling Heights website: Why Paul Smith Should Resign

Someone who voted for Paul Smith enumerates the reasons he believes the man must go on his blog:
Paul Smith has come under fire during his brief tenure both here and in other places for his outrageous behavior at City Council meetings. During the several past months, Smith has:
  • Accused City Manager Mark Vanderpool of illegally distributing material to council.
  • Repeatedly accused the Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Manager and department heads of incompetence.
  • Accused AMC Theaters of lying on a liquor license application and defrauding the city.
  • Accused Waste Management of deceptive pricing practices.
  • Accused Experi-Metal of unethically and unlawfully trying to influence council members into granting the firm a tax abatement. (Story here.)
  • Accused four Council members of accepting bribes in exchange for votes on a tax abatement. (see link above)
  • Used his position on council in an to attempt to bully city businesses into not applying for the tax abatements they are entitled to under the law
  • Accused Chrysler and Ford of taking advantage of the city via their tax abatements
  • Claimed that a local coin-op entertainment business is a gambling hall
  • Insulted one of the Police Dispatchers in a public meeting by suggesting she look for a job elsewhere, thinking he was making a jokeIn my opinion, these ten items are enough to indict Mr. Smith of incompetence and failure to serve in the best interest of the residents.
 Recently, however, a video of Mr. Smith’s participation at a 2009 Tea Party rally has surfaced.

Read more here.

Janice Daniels' friends scrapbook

Just in case the signs in the videos starring Janice Daniels' buddies Mr. and Mrs.Paul Smith went by too fast for you to see, here are some stills to add to Janice's scrapbook.
At a June 18, 2012 Troy City Council meeting, Smith said his wife is a
 close friend of Janice Daniels' and was with Daniels when she decided to run for mayor.
Smith is a Sterling Heights City Councilman.
Troy City Councilman Doug Tietz was a speaker at the event.
Enjoy...
 



 These stills came from this pro-Tea Party video.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another proud, bigoted nut is a close friend of Janice Daniels'

OK, folks.
When I posted this Tea Party video a week ago that was from 2009, I had no idea the the biggest slimeball in the video just happened to be a friend of Janice Daniels', one of her defenders and a city council member in Sterling Heights. Looks like someone saw it and passed it on to Sterling Heights and then the media. And now they say it's going viral!
Holy crap!
It's on Channel 4 now!

Note that the white haired guy is Janice's friend Councilman Paul Smith. At a Troy Council meeting (he visits often) he said Daniels and his wife are close friends.
Tea Partiers criticized the amateur reporter who made this video, claiming Smith was a fake or liberal or a "setup."
He's so extreme he made those Tea Partiers sick!
Kinda makes you wonder what Janice's conversations with her friends sound like.


Sterling Heights Councilman and friend of Janice Daniels Paul Smith

Smith says in the Channel 4 piece that this is a hit job by someone who wants to hurt him because he supports Janice Daniels. I didn't know that he was her supporter and friend, but thanks for the tip!
Also, he embraces every disgusting thing he had on his signs, and then says much worse!

Recall Rebuttal

A few weeks ago, the Recall Janice Daniels team learned their petition and the majority of its signatures would make the November ballot.  Attempts by Janice Daniels and her team to invalidate signatures that were already invalidated by the county were successful.  She's got a crack investigative team, I tell you.

However, invalidating anything that was already approved failed, and to the ballot we go.

The language of the recall will appear on the ballot alongside a rebuttal statement by Daniels in which she has 200 words to defend herself.  Here is the language of the recall:

("1) for referring to the Troy City Charter as a “whimsical” document in a November 21, 2011 interview with the Detroit Free Press; 
(2) for declaring, during an “office hours” forum on January 9, 2012, that “the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous”; 
(3) for publicly attacking city employees during the January 9, 2012 City Council meeting while reading a 20 minute “position paper” into the record; and 
(4) for failing to support a Federal investment in the City of Troy of over $8.4 million, by voting against the Troy Transit Center project on three occasions (December 19, 2011, January 17, 2012, and February 20, 2012)."

Here is her statement, along with some commentary regarding her spin.  Note that she does NOT reference recall reason #2 AT ALL.  

"The language of this recall contains untrue statements. Stand together with me for smaller government, lowered taxes and less regulation so that our families and future generations will
prosper.  I voiced dismay that the prior council at times ignored our city charter and that they treated it as 'whimsical'. I will never treat it as whimsical. I hold to our city charter and I make no exceptions. 
 The "whimisical" reference was made in response to her refusing to take an oath to support the City Charter. Here's what she said at the time, according to the Detroit Free Press:

"Daniels said she made the change because 'I didn't think it was appropriate to take an oath to the city charter,' which she called 'a whimsical document that changes with the opinions of the City Council.'" 


There was no attack on city employees. I voiced concerns on behalf of Troy residents about the city manager's information presentation. Troy City Charter Section 4.8 states: 'Council shall have the power to inquire into the conduct of any officer... into matters in which the municipality has an interest.' I have a Charter-mandated obligation to question management when residents have concerns. 
Daniels states Council has the power to INQUIRE as to the conduct of any officer.  What she did was NOT an inquiry.  On January 9, 2012, she read into record a 20 minute long diatribe lambasting John Szerlag and his staff, ending with a statement that she had "no confidence" in him.  And notice that in her defense of her conduct, she quotes that "whimsical" document that she refused to swear to in her oath.  The simple fact is that her conduct would have warranted her firing if she were a private sector employee.  And beyond that, it was just plain reprehensible.
The transit center will burden the City with many thousands of dollars in costs. I campaigned that I would vote no on the transit center and I did exactly as I promised. 
It's true she campaigned against the Transit Center...because she thought the federal funds should be returned to the federal government to defray federal debt.  HOWEVER, THAT WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.  Once she took office, had the benefit of looking over ten years of investment of time and research, and once it was reiterated numerous times that the dollars would benefit some other city if Troy turned it down...she still voted no.  Once her fellow Council mates approved it with a majority, she said she had no choice but to get behind it.  And then promptly voted down the very next resolution regarding it.

Further, I've been at every 2012 council meeting where the Transit Center costs have been discussed.  The Troy Chamber of Commerce and Amtrak have both stated they will cover the costs AND be working on ways to draw revenue to the center.  Daniels has been at these meetings and heard the same information.  Yet she persists on repeated INACCURACIES to bolster her sagging image.
I worked successfully to help bring about the reopening of the library on Saturdays and on-line disclosure of every check and contract the city has. 
First, let's tackle the on-line disclosure of every check and contract the city has.  That's part of "Open Troy"  and the informational 'dashboard' that appears on the city website.  This was in the works LONG before Daniels even considered running for office.  SHE HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH ANY OF IT, yet wants to take all the credit.  Classy.
But...the worst of her transgressions, in my opinion...is the library AGAIN.  Janice Daniels, the champion of the VOTE NO contingent on the August 2011 library millage...conspirator with those who put three false ballot measures on the Nov. 2010 Proposal 1 ballot...LOUD detractor of the Feb. 2010 millage request that would have saved the library and every other service in the city...the force behind our city's millage cap that keeps us in jeopardy during times of falling revenues...SHE HAS DONE NOTHING to support our library.  And remember, SHE VOTED 'NO' TO OPEN THE LIBRARY ON SATURDAYS.  It's in the public record!! 
Referencing ANYTHING to do with the library is a slap in the face of every good citizen who worked tirelessly to find a way to keep it open for all of us.

Reward these good accomplishments. Allow me to continue to serve you faithfully as your Mayor."
And now she wants a REWARD for LYING, ATTACKING, DECEIVING AND CHEATING?  I think not.
RECALL JANICE DANIELS. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Responding to the DIA Know Nothings

Like every other current tax issue I have read about, the DIA millage election comes out of a genuine crisis caused by the poor economy.
The reaction of the anti-tax extremists like Doug Tietz is to claim to be patriots and then make a bunch of statements that prove they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Much of what these folks often say is also anti-intellectual, anti-culture and anti-common-good for the people.
The beat goes on.
Here's the response of a DIA rep to some of the know-nothing blather...
From Patch...


OPINION: The DIA Responds to Anti-Millage Discussion

Some items in July 28 opinion piece are incorrect and others are either taken out of context or do not give a complete picture of the facts about the Aug. 7 ballot proposal, DIA official says.

Editor's Note: The following was written in response to a July 28 letter to the editor titled OPINION: 15 Reasons to Vote Against the DIA Millage. The italicized portions below are the points as they appeared in that letter to Bloomfield Patch.

2. DIA administration, not the city of Detroit, is asking for the millage for 10 years while the contract with them will end in 5 years. The raised levy from the Tri County may end, all or some, in Detroit treasury.
Response: Totally false. The Art Institute Service Agreement with each of the county arts authorities specifies that if the current operating agreement with the City of Detroit is terminated or amended that the Authority will have no obligation to levy a tax unless a new agreement is approved by the art authority. The money can only be spent in compliance with the contract between the art authority and the DIA and none of it can go into the city treasury.
3. The DIA is doing financially well. Between 2009 and 2011 the assets increased by 50 million dollars to 185 million from 135 million increase by 37%!
Response: Most of that increase is based on an increase in the value of investments in the museum’s endowment following the cratering of the stock market in 2009. In addition, it includes $10 million from the State of Michigan specifically for capital projects, not operating expenses and a $5.5 million reduction in long term liabilities due to the change in the retiree health care plan, an example of the DIA’s prudent fiscal management as it copes with reduced resources.
4. $100 million is available in the bank as unrestricted cash and can be used by DIA at any time.
Response: The $100 million is not unrestricted cash. It includes $57.4 million in board-designated endowment funds and $33.6 million in board-designated funds for non-operational projects. Endowments are designed to generate investment income from their principal, not to have the principal spent down for operating expenses. No responsible funding plan calls for spending endowment principal for operating expenses.
5. Graham Beal, president of DIA compensation was $426.000 plus perks, more than the salary of US president. Governor Snyder compensation is $159,300 annually. Beal partner in the DIA conspiracy is Annmarie Erickson whose compensation is $236,867 plus perks.
Response: While the compensation numbers are accurate, it should be noted that this is not just base salary. The total includes other reportable compensation, bonuses, retirement or deferred compensation, and non-taxable benefits, such as health care. There are no “perks” beyond the compensation.
6. The millage will raise 23 million dollars (Oakland 10, Wayne 8 and Macomb 5 million dollars). This money will be paid by home owners who may have other priorities being elderly, unemployed or having health problems. It is estimated that about 19% of the Tri County residents visit the DIA. Thus these 19% are subsidized by 81% of the population which prefers other entertainments. Moreover, yes, it is free admission to the DIA for the Tri County residents, but admissions are only 3% of DIA revenue. The "free admission" does not include special events, concerts etc. There will be a special charge for it. On top of it there is travel to the DIA and parking.
Response: 79% of DIA visitors were from the tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb) – from July 1, 2011-May 31, 2012.
7. In return for giving DIA at least 230 million dollars Tri County residents will get practically nothing. They will get 2 spots on the DIA 44 member forum, but no supervision or control or assets. GM got money from US government and surrendered stocks and other assets, but why does DIA gets a freebie? DIA levy must be rewarded by surrendering DIA assets. What is wrong in creating a DIA branch in Birmingham?
Response: Residents of counties that pass the millage will receive unlimited FREE museum admission, free school field trips, expanded programs for seniors and additional community outreach programs.
11. A troubling question is the fact that governor Granholm eliminated a 10 million annual Michigan contribution. Either the DIA belongs to the city of Detroit or that this gem belongs to our whole state. It is unfair to single out the Tri County because they are thought to have deeper pockets than the rest of the state. 
Response:The only $10 million contribution the DIA received during the Granholm administration was a one-time $10 million grant for capital projects. Cultural organizations across Michigan often receive single grants for capital projects.
12. Rating of DIA per Charity Navigator gives DIA a 2/4 rating or 48% while most museums have a rating that is higher than 60%. This reflects not so good use of available money.
Response: Charity Navigator ranks charities in two separate components, one of which is financial health. The DIA’s two star rating is due to its current financial condition – small endowment and lack of public funding.  Voter approval of the millage will provide operating funds and allow the museum to concentrate its fund raising efforts for the next 10 years on building up its endowment. Both the guaranteed funding of the millage and the opportunity to build its endowment fund will move the DIA much higher on the charity Navigator chart.
13. DIA was compared to Toledo institute of Art which is larger and has no admission fee and is not a burden to Toledo residents.
Response: The majority of Toledo’s $14 million operating budget comes from revenue from its operating endowment of $138 million. The DIA currently receives only 14 percent of its budget of $25 million from interest generated by its $98 million operating endowment.  The millage will allow the DIA to refocus its fundraising efforts to build the operating endowment and move much closer to the Toledo funding model.
Pamela Marcil,
Public Relations Director, Detroit Institute of Arts