Troy

Politics & Government
7:39 am
Wed May 8, 2013

In this morning's news: Election results and a state of disaster in Michigan

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Michigan's local election results

  • Dane Slater was re-elected Mayor of Troy. He was appointed after former Mayor Janice Daniels was recalled. Slater defeated primary opponent Marty Knollenberg.
  • Citizens in Benton Harbor voted overwhelmingly to raise property taxes to support city services. The city is running in the red. The millage represents about 20 percent of the city’s income.

State of disaster declared in Michigan

"Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster across much of Michigan due to storm- and flood-related damage last month. The proclamation makes state resources available to help the weather-stricken areas. The disaster proclamation covers the cities of Grand Rapids and Ionia in west Michigan, and 19 counties in the western Upper Peninsula, northern lower Michigan and southwest Michigan," Rick Pluta reports.

Politics & Government
11:13 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Troy mayor wins re-election after bitter campaign

Mayor Dane Slater
http://www.troymi.gov/ City of Troy

Troy Mayor Dane Slater won re-election in a bitterly-waged race against challenger Marty Knollenberg, whose campaign apparently paid for negative robo-calls the weekend before the vote. 

All this for a volunteer position that pays $175 a month only, for expenses. 

"Of course, that's before taxes," he joked.  "That doesn't even pay my cleaning or gas bill, quite honestly." 

Slater decried the city's "dirty" politics, and says he hopes things get better from now on.  "We need to put an end to this dirty trick campaigning," the Mayor told Michigan Radio, "and I'm hoping they recognize, because of what happened tonight, we can stop this nonsense that is tearing us apart." 

Slater was appointed mayor in 2012, after voters recalled Janice Daniels, who gained statewide attention for making anti-gay slurs shortly after her 2011 election. 

Slater says he wants Troy to be known for its positives - safe streets, a strong business environment, a diverse population, and good schools.

Politics & Government
3:09 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Michigan voters will be casting ballots on Tuesday

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

School bond issues dominate the ballot in most of Michigan.

For example, Kalamazoo voters are being asked to decide on a $62 million bond request. If voters give their OK, the district would spend most of the money on maintaining city school buildings.

There are a few elected offices on the ballot of note.

In Genesee County, voters are picking a new state senator. Former senator John Gleason stepped down after winning the Genesee County clerk’s election last fall.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Court orders Troy to hold special mayoral election

Troy City Attorney, Lori Grigg Bluhm said a special election could cause confusion if City Council members resign to run for mayor.
City of Troy

Troy is starting plans for a special mayoral election in May. Judge Denise Langford Morris has ordered the city to hold a special election in May to replace recalled Mayor Janice Daniels.

Troy officials had wanted to hold off on the election until next November.

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Politics & Government
6:57 am
Fri November 30, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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State-run health exchange rejected in House

Action on a state-run exchange for people to shop for health coverage was rejected in the state House Thursday. As the Lansing State Journal reports,

"Gov. Rick Snyder prefers a state-run program, but his administration this month applied for a federal grant as a first step toward the fallback position of teaming with the federal department. States have the option of creating their own exchange, teaming up with the federal government or having a federal system. . . Some Democrats opposed the legislation because it was linked to bills that would prohibit qualified health plans offered through a state exchange from providing coverage for elective abortion but would allow people to buy optional supplemental coverage for elective abortion outside the exchange."

Bills move forward to make gray wolf a game species

The Michigan Senate has approved a bill that would designate the gray wolf as a game species. The bill gives the Natural Resources Commission authority to decide whether to establish wolf hunting seasons. As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The wolves were removed from the endangered species list in January, but only the DNR is allowed to manage the wolf population, which has begun to encroach upon U.P. towns, according to residents. The animals also are having a big impact on the U.P.'s deer population, killing between 17,000 and 29,000 deer every year, according to a report from the DNR."

State threatens to sue Troy over special election

"The state is threatening to sue the city of Troy over plans for a special election to replace recalled Mayor Janice Daniels. The Michigan Department of Elections says state law requires an election in February. Troy officials want to wait until next November. The state sent a letter to city leaders giving them until 1pm Friday to comply with the directive, and avoid litigation," Chris Zollars reports.

Politics & Government
9:35 am
Tue November 27, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

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Detroit deadlock continues

Detroit needs cash if it's going to make payroll in December. $30 million waits from the state.

But Mayor Bing and the Detroit City Council are locked in a battle over a law firm contract. A special council meeting was supposed to be held yesterday to resolve the problem, but the the city's legal department canceled the meeting.

Even it the meeting had been held, Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press reports, Bing would not have had the votes to end the deadlock.

Had a vote been taken, it likely would not have gone Bing's way. The sole council member to vote to approve it, President Pro Tem Gary Brown, said Monday that the Bing administration "doesn't have the votes" to reverse course.

And the city's financial crisis looms.

Legislature aims to cut a source of revenue for some cities

There have been a lot of proposals floated in this lame-duck session of the Michigan legislature, but one plan the Gov. hopes to pass by the end of the year is a phase out of the "personal property tax."

That's a tax that many manufacturers pay to local governments on equipment they own. Local governments that have a big manufacturing base have said eliminating the tax would hurt their bottom line.

MLive's Dave Eggert reports Lt. Gov. Brian Calley plans to unveil a new plan to cut the tax today:

Sources who have been briefed on the proposal said key changes include partially replacing the revenue with a portion of the state's tax on out-of-state retail transactions and allowing local governments to assess a special tax to recoup money for police, fire and ambulance services.

Troy breaks ground on new transit center

The city of Troy is breaking ground on a new transit center today. The project was opposed by Troy's recently recalled Mayor, Janice Daniels, because the funding for the project is comging from the federal government. The transit center will cost $6.3 million to build and will house facilities for bus, train, and car rental services. The transit center will replace Birmingham's Amtrak stop. It's expected to open the summer of 2013.

Politics & Government
10:20 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

Troy mayor faces recall vote

Janice Daniels
Credit City of Troy

Troy voters will decide whether to ditch their controversial mayor on election day.

Recall organizers say Daniels says has drawn all the wrong kinds of attention to the city since she was elected just about a year ago.

Matt Binkowski is with the “Recall Janice Daniels” campaign. He says Daniels has “embarrassed” the city by using anti-gay rhetoric, and leading opposition to a federally funded transit center.

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Politics & Government
11:35 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Troy mayor Janice Daniels will face a recall vote this November

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels.

Despite Daniels' effort to stop the recall campaign, Oakland County officials certified more than the 7,985 petition signatures needed to place the recall question before voters on November 6.

The Detroit News reports 8,877 signatures were certified:

The challenge, which Daniels filed with the Oakland County Elections Office at 4:20 p.m. Thursday — 10 minutes before the deadline — resulted in the disqualification of five signatures, not enough to prevent the issue from going before voters.

Daniels became a controversial figure the moment she took office. She refused to recite a pledge to uphold the city's charter at her inauguration, she posted an anti-gay slur on Facebook prior to taking office, and she refused to accept federal money for a new transit center (Troy city council later approved a scaled-down version of the transit center despite Daniels' objections). "Recall Janice Daniels" organizers say they expect the mayor will be recalled by voters. From the Detroit Free Press

"The recall campaign looks forward to the November ballot, when responsible leadership will be restored to the city of Troy," said petitioners from the group Recall Janice Daniels in a statement released late Monday evening.

Daniels has told the Free Press that continued conversation about her views on homosexuality is being foisted upon her. She previously said she would beat the recall effort.

Politics & Government
3:24 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Detroit-area meeting will help Syrians in Michigan apply for temporary protected status

Troy Public Library
Troy Public Library Facebook.com

A group will hold a town hall meeting and legal clinic in the Detroit area on Saturday designed to provide assistance to Syrians looking to temporarily stay in the United States beyond the expiration of their visas.

The Obama administration has said it will allow Syrians to temporarily stay beyond the expiration of their visas and not deport those in the country illegally due to deteriorating conditions in their native country.

The United for a Free Syria-hosted event will be held at the Troy Public Library  tomorrow where immigration lawyers will take questions from attendees. 

UFS is a pro-democracy nonprofit organization based in Flint.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in March said Syrians will get temporary protected status because they'd face "serious threats to their personal safety" if they were to return to Syria.

Under the terms of the notice, Syrian nationals who have continuously resided in the United States since March 29 of this year can apply for the status.

Serene Katranji-Zeni is a TPS Coordinator who works with United for a Free Syria.

She says the clinic is the second of its kind in Michigan, and she anticipates helping those eligible complete the time-consuming task of filling out necessary paperwork.

Although she can't say to how many Syrians in Michigan could qualify for the status, she says her office has fielded several requests for help, though many are not eligible.

"The major issue we're running into is that many more people have come into the country since [the March deadline] who want the status, but they don't qualify," she said.

According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website, the temporary protected status for Syrians is designated through September of next year.  USCIS currently lists seven other countries on its list for foreigners in the United States who may qualify for temporary protected status.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics
6:27 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Troy recall organizers submit petition signatures

Supporters of an effort to kick Troy's mayor out of office say they've submitted more than enough petition signatures to get the measure onto the November ballot.

John Kulesz is one of the recall campaign's organizers. He says he expects Mayor Janice Daniels and her supporters will put up a vigorous fight to keep her in office.

"These people are take no prisoner types,” said Kulesz. “So we know that they'll throw everything in the book at us to discredit us and accuse us of this that and the other thing. But we're going to stand up for our rights, and we're going to stand up for the people of Troy."

Kulesz Daniels is harming Troy's reputation. Daniels gained notoriety over a gay slur she used on her Facebook page before she took office. She later angered many people when she voted to turn down federal money for a transit center.

But Daniels says those are not legitimate reasons for recall.

"If the new standard for recall is that a group of people doesn't like the way an elected official voted on an issue, or they don't like an elected official's opinion on issues, then we've gone to a very dangerous point in our history,” Daniels said. “I haven't committed a crime."

The Oakland County clerk's office has 35 days to certify the petitions.

Politics
2:44 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Troy Mayor recall campaign moves forward

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels
Janice Daniels

A petition seeking to recall Troy Mayor Janice Daniels has been approved.

More from MLive's, Jeff Wattrick:

A group seeking to recall Troy Mayor Janice Daniels won a split-decision victory yesterday as the Oakland County Election Commission approved recall language for a petition drive. That means organizers have 180 days to collect 7,985 signatures within a 90-day period to place the recall question on the ballot.

Daniels has angered some in her community for an anti-gay slur she made on her Facebook page prior to being mayor. Opponents of Daniels were also angered when Mayor Daniels rejected federal funding for a new transit center in Troy.

Wattrick writes that Daniels became a controversial figure the moment she took office:

At her inauguration, she refused to recite the traditional oath of office because she wouldn’t pledge to uphold Troy’s City Charter. Daniels dismissed Troy’s governing document as “whimsical.”

Politics
11:19 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Troy Mayor could face a recall campaign this November

Janice Daniels

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels could face a recall campaign next November if members of the Oakland County Election Commission approve language on recall petitions filed by the political action committee "Recall Janice Daniels," and if organizers get enough valid signatures.

More from the Detroit News:

One petition targets her for voting in December to reject $8.4 million in federal grant money for a transit center. The other alleges she refused to swear support for the city charter while taking the oath of office.

Recall organizers also claim she violated city rules by exceeding speaking time limits at a City Council meeting to read a position paper about her opposition to the center and embarrassed Troy by allegedly telling high school students the "homosexual lifestyle is dangerous."

Mayor Daniels first came under fire when an anti-gay slur she posted on Facebook was unearthed.

The post was in reaction to New York's gay marriage law and was made prior to her term as Troy Mayor. It read:

“I think I am going to throw away my I love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”

Politics
5:00 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Troy City Council approves scaled-back transit center plan

Rendering of proposed transit center
troymi.gov

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Troy City Council has effectively reversed course from their decision last month to block construction of a transit center using federal dollars.

The Freep reports that during a meeting Tuesday night, council members voted 4-3 in favor of approving a plan with a slightly reduced cost---the new project will use roughly $6.3 million from a federal transportation grant as opposed to $8.5 million in the earlier proposal.

From the Free Press:

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Politics
1:22 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Troy rejects federal grant, cancels transit center project

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels

Officials in the Detroit suburb of Troy will return $8.5 million in federal stimulus money that was supposed to build a new transit center.

After a last-ditch attempt at compromise, the Troy City Council voted 4 to 3 to cancel the project.

The issue has been extremely contentious. Troy officials had worked on the project for more than a decade.

But Tea Party-influenced candidates recently won a majority on the Troy City Council. They saw the project as an example of wasteful federal spending.

Mayor Janice Daniels says her vote was a matter of taking a stand.

“One of the issues that we campaigned on was we were not going approve this transit center because we didn’t believe it was the right way to use the taxpayer’s money or to move this city forward,” Daniels said.

The Council’s decision came despite pressure from Troy’s business community and Governor Snyder, who see expanding transit as a way to boost economic growth.

William Cowger is with the Troy Chamber of Commerce.

“Basically…they decided on ideology before Troy. That they would refuse funds that would help us in the future, for our economic development. Bottom line is, they gave away our money,” said Cowger.

The money will be re-allocated for other transportation projects.

Politics
12:37 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Troy Mayor faces critics over anti-gay slur

Protesters outside Troy City Hall Monday
Facebook photo

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels faced a packed and angry house at a City Council meeting Monday night.

Residents and non-residents alike lined up to blast Daniels, who’s come under fire for an anti-gay slur she made on Facebook. A Troy blog unearthed the remark from earlier this year.

It read: “I think I am going to throw away my I love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”

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Politics
11:35 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Troy Mayor apologizes for slight to gay community

Troy's Mayor apologized for a Facebook comment she made last June.
Janice Daniels

Last June, Janice Daniels reacted to the state of New York legalizing gay marriage. According to detroit.cbs.local.com, she wrote on her Facebook page:

“I  think I’m going to throw away my I love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married.”

Daniels is the newly-elected Mayor of Troy, and now she's facing protests from students of Troy High School at 3 p.m. today.

Daniels apologized for the comment on the Charlie Langton show this morning.

“I absolutely do regret it, I shouldn’t have used such language, and while I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman, it was inappropriate to use that language...For me to have said it, it was a poke in the eye and it was inappropriate and I do apologize.

“It was meant to be a joke, just a funny, just a poke, just a silly thing.”

Daniels' comment came to light when Josh Schirle of Ferndale launched a Facebook page opposing the Troy Mayor.

From the detroit.cbs.local.com:

Schirle spearheaded today’s planned protest, telling WWJ Newsradio he was appalled by her post. Oakland County’s Troy, notably, is only a few miles away from Ferndale, considered one of Michigan’s most active gay, lesbian, and transgendered communities.

“There is nothing dignified about the words that she said, whether that’s her viewpoint or not, that’s hate. I don’t think anyone thinks hate is acceptable,” said Schirle.

Of the protesters, Daniels said, "I hope they will forgive me."

Politics
1:10 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Troy votes to keep library open

Teens at the Troy public library
user troylib flickr.com

Residents of one suburban Detroit community have resolved a nearly two-year-long battle over its library  - in the library’s favor.

Voters in the affluent community of Troy had twice rejected funding measures for the library. It had been slated to close earlier this year.

But now more than 58% of Troy voters have approved a five-year millage hike that will generate more than $3 million for the library.

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Commentary
10:11 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Today is Election Day

You may not know this, but today is Election Day in many places in Michigan. There are primary elections for municipal offices in a wide scattering of communities.  In Sharon Township in Washtenaw County, there’s an effort to recall a couple local officials over a bad hiring decision some residents think they made.

And you owe it to yourself to find out what’s on the ballot where you live, and then go to the polls and vote.  Most people who are eligible won’t do that today, so your vote will have more influence than it would in some elections.

Local elections sometimes have more impact on our lives that elections that get more press. And if you live in the Oakland County suburb of Troy, today’s election will have the biggest impact of all.

Last year Troy, a mostly affluent, white-collar suburb, voted to abolish its library. Granted, the ballot proposal was somewhat confusing, but that is what they did. Now, they have one last chance.

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Auto/Economy
4:38 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Troy police enforce "distracted driving" law, issue tickets

It's illegal to text or talk on the phone while driving in Troy, MI
C. Todd Lopez Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

The city of Troy, Michigan has taken the state’s “no texting while driving” law a bit further, making it illegal to talk on the phone while driving, among other things.

The city's distracted driving ordinance went into effect last July, but the city didn’t officially start to enforce it until the first week of January, 2011. According to the city's website, the following actions can cause "distracted driving":

"Such action can include but is not limited to: eating, reading, writing, performing personal hygiene/grooming, physical interaction with pets, passengers, or unsecured cargo, any of which is

done in a manner tat 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 the steering mechanism."

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