Thursday, November 08, 2012

Controversial Troy Mayor Janice Daniels: Recall is a relief, but it's the media's fault

By Eric D. Lawrence/Detroit Free Press

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels said being recalled from office is a burden removed.

The day after Troy voters removed the controversial mayor from office, Daniels expressed relief at the outcome. The recall passed Tuesday, 52%-48%.

“I’m going to have a great burden lifted off of my shoulders because I won’t be faced with this relentless, merciless, vicious, unwarranted attacks on my person that would have probably gone on for the next three years had I won the election, so it’s probably for the best,” Daniels said in brief comments late Wednesday afternoon.
Daniels, a tea party favorite, was elected to office last year and has been embroiled in a string of controversies regarding her comments about gay people, her opposition to accepting federal funds for a transit center and her public dressing-down of the former city manager.

During an interview with Charlie Langton on Wednesday morning on WXYT-AM (1270), the 59-year-old Daniels primarily blamed the news media for her recall. When asked whether she had any regrets, Daniels said she regrets the lack of a balanced news media.

“Every time I talked to the media, they twisted my words,” she said.

Those supporting her recall cited other reasons for her ouster.

Matt Binkowski, a 40-year-old patent attorney who helped start the recall effort, pointed to the negative publicity that Daniels’ comments about gay people had generated and her verbal attacks against city employees.

“We’re extremely pleased that Mayor Daniels has been recalled, and now the embarrassment and ridicule that… she brought to the community has finally ended,” he said.

Pastor Robert Cornwall of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy said Daniels was not a good representative for the community and that her positions on issues did not reflect his own as a Christian.

“I felt that she was so off base that we couldn’t survive very well for four years with her as mayor,” he said.

But Daniels did have support following the election, including on the Support Troy Mayor Janice Daniels Facebook page.

“Even though the recall was successful, your values were truly a reflection of your love for our great city and her citizens. Thank you, Mayor Daniels. We need your continued involvement — and we know you will be available for the call for future service to our city and her bright future!” one posting read.

Troy officials now must turn to the matter of replacing Daniels.

Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis said she could be sworn in as acting mayor as early as today if the Oakland County Board of Canvassers certifies the recall results.

McGinnis will hold the post only until a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, when City Councilman Dane Slater, the next person in line to become mayor pro tem, fills the acting mayor slot. The council then has 30 days to select a new mayor to serve until next November. The mayor is a part-time position that pays $175 per month.

McGinnis, 34, a family law attorney in Troy, said the City Council will try to shift the focus back to city business, including preparing for the arrival of incoming City Manager Brian Kischnick on Nov. 19.

“I’m hoping that the six of us will be able to come together and make decisions that are in the best interest of the city, and to be honest with you, I think we’ll be able to do that,” she said. “It has been so contentious up until this point, I know that I, for one, am ready to move on.”
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