Troy Council Votes Not to Seek Advice of State Attorney General On Mayoral Replacement Procedure

Motion asking for help regarding conflict between Troy Charter and State Election law fails in 3-3 vote.

The Troy City Council met Wednesday afternoon 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 special meeting was called in response to a letter Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm received last week from state Director of Elections Christopher Thomas, which writes: "It is the position of the Bureau of Elections that the City is required to conduct a special election to fill the vacancy on Feb. 26, 2013."

Attorney Bluhm said having a special election so soon would violate City Charter, which requires potential candidates to file a petition signed by at least 60 registered electors of the City "on or before 4 o’clock p.m. of the one hundredth (100th) day preceding the next election," according to the Charter.

“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."

Wednesday’s special meeting was called at the request of councilmen Dave Henderson and Wade Fleming. 

Fleming prepared the following resolution for council, that was ultimately denied after a deadlocked 3-3 vote:  “That Troy City Council hereby directs our City Attorney to contact the State Attorney General on Monday, November 26, 2012 regarding the (subject) November 16, 2012 letter from Christopher M. Thomas and seek the legal opinion of and direction from the Attorney General on this matter as soon as possible which this Council would accept as final and binding.” 

Fleming, Henderson, and Councilman Doug Tietz voted in favor of seeking the advice of the State Attorney General, each interested in hearing the state’s opinion in determining the best way to handle the election. 

However, Mayor Dane Slater, as well as council members Jim Campbell and Maureen McGinnis voted against the resolution. They said they voted based on advice from Bluhm, who said that upholding the Troy Charter is paramount. 

Bluhm and City Clerk Aileen Bittner consulted with the Oakland County Elections Division. Bittner said that under the law only the Oakland County Clerk or a circuit court judge could call an election and as of this date, the County clerk has not called an election for February. 

“I don’t really understand how we came to the conclusion that this is the best way to go. This is between our charter and our state law. There are multiple areas. I’m not sure why we would ask the state to weigh in and give us their opinion,” McGinnis said. 

Fleming said he’s concerned state law may trump the City Charter and that seeking the opinion of the Attorney General is the best idea at this point.

After the vote, a number of citizens voiced their discontent for council’s decision, saying they should have sought advice from the state. 

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.

“Troy is not going to step outside of the boundaries of our law that the people’s representatives passed; and that’s what seems to have happened here. For the city attorney to move forward in this reckless way certainly uncalled for,” said resident Glenn Clark, a former Oakland County Commissioner. “Having said that, we are calling on the city attorney and the city administration to contact the Attorney General’s office and try to find a resolution for this and demand to find a rule of law.” 

Daffy Noodnicks November 25, 2012 at 01:58 AM
What a complete load. What has ANY member of council done that fits in with your labels. Did our former embarassment of a mayor cut your taxes or reduce your spending? Nope. Did your "tax and spenders" raise your taxes or increase spending? Nope. How about giving some facts that have something to do with real world?
Total Health November 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Daffy duck: The "tax and spenders:" certainly did raise our taxes with the Library milleage - thank goodness the tax payers didnt buy into their 2 mil increase they originally wanted!! And it took 3 milleages before they said they would close the library if we did not vote for it. THREE WEEKS LATER THEY "FOUND" 10 MILLS. So, yeah your comments are a complete LOAD. And Janice was not in office long enough to lower the taxes yet.
Daffy Noodnicks November 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Total Health: Nice childish name calling. The "tax and spenders" on the council did not raise taxes. The voters of Troy did. When they had an opportunity to vote for the library without the slimy dirty tricks pulled by JD and her pals. Overwhelmingly. Your falsehood about the "found" money has been debunked so thoughroughly and often I won't even bother. JD was in office for a YEAR and did absolutely nothing related to the budget except voted against a fiscally conservative one (the ONLY no vote) and admitted she found the budget "overwhelming ". How much time did she need? 10 years? 50? I don't have that kind of time, and neither does the city, for a mayor to learn how to be competent. Your comments have been and remain a complete load.
Total Health November 25, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Daffy" The voters voted in 4 conservatives this time into office and I think the council needed to honor their wishes in selecting a mayor that is a conservative. The liberals had their turn and now the conservatives need their time in office ,just like the liberals did. The 10 mills was not debunked.. its real $$. I dont have time to see more money be spent on HUGE inflated pensions either - they need to be re-negotiated, and cut to an "industry standard" type of pension. We cannot afford it and the "big spending" needs to be stopped. You may be surprised, but I normally vote democratic, yet I am also conservative when it comes to budgets - and "there's more burried in the weeds" as Szerlag said, that we need to find.
Daffy Noodnicks November 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Your mythical found money was exactly that. And your numbers aren't even right. It might have funded the library for a year, no more. It was known money would be returned, but not how much. Your rantings about pensions are also nonsense. Almost nobody is getting a pension now and for those that are, they are already completely funded. Where is the big spending? Who on his council has done anything that is SO "liberal" or "conservative"? Why havent the "conservatives" found any money buried in the weeds? Because there isn't any. You can't name a single thing and you certainly don't have your facts straight. These "liberal" and "conservative" labels are ignorant and meaningless, and do nothing but divide.


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