State, Troy at odds over how to pick mayor after recall

City of Troy doesn't want to hold special election in February to find permanent replacement for recalled mayor Janice Daniels

Published On: Nov 27 2012 02:13:44 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 30 2012 12:43:31 PM EST
TROY, Mich. -

Troy city leaders are standing their ground against holding a special election for mayor in February, even after being told by the state that it has to.

READ: Letter from Troy city attorney to state

Background

Trouble in City Hall started in early November when voters ousted then-Mayor Janice Daniels in a recall.  Daniels, who was elected last year, was attacked for her sexual politics and her resistance to a $6.3 million transit center.

Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis took over briefly before the City Council on Monday named Councilman Dane Slater to the position until the election in November 2013.

At the transit center groundbreaking, Local 4 asked Slater whether the city would follow the state’s rule and hold a special election.

“We’re a home rule city. The advice from the city attorney for the past six months has been the same. I support her decision and her decision was given to us six months ago. So, nothing’s changed. We need to uphold our charter,” he said.


--Dane Slater

Potential candidates say they were turned away

Two potential mayoral candidates, Dan Brake and Edward Kempen, said they tried to file petitions to run in the special election but were told by the city’s clerk office that the city wouldn’t accept them. Kempen said he is now considering a lawsuit against the city.

"I think that it's almost a slam dunk in terms of interpretation of the law in this case. If we don't follow the state law in this regard, I mean, it seems like our city attorney is picking between state law and local law," said Kempen.

The filing deadline has now been extended by the state until Dec. 4.

State says city must hold election in February

The Secretary of State's office has also sent a letter to the city of Troy saying in part:

"...you are directed to take all necessary steps in preparation for a special election to be held on February 26, 2013."

Despite the letter, the mayor appears ready to fight it out in court.

"We need to uphold our charter. We work for the city of Troy, we work for the citizens, and the charter is the most important document to us," said Slater.

Deadline is Friday

The state says it will give the city of Troy until 1 p.m. Friday to order the election or face a lawsuit.


-- Janice Daniels