Janice Daniels seeks council seat

Council member will run for judgeship

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published August 14, 2013

 Janice Daniels, then mayor, delivers her State of the City address at the Troy Community Center Sept. 20.

Janice Daniels, then mayor, delivers her State of the City address at the Troy Community Center Sept. 20.

File photo by Deb Jacques

Former Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, who voters recalled from office last November, will seek one of three open City Council seats Nov. 5.

In last November’s presidential election, 73 percent of Troy voters cast ballots. In the mayoral recall question, 20,764, or 52.23 percent, voted to recall Daniels, and 18,994, or 47.77 percent, voted no.

Daniels was among the 11 candidates who turned in petitions to run Aug. 13. The  others are Olimpiu Apahidean, Mayor Pro Tem Wade Fleming, Steve Gottlieb, Ellen Hodorek, Thomas E. Kuhn, Counciilman Edward Pennington, Rodger Walters, Scott T. Welborn, Jim Werpetinski and Neil Yashinsky.

“I am running for a Troy City Council seat because I want to protect taxpayers’ property values by focusing on lower taxes, focusing on reducing regulatory laws that erode personal freedom and by focusing on achieving more government accountability,” Daniels said in an email.

Council member Maureen McGinnis announced she will not run for another term. She plans to run for the open judgeship in the 52-4 District Court, which will be open in 2014 when Judge William Bolle will retire due to age limits.

According to the Oakland County website, Bolle has served in the 52-4 District Court since 1978.

“It’s a once-in-lifetime opportunity,” McGinnis said. According to her biography on the city’s website, www.troymi.gov, she is an attorney specializing in family, criminal and juvenile law. She was first elected to the Troy City Council for a four-year term in November 2009. “That’s where I’d like to see my career going,” she said of the judgeship. 

McGinnis said her decision is “bittersweet.”

“I want people to know how much I enjoyed my time on the council,” she said. 

She said she’s most proud of the council’s part in getting the city through a tough economic time. “We made significant changes in how we do business in Troy,” she said. “We’re able to see the fruits of our labor.”

She’s also proud of the council’s selection of Brian Kischnick as city manager, the passage of the dedicated library millage and “navigating the mayoral election” after the mayoral recall.

“We’ve grown a lot as a council,” she said. “We’ve faced really big decisions. We’re in a really good place.”

Fleming’s term also ends in November. He was first elected to the council in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. If elected this November, he will be term-limited from running again.

“It’s been a very difficult last four years,” Fleming said. “I see Troy slowly turning a corner. The transit center is a very difficult situation.” On May 2, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Troy does not own the land the transit center is located on. The city plans to appeal that decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Fleming said he looks forward to getting that and the Downtown Development Authority bond issue resolved. To avoid default on existing DDA bonds, the city plans to reissue $14 million in bonds, backed by the city. The plan would allow up to a 2-mill tax levy on commercial property in the Downtown Development Authority District as a last resort.

“The best days for Troy are ahead of us, not behind us,” Fleming said. “I plan to do everything I can to continue growth in Troy and providing all the services citizens look forward to having.”

“The council is more unified, very civil and more professional. I’m looking forward to the next four years.”

After that, he couldn’t say what would be next. In 2012, Fleming had filed to run as a Republican candidate for state representative for the 41st District, but withdrew from that race. Former Troy City Councilman Martin Howrylak ran in that election on the Republican ticket, defeating Democrat and former Troy Council member Mary Kerwin.

Councilman Ed Pennington, whom the council appointed in December to serve until this November after the mayoral recall created an empty council seat, will run to retain his seat.

Pennington said he feels he brings a businessperson’s prospective to the council table. “Our business had been in Troy for 45 years,” he said. “Troy’s always been great to me and great to the business.

“I think I’ve brought a little stability to the council. I enjoy the people on the council.” He said he initially had concerns about running a business and serving on council, but he has been able to handle time constraints, he said. He added that he tries to represent the council at as many functions, such as grand openings, as he can to support positive things happening in the community and to meet residents in a more casual setting.

“People feel they have more access,” he said.

To be eligible to run for Troy City Council, one must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Troy and a registered voter. Applicants must submit a minimum of 60 valid signatures with the documentation. Candidates have until Aug. 16 to withdraw from the race after filing.