The audience was calm as it listened to Troy Mayor Janice Daniels deliver her State of the City speech at the Troy Community Center Sept. 20.
It was a sharp contrast to the standing-room-only crowds that packed Troy City Council meetings after a gay slur Daniels posted on Facebook before she became mayor came to light in December.
About 80 people listened to Daniels’ speech, which lasted about 15 minutes. About a dozen attendees wore T-shirts stating “Recall Janice Daniels.”
Voters will decide if Daniels retains her mayoral seat in November.
Daniels introduced her son, U.S. Marine Mark Daniels, home on leave, then prefaced her address by stating she would work her way from a “macro to micro analysis” of the issues of the day.
“Our federal government needs to be reminded by those several states that its role is limited and its duties are well-defined in the Constitution, because we currently have a vastly overreaching federal bureaucracy that hampers our local individual freedoms that it was organized to protect,” she said.
She also reiterated her position on the proposed Troy transit center. She has voted repeatedly against the transit center project since she took office.
“It remains to be seen how this project will ultimately impact life in Troy. If it succeeds, I will be the first one to offer my congratulations to its proponents, and if it fails, I will look quietly for solutions to the new problems that we will be presented with,” she said. “Meanwhile, this current council and management team must make certain that the full scope and cost of this project sees constant light of day so that the taxpayers, who are ultimately responsible for the maintenance and operating expenses, are kept fully informed.”
Daniels touted nanotechnology as an emerging industry in the state, adding 23,426 jobs in Oakland County last year. She praised Somerset Collection and Talmer Bank and Trust for their contributions to the city’s economic vitality, and she highlighted a number of businesses that have expanded operations or relocated to Troy: Automotive Performance Industries, Seacrest Law Firm, Fisher Dynamics, Flagstar Bank, United Shore Mortgage and Mahindra Engineering Services.
She shared information gleaned from various city departments about residential home sales — which by August had exceeded sales for the entire year of 2011 — a jump in the number of new building permits over the last couple of years and proposed mixed-use developments along Big Beaver.
She credited previous councils, city management teams and city employees, “who did the hard work to make fiscally responsible decisions.” She praised acting City Manager Mike Culpepper for his generosity in answering impromptu questions and for his positive outlook. She hailed the council’s unanimous selection of Bryan Kischnick as the new city manager, describing him as energetic, well spoken, intelligent and dedicated.
Daniels also mentioned Troy’s designation as the 26th best place to live in the U.S. by CNN Money magazine this summer. She noted Fire Chief William Nelson being named Michigan Fire Chief of the Year, and the city’s ranking as the safest city in Michigan with a population of more than 75,000 people.
Daniels concluded by saying that being elected to the office of mayor is “a great honor” that only nine people have held since the city was incorporated in 1955.
“But I will guarantee you that I will do everything in my ability to continue to conduct the business of the people with dedication, commitment to detail, respect for all people, energy, enthusiasm — and a firm grasp on the principles of limited constitutional government; low, understandable, relevant taxes; and a smooth relationship between the public servants and the people who pay their wages.”
Mimi Doherty, a 40-year Troy resident who attended the State of the City Address with her husband, Rick, said they came because they were interested in what Daniels had to say. Doherty said she doesn’t agree with Daniels on a lot of issues, and the Troy Chamber of Commerce has pledged to find a business model to cover operating expenses of the transit center, but she noted that Daniels highlighted a lot of the positive things going on in Troy. “She made Troy sound like a pretty good place to live,” she said.
“It was great she highlighted the good things happening in the city, but she did not mention how she brought about these things and what her plan for the future is,” said Matt Binkowski, co-founder of the Committee to Recall Janice Daniels.
“It was a good speech,” resident James Savage said. “I think we can move ahead with a new manager.”
Daniels’ speech will be posted at www.troymi.gov.