Troy mayor is recalled

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published November 7, 2012

The voters of Troy recalled Troy Mayor Janice Daniels Nov. 7.

“I’m pretty sad,” Daniels said. She couldn’t say if she would run for elected office in Troy in the future. “I’ll be around. I’ll be OK,” she said. “I want to thank my supporters for all the hard work they did to try and help me.”

Daniels will retain her seat, officially, until the Oakland County Board of Canvassers meets and certifies election results. The next Troy City Council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12.

“The board has two weeks to complete the process,” said Joe Rozell, director of elections for Oakland County. “Typically something like that would take less than a week.”

Daniels’ recall does not prohibit her from running for elected office in Troy in upcoming elections, Rozell said.

There will be no special election to fill the vacancy on the council.

Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner explained that the council will declare the seat vacant, then the mayor pro tem will be sworn in as mayor until the council appoints a new mayor.

The City Council will be required to appoint a mayor within 30 days after the Oakland County Board of Canvassers certifies results.

If a council member wishes to be appointed as mayor, he or she must submit a letter of resignation as council member to the City Clerk’s office. 

If more than one council member submits a letter of resignation because he or she wishes to be appointed mayor, the resignations of those not appointed would stand, Bittner said.

She added that there would likely be deliberations at the council table to ensure that multiple resignations would not occur. A vacant City Council seat would be filled by appointment, and that term and the mayoral term would expire in November of 2013.

According to campaign finance reports turned into the Oakland County Elections Division Oct. 26, the group directing the effort to recall Daniels outspent Daniels and her supporters by 3-to-1. 

The Recall Janice Daniels Committee spent $18,471 while the Committee to Elect Janice Daniels spent about $6,315. 

Matt Binkowski, who organized the effort to recall Daniels said he decided to do so after Daniels read a 20-minute position paper opposing the transit center and critical of then-City Manager John Szerlag into the public record at a City Council meeting this past January.

“It feels good to do something the city of Troy responded so positively to,” said John Kulesz, who also spearheaded the recall effort.

Former Troy Mayor Louise Schilling said she saw enthusiasm to recall Daniels building as the signatures on recall petitions were collected. A Democrat, she lost her bid to serve as county commissioner for the 11th District to incumbent Republican Robert Gosselin.

Troy resident Jeff Schaeper, who supported Daniels and described himself as a tea party member, said Daniels was successfully putting Troy’s fiscal house in order.

“It’s too short a time,” he said of the effort to recall her. “They are trying to short circuit the process.” 

Rozell said that over last the couple decades, recall questions in Oakland County made it onto ballots four times — of Pontiac Mayor Willie Payne in 2003, which was unsuccessful; in Keego Harbor for a council member in 1998, which was successful; and for two council members in Keego Harbor in 2001, which were successful. Another push to recall the Pontiac mayor this year failed after election officials rejected a number of signatures on the petitions.

“We see a lot of individuals come in and get ballot language approved in order to circulate petitions,” Rozell said. “But it’s very rare that someone brings in the signatures to trigger an election.”