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UPDATED: Troy's Janice Daniels Loses Bid For Council Seat
Anti-gay Former Mayor Avoids Spotlight
By Kate Opalewski
Originally printed 10/31/2013 (Issue 2144 - Between The Lines News)
Update: Janice Daniels lost her bid for a seat on the Troy City Council Nov. 5.
Former Troy Mayor Janice Daniels said "I'm not going to go away, and I'm not going to move out of town" on the Charlie Langton Talk Radio 1270 show in Nov. 2012 after being recalled by a 52-48 percent vote.
She wasn't lying that time. Daniels has now filed to run for City Council, which has three open seats. She filed her petitions in order to be considered a candidate for the Nov. 5 election with 75 signatures. A candidate needs 60 signatures to be eligible, according to the Oakland County Clerk's Office.
Daniels publicly announced why she entered the race. "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."
Since then, she has remained low-key, avoiding public events, hoping to win by using lawn signs and mailers. Daniels has raised $8,000, $3,000 of which has come out of her own pocket, according to her campaign finance statement.
Who doesn't remember this woman? She was the center of controversy since she took office in Nov. 2011 when she refused to take an oath of office recognizing the city charter.
Her anti-gay Facebook comment, "I think I am going to throw away my 'I Love New York' carrying bag now that queers can get married there," garnered national attention. In an attempt to explain her statement, she later told the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance that she would bring in psychiatrists to tell them the "homosexual lifestyle" is "dangerous" and compared the dangers of homosexuality to the dangers of cigarette smoking.
The recall also points to Daniels' negative statements about other city employees and her vote against a proposed transit center backed by millions in federal funding, that has been in the works for over a decade. She further embarrassed herself by engaging in an argument with 2012 Troy Distinguished Citizen Mary Kerwin while presenting her with a proclamation.
"The recall of Janice Daniels proved that the people of Troy rejected politics of bigotry and intolerance. We collected more than 9,000 signatures on a petition drive and nearly 21,000 votes to remove her from office. I'm confident that Janice Daniels does not represent the good people of Troy and will face crushing defeat this November," said Attorney John Kulesz, co-founder of the Recall Janice Daniels group.
Other candidates are Olimpiu Apahidean, incumbent Wade Fleming, Steve Gottlieb, Ellen Hodorek, Thomas Kuhn, incumbent Edward Pennington, Rodger Walters and Scott T. Welborn.
Hodorek, who was involved in numerous campaigns in the city, including the millage fight for the library and the recall, is "concerned" for both Daniels and for the city.
"She has demonstrated a habit of drawing very negative publicity to herself and the city. Given the recall, it's clear that a significant portion of the city does not trust her. Whether you agree with her views or not, that mistrust is not a healthy dynamic. I pray for her and for our community. I'll leave it at that," she said.
Hodorek comes to the table with multiple perspectives as a wife, mother, businesswoman, former city employee and school and church volunteer.
"I am running to bring a non-partisan, pragmatic view to our city council to ensure decisions are made that protect our property values," she said.
When asked how she will tackle diversity issues while on council, Hodorek said she recognizes that Troy is the second most diverse community in the state where more than 80 languages are spoken.
"Contrary to media coverage we experienced two years ago, this city is also a very tolerant community. One of our local churches is the meeting place for the local PFLAG chapter. With the number of faiths practiced and diversity celebrations held, Troy is vibrant and interesting," she said. "But let me be clear. I will not bring social issues to the council table because they have no place there. Having said that, if issues arise, I will seek to turn them into opportunities, actively listening and looking for where we can come together to lock arms and serve one another as fellow members of the community."
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