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A Day of New Beginnings

Reflections on the possibility of a new day for the City of Troy as we move forward from the recall of Mayor Daniels.

Last Tuesday, a majority of voters in the city of Troy voted to recall Mayor Janice Daniels.  With this action on the part of the citizens of the city, our community chose to go in a new direction, one that hopefully will be less partisan and more focused on the needs of our community.  I’ve lived in Troy for less than five years, and while I’m not as active in the city’s public life as some, I have sought to be engaged.  I entered into the debate about the fate of our former mayor, because I believed that her ideologically driven focus and the way she comported herself as mayor didn’t bode well for the city.   That era, however, is now over and we can look forward to a day of new beginnings.  Indeed, that day has already begun to unfold.

As I look to the future of our city, a hymn that we sing at church came to mind.   Written by Brian Wren it’s entitled “This is a day of new beginnings,” and while the hymn speaks of beginning a new life in Christ, I think that the opening stanza speaks to our situation here in Troy.

This is a day of new beginnings,
Time to remember and move on,
Time to believe what love is bringing,
Laying to rest the pain that’s gone.

-Brian Wren, 1987, Hope Publishing Co.    

Last week Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis was sworn in as acting mayor, and tonight she’ll pass the baton on to Dane Slater.  I believe that the remaining members of the City Council can work together to change the tone of our community’s conversation.  I first met both of these Council Members when they were first running for Council.  I was invited to a “Meet the Candidates” social, and I was impressed by their commitment to the good of the city and their understanding that this position of Council Member was non-partisan, and that their first duty was to serve the residents of this city – whatever their politics. 

So, here is my plea.  First to the citizens of Troy – let’s be vigilant, informed, and involved in the life of this city.  If we believe in the values of the American Republic, its freedoms and its opportunities, then we need to remember that the foundation of this republic is the local community.   As we learned with the election of Janice Daniels or the recent millage elections, it’s not just the big elections, the Presidential elections, which matter.  Indeed, perhaps we should start to consider what happens at the local level the really big elections and therefore attend more closely to the results.   The number of people voting in last Tuesday’s election was double that of those who voted a year ago when Janice Daniels was elected.  It would be good to remember the saying attributed, I believe, to Tip O’Neill, that “all politics is local.”  If we wish to see a change of tone at the state and national level, then perhaps the place to begin is here at the local level.

With a plea first to the citizens of Troy, I now turn to the elected leaders of Troy.  At the moment we have six council members, one of whom will serve as acting mayor – at least until a mayor is appointed.  It is my sincere hope – and my prayer – that these six individuals, whatever their political or ideological differences, will commit themselves to pursuing the common good for the citizenry of Troy, that they will recognize the growing diversity present in this city and seek to represent this increasingly diverse body of residents with wisdom and grace.   

And I will commit myself to prayer for the city and to make myself available to this process of bringing about this new day of new beginnings.  I do so as a local pastor concerned about the community in which I serve.  I do so as a leader in the local interfaith community.  And I do so as a resident, a citizen, of this community that is now my home. 

May a new day be born for the people of this fair city!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John David November 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Pastor Cornwall, I believe most of us in Troy agree with you. I also believe, based on statements I read last week and on the unanimity of the six council members on important votes in the last few months, that they will be able to reach agreement to fill the office of mayor and begin moving Troy back in a positive direction. Residents will still have some disagreements, and there will still be some rancor, and some will contend, without evidence, that the council is split and there will be gridlock, but I hope people will disregard the negative voices and listen to people like you.
Ron Butterbaugh November 12, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Thank you Pastor Cornwall. Through this difficult period, you have been the most rational and calming voice. Even when some of us used harsh words, it was your quiet, but very visible, message that so well represented the people of our City. I too look forward to a bright future and appreciate the intelligence, insight and commitment of those now charged with leading us. Troy is once again a welcoming place to live, work, worship and raise our families.
Dale Murrish November 12, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I agree completely with what you wrote, Pastor Bob, and I’ll be speaking at the council meeting tonight to support a transition to a new city government that maintains the current 4-3 majority of conservatives on the council. Tolerance and respect for all beliefs should be honored, not just some. The beliefs of the 48% who supported Mayor Daniels despite her vocal mudslinging opposition should be respected, too.
John David November 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Vocal mudslinging? If you were showing tolerance, you wouldn't have attacked Daniels' opposition, 52% of the voters, and charged them with mudslinging. The only things the recall leaders and supporters were slinging was the truth. You've been characterizing, to use a civil word, those of us who believed she needed to be recalled by your own mud, and were especially nasty towards the leaders of the recall. You've done your best to mislead and spread falsehoods about the recall from its start.
Glenn November 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Yes John David. Even when he says he completely agrees, he can't help but put a passive aggressive twist on that agreement. Now that I know he suffered brain damage from a tumor, I'm going to try to be a little more tolerant of his illogical behavior.
Dale Murrish November 13, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Thanks for the kind insulting words, Glenn. For the record, I have more patents after the brain tumor than before. I'm grateful that God has spared my life and given me my thinking skills back. I completely agree with what he wrote. I disagree with the conclusions he draws. What part of my logic do you disagree with?
Dale Murrish November 13, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Correction, the implied conclusions from his past writings, supporting gay marriage, the recall etc. He voted for the recall; I voted against it. I agree with civil discourse wholeheartedly.
John David November 13, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Dale, so much for a divided council and gridlock.
Sue Martin November 13, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Dale, what you said at council last night was completely disrespectful. You showed zero tolerance and respect for the former leaders of our city who brought Troy to its greatness -- and fought to keep it there after the Daniels debacle. To call names and classify people according to apples? It was juvenile. Further, to advocate for a contentious council makeup of with a 4-3 majority? That's asking for continued discord. What we have now isn't close to that anyway on most votes anyway...and I'm hopeful it will continue to move forward in increasing harmony.
Glenn November 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Dale, if you don't have the cognitive capability to see how throwing in the mudslinging comment after having wholeheartedly agreed with the opinion that we should move on for the good of Troy is a little incongruous then you truly do have my sympathy.
Ellen Hodorek November 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Amen and right on, Pastor Bob! Thank you.
Really November 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Mr. Murrish is not only wrong again, he has lowered himself further. I wholeheartedly agree with Sue Martin. Not only were his comments juvenile, they we far and away the worst form of the mudslinging he claimed the people in support of a recall used against his political icon. What a sad and poor attempt at villifying the very people who helped make this the great community it is. So much for the civil discourse he claims to want. In very poor taste, and once again, just plain wrong..
Cathy Fucinari November 13, 2012 at 01:30 PM
So, Dale must mean he was intentionally rude and childish?
Bob Cornwall November 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I want to congratulate Dane Slater on being chosen to fill the mayor's slot for the next year. He is a competent and level-headed person. I would have loved to have seen Maureen chosen, but she has a bright future a head of her. I don't want to get in too deep with the back and forth with Dale, but I need to say this. Dale, I think you missed my point. The City Council is a non-partisan body focused on the needs of the local community. It is not the place for ideological/partisan focus. That's what got Janice Daniels in trouble. If you look at the council, there are no liberals on the council at this moment. Maureen McGinnis served in the Bush Justice Department. I don't really know Dane's political position, and Jim Campbell appears to be a moderate Republican. I am a relatively liberal Democrat, but in Troy elections I choose to vote for people with open minds who are concerned about the issues affecting this community, not people in pursuit of other agendas.
Rick from Troy November 13, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Despite how the city council makeup turns out short term, let's remember the majority of Troy residents are NOT ultra right wing conservatives bent on foisting ideologies over constructive progress and civil tolerance. A relatively small group of angry, boisterous blow hards have tried to take advantage of an inattentive electorate. But we've woken up. Janice Daniels is gone. And one by one, we'll remove the rest of the head-in-the-sand haters to restore Troy's image as a tolerant, progressive City of Tomorrow.

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