'Civility' is the Word of the Day

A Thanksgiving request for civility.

I have never blogged on Troy Patch because it always seemed like I was spending more time defending anything I responded to here than was productive for me. Besides I have other places to get things off my chest.

Today is different though. We all lived through a year of negativity as it regards our city and its government. More if you count all the wranglings that led up to the 2011 elections where I entered the fray officially.

Lets talk about civility for a minute. By definition, a: civilized conduct; especially: courtesy, politeness b: a polite act or expression. I don't mean to talk and act like a teacher here (not that theres anything wrong with that, I simply haven't achieved that level of deserved respect) , but courtesy and politeness are words that I haven't seen in Troy a lot these days. Sure we can bump into each other on the street, or at fund raisers,  shake hands and make small talk and smile at a joke at times, even if on different sides of a topic. But true civility needs to manifest itself in not only our face to face meetings, but in our arms length discussions (council meetings), and especially facebook or Patch postings, if we are to be taken seriously for our personal civil actions.

Anyone that knows me personally, knows that I am about the most civil guy they'll meet. I honestly was fired from a job in my early 20's, and one of the reasons on the release document... "tries to please too many people". Let that be a lesson to you all... By the same token, many of you here met me through facebook postings beginning around January 2010 regarding city affairs.

I admit some of my criticism early on was tough on previous management and councils. I tried to maintain civility, but I also have a sharp tongue and odd sense of humor at times... things in writing seldom appear in the same context or thought pattern that they are written, and often are interpreted differently by folks that read them. Sarcasm is my friend and I've never been afraid to use it to make a point. It's a curse and a friend at times.

I don't mean to preach at anyone, because a change in attitude and talk begins with me. By me I mean me, but also each and every one of us. This blog is timely because I am trying to reach out to anyone that plans on attending todays meeting, or any in the future to admonish them to just be civil. Realize there is a real person with actual feelings on the other side of what you decide to say. Say it like you were holding their hand in a handshake, not as if you were hidden behind a microphone or computer screen. We all act differently when we connect.

The meeting today for me is to find out the appropriate plan of action in light of the Secretary of States interpretation of the law. Yes we have confidence in our city attorney's interpretation of the law, but as a non attorney, I have to have confidence that the Secretary of State knows a little something about election laws as well. Who trumps who, and how do we go about finding out who's legally most accurate. At the end of the day, we may be setting the standard for the rest of the state regarding poorly stated legislation on recalls. It may turn out both are correct, and we need to close a loop in the law. Who's fault is that?

Enough Kumbaya... It's a jungle out there, be careful... see you at todays meeting, and Have a great Thanksgiving, we have much to be thankful for.

Dave Henderson


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.

Irv Wengrow November 22, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Halftime - so Dave, I did not have the chance to watch or attend, but could you not have offered an Amendment before the vote to remove the binding language?
Wiley Coyote November 22, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Ed Kempen was the "brains" behind the so-called Friends of the Library with no new taxes" phony attempt to further confuse voters during the Proposal 1 attempt. If he'd ever bothered to actually look at the city budgets, which anyone can do, he would have known it was not possible to fund the library's operation without a dedicated millage. By that alone, Ed has proved he has no business being involved in city affairs. For Dale to keep pushing for him proves he, Dale, has no sense whatsoever. He's not a true conservative--he's another calculating, willing to go to any lengths to win would-be politician. Troy deserves better than this scurrilous bunch.
Glenn November 22, 2012 at 08:35 PM
You're trying to revise history again Councilman Henderson. In response to a TCU post regarding the candgnews.com article "Four Library Millage Proposals Will Be On the November Ballot" this is what you wrote: "I'm waiting on responses from council to explain how the new library needs $ 4 million a year instead of the current $ 2 million budget. I have a loose laymans explanation from another citizen but an extra $ 2 million a year deserves much more than that. $4 million next year could purchase 23,529 kindles for troy residents in 2011. A kindle has over a million books stored.There are slightly over 30,000 households in Troy. The first year budget could provide way more reading material in residents hands if the city bought every home a Kindle, than a bricks and mortar library can contain. Times are changing, and city and federal governments need to change with them. I think if Troy closed the library and bought electronic media for everyone, the entire country would read about how progressive we were as a community. Now that's enticing people to move here." Facebook Dave Henderson Sept. 24th, 2010. There was never any mention of this mythical $9 million anywhere in that thread. I'm also failing to see any sarcasm in that post. It seems like you truly thought this would be a good solution. After all you are a self professed "out of the box thinker."
Glenn November 22, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Who are you trying to kid Dave. Everyone of those quotes are yours. You posted them. Your picture was next to every one. Each and every quote is still on the TCU page and if they somehow disappear I can forward you snapshots of them.
Glenn November 22, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Well Dave, Maya Angelou probably wouldn't have been part of or supported an unethical group that put out misleading/false information about the size of the tax increase or the existence of a mythical slush fund. Also, she most likely wouldn't have authored 3 fake millage proposals to confuse the electorate on the second vote. You chose to place yourself squarely in the company of that crowd. That speaks volumes about your ethics and character and leads me to question your innocence and motivation in this current fiasco.
Glenn November 22, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Oh and here's another one where Facebook Dave doubles down on the Kindle idea and exposes his ignorance on how public libraries are allowed to operate by law. Not sure about the kindle cost for books, but at $ 4 million a year for 10 years... the city could supply a lot of electronic books to every household even after the initial purchase of the gadget the first year. I'm all for the pay toplay concept as well... Why should I have to pay the same for the library as everyone else when I never go there. Charge all the big users for a library card, and maybe they'd only need $ 1 million a year, or $ 3 million a year. Dave Henderson September 25th, 2010
Glenn November 22, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Irv, Dave is either displaying his ignorance of Robert's Rules or simply being dishonest. I watched the entire meeting. He had plenty of time to offer a revision before the vote was taken. Everyone was given an opportunity to speak on the issue and Mayor Slater asked if anyone else had anything to say before he called for the vote. Henderson sat mute. His actions, or inaction, on this matter continue to speak louder than his words.
Will Curtis November 23, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Dave, you're sunk if you keep Dale at your side.
Dave Henderson November 23, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Thanks for the correction. I've had a lot on my plate the last year, and all the millage attempts do run together for me. The numbers and the timing may not jive with what you have rolodexed so perfectly, but the point remains unchanged
Dave Henderson November 23, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Glenn you're probably right, but she likely would have been proactive and tried to get to the bottom of things much like I have. I found if you can't rely on the city or outside organizations to be perfectly honest, you need to shut up, run for office and find out for yourself whats going on. It is a work in progress.
Dave Henderson November 23, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Irv, The attorney made mention initially that she didn't like the binding part of this resolution. It became very clear that 3 members were going to vote this down regardless. Unlike Glenn, i have learned to really read my fellow members of council. All had spoken and were in support of the city attorneys opinion and were vehemently against the resolution. This was DOA, why speak up?
Dave Henderson November 23, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Will, you realize this is a blog and all are free to post whether I agree with their positions or not. I'm almost sorry to have spoken up, but the actual topic I began with is a worth while effort, even though some refuse to put differences aside and call that "truce" they were so willing to bring forth after the recall. I'm not playing games here with questioning the opinions of the city attorney or the SoS... I just want someone to make a final determination since there seems to be some question.
Glenn November 23, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Councilman Henderson, first you claim that you never had a chance to offer a revision on Fleming's binding resolution despite quickly seizing the opportunity to speak up and second the motion. Once you're reminded on what actually happened, you say, "This (the resolution) was DOA, why speak up?" Well, perhaps you speak up because it would have been seen as a reasonable compromise by those you were sure were voting against the original resolution. Perhaps you speak up because, even if the resolution was destined to be defeated, your offer of revision would have allayed some of the public suspicions that you are now facing regarding your true motivations and involvement in all of this. Perhaps you speak up because it would have been the right thing to do, instead of meekly bowing your head and lamenting being outnumbered. You protest being called a follower, but appear incapable of leading.
Sue Martin November 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Dave, If you think putting differences aside gives you free reign to continue to be disingenuous...you don't understand the term. What's happening here is not an unwillingness to put differences aside and call a truce. What's happening is that you are not being allowed to continue to make spurious and inaccurate claims without challenge. What's happening is that you are not being allowed to deny your former stances on issues without challenge. What's happening here is that you are being asked to claim your very own words without trying to change the context in which they were initially spoken. You don't get to spend literally years speaking in a terribly uncivil manner and then preach from the pulpit that we must all play nice and NOT expect a challenge. You are a civil guy in person. You lose that civility from behind the keyboard. And while you seem to think it's ok to insult electronically as long as you don't get up in front of the podium and say it...many of us prefer someone who chooses their words in every forum carefully and then stands by them.
Glenn November 23, 2012 at 01:45 PM
One other point before I go out to brave the holiday crowds, Dave. You relate the story of once being fired for, among other reasons, "trying to please to many people" as if it's a badge of honor. But nobody gets fired for being too nice, too polite or too customer friendly. On the other hand, I've seen plenty of people get fired for being a sycophant. For being so intent on gaining favor that they fail to display an ability to do what is right. Perhaps, in light of your current reputation of being nothing more than a reliable Daniels/Fleming toady, you might reevaluate that cited reason for termination. Just maybe your former employer was not referring to a tendency on your part to be too civil, but rather a lack of ability on your part to display a backbone.
Daffy Noodnicks November 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Because it might have made it not quite so DOA.
Daffy Noodnicks November 23, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Check me if I'm wrong here CM Henderson, but isn't making a final determination the job of the Troy Council? It my understanding that Council is supposed to take the advice of your advisors, and make that final determination which will hopefully be in the best interest of Troy. Abdicating this responsibility, by putting things in the hands of a state official seems like shirking the responsibility for which Council was elected, which is to act in the best interest of the City of Troy.
Dale Murrish November 23, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Glenn, what gives you the right to question why someone was fired from a job? Why don't you handle your own issues?
Glenn November 23, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Dale, he wrote that, "I honestly was fired from a job in my early 20's, and one of the reasons on the release document... "tries to please too many people", and used this as proof that he is, and always was, such a civil guy. In light of his current situation and approximately two years of uncivil comments authored by him, I offered an alternative explanation for the facts that he presented. I seem to recall a local, up and coming, young blogger by the name of Dale Murrish who is constantly claiming that one set of facts can yield two polar opposite, yet equally valid interpretations. A difference of opinion if you will. By the way, nobody forced a guy with a penchant for throwing rocks from behind a tree to pen an article about how everybody else in town should put down the rocks. If he didn't expect some push-back on this given his history he might be a little too naive for public service.
Paul November 23, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Why do the Tea Party guys always say they are a husband, a father, etc? Seriously. Is that something that is taught at their training sessions. Does Bob Gosselin say I'm a husband, father, prostitute lover?
Dale Murrish November 23, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Glenn, you didn't answer my question, so let me rephrase it. Why don't you deal with your OWN issues instead of offering free psychoanalysis to others you do not know while maligning their reputation, implying they are dishonest. Your quoting my statement back to me only proves my point. Honest people can disagree on political issues, drawing opposite conclusions from the same set of facts. Since you won't answer the question, I can only conclude that you are more interested in throwing honest insults than engaging in constructive dialogue to solve problems. The same goes for your friends. Tend to your own backyard before throwing rocks at others. Or run for office yourself and see how many votes you get.
Glenn November 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I believe I did answer your question Dale. If you can't discern that from my previous response than I'll try a different approach. I think Mr. Henderson is being disingenuous in his current statements based on his past statements. In addition, I believe that one can draw some conclusions about the cause of his behavior based on some of the information he shared above. I have offered documented evidence to support my position. As an elected official in the City of Troy, Mr. Henderson's public behavior, decisions and conduct is my business/issue. As far as your position that I should not offer "free psychoanalysis to others" I will refer you back to a previous post of your own. As recently as November 16, 2012 you wrote this about Mayor Slater, "In my opinion, Mayor Slater was minimizing the complaint, while agreeing with it. As a former policeman, he’s probably calloused from hearing people lie." Hmm, calloused from hearing people lie? Now I don't know about you Dr. Freud, but that last sentence seems suspiciously like free psychoanalysis to me. So maybe you should un-bunch your panties Dale since we both appear to be playing the same game. Better yet I'll make you a deal. If you agree to stop subjecting people to your opinion on the Patch, I will be more than happy to stop subjecting people to mine. If you care to agree to this proposition, I am prepared to throw in front row seats to the parade that Patch readers will undoubtedly throw in my honor.
Wiley Coyote November 24, 2012 at 12:01 AM
It's almost comical how the TCU crowd, Mr. Murrish most definitely included, as well our bestest buddy and big toe Dave Henderson have been tossing insults for years and when people finally give them a taste of their own medicine, like schoolyard bullies who get punched in the nose, they retreat and yell "no fair" from behind their respective trees. Dave, you're not in the relatively sheltered confines of Keep Troy Strong here. Put it out there and you're going to get called on it. And Dale, man, how much dishonesty and deceit does it take from your friends Gosselin, Clark, Daniels and Howrylak before you, a self-professed and proud "Christian" decide that their behavior doesn't line up with "What would Jesus do?"
Sharon November 24, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Dave, why oh why must you all do the bidding of Bob Gosselin? http://www.keeptroystrong.com/2012/11/bob-gosselin-troys-enemy-number-one.html
wlarue November 24, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I for one agree with the position that our city's attorney has given on the special elecrtion and beleive her advise is correct. Unlike Councilman Henderson I have faced many lawsuits and never lost. The reason, I listen to the advise of my attorney. The letter received by the city was from a non-legal person who was giving legal advise or opinion on a subject he may have been aquainted with or may not have been aquainted since not all city charters are equal. I for one thank Mayor Slater for his stance and thank attorney Blum for her good advice and I beleive that Councilman Fleming owes our city's attorney an apology for trying to belittle her in front of the camera and his friends. It appears that to often that Council has come of the opinion that if they are unhappy with the advice or information from a city employees, they feel the right to tounge lash and disparigae the employee for no good reason. It is time the council becomes a kinder and more bussiness like council and recognize that the city employees not only work for them individually but work for all citzens of this city.
Will Curtis November 25, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Dave, speak up for what you really believe in. Be your own man. To march lockstep with those like Dale... well, like I say, you're sunk.
Chris P. November 25, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Mr. Henderson, your comments here on the millage requests completely mystify me. Many of us understand now that the tax fighting group you claim you were a mouthpiece for was clueless. (By the way, to suggest that those same people weren't obnoxious for several years as they all but owned the council microphone attacking the mayor and council members, is ludicrous.) It is clear to me that the TCU you spoke for was wrong over and over again. Do you not recall this fact from the Budget Study Sessions? http://troy.patch.com/articles/5-year-budget-shows-troy-bankrupt-in-2017
Ellen Hodorek November 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM
wlarue: So well said. Thank you.
Cathy Fucinari November 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Why does it have to be a true conservative??? Why can't it be an independent??? An independent that both sides would be willing to work with??? Oh, wait. That makes sense and isn't Dale's way!
Cathy Fucinari November 26, 2012 at 02:57 PM
what a about delinquent tax payer? There is sooooo much more about Gosselin that says he's not a good choice for Troy politics. I should think the self-professed Christians should get on board with that. How MANY commandments has this man broken?


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