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Troy Mayor Makes 'Dumbest Local Politics Scandals of 2011' List

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels made The Atlantic's list for her anti-gay Facebook post and transit center "no" vote.

A list released today by The Atlantic details the seven "dumbest" local political scandals from across the country – including that of current Troy Mayor Janice Daniels.

Daniels, who is second on the list, made national headlines repeatedly this month – first for her , then for for a multi-modal transit center in Troy.

"When you really want fantastically stupid examples of politicians behaving badly (and let's face it, we do!), nothing compares to the dimwitted antics of this year's nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Dumb Local Politics Scandals," reads the article.

To read the full article, click here.

Dale Murrish December 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM
That's one spin on what's happening here in Troy. Many people are pleased that the city council has made the wise decision to cancel work on the $8.5M tax-funded transit center. We think the rest of the rest of the country should be pleased, too. The current proposal is to renovate the existing Birmingham station with sponsorships and volunteer labor.
ExTroyGal December 27, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Dale, good luck with that.
c December 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM
I am a Troy resident that is very happy that someone is smart enough to realize that we don't need to waste money on a transit center. The $8.5 million would not cover the whole cost of the project and after what happened with the library the city needs to show some discretion in choosing what is important to the city and to start spending wisely. Too bad the federal government wouldn't allow the city to use the money for the police and fire departments. The safety of our city is more important than a transit center.
Linda December 28, 2011 at 01:01 AM
When you have 10+ years in the development of this project, the majority of the business community behind it, a study done by the University of Michigan that supports it, the Troy Planning Commission unanimously supporting it, plus all the data that supports it, how can you possibly not understand it's importance. It amazes me how people can comment without doing their homework. I’d like to know who and how the Birmingham Station is going to be renovated with sponsorships. c: If you watched the city council meeting you might understand that the project was capped at $8.5 million. Project estimates came in under $8 million and their was a contingency figure included in that. Also, if you knew anything about Federal grants, etc., you would know that the money is allocated for specific projects and, therefore, cannot be used for anything else. This money would still be used for transit, but in another city, possibly another state. So, bottom line is YES, this is one of the dumbest local politics scandals! You can thank Daniels, Tietz, Henderson and Fleming for that.
c December 28, 2011 at 01:39 AM
I did my homework and at this point and time it is not right for the city. We don't need to build a multimillion dollar transit center. You obviously like to waste money. Just because the money is there for the taking doesn't mean that you take just to take. Seems to me a lot of top dogs in business have made poor decisions at the expense of others. I am fed up with money being wasted on things that are not value added to the community. Birmingham shot it down for a reason and thankfully so did the City of Troy.
Dale Murrish December 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Linda, I was at the council meeting and thought there were good arguments on both sides. Most of the people there were in favor of continuing the project but I thought they had the weaker arguments. The council did their homework and the majority thought it best not to spend $2.3M just to build a bridge, elevator and platform. There was also no money set aside for depreciation and replacement of the building. We'll see if some of the companies that lobbied so hard for it through the Troy Chamber of Commerce are willing to sponsor an upgrade to the Birmingham station. You can read more about my proposal at http://troy.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-improve-current-transit-center-don-t-build-new if you're interested.
Bob Cornwall December 28, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Dale, I'm not sure how you upgrade the Birmingham station. You can enclose the bus shelter, but you still don't have any parking. The last time I took the train I first scouted out the Birmingham site - - no parking and access to the tracks is behind buildings. You can upgrade, but its still useless.
Dave W December 28, 2011 at 04:15 PM
c: If you did your homework, you'd know the only reason that Birmingham pulled out was because they couldn't get the land they needed for the price they needed. They did not pull out because they were anti-transit center, or trying to be fiscally responsible. I also don't think this would be wasteful spending, I think it would be an investement that would be a piece of the overall project to improve transit in this state and between the states. Now some other lucky city will be the recipient of that grant and they will set their community up for success in the future. This center was a piece of the "Master Plan" developed by the community of where they want this city to be in 20 years. We were awarded a grant (a refund of sorts for the taxes we have all already paid) and we refuse it because "we don't want to take Federal dollars". We take Federal money for the roads, schools, cops, and firefighters in the forms of other grants, but we wouldn't take this one?. I don't understand the logic of rejecting that money, other than the new Council members being narrow-minded isolationalists that hold some paranoid fears that the area would turn into prostitute and drug central. If that's the true reason that they voted No, then it was truly shameful.
Dale Murrish December 29, 2011 at 12:14 AM
There are 20 parking spots for the train station, including 2 handicapped spots right by the platform. That said, most people get dropped off because they can’t count on a spot being there. Maybe the local businesses on the Troy and Birmingham side would allow weekend and evening train parking when they are closed. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If the people and businesses of Troy and Birmingham came together in a cooperative spirit, we could improve what we have. I understand many people had a lot invested in the cancelled project; let’s make the best of what we have and move forward together.
Bob Cornwall December 29, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Dale, I don't know where you get the 20 spaces. In the project description, the current site has but 4 spots. The reason Birmingham dropped out is that it couldn't get the land so that the tunnel could be built from the side that has parking. So, we're left with a station with but 4 parking spots, as for the rest -- well you park on your own.
Dale Murrish December 29, 2011 at 03:33 PM
I took pictures of the 20 parking spots. You can see for yourself. There are 2 handicapped spots by the platform, 8 on Villa Road just west of the station and 10 on Eton Street. Maybe you were reading the project description for the Troy transit center proposal, which would have had a pro-transit center bias. There are different reasons given for Birmingham dropping out depending on who you talk to. Check out these pictures and the comments below the others. Then you'll understand my proposal better. http://troy.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-improve-current-transit-center-don-t-build-new#photo-8737656 http://troy.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-improve-current-transit-center-don-t-build-new#photo-8737660 http://troy.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-improve-current-transit-center-don-t-build-new#photo-8737636
Bob Cornwall December 29, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Dale, yes, you can park on the street, but that's not the same as having dedicated parking. You are right, there are 10 spots, 2 of which are for handicapped persons. But even with 20 spots, that's still small in number. Amtrak data that I read suggests that 24,000 persons traveled from Birmingham last year and is on the rise. Since most train trips are more than 1 day long, it's clear that these spots will get filled quickly. Then what? I wonder what Birmingham has to say about all of this -- and how does this benefit Troy? Ultimately, the question is -- why turn down 8 million dollars for a Transit center that will combine a growing train usage plus the opportunity for expanded bus traffic. I don't understand any of this.
Dale Murrish December 30, 2011 at 10:48 PM
That's the beauty of representative government. The mayor and some council members campaigned on that theme and other conservative issues. They were elected by a majority of the people who voted. All views were presented at the meeting. They did their homework, considered all the factors, and the majority of the council decided that it was in the best interests of the people of Troy not to spend the money. Now a hundred or so people are unhappy about this and are stirring the pot. Hopefully all this will die down and more time and money won't be wasted on a recall election of the mayor. Meanwhile the library will be open on Saturdays again, city salaries and benefits are posted online, etc. Since the transit center is not going to go forward, I proposed Option C as an alternative, hopefully without any government money. Why should we take the money and burden future generations if we have the resources to do it ourselves?

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