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State Orders Special Election for Troy; City to Refute Order

City administrators are drafting a response to a letter from the state director of elections ordering a special election in February to elect a new mayor.

In a letter sent Monday to Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner and City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm, state Director of Elections Christopher Thomas directed the city to conduct a special election in February "to fill the vacancy created by former Mayor Daniels' recall."

The letter arrived the same day Troy City Council voted 4-2 to appoint Dane Slater Mayor of Troy until the Nov. 5, 2013 regular election.

"I understand the City's legal position to be that, pursuant to the Troy City Charter, the City intends to allow the person who was recently appointed to temporarily fill the vacancy in the office of Mayor to serve until a successor is elected at the next regularly scheduled city election" next November, he wrote. However, he asserted, the recall of a public official is not covered under the law that allows municipalities to govern their own elections.

"For example, MCL 168321(1) provides that 'the qualifications, nomination, election, appointment, term of office, and removal from office of a city officer shall be in accordance with the charter provisions governing the city,'" Thomas wrote. "Notably omitted from the conditions that fall within the exclusive purview of the city charter are 'recall' and 'filing a vacancy caused by recall.'"

Toward the end of the 3-page letter, Thomas concluded: "Simply put, there is no legal authority to refrain from conducting an election to fill the vacancy caused by the former Mayor's recall until a time of the City's choosing. In accordance with my authority under the Michigan Election Law, you are directed to take all necessary steps in preparation for a special election to be held on February 26, 2013."

Though City Clerk Aileen Bittner would not comment on the specific allegations in the letter, she said city administrators are currently "drafting a response that will be issued to him this afternoon" which "will refute the allegations."

Stay with Troy Patch for updates on this developing story.

Anne Bartlett November 27, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Just how is a "recall" not a "removal" from office? This seems to be a pretty fine nit to be picking on the part of SOS and Election Commission. They weren't so conscientious checking petitions in the 11th District for a few years but they are all over this.
John November 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM
There should be a special election so the people of troy can pick their Mayor to represent them, that is what is suppose to happen. I live it troy and did not vote for the current mayor, so where is my vote. The city council should not have the power to pick who ever they want to be mayor. The people recalled the mayor (for petty reasons) so they have to pay for a new election. The City Council should of known they would have to have an election. Maybe we should recall the city council to and start all over.
April C. November 28, 2012 at 02:31 AM
I didn't vote for the previous mayor. Maybe we should just keep voting until we get 100% voting for one candidate. The council didn't pick "whoever" they wanted to be mayor. They conscientiously chose one of their own to take on the role of Mayor. The council (in its entirety as I recall from watching the meeting) wanted to be sure the Mayor was someone who had at least been elected by the people of Troy to sit on the council. In our city, the Mayor has a few more responsibilities, a little more prestige and should be the ambassador for our city. He or she still only carries 1 vote on the council. The selection of Mr. Slater was fair and in the best interest of the city.
Lucille Musser Arking November 28, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Our government is not that simplistic . In our country your vote is counted and the majority votes win . After the election our founding fathers had this solution for your vote . The majority wins and the elected serves all . I hear conservatives all the time at city council meeting reminding people we are a republic . That is different then a direct democracy . Please learn how our consitution means for this government to work . That will not be found on either FOX NEWS OR MSNBC . It will be found in books in our library . Mr. Jefferson said " i free society that is uneducated is what never was and never shall be. He wrote that in support of election for all and the concept of government run schools. Not charter schools, which did exist in colonial times . Read why they were out of business and not part of the free enterprise system .
Lucille Musser Arking November 28, 2012 at 06:34 PM
If I was to make a change to our charter it would require those who run for mayor to have served in another government elected position preferable in Troy . I believe after watching her for a year was that she had no idea how our city charter spelled out how our city government should work . That was the importance to her refusing to take an oath to follow it. Again education would have been golden.

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