Split vote for special Troy mayor election

TROY (WXYZ) - Whether or not to have a special election for mayor of the city of Troy in February has been a topic of heated debate.

Wednesday afternoon, city council held a special meeting and the only item on the agenda was the mayor.

The special meeting was prompted by a letter from the State Election Board; a division in the Secretary of State's office. 

It was sent to city attorney, Lori Grigg Bluhm at 4 p.m. Friday, recommending a special election for the mayor take place.

However, the recommendation somehow conflicted with the city charter.

Bluhm and city clerk Aileen Bittner both said they spent months doing their research and due diligence as to how things should proceed after the recall election of Mayor Janice Daniels.

Councilman Dane Slater is now the mayor of Troy which leaves his council seat empty.

As the charter stands, Bluhm advised council not to vote to hold a special election for mayor.

That spiraled into a heated public comment period.

The vote had council spilt right down the middle.

Half said they had confidence in their city attorney and city charter. The other half recommended getting clarification from the state attorney general's office.

In the end that recommendation was voted down,leaving voters emotional.

"We are saying it's not good. It's not right.  It's not proper for our great city to be diminished in this way," said Glenn Clark.  He is in favor of seeking advice from the state. 

"It makes us look like a bunch of cheap hooligans trying to run a very prestigious place here," said Clark.

"As long as this group continues, it will continue to divide this city even more," said Linda Kajma. Kajma supports standing by the city charter. "This a fiscally responsible group yet they are pushing for special election," said Kajma.

Now, that the vote is behind city council, Mayor Slater told 7 Action News the city to look ahead.

"I want us to just move forward," said Mayor Slater.  "This past year has been difficult for everybody.  We need to put that chapter behind us…and need to open up a new chapter.," said Mayor Slater.

As of now, the election for Troy mayor will take place November 2013.

Applications are being taken until November 28, 2012 for the empty council seat Mayor Slater left behind.

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