Best Wishes to Mayor Slater

Reflections on Monday’s city council meeting, where Dane Slater was appointed Troy’s new mayor.

Congratulations to Dane Slater, Troy’s new mayor. We’ll watch and see how he does in his year as mayor, whether he will give all residents even-handed treatment when they come to the podium to address the council. I’m willing to take Barbara Yagley’s advice and give him the benefit of the doubt as a good hearted guy despite his first obvious gaffe as mayor:

“It’s unfortunate that things like that have to happen” in a kind, gentle tone in response to a resident’s complaint about the hit piece smearing Martin Howrylak and his immigrant wife. As a former policeman, he’s probably calloused from hearing people lie.

Maybe he meant to say, “Yes, partisan politics can get pretty ugly. It’s not right, but that’s the way the game is played by some unscrupulous people.” This could have been said with a steely glare at the injustice or at least a dry resignation, rather than the pacifying “let’s all calm down and play nice since the battle is over” condescension that was given. This year-long battle is indeed over but the Long War will continue for some time.

The Liberal Double Standard

Perhaps Mayor Slater could get the diversity thought police people to lecture those outsiders from the Michigan Citizens for a Brighter Tomorrow in Lansing about real racist comments (not an abbreviation critical of China’s communist government) once they are identified. Maybe there’s some connection to Troy and maybe not. Either way, they are racist comments that deserve more than the mild “reprimand” they got from Mayor Slater.

Why doesn’t some righteous liberal journalist hunt them down and reprimand them for their racist comments? Because it’s OK when it’s applied to the wife of a conservative candidate. Instead, all we get is “they’re from out of town.” They have nothing to do with our little town of Troy.

But when a young conservative from Alpena tries to help Mayor Daniels, it’s meddling by someone who is barely old enough to vote. And of course a Troy leader can’t have an interest in national politics or oppose wasteful federal spending offered to our city. Because this is Troy! The double standard is absolutely sickening. The ends often justify the means if you’re a liberal.

All injustices are not created equal; some are only perceived

In typical liberal fashion, this injustice is sometimes laid alongside some other emotion-based offense, like Dane Slater taking offense at Wade Fleming’s statement of opinion about simple math facts, calling the two-vote method for picking the mayor a set-up.

I can understand Slater wanting to apply the same method for choosing the new mayor as the city manager, but the statistics simply don’t work the same given the tie they were trying to break. Two liberals and one conservative were running for the mayor’s job. Forcing three liberals and three conservatives to each vote for two candidates guarantees a liberal mayor.

Since both are supposedly real offenses, the egregious actual injustice can be excused or minimized because feelings were hurt.

Not Sour Grapes, Rather Exposure of a Raw Wound

I’m sorry if I sounded a little sharp in my criticism of our new mayor at the meeting Monday night. It didn’t come from sour grapes about losing the election, though; it came from someone ripping the Patch off a raw wound: an anonymous character smear of an honest man and his wife who won despite the racist smear.

I thought at least families of candidates were off limits, but apparently not for some liberals in Michigan (not necessarily Mary Kerwin or her campaign, but someone in the Michigan Democratic Party who supports her or rather opposes Martin Howrylak).

Suggesting that this hit piece may have helped Howrylak is laughable. It cast aspersions on many aspects of his character, creating doubt in the undecided voter’s mind, while reinforcing hatred in the minds of those who already opposed him. And yes, it made some of his friends a little mad at the injustice.

Negative State Representative Campaign

Mary Kerwin could have signed the clean campaign pledge if she had wanted to, even though she never saw the certified letter Howrylak sent or not. Martin Howrylak wrote an open letter in the Oakland Press about it, which was also ignored.

Everything I have received from the Howrylak campaign has been truthful and comparing votes or positions on issues, not attacking a person’s character or personal life, much less a family member.

In contrast, two of the four negative items in Kerwin’s campaign mailing were guilt by association: “Howrylak’s Republican Party”; the others were questionable and dealt with in my blog article endorsing Howrylak.

Some individuals in “Kerwin’s Democratic Party” were certainly responsible for the hit piece on Martin Howrylak and his wife. Why does Mary Kerwin get a pass for this hit piece while Martin Howrylak is linked with people in his political party that he disagrees with in her official campaign mailing?

But I digress. Back to the "non-partisan" council meeting, where council members cut their political teeth for partisan political office.

Both Sides were Represented in Council Comments

The liberal viewpoint can best be summed up as “It’s a new day in Troy; everyone is smiling and happy, since Mayor Daniels has been removed from office.”

The conservatives came to the podium and said “Hey, what about the 48% of us that voted to keep her, despite the year-long 100% negative campaign against her. What about our interests? We’re not going to roll over and see the council majority flipped from 4-3 conservative to 4-3 liberal.”

Good Advice

Probably the best advice at the council meeting came from Barbara Yagley, who suggested that after a bruising recall of Janice Daniels, we ought to be ready to give a favorable interpretation to something someone said, especially if it can be taken more than one way. Ask questions for clarification; if there was intended malice, then correct it.

I don't think Dane Slater intended malice, so I gave him the favorable editing above as a suggestion for next time. Because there will be polite and sometimes angry citizens with a different point of view than his coming to the podium. Everyone should be respected and given a fair hearing. Those agreeing with him should not be given favoritism. It's a new role for him, and I'll give him time to grow into it.


Troy’s “non-partisan” politics is non-partisan only in the minds of those on the left who want only their view heard. They hear everything through the filters on their ears and see things through their tinted glasses (as do I; I’ll spare you the ink in the comments section.)

Even the most positive of those with a liberal point of view, Ellen Hodorek, has to be reminded of the contributions of the conservative members of the council (seem my comment to her article).

Ellen and I disagree on most things relating to politics, but we agree that there needs to be a civil discussion of issues, not personal attacks. We should disagree without being disagreeable, even as we disagree about what is a genuine offense and what is merely hurt feelings.

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.

cookiepro2 November 20, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Dale, I use these helpful freeway signs when planning exits for food, lodging and gas: http://www.michigantods.interstatelogos.com/state/home.aspx They're uniform, tasteful and the state does get revenue from merchants who want to add their logos to the signs.
Will Curtis November 20, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Ever been to West Texas? They're as Republican as they come. Windmills galore... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Texas Because they're making money. On their own land.
Dale Murrish November 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Will, that’s exactly my point. Farmers in Indiana and ranchers in Texas have windmills on their own land. It generates revenue for them. They’re largely Republicans. It’s a personal preference thing, not a political party or an ideology. Private property rights and respect for others, without decreasing the value of another’s property. That’s why we have zoning laws in built-up areas. http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/a-guide-to-ballot-proposals-proposal-3 Cookiepro, I like the blue signs at exits, too. Billboards are helpful for planning ahead, though. Where would we be without the Wall Drug signs all over the country? It’s quite a place, if you’ve never been there. No one would likely visit that small town in South Dakota otherwise. Michigan and Ohio have Bronners billboards that help Frankenmuth’s tourism, too. There’s a balance. Hopefully we find it between the farmer having a right to put up a billboard in his field and earn some extra money and not littering the landscape for everyone by having too much eye clutter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Dale Murrish November 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Overly restrictive zoning laws can restrict revenue streams of governments, as in Troy’s defacto ban of all effective freeway billboards along I-75. Nanny government, like Troy’s distracted driving ordinance when it’s properly a state issue. At least we’re not as bad as California with its many ballot proposals and government restrictions on property owners, yet. If the majority of people want it, that’s fine. I didn’t even know about it though, and I’d wager that >95% of Troy citizens don’t know about this “closed forum.” I’ve lived here almost 25 years and never even noticed that there weren’t any billboards along I-75 in Troy. It’s really just a few activists setting the rules for the rest of us when no one is paying attention.
Dale Murrish November 22, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Not bitter, just trying to block a hostile takeover of my hometown and point out faulty logic.


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