The City of Troy is being threatened with a lawsuit by the state of Michigan to determine when it will hold its next mayoral election.
The state filed the lawsuit Nov. 30. The Troy City Council wanted to hold the mayoral election in November, but the state is insisting Troy hold a special election in February to complete the recall process of former Mayor Janice Daniels, whom Troy voters successfully recalled last month in the general election.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette both issued statements shortly after the lawsuit was filed.
“I’m disappointed that city officials have chosen to go this route,” Johnson said in her statement. “Unfortunately, we now must seek a legal remedy to uphold state election and recall law. Our position all along has been that state law requires an election in this situation. Troy residents have the right to choose the city’s mayor in February, and the attorney general and I will see that that happens.”
In his statement, Schuette said, “As Michigan attorney general, my job is to enforce the law. I am fully supportive of Secretary of State Johnson’s efforts as Michigan’s chief elections officer and agree that the law is straightforward. A February election is required.”
Lori Grigg Bluhm, Troy’s city attorney, said in a release she thought there was too much ambiguity in the state law and that a special election could cost the city upwards of $50,000, although she also said cost was not the reason the city wanted to avoid holding a special election, and expressed her desire to resolve the issue with the state.
“Any opportunity we have to avoid a lawsuit, we want to work with the state,” Bluhm said in a release.
Dane Slater was appointed by the Troy City Council to serve as mayor pro tem until an election could be held. Whoever is elected will serve the remaining two years of Daniels’ term.
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