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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Troy Zoning Board of Appeals - December 2014 Meeting Recap

City staff has posted the video recording of the 12/16/14 Troy Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting to YouTube. At the bottom of this post is the video. (The meeting actually starts shortly after the 2 minute mark of the video.)

Click here to download the entire Agenda Packet from the December 16th meeting.

There were two items on the agenda:
  1. Approve a variance for 863 Troywood. The Board voted to postpone action on this until the January meeting. I voted "yes" on the postponement motion. 
  2. Approve a variance for 4083 Ledgestone. The Board approved the variance. I voted "yes" to approve the variance.
Also, Board member Bruce Bloomingdale announced that he will be resigning from the ZBA effective on 12/31/14. Thank you Bruce for your service!

You'll also see on the video that City Attorney Lori Grigg-Bluhm gave a lengthy legal update to the Board at this meeting.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Council Appoints Steve Gottlieb

Once again, congratulations to newly-appointed City Councilman Steve Gottlieb. Click here for additional details.

I've embedded below a few updates from Twitter on the 12/15/14 Troy City Council selection process.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mayor Slater Says "Happy Holidays"

Image via Chris Rosebrough
Thought I'd give my "two cents" on a recent letter to the editor by Troy resident Robert Bickmeyer to The Oakland Press. Here's what Mr. Bickmeyer had to say...
I just returned from the U.S. post office where a display showed an assortment of “holiday” stamps available instead of “Christmas” stamps. As I sat down to relax, I read (in another paper) where Troy’s mayor, Dane Slater, was quoted as saying, “We look forward to kicking off the ‘holiday’ season and welcoming Santa to Troy.” In the war against Christianity the secularists have won two more battles, one in the federal government and one in the city government.
Before I offer a mild rebuttal to Mr. Bickmeyer, I do want to say something positive about him. When I served on the Troy City Council, Mr. Bickmeyer deserved significant credit for encouraging us to re-name the annual City Tree Lighting Ceremony to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Mr. Bickmeyer was correct in calling us on the carpet for our failure to use the term Christmas Tree.

My disagreement with Mr. Bickmeyer's letter is that he believes that Mayor Slater's use of the term "holiday" season represents part of the "war against Christianity." Now, I'll admit that in the past I held a viewpoint similar to Mr. Bickmeyer. But, that was prior to my exposure to the Confessional Lutheran doctrine known as the Two Kingdoms.

Rather than a lengthy discussion of the Two Kingdoms, I'll briefly make two points:
  1. Dane Slater's primary job as Mayor is to serve as the chief elected official of the City of Troy.

  2. At the 2014 City of Troy Christmas Lighting Ceremony, Mayor Slater wished everyone Happy Holidays, and then went on to mention Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. (See the YouTube video at the bottom of this blog post from this year's ceremony and you can hear for yourself.)
Instead of worrying about Mayor Slater's use of the term Happy Holidays, let's thank him for doing his job and for being willing to say Merry Christmas!