Banning considers office

Recalled Troy mayor says he will renew bid to regain seat

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Don Banning

Don Banning, former mayor of Troy, has announced plans to run for mayor again this fall.

Troy voters ousted Banning 190-123 in a special recall election last May. Banning, serving his first term as mayor, had begun to draw the ire of councilmembers Fran McCully and Phil Fisher.

McCully hired the services of attorney Heather McDougall, Troy’s current city attorney, to put together a petition to recall Banning. 

On the petition were four points McCully cited as reasons for the recall vote: the termination of Charles Evans as city attorney, cashing a city check, allowing a construction project in Roosevelt Park and making changes to the city charter, all without council approval.

“All the stuff in that little trial was completely false,” Banning said. “The election is in November, and I want people to think about where this town is heading.”

When Banning left the office in early June, Council President Phil Fisher took over as interim mayor.

Tony Brown was appointed mayor in July until the next election. A message left at the Brown home went unreturned.

The opposition to Banning on the council is still alive and well.

“I think he shouldn’t run,” Fisher said. “Because that’s not best for the city of Troy. It’s obvious to me that the citizens of Troy don’t want him. I don’t think he’ll do anything to better Troy.”

For Banning’s part, he thinks the winds have changed in the city. McCully and Fisher are up for re-election this November.

“Phil Fisher and Fran McCully are not qualified,” Banning said. “They refuse to learn anything. If they run, they will be defeated. They will not be re-elected.”

While two of the council members butted heads with Banning, the other two, Joe Arts and Crystal Denton, were able to work with him.

“I think he got kind of a bum deal the last time,” Arts said. “I think they had a personality deal there. I worked OK with him, and I think I could work OK with him again.”

Arts and Denton are the two newest members of the Council, voted in November 2011. In the first year of their term they have seen an attorney fired, a mayor booted, the same attorney rehired only to resign shortly after and the attorney that helped boot the mayor hired.

It’s been a whirlwind.

“I’d like to get Troy back to the way it used to be,” Arts said. “Without all the hijinks and the stabbing in the back.”

John Clogston, former councilman, thought Banning running for mayor isn’t a good thing.

“I don’t think he’s out for the city,” Clogston said. “Where he sees daylight I see dark. We see things differently.”

McDougall wrote in an email she was not comfortable commenting on Banning’s announcement, considering her new position as city attorney. Several calls to McCully’s residence went unreturned. 

One of Banning’s biggest reasons for deciding to run again was how he claims the city is treating its employees.

“The employees are treated like nothing,” Banning said. “They hired a city administrator for an exorbitant amount of money when there are department heads capable of doing his job.”

Bob McLeod, Troy’s chief of police, said Brown has treated him with the same amount of respect as Banning did.

With the election months away, Troy will have time to think about whether it wants to stop the carousel of city positions or get on for another spin.   

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