by JUSTIN COOPER
Councilman Dave Henderson kicked off his campaign for mayor of Troy Monday night. Set up in a corner of Sedona Taphouse on Big Beaver, Henderson took signatures and donations from his supporters in front of a sign that read “Your neighbor, not a career politician.”
Henderson is nearing the end of his second term on City Council. Since first being sworn-in in November, he says his greatest challenges on City Council have been working through the scandal involving Troy’s former City Manager Brian Kishnick and helping to economically steer the city out of the 2008 recession.
Since 2011, he’s learned that “not everything is as it seems” and that making the correct decision requires doing a lot of homework on “more detail than the average citizen understands.”
The councilman said that leading by example is the core of his leadership style. He admires leaders like his father, a former special education director who he described as a “quiet leader,” and Detroit hockey legend Steve Yzerman.
He calls his run for mayor a “give-back to the community” – a community he has spent much of his life in, graduating from Troy Athens High School and working in Troy for nearly 30 years. Since 2002, he has worked as a residential realtor.
Henderson has had a role to play in rising tensions at recent City Council meetings. Both Henderson and mayor Slater have bristled at questions raised by Councilman David Hamilton about whether any remaining elected officials were involved in the Kishnick scandal, insisting that the questions are better suited to a private one-on-one while also defending their innocence.
Hamilton claimed after the June 3 meeting that Slater and Henderson both swore at him, according to the Detroit Free Press.
As far as issues of transparency go, it’s not the questions Henderson has a problem with, he says, but the methods.
“I don’t have any problem with probing questions,” Henderson said. “What I have a problem with is questions that have been asked and answered… Just because he doesn’t get the answer he thinks he wants doesn’t mean there’s another answer out there.”
The mayor’s seat, along with the seats of three council members, will be on the ballot November 5.