It has only been a few months since Township Supervisor Gonser and the Board of Trustees, through their inaction, refused Federal and State Grants for $1.1 million that would have allowed our township to build a safety path from Gunn and Adams to the Paint Creek Trail. It would have provided approximately 10,000 township residents with a safe way to access the Paint Creek Trail.
I am writing about this now because so many people are reading these pages ( 6,500 views since we went live in July) and many of you may not have been aware of this action. The safety path plans and grant requests were approved by Federal and State authorities. Oakland Township was to contribute funds from the Trails and Safety Paths millage approved by the voters in 2006. There are now well over a million dollars in the millage fund. It is our money.
Gonser was against this from the beginning. He told me in a face to face conversation on Dec 12 2012 that he was against taking the Federal and State funds. Gonser repeated this in a Jan. 3rd email where he said:
“I will tell you my position on trails/safety paths. First, I strongly support private property rights and as such find that the Township suing property owners to confiscate their property through eminent domain most distasteful. Second, I am opposed to accepting money from a government that is totally and completely out of money. Nearly 42 cents of every dollar spent by Uncle Sam is borrowed, principally from the Chinese.
He has contradicted himself on these topics with support of grant funding to rehabilitate the Mill Race and when he proudly accepted Federal grant funds for Fire Department equipment. He has also proposed using the eminent domain process to obtain an easement from Flagstar Bank to build a different trail that he thought up all by himself.
We voted to tax ourselves so our government could build ” a network of safety paths trails and boardwalks to provide healthy recreational opportunities and safe routes to schools, parks and neighborhoods” ( from the 2006 ballot language). How is our money being used? Gonser is now spending this money on a parking lot for the Paint Creek Trail. His representative to the Township Trails Committee has proposed spending the money to maintain privately owned safety paths in large subdivisions. This may have been a campaign promise used to gain votes in the election.
Happy Trails to You