At the October 22 Oakland Township Board meeting, Trustee Keyes resigned her position as a Trustee of Oakland Township.  This came after months of significant differences between Trustee Keyes and Supervisor Gonser and  other members of the Board. 

Here are excerpts of the speech she gave when announcing her resignation:

“I have been threatened, intimidated, berated and demeaned on more than one occasion as a tactic to try to silence, control and force me into line and have been told, more than once, that I, as a Trustee am on a ‘need to know’ basis. These tactics have permeated my personal life and that of my family as well.

It is time for me to end my time as a servant to the community and return to the people’s podium where my hands can stay clean and where the ultimate authority and ability to hold the Board accountability lies. Ultimate authority does not lie behind these seven microphones.”

Here is a video of her total resignation speech:

Please read the following post to learn more about the most recent attack by Supervisor Gonser on Trustee Keyes.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  If you have been watching what has been going on in our Township since the new Board was elected, you probably have concluded that Trustee Keyes is a very principled person and had the Township’s bests interests in all of her actions.  Losing a person of principle on the Board, for what appear to be ethical issues by other Board members, makes one wonder “Who will become the conscience and ethics guardian on the Board?”


  1. Ala Ada

    Maybe she will HAVE more power holding the board accountable as just a “regular” citizen, rather than being a board member. It may be sad, but true.

    1. Thomas McNulty

      so who should be put up to replace her, and would it be a new election or an appointment, what is the process.

      1. Alan Adams

        Good question! If the bylaws were posted online–as all public records should be–we wouldn’t be in the dark on this. Any one have access to them?

      2. richardjmichalski Post author

        It is my understanding that the current 6 member Board will have to appoint someone for a temporary amount of time. Sometime next year there will be an election to have the citizens decide who fills the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

      3. foulkrj

        I received a message from Lisa Platz, former Clerk of Oakland Township that may help. I quote from her email below.
        Jim Foulkrod

        “As I recall from when I was clerk – if the resignation happens with less than 2 years to go on the term, the Board can just replace the person. If there is more than 2 years remaining in the term, they have to have a special election. “

    2. judykeyes

      Not only more power, as being one of the roughly 12,000 bosses to the Board of Trustees, but the umbrella of protection under Michigan laws that were/are afforded to me as a private citizen, but NOT when I was a public official. It is very sad, and now demonstrated in a very public way. I hope all those that may have not understood my resignation at first, looking back and reflecting on these 15 months since, understand now.
      Thank you for all your support.
      Judy Keyes
      January 28, 2015

    1. foulkrj

      When I was appointed to fill a Trustee vacancy my nomination was made by the Supervisor, voted on by the Board and my term was the remaining duration of term of the Trustee I replaced.
      Jim Foulkrod

  2. Ala Ada

    Thanks for the information, Mr. Foulkrod.

    Can you tell us about your experience? Did you run to permanently fill the position and if not, why not, and are you thinking about trying to get nominated again temporarily or running to fill it permanently?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. foulkrj

      My experience on the board was rewarding and a pleasure. Joan Buser was the elected supervisor at the time and there was none of the rancor that we see today. Yes I did run to fill the position in the regular election but I did not win. I would enjoy being able to serve the Township again as I had done for the twenty years prior to August when Gonser removed me from Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Safety Paths and Trails Committee but I would hesitate to join the Board of Trustees for many of the same reasons that caused Trustee Keyes to resign.

  3. Diane Bennett

    I was shocked to learn that Judy Keyes has resigned as a Trustee. Thank you for posting the clip. I expected Ms. Keyes to be a carbon copy of the new board members and watched with amazement as she emerged as her own person on this board. I am saddened to think that our township government, a long time home for so many dedicated, hard-working and creative individuals, fall prey to the current board.
    Terry Gonser campaigned as a reluctant candidate compelled to service. His “poker face” belies his political beliefs. Township residents may have thought that they elected a “conservative” candidate but have gotten a man with extreme right-wing positions.
    I hope that Judy Keyes will stay active in our township. I may not agree with all of her positions but regard her as an outstanding person.

  4. Pingback: Township Board appoints Robin Buxar to fill Judy Keyes’ seat | Oakland Township Watchers

  5. Pingback: Supervisor Gonser retracts his slanderous statement against former Township Trustee | Oakland Township Watchers

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