As Supervisor Joan Buser, I served Oakland Township for 17 years. I strongly advise you to keep the manager form of government for the following reasons:
- During my tenure I met with many supervisors in Oakland County. Very few were qualified for their position. The results can be seen most dramatically in the zoning ordinances and ordinance compliance. When you drive through the townships that lacked good supervisors you can see what happened when a supervisor was inexperienced and there was no professional manager to help.
- Once a development occurs that is not compliant with township ordinances you have that eyesore forever.
- It is not only zoning that is a concern. Oakland Township was considered for a prison site, a dump, and uncontrolled gravel mining. These grave issues were successfully turned away.
- Before running for office, I had worked thirteen years in various capacities for Oakland Township. Holding a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, I did not need a manager, because I was, effectively, a professional manager and an elected Supervisor.
- Very few citizens have such qualifications. That is why a qualified manager is needed to make things run properly.
- The Board sets the goals for the township, and the manager facilitates the implementation of these goals.
I first met Joan in 1986 while submitting plans for our new home on Buell Road. The same year I was fortunate to be hired by Rochester Schools to oversee district custodial, grounds, maintenance and transportation operations. As the district student population grew I assumed a larger responsibility of construction and renovation of schools through 2002. That list including Baldwin, Musson, Hugger and Delta Kelly. Joan’s leadership and vision of good community planning was a model for us newbies and to this day I regard as framework used in Rochester Schools operations and in my personal business.
Robert P. Matouka, FMA, RPA
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