Monthly Archives: February 2014

Is Oakland Township’s leadership part of the Republican Party “establishment”?

The agenda and the discussions that occurred at a recent Oakland Township Republican Leadership meeting gives some insight into the thinking and ideology of our Oakland Township leaders.  One of the agenda items answers the question raised in the title of this post. They clearly set themselves apart from the ‘establishment’ Republican Party. If you like what is going on in the Republican Caucus in Washington you will love our Township leadership.

On January 20th, an Oakland Township Republican meeting was chaired by Oakland Township’s Lead Precinct captain, John Reilly, the husband of Oakland Township’s Clerk – Karen Reilly.  There were approximately 20 people there including Supervisor Gonser, Township Clerk Reilly, our Township Treasurer’s husband Joe Langlois, at least two of our Township’s Republican Precinct Captains, four of our Parks Commissioners (one left after listening to State Representative Tom McMillin) , one of our Zoning Board of Appeals members, our State Representative Tom McMillin (for a portion of the meeting) and other citizens.  The meeting was held at the Woodland Estates trailer park clubhouse.

Here is the published agenda for that meeting:

  1. Oakland township updates,  Supervisor Gonser (7:00-7:20)
  2. 2014 state and local races, John Reilly (7:20:7:35)
  3. State issues, State Representative Tom McMillin (7:35-8:00)
  4. The Republican establishment’s “war” on tea party and libertarians at both the national and state levels (8:00-8:20)
  5. Networking, socializing, brainstorming (8:20-9:00)

This website has already reported on a number of comments made by Supervisor Gonser at that meeting.  One of them being his belief that the past Township leadership and Boards were influenced by a 1992 non-binding United Nations agreement called ‘Agenda 21’.  He believes that this agreement is a Global conspiracy that has influenced our Township’s approach to paths and trails, our wetland ordinance, our nuisance ordinance and others.  See:

Gonser –  Agenda 21 is a Global Conspiracy
Gonser – Trails and Safety Paths are part of a UN Conspiracy

The remainder of this post will share some of the other items discussed at that meeting.

During the discussion of state and local races, John Reilly indicated that it was very important to have ‘conservative’ candidates run for Township Precinct delegate positions in the August Primary election.  He indicated that Precinct delegates play a key role in County Conventions in getting conservative party candidates on the ballot for State positions like the Supreme Court, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. He indicated that he would bring applications for the Precinct delegate positions to the next meeting, and would submit the applications to the County.

They went on to discuss several upcoming races and who they would support.

  • They were hoping that a more conservative candidate would challenge Senator Marleau.
  • Regarding the McMillin seat, Gonser stated that Mike Weber is ‘not a conservative’ and supported Mark Avery as the Republican candidate.
  • They indicated that many Rochester School Board members needed to be challenged because they were too close to the Unions.
  • They also indicated that many Lake Orion School Board members needed to be challenged since they reversed their position on the school millage issue.

Tom McMilllin comments included;

  • Several education issues that the State Legislature is dealing with.
  • The Detroit Bankruptcy
  • The State Budget surplus
  • The use of Drones in our country
  • Gas drilling and mineral rights and community use of eminent domain

The strategies that the group discussed to counter the Republican establishments “war” on tea party and libertarians included:

  • Prayer
  • Defunding ‘establishment’ Republican candidates, and only contribute to Republican candidates that are ‘conservative’.
  • Get ‘conservative’ precinct delegate elected at local level
  • Find a more ‘conservative’ candidate that would challenge Senator Marleau.
  • Support Mark Avery as the Republican candidate to replace McMillin, since according to Gonser “Mike Weber is not a conservative”.
  • Find more ‘conservative’ candidates for both the Rochester and Lake Orion School Boards.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  The definition of being a Republican in Oakland Township is changing.  Being a moderate Republican is no longer acceptable to our Township Leadership.  Our Township leadership is clearly aligned with the “Tea Party” mentality that has contributed to the gridlock in Washington.  There is a saying “All politics is local”.  The citizens of Oakland Township need to make sure that our local politicians represent our views, not those of an extremist ideology.

Richard Michalski

Township Manager’s views versus resident’s desires

On January 6th, Ann Capela was hired by our Township Board as our Township manager.  In the January 30, 2014 Rochester Post there was an article titled “Township manager seeks smart growth”.    In the article, Ann makes several comments that clarify the direction she wants to take the Township under the leadership of our current Board.  Unfortunately that direction is contrary to what the citizens have expressed in past surveys.  

Here are her quotes in that article:

“Growth is coming.  We must marry up the master plan with development.  The  pressures of development must balance with property owners’ rights.  We must balance the quality of life of people who paid a lot of money to move here.  The economy is coming out of a slow slump.  We need to lay down the tracks for the train and see the big picture.”

Oakland Township has always viewed our Master Plan as the document that defines what our residents want our Township to be.  The Plan defines the level and type of development that our Township desires.  In essence, the “horse’ is the Master Plan and the “cart” is development.  It now appears that our new manager and Supervisor, appear to want to put the “cart” before the “horse” by having the Master plan “marry up” with the development.

As a member of the Township Planning Commission for 26 years, we never placed the desires of developers before the desires of the residents.  One only needs to drive down Rochester Road and the see the results of letting developers define their communities.

Just because someone purchased a parcel of land for a ‘lot of money’ does not entitle them to redefine the land use in the Master Plan.  Individual property rights are protected, however, they are protected within the confines of our Master Plan and Ordinances. Before someone buys a parcel, they should make sure their intended use is consistent with the Zoning and the Master Plan.

In Supervisor Gonser’s recent State of the Township address, he indicated that he plans on updating the Master Plan.   With his recent appointments of campaign contributors to the Planning Commission, we may see some significant changes in our next Master Plan.

Here is one page from the citizen survey used in developing our 2005 and 2011 Master Plans.  It clearly indicates a strong desire by our residents to not encourage various types of development in our Township (click on page to enlarge).

Survey results

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  If our Master Plan is significantly modified under our current Township Board, the character of our Township will likely change dramatically.  Our citizens must be vigilant in watching what our new Board and Planning Commission will be doing in the next few months (and years).  If we are not vigilant, the “tracks” that Ann Capela talks about putting down may end up being for the “train” (with significant development) our current Board, under the leadership of Gonser, envisions.

Richard Michalski – former Planning Commission member and Chair