At the March 18th Oakland Township Board budget workshop, Trustee Thalmann accused other Board members of meeting with the Township Manager outside an open meeting and agreeing upon changes to the Budget Proposal. Those accusations proved to be false. Trustee Thalmann and Supervisor Gonser’s “minority position” on a number of recent issues appears to be causing strife between the Board members.
At the March 11th Oakland Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser requested that each Board member meet with the Township manager to answer any questions they may have of the proposed budget, and express any concerns related to any line items. These meetings were intended to consolidate issues that each Board member had, and would then be discussed at the March 18th Budget workshop.
At the March 18th meeting, Trustee Thalmann stated she was sent an email over the weekend indicating that meetings between Board members and the Township Manager were taking place, and that decisions were being made without her. She stated:
“A majority (of the Board) had agreed about changes to the Budget.”
She went on to say:
“What I learned from this was that my vote is worthless.”
She argued that she was not given an opportunity to provide input into what she believed to have been decisions made on the Budget. She continued by saying:
“I think the Supervisor and I are reasonable!”
One of the Board members asked her where she was getting her information. She responded by saying it was in an email she received on Sunday night. Several of the Board members indicated they had not received any email. Thalmann then responded by saying:
“I assumed it went to everybody”
Treasurer Langlois stated:
” I did not ask Ann (Capella) to change the Budget…….There can’t be changes without an agreement of the Board!”
“I think there were perceptions that those discussions were held.”
Here is a video of the discussion at that meeting:
Editorial Comment: Trustee Thalmann’s accusations were unfounded. The Board was doing precisely what had been requested of them. By her comment, “I think the Supervisor and I are reasonable”, the accusations appear to be based on the fact that several recent Board decisions had Supervisor Gonser and Trustee Thalmann in the minority position. Her vote on those issues, although not “worthless”, did not have any impact on the decision. Her comments at this meeting, and her incessant attacks on the Parks and Recreation Commission indicate a paranoid, childish and vindictive approach to her leadership style. “Nixonian” might be an appropriate term for it. Please watch the above video to form your own opinion!
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Oakland Township’s leadership must be objective. Decisions must be based on facts, not emotions or ideology. Trustee Thalmann’s repeated emotional outbursts raise serious questions as to whether she is the type of leader we deserve.