At the February 25, 2013 Oakland Township Board meeting, Parks and Recreation Commission Treasurer Roger Schmidt complained about how he and the other newly elected commissioners were constantly being outvoted. He went on to accuse the Parks Commission for using the Land Preservation Fund as a ‘slush fund’. At the March 12 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, he tried to explain his ‘slush fund’ comments. He concluded by saying:
“There are some things I’m sure that if the residents knew it was being used for they wouldn’t approve of that.”
Treasurer Schmidt never gave supporting facts for his accusations.
As the Treasurer of the Parks Commission, it is his responsibility, along with the other members of the Parks Commission, to make sure the funds are used properly. By his admission that he believes the fund is not being used properly, and has never identified the “things” he infers, he has failed to follow his oath of office. He had challenged the spending of $250 for the taxidermy of an owl from the land preservation fund, but he challenged it AFTER he had already approved it! The use of fund money for that project had been explained and justified. His actions (or inactions if his allegations are true) are grounds for a recall. His behavior has been a dereliction of duties.
Why would an elected official make these accusations without providing the facts to support them? He and others have filed a complaint against other Commission members that Open Meeting Act violations may have occurred. That issue surely will be sorted out in the legal system. He accuses the other Commission members of ‘attacking our character’, again without providing factual examples. His unsubstantiated accusations are outside the bounds of what Oakland Township citizens should find acceptable.
Here are videos of his comments from the two meetings mentioned above.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? The Treasurer of an elected Board has the legal responsibility to challenge anything he/she finds inappropriate regarding expenditures. To make accusatory comments, without the supporting facts, is inappropriate, and rapidly becoming the ‘new reality’ in Oakland Township. Please get involved in making sure our elected officials perform their duties and not make false accusations.