On Wednesday, May 8th I was interviewed by the Safety Paths and Trails Committee regarding my application to serve on that committee. The committee members Alice Tomboulian and Ron Hein were present. Committee member Treasurer Langlois joined the meeting by phone and Township Manager Ann Capela was also present.
Ron is President of the Hills of Oakland subdivision homeowners association. At the 10/1/13 Planning Commission meeting Mr. Ron Hein, then a Planning Commissioner newly appointed by Supervisor Gonser and the Board, volunteered to serve on the Township Safety Paths and Trails Committee saying “I have a little bit of a vested interest in this.”
Early in the interview Ron asked if I was still opposed to using trails millage money to maintain the Safety Paths that are owned by the Hills of Oakland subdivision. When I responded saying that I had not changed my mind we began a discussion during which Hein said:
- the Hills of Oakland does not have the money to maintain their safety paths;
- they have no legal obligation to maintain their safety paths;
- “We could just let them turn to dirt.”
There was no objection to these statements from Treasurer Langlois or Manager Capela.
Ron Hein as President of the Hills of Oakland Subdivision Association is charged on page 1 of their Declaration Of Restrictions with the responsibility of “promoting the recreation, health, safety and welfare of the residents”. That Mr. Hein would propose in a public meeting where he represents the Planning Commission that safety paths in use by the public could be allowed to deteriorate, develop cracks and holes, expose tree roots, become unsafe, crumble and eventually “turn to dirt”, is cause for alarm.
In October he told us why he wanted a seat on the trails committee (his “vested interest”). Now he has told us about the level of concern he has for community safety.
The idea that our trails millage money could be used by subdivision homeowners associations was first proposed in the form of a campaign promise made by now Supervisor Terry Gonser during the run up to the Aug. 2012 Primary Election.
So we, voters and taxpayers, see our new leadership in action, fulfilling their campaign promises. If we don’t pony up our money to bail out the residents of the Hills of Oakland Subdivision they threaten to allow their publicly used safety paths to “turn to dirt”.
Are you concerned yet?
the APPEARANCE of a conflict-of-interest is one thing, but coming out and stating “I have a vested interest” is just mind-boggling. Is there nothing in the by laws or ethics rules which should force someone to recuse themselves in voting–or even being involved in–a matter before the Board if they have a conflict of interest? Much less, a stated, CLEAR conflict of interest?
[comment added to receive notice of followup comments.]
Absolutely pathetic. The first enclave of the Billion Dollar Mile can’t afford to maintain their own infrastructure? Or they won’t maintain it. Shame on the developer. Shame on the HOA.
Marty, the HOA is responsible for the maintenance. The developer no longer has responsibility for this issue.
Richard, I expected that, thanks. However the same developer is still trying to sell upscale properties adjacent to the Hills. A reasonable person might think that letting his first development crumble as he builds a monumental facade on Silverbell nearby would be an undesirable practice. Either way, the “I’ll show you, I’ll hurt me” stance by Mr. Hein is reckless.
Why should they pay to maintain it when his “vested interest” can get it fixed for them? Clear conflict of interest! CLEAR!
There is NO way, I will ever allow MY tax dollars to pay for the NATIONALLY KNOWN BILLION DOLLAR MILE developments PRIVATE sidewalks! Ron Hein should be embarrassed and ashamed for even suggesting such a thing. If he can’t be successful in his own HOA, what on Earth is he doing on the Planning Commission?