The August 12 Oakland Township Board meeting had an agenda item to discuss a Request for Proposal (RFP) for planning services. Due to the length of that meeting, that agenda item was never discussed. It was tabled until the September meeting. The Supervisor never requested any input on this topic from the Planning Commission, even though they could be significantly impacted by the Board’s decision.
At the September 2, 2014 Planning Commission meeting, Trustee Giannangeli failed to bring up this issue for discussion. However, Chairman James Carter added it to the agenda based on a request from another Board member. During the discussion, Giannangeli indicated that the Township Board wanted to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Planning Consultant services in Oakland Township. He went on to say that they may want two RFP’S. One for the Planning consulting services for developing the Master Plan, and yet another one for the ongoing Planning Commission support services. This topic had never been discussed in an Open Meeting with the Township Board, yet Giannangeli presented it as a request from the Board.
Where is Trustee Giannangeli getting this direction? If it is coming from the Board, it is a violation of the Open Meetings Act since it was not discussed in an open meeting. If it is coming from Supervisor Gonser, then Gonser is usurping the authority of the entire Board. In either case, John Giannangeli’s comments were inappropriate.
Here is a video of this discussion at the September 2 Planning Commission meeting:
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? If the direction Giannangeli said DID come from the Township Board, it was a clear violation of the Open Meetings Act. If the direction Giannangeli stated as coming from the Board really was just a conversation Giannangeli and Gonser had, it is an example of how Gonser is using Giannangeli as his ‘puppet’ on the Planning Commission. This is not the first time Gonser has attempted to influence the Planning Commission by having personal conversations with his ‘appointees’. It was previously reported on this website how Gonser used Ron Hein, another one of his appointments, to influence the strategic direction of the Planning Commission.
As Gonser continues to ‘purge’ the various board, commission, consultant members in Oakland Township, history has already demonstrated that his replacements look to Gonser for ‘direction’. Is that the type of leadership and community the citizens of Oakland Township want?
Here is a related previous post: