At the September 23, 2014 Oakland Township Board meeting, several Board members repudiated Supervisor Gonser’s behavior regarding the process he has used to replace various Board and Commission appointments. Their comments were made after District Fire Chief Chuck Beach confirmed that he had not been contacted regarding his interest in continuing to be a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
In a previous meeting, Supervisor Gonser had stated that Chuck Beach was contacted, and then proceeded to nominate another person of his choice to replace Chuck Beach. This is not the first occurrence of this behavior by Gonser.
The Board began discussions to establish a process that would prevent Gonser from repeating this unprofessional and embarrassing behavior in the future.
As reported earlier on this website, the Township Board approved Supervisor Gonser’s nominee for the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at the August 12, 2014 Board meeting. The new appointee is Lawrence Tomczak. The person replaced was Chuck Beach. Chuck is a Township District Chief firefighter.
At the September 9th Oakland Township Board meeting, Gonser stated Chuck was not interested in being reappointed to the ZBA. At the September 23rd Board meeting, Chuck Beach personally stated that:
“I would like to thank the Board members that had contacted me to say that they were very sorry about how I was replaced on the Zoning Board of Appeals.”
He went on to say:
“It has been said that I had been contacted. For the record, I was never contacted or asked if I wanted to continue (on the ZBA) or not. In the past, I was always contacted. This time I wasn’t.
I was never contacted – period!”
One of the Township citizens, Frank Ferriolo, said:
“I, as a resident, am sorry that that happened to Mr. Beach as well!”
Frank wanted the minutes of the September 9th meeting to be corrected to reflect that the Supervisor’s comment was challenged. When the Board moved to approve the unamended minutes, he said:
“I have come to say:
‘Trust and verify’
‘DON”T trust and MUST verify’ (referring to Gonser)!
This Board has to deal with this in the same manner.”
Trustee Bailey’s comments regarding the need to establish a process for board and commission appointments said:
“It shouldn’t be up to a ‘whim’ of somebody saying ‘I don’t like that person serving there, and I am going to nominate someone else, and I am not going to tell that guy that he is being replaced.
THAT’S GOT TO STOP!
It is embarrassing and bad in any way you look at it.
If someone wanted to continue (in an appointed position) and Terry did not want him to continue, I would think twice before I agreed with Terry. I would want to know more about this guy’s (the incumbent’s) performance”
Trustee Buxar explained why she voted to approve the minutes as recorded, since that is what was actually stated at that meeting. She indicated that the minutes of the September 23rd meeting would reflect that Gonser’s statement was challenged by Mr. Beach.
Treasurer Langlois officially requested that the minutes for the September 23rd meeting reflect that Mr. Beach stated that he had not been contacted regarding his interest in being replaced – as part of her Trustee comments.
Here is a video of the September 23rd meeting:
Similar unprofessional behavior by Supervisor Gosner occurred last year and can be reviewed here:
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Supervisor Gonser has been nominating new people for virtually every position when the incumbent’s term has expired. He has stated that it is ‘his’ authority to do so, and the Trustees cannot nominate other individuals for these positions. Treasurer Langlois has researched this, and has discovered that he does not have this authority for all positions. A legal opinion of this challenge by Treasurer Langlois will require a legal assessment (more on this in a future posting). Clearly Supervisor Gonser is appointing people for political purposes. He does not value the experience of those who have served in the past. His lack of professionalism in contacting them prior to their term expiring is proof of that. Hopefully the Board will use the phase:
“DON’T trust and MUST verify!”
in their dealings with Gonser’s recommendations and nominees as recommended by a previous supporter of Gonser. It appears some of the Board members are also beginning to recognize the true character of our Supervisor.
Here are previous posts on this subject: