We need your help! Supervisor Gonser does it again!

If you have been following the information we have been sharing regarding the behavior of Supervisor Gonser, the information included in this post will come as no surprise to you. However, it has now reached the point where the citizens of Oakland Township need to express their opinions on his inappropriate, unauthorized decisions.

The most recent incident involves a decision he made on the possible use of park land.  His action is consistent with his desire to control the, separately elected, Parks Commission.

After reading this, if you find his behavior unacceptable and are concerned about the impact of this pipeline on our park, we invite you to the December 9th Oakland Township Board meeting at 7 PM and let the Board know your position.  It is not officially on the agenda, but some Board members may add it.  If it is not placed on the agenda, you will still be able to provide your input during the ‘citizen comments’ section of the meeting.  

Here is the background on this issue:

  • At the November 12, 2014 Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) meeting, Chris Hawthorne, an employee of EnSite who represents Vector Pipeline, gave a presentation describing a proposal to install a 42 inch diameter high pressure gas line (up to 1000 psi) through our Township.
  • This pipeline is intended to transmit natural gas from Illinois, through Indiana and to Canada.
  • 95% of the pipeline route through the state is intended to follow an existing pipeline and utilize the currently approved rights-of-way (ROW’s already going through our Township).
  • Vector Pipeline wants to deviate from the existing right-of-way in one area of our Township by putting the pipeline through Draper Twin Lakes Park.
  • The stated reason for the deviation was that installing the pipe through the existing right-of-way was “extremely tight”.
  • They were asking permission from the Parks Commission to survey the land to determine the feasibility of routing the pipeline through the park.
  • During questioning, the representative stated that all Supervisors in the affected communities had previously been contacted regarding this project.
  • The Parks Commission members were not aware of any previous communication on this issue.
  • When PRC chairman Zale asked if any Commission members would like to make a motion to approve the request, there was silence. As a result, the request was denied.
  • The Parks Commission did not approve the request on the basis that the park land has deed restrictions that prevent the pipeline from going through it.
  • A few days later, parks personnel observed individuals from EnSite USA surveying Draper Twin Lakes Park.
  • Upon further investigation, Mr. Harthorne indicated that after he did not receive permission to perform the survey from the PRC, he contacted Supervisor Gonser, and Supervisor Gonser gave him permission to do the requested work.

Here is a copy of the map showing the proposed path for the pipeline through Oakland and Macomb Counties.

Proposed gas line route


Click on the map to see a larger version of it.

Here is a copy of the map showing the proposed route for the pipeline through the Draper Twin Lakes park: (The yellow line is the existing pipeline and approved ROW.  The red line is the proposed path through the park.) 

Proposed gasline route vs. existing gasline ROW

Click on the map to see a larger version of it.

Here is a video showing the typical impact of the installation of this type of gas line:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Supervisor Gonser did not have the authority to authorize the surveying work.  He appears to not be concerned about the impact of a gas pipeline through our Parks.

Gonser unilaterally made this decision, totally disregarding the PRC’s stance on this matter.  The park land is the PRC’s responsibility, not the Supervisor’s.  He did not have any public communication on this matter with other Township Board or PRC members.

His lack of knowledge regarding the impact gas lines can have in a community is exemplified by his total disregard for the location of a gas line near his home. As part of an settlement agreement in a personal protection order (PPO) request made by his neighbor against him, he agreed to move a tree that he planted on his neighbor’s property.  When Gonser had a company move the tree, a gas line was ruptured.  He did not utilize ‘mis-dig’ to locate the line prior to attempting to move the tree.

It appears that when Gonser wants to get something done, he does not consider the correct process to be followed, or the potential consequences of his actions.

Gonser’s personal experience with gas lines

This recent action by our Supervisor is yet another example of his arrogant, authoritarian style.  Please click on the words “Supervisor Gonser” in the right portion of this webpage to scroll through and read the many previous posts regarding Supervisor Gonser’s actions.

If you find his behavior unacceptable or are concerned about he impact of the pipeline on our park land, please attend the December 9 Board meeting, and express your displeasure with his actions and decision.


Richard Michalski

9 thoughts on “We need your help! Supervisor Gonser does it again!

  1. Pingback: Gas Pipeline Update | Oakland Township Sentinel, LLC

  2. Marty Rosalik

    The park may have deed restrictions but I doubt they will survive an eminent domain court battle. Railroads, utility lines, and pipelines have prevailed time and time again. My personal opinion is that we should resist but I doubt we will prevail. I have a long time close work friend in Stockbridge Michigan that lost land and a 25 year old stand of trees to the Enbridge 6B line that is currently crossing Michigan. FYI. That line is a new parallel line to the Tar Sand Oil line that blew out dumping oil into the Kalamazoo River. We already have at least 2 large gas lines through Oakland Township. They are the reason for the “tight” fit over there.

    While in my opinion we will not stop this, what Mr. Gonser did was wrong. He sold us out in secret! What else is he up to?
    Paperwork to condemn private property follows survey pretty closely if my friend’s experience teaches us anything.

  3. Diana

    This smacks of the same business happening in Ropchester Hills with Barnett. It is unacceptable for one person to think he can make agreements that affect the whole township. The current governing system is there for a reason- to prevent little tyrants from working unilaterally.

  4. disappointedresident

    I trust that Andy Zale and the PRC is going to make sure that this is handled appropriately. They are the ones charged and have the authority to hold Gonser accountable on this and protect our park lands. Looking at the map, I’m sure the residents of Twin Lakes would have a thing or two to say about this. It is running almost in their back yards! Have they been contacted? Who is looking out for them? This is not ethical.

  5. Joseph Peruzzi

    As a Parks Commissioner I chose not to give permission to Vector Pipeline to survey Draper Park for a potential new right-of-way for a proposed natural gas pipeline through Oakland Township. The decision to basically receive and file this request was based on a number of reasons.

    First…The new gas line follows an existing right-of-way for most of its course in Oakland Township, but makes a major deviation from the already established route to instead cut through Draper Park and come within about 200-300 feet of Twin Lakes Subdivision homes immediately to the west of the park.

    Second…The already established right-of-way at this location—and mysteriously only at this location by Draper Park—was deemed too tight by the presenter, but that was not defined. If the existing route was not tight at other locations along the proposed route, why was it too tight by the park?

    Third…A public hearing scheduled by Vector Pipeline regarding the project is scheduled early in 2015 and maybe such questions could have been cleared up then.

    Unfortunately, instead of considering this in a thoughtful manner, township supervisor Gonser took it upon himself to provide permission to Vector to survey the park without any discussion with board members in a public forum. Trustee Maureen Thalman made a point that these park lands belong to the township, but I would suggest to her and supervisor Gonser that the Parks Commission is the duly elected body to steward these lands and guard against exploitation by anyone of these treasured properties.

    As a former employee of a pipeline company for more than seven years I am quite familiar with the environmental impact of these projects. I have visited production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, drill rigs in the southwest and a host of compressor locations throughout the country that help move natural gas to market. In most cases environmental concerns are satisfied during the planning stages of these much needed projects. The importance of this work can not be underestimated. Pipelines are the safest mode of transportation—far safer than trucks or rail—for natural gas that is helping this nation reduce dramatically its dependence on foreign sources of energy.

    Elected officials need to thoughtfully consider the ramifications of these projects to the community and work with the companies to reduce any negative impact as much as possible. Certainly a need to discuss an invitation to survey Draper Park for a natural gas pipeline right-of-way deserved discussion by the full Board of Trustees and further review by the Parks Commission following the company’s planned Public Hearing.

    Joseph Peruzzi
    Oakland Township Parks Commissioner

    1. judykeyes

      Thank you Joe for your thoughtful and informative explanation. I agree with your comments and I hope the other members of the Board of Trustees do as well and actually hold Terry Gonser accountable at the public meeting tomorrow for his unauthorized and premature actions. Stay the course.

    2. Sandra walby

      I agree w everything you have addressed re: terry gonser, and the pipeline proposed route thru draper park; however , you are failing to address the most important piece or concern!

      3 streets in twin lakes sub will all be dug up because if the pipeline is redirected. all these families and houses will be at risk for many reasons!!!

      In addition twin lakes golf course will also be uprooted. 3 holes will be torn up !
      This new path for the pipeline has to be stopped now. Find another path!

      1. richardjmichalski Post author

        Thanks Sandra for your comments! Unfortunately, there was not enough information presented at the Parks Commission meeting to confirm the conclusions that you have drawn. I hope and pray that your conclusions are wrong, but when you have a supervisor like Terry Gonser, who:

        – has total disregard for the Parks Commission input on this matter

        – allows the surveying to proceed without any public disclosure on why the applicant wants to deviate from the existing right-of-way

        – has repeatedly made decisions outside the approved processes,

        the citizens of Oakland Township must stand together and prevent his despotic actions from destroying our Township.

        Please communicate, not only this issue, but Gonser’s (and several other Board members) unacceptable actions to your friends and neighbors. Share the website address with them, so they can look back at the ‘record’ of the actions of Gonser and other Board members over the past 2 years.

  6. Pingback: Supervisor Gonser knew about Gas Pipeline proposal but refused to inform the Park Commission | Oakland Township Watchers

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