Monthly Archives: April 2015

Former Trustee Thalmann and Current Park’s Commissioner Rogers DID forward “Privileged and Confidential” material!

At the April 28, 2015 joint Oakland Township Board and Oakland Township Parks and Recreation meeting, the attorneys for both bodies presented their findings regarding the investigation into whether any Township Officials had improperly, and potentially illegally, forwarded “Privileged and Confidential” material to others.  Their findings indicated that both former Trustee Maureen Thalmann and current Parks and Recreation Commission member Ann Marie Rogers had forwarded multiple documents.  In some cases this information had been shared with an individual who is part of a lawsuit against the Township, the wife of one of our Zoning Board of Appeals members.

The Board and the Commission agreed that the attorneys’ findings would be made public, and that the information would be forwarded to the Oakland County Sheriff’s office for possible further investigation and legal action.

As previously reported, Maureen Thalmann resigned from the Board a few weeks after the investigation was initiated by the Board.  Park’s Commissioner Rogers continues to hold her seat as one of our seven elected Parks Commissioners.

Here are video excerpts from the April 28th joint meeting:


Here is a copy of the results of the investigation by Township Board’s attorney:

Investigation results from Township Board’s attorney

Here is a copy of the results of the investigation by the Parks and Recreation attorney:

Investigation results from PRC attorney

Here is a link to an Oakland Press article published on April 30.  The article states that Thalmann claims she was told the issue would “all go away” if she resigned.

Oakland Press article dated April 30, 2015


Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  This website has been reporting on many inappropriate actions by some of our Board members.  This most recent confirmation of inappropriate actions certainly indicates that “all is not well” in Oakland Township.  The elected officials of Oakland Township need to pursue potential legal charges, to the full extent of the law, so we demonstrate that Oakland Township has a governance body that obeys the laws.

Former Trustee Thalmann apparently feels that there was no wrongdoing, since she believed the issue would “all go away” if she resigned.  Really??

Former Trustee Thalmann has resigned!  Current Parks Commissioner Ann Marie Rogers should do the same!

Here is an earlier post pertaining to this subject:

Trustee Thalmann’s resignation and legal investigation

Richard Michalski

Supervisor Gonser makes false accusations again!!!!

When Trustee Buxar and Treasurer Langlois requested in investigation into the inappropriate sharing of ‘privileged and confidential’ material between Supervisor Gonser, Trustee Thalmann and Park’s Commissioner Ann Marie Rogers at the March 24, 2015 Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser responded by implying that fellow Board members may have provided inappropriate material to two private citizens – the author of this post and Robert Yager.  One of these accusations was immediately challenged and confirmed to be false by Trustee Buxar and the Township Attorney.  He ALREADY knew that his statement was false, since how those records were obtained had previously been discussed by the Board, and he had participated in that discussion.  The second accusation was confirmed to be false at the April 14th Board meeting by the Township Attorney.  In both cases the information was obtained legally by Robert Yager and myself without any inappropriate actions by Board members, Robert Yager or myself.

Here is a video of the proceedings from the two meetings:



These false accusations by our Supervisor are the latest in a series of false statements by Supervisor Gonser.  Several additional examples are documented below.


Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  We expect our elected officials to be truthful and honest in their actions and statements.  It appears that Supervisor Gonser believes that his best defense is a good offense (even if his statements prove to be false).

This behavior is not new.  At the March 10, 2015 Board meeting, he falsely accused Trustee Buxar of not supporting road improvements when her appointment to the road improvement subcommittee was being discussed.

Another example is when, at the January 13, 2015 Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser falsely accused four other Board members of violating the Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Supervisor Gonser accuses other Board members of violating OMA.

One of his more notable false accusation was recently reported on this website when he made false accusations against former Trustee Judy Keyes.

Supervisor Gonser retracts his slanderous statement against former Township Trustee

Oakland Township deserves better!  Maybe it is time for our Supervisor to join former Trustee Thalmann by submitting his resignation letter too!

A person's actions tell you everthing you need to know

Richard Michalski


Trustee Thalmann’s resignation and legal investigation

At the April 14, 2015 Oakland Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser announced that Trustee Maureen Thalmann had submitted a letter of resignation.  The Board voted 6 to 0 to accept her resignation.  Supervisor Gonser commented that Thalmann resigned for family reasons and that she is spending time promoting a book that she recently had published.

It should be mentioned that one month ago Maureen Thalmann was named as one of the subjects of an investigation into the sharing of confidential, attorney-client privileged documents with un-authorized persons.  At the April 14th meeting, the attorney’s findings prompted a motion by Treasurer Langlois to schedule a joint meeting between the Township Board and Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) to review the results of the investigation and determine what action, if any, needed to be taken.  The Board voted, 5 to 1, to schedule a Township Board closed session meeting, followed by a joint meeting with the Parks and Recreation Commission.  Supervisor Gonser was the sole objecting vote.

Here is some additional background on this topic:

    • At the March 10, 2015 Board meeting, Parks Commission member Ann Marie Rogers used ‘personal, private and/or confidential’ phone records when making several accusations against Trustee Buxar.
    • At the March 24th Board meeting, Trustee Buxar presented the results of an investigation into how Parks Commissioner Rogers obtained the phone records.  Here is a summary of her findings:

–  Because Anne Marie Rogers is involved in a lawsuit against the Township, in October of 2014, Ann Marie Rogers was informed that ANY request she made for Township documents MUST be made in writing, so the Township Attorney can review them prior to them being provided to her.

–  Email records confirmed that Commissioner Rogers and Trustee Thalmann were both informed of the requirement for written requests from Ann Marie Rogers for Township documents.

 –  In review of Township records, the only individual that had requested Trustee Buxar’s Township phone records was Trustee Thalmann.  There were no written requests for phone records from Commissioner Rogers, yet Commissioner Rogers used the phone record information in her March 10th accusations against Trustee Buxar.

–  Buxar’s findings also identified a much more serious issue :   Attorney-Client Privileged information had been shared inappropriately between Thalmann, Gonser and Rogers.

  • Treasurer Langlois commented on the severity of this situation:

“The magnitude of this breach simply cannot be overstated. The Board chose Supervisor Gonser and Trustee Thalmann as the two person subcommittee charged with representing the Board in good faith negotiations with the Parks and Recreation Commission. The fact that they shared privileged and confidential information prior to these meetings is extremely troubling and obviously, given the phone records, this isn’t the first time we have seen this.”

  • Treasurer Langlois then made the following motion, that was supported by Trustee Bailey.  The motions was unanimously approved.

“Secure all confidential communications and emails, including all communications and emails pertaining to closed sessions, and all attorney client privileged communications and emails, by and between the Oakland Township Board of Trustees and the Oakland Township Parks Commission for review by the Oakland Township Attorney.  To authorize the Oakland Township Manager to retain IT consultant, I.T. RIGHT, for assistance, if necessary.  To authorize the Oakland Township attorney to work with the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation attorney if necessary.”

  • At the April 14, 2015 Board meeting, the Board was given a memo from the Oakland Township attorney with the findings of his investigation.  The results were not shared with the public.
  • After a brief recess for Board members to review the memo, Treasurer Langlois commented:

“Given that the information contained in our review, and presumable their’s (the Parks and Recreation Commission’s), does affect both Boards, I would like to see this Board agree to the joint meeting (proposed by the PRC).”

  • The Board agreed, in a 5 to 1 vote, to hold a closed session meeting and then an open session joint meeting (at least for now) with the Parks and Recreation Commission, where the results of the investigation and potential actions will be discussed.  Supervisor Gonser was opposed to the meetings.

Here is a video supporting the statements made above:


Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  The Board and Parks and Recreation Commission members swear to adhere to an oath of office.  Three of our elected officials may have violated their oath, and possibly the law.  There may be efforts made to prevent the facts on these allegations from being made public.  The citizens of Oakland Township deserve to understand what really took place. We do not need to know the content of any “privileged and confidential” letters, but we do need to know “who” sent “what” to “whom” so the citizens can consider the facts when voting in 2016.

Hopefully the joint meeting between the Board and the Parks and Recreation Commission will be an open meeting, and the facts will be made public.  The public deserves to know if our elected officials violated their oath of office.

Richard Michalski

Gonser Alone. At the Helm?


Last night at the Board of Trustees meeting we saw evidence that Supervisor Gonser’s role has been reduced to one of backbencher.  Two years ago he took office with a newly elected  (with the exception of the re-elected Mike Baily & former Trustee Sharon McKay) Board who voted in lock step with him.  Last night, in every vote that was in any way controversial, the Board voted 5 to 1 against him.

During the meeting, the Supervisor announced the resignation of Trustee Maureen Thalmann who had continued to side with Gonser on many votes in the past.  Several personal and family illness reasons for her resignation were offered.  It should be mentioned that one month ago she was named as one of the subjects of  an investigation into the sharing of confidential, attorney-client privileged documents with un-authorized persons.

For Gonser, it was all downhill from there.  Prior to most of the votes, he spoke his opinion emphatically, even passionately to no avail.  No-one supported him.  From my point of view it seemed that most of the disagreements were not substantial but rather manufactured by either Gonser or one of the Board to insure a 5-1 split.

Here are the highlights:

  1. The resignation of Trustee Thalmann was accepted unanimously;
  2. A proposed change to the rules of order to require a Request for Action Summary sheet for any agenda item was rejected 5 to 1 against with board members arguing that it was an unnecessary restriction and the Supervisor arguing that it would improve communication and order in their meetings;
  3.  A request to appoint a subcommittee to review the Zoning Ordinance to determine if changes are necessary to bring it into compliance with changes to State Law was argued at length.  Mr. Gonser wanted to have the study pertain to the zoning ordinance that is currently effect in effect which was written in 1976.  He wanted to ignore the proposed updated zoning ordinance that was prepared by the Planning Commission and submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval in 2010 but has never been acted upon.  Mr. Gonser pointed out that the proposed ordinance was vehemently opposed by himself and some others who were elected to the Board in 2012.  The Township Attorney informed Supervisor Gonser that State law requires that the Planning Commission has the sole responsibility  to propose changes to the Zoning Ordinance and the Board must, at this time, direct their study and comments to the 2010 proposed version submitted by the Planning Commission.  During the ensuing half hour Gonser repeatedly argued that State Law could be ignored and was repeatedly corrected by the attorney.  A modified plan to have the Township Attorney and the Township Planner do the study was approved 5 to 1 with Gonser voting No.
  4. A request to raise the wages of paid-on-call firefighters and EMS was approved unanimously.
  5. A request to pay monthly incentive bonuses of $50 or $100 to paid-on-call Fire Dept. employees when they responded to more than  20% or 40% of calls respectively was argued at length.   Trustee Buxar proposed that the incentives be adopted for a 5 month trial period so that it could be reviewed and perhaps adjusted to improve its effectiveness.  The motion was passed 5-1 with Gonser objecting only to the trial period feature.
  6. The Board addressed the results of the investigation into accusations that made during a previous Board meeting that one or more Board members and/or Parks Commissioners shared privileged attorney-client and closed session meeting documents with unauthorized persons.  The Board approved the scheduling of a meeting with the Parks Commission to jointly respond to the attorneys’ findings.  The vote was 5-1 with Gonser objecting.  Note: When the accusations were made at a previous Trustees meeting Supervisor Gonser was mentioned as a person who may have improperly received one or more of the documents in question.

This meeting solidifies an important, positive change in the leadership of our Board of Trustees.  Also very important is that the new vacancy on the Board is an opportunity for citizens to come forward and offer to serve the community.

Jim Foulkrod