At the August 11, 2015 Oakland Township Board meeting, Warren Brown, the current Township Manager, commented on his recent decision to resign. He did not go into specifics, but indicated it was a personal decision. He made many positive comments about Oakland Township. He then made several comments about Supervisor Gonser.
He commented on the statements Supervisor Gonser’s made in the Oakland Press announcement regarding his resignation. He saw the Supervisor’s comments as an attempt to take advantage of his (Brown’s) personal decision to leave as a method to advance the Supervisor’s “position”. Mr. Brown commented on how the Board has been fractured, and how he thought the Supervisor should be trying to bring the Township together, not further fractionalizing the community and the Board by his comments in the press. He ended by suggesting that the Supervisor should do the Township a “service” and follow his example and resign from office.
Supervisor Gonser was ‘speechless’.
Here are excerpts of Warren Brown’s statement:
“It is unfortunate that such a negative light (Gonser’s comment in the Oakland Press) has been cast upon the Board of Trustees as a whole, and by way of association, the Township also as a whole.
Board members will always disagree on issues, but out of respect for the process, no individual member should separate oneself from the Board as a whole.
The Supervisor’s comment . . . was clearly made to personally attack the Board and embarrass the Board as a whole. He has used my very personal decision to advance his own position, which I consider a personal affront, and to which I take great offense.
This Township has more advantages than most local governmental agencies in this State. You are financially sound, you have an educated base, you are well situated for someone to offer his or her services in a leadership role. However, this will not occur as long as the ‘voice of one’ outshouts the ‘voice of the many’.
The comment made (in the Oakland Press) did nothing to bring this Board together. . . . There has been an obvious schism among the Board for a very long time.”
Mr. Warren summarized comments made by car dealer he had spoken to while at home for the weekend. The car dealer said:
“It is obvious that the Supervisor, who should be the catalyst for Board regeneration, has by his comment and actions, succeeded in creating a larger chasm among the Board than what previously existed.”
Mr. Brown concluded by saying:
“If the Supervisor cannot admit the error of his ways, fill the chasm, and become more malleable in his approach to his position, he should follow my lead. . . . To offer his resignation would be an act of service for the greater good!”
Here is a video of Warren Brown’s comments:
Here is an article published on 8/12/15 n the Rochester Post regarding Mr. Brown’s resignation.
Here is an article published on 8/14/15 in the Oakland Press regarding Mr. Brown’s resignation and suggestion for Gonser to resign.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Supervisor Gonser has repeatedly attempted to change the governance in Oakland Township to one where he would be a “Strong Supervisor” in our Township. The Board has repeatedly rejected his attempts. Warren Brown made his decision to leave for personal reasons. Warren Brown’s assessment of Gonser’s comments in the Oakland Press is very telling. Gonser was attempting to destroy the Board, and push forward his agenda to become the full time (and paid) leader of our Township.
All of the Board members indicated their disappointment with Warren Brown’s decision. Gonser simply thanked Warren for coming to our Township.
Our previous ‘short term’ manager, Ann Capela, supported Gonser’s philosophy and stated Oakland Township’s form of governance’ is “bizarre” and “unworkable”. Warren Brown’s statement makes it clear that the form of governance is not the issue, Supervisor Gonser is the issue.
Hopefully, our Township Board takes the time to fill the Township Manager position. Former Trustee Marc Edwards suggested having the Township contact the Michigan Townships Association, and find a temporary manager to fill the position until a new Board is elected in November of 2016.
Hopefully Gonser will be gone by then by following Mr. Brown’s suggestion, and does us all a ‘service’ by leaving now.