At the September 1, 2015 Planning Commission meeting, Planning Commissioner Danny Beer expressed his disappointment that the Supervisor did not take advantage of the experienced candidates that submitted their applications for the two open Planning Commission positions. He acknowledged the need for adding people with Planning experience to the inexperienced Planning Commission and said the Supervisor “missed the boat by not putting some experience on this Planning Commission.”
Danny Beer is a Gonser appointment to the Planning Commission. He was added to the Planning Commission in 2014. Danny was present at the September 31st Board meeting where two Planning Commission appointments were to have been made. As previously reported, Supervisor Gonser wanted to appoint two individuals with no Zoning or Planning experience. The Board did not accept his recommendations. Gonser refused to nominate other candidates that did have Planning or Zoning experience.
At the September 1 Planning Commission meeting, Danny Beer stated:
“I was disappointed, personally disappointed, that there wasn’t more consideration given to the applicants who had a lot of experience. There were a a couple of people that were very anxious to be a part of this, with a lot of background, and I am new and have less planning experience than you guys that have at least dealt with it in your other workings. I never have.
In my opinion, we need some experienced help – some people to fall back on. Both of you guys have been very helpful, John and Ron, but we are all new at this, and I really feel we missed the boat by not putting some experience on this Planning Commission! “
Other Planning Commission members expressed their hope that the Supervisor would nominate one or two of the candidates that have the much needed experience and have submitted their applications for the openings.
Here is a video of the discussion at the Planning Commission meeting:
Adding fuel to the fire, Gonser was quoted in an article in the 9/1/15 edition of the Oakland Press as saying:
“I have to talk to people around the community and see who’s interested. Unless they’ve served on the planning commission, they don’t have experience.”
This statement reveals two things:
- He does not intend to nominate any of the more experienced people who have applied for consideration.
- He either doesn’t understand the type of experience being sought by the Board members who spoke on the record on the matter or he is spitefully misrepresenting their opinions in order to present himself as a victim of the Board’s refusal to support him.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? With six of the seven Board members recognizing the need for adding Planning experience to the Planning Commission, with several candidates having the much needed experience, and with a plea for help from the Planning Commission for that help, why would the Supervisor be reluctant to appoint individuals that have submitted their applications and are very qualified to help the Planning Commission?
If Gonser does not take appropriate action at the next Board meeting, I am afraid the Township may get involved in yet another legal issue that will do nothing but hurt Oakland Township.
The Supervisor needs to accept reality, and do what is right for the Township, not his ego!
Richard Michalski and Jim Foulkrod