Monthly Archives: April 2016

Park’s Commissioner Roger Schmidt admits ‘sabotaging’ subcommittee meeting

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

At the April 13, 2016 Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) meeting, Parks Commissioner Roger Schmidt admitted that he attended a PRC subcommittee meeting with the intent that the meeting would be terminated.  The official subcommittee members included Alice Tombulian, Ann Marie Rogers and Joe Peruzzi.  

Roger Schmidt disregarded previous input from the Parks and Recreation attorney, who stated subcommittee meetings should not have more than three commissioners attend because it could be considered a violation of the Open Meetings Act, since a quorum of the PRC would be present.  The Township Board’s attorney agreed with the PRC attorney’s assessment.  

Roger Schmidt’s attendance at the subcommittee meeting did result in the meeting being terminated.  As a result, any work the subcommittee was attempting to accomplish on a dog park for our Township had stopped.  Ironically, in the past, Roger Schmidt has supported having a dog park facility in one of our Township Parks.  

Prior to the February 10, 2016 PRC meeting, Chairman Zale asked for volunteers for the dog park subcommittee.  Commissioner Schmidt did not respond.  The other three members did respond, and were appointed to the subcommittee.   Roger Schmidt was upset that he was not selected as a subcommittee member and voted against the subcommittee, as did Commissioner Ann Marie Rogers. 

Oakland Township’s Parks and Recreation Commission has been considering establishing a dog park in one of our Township parks.  Alice Tombulian was an advocate for this prior to Roger Schmidt and Ann Marie Rogers joining the PRC in 2012.  The PRC established the subcommittee mentioned above to recommend in which Township park a dog park would make the most sense.  They were to review background dog park information, including work that had been done by a citizen ‘ad hoc dog park committee’.  That citizen group had previously recommended Bear Creek Nature Park.  Ann Marie Rogers was part of the ‘ad hoc’ group.  The Bear Creek proposal had been rejected by the PRC in a 5 to 2 vote for a number of reasons. Ann Marie Rogers and Roger Schmidt wanted to proceed with the Bear Creek proposal as submitted by the citizen ‘ad hoc’ group.

The first subcommittee meeting was held on March 16th.  The meeting began with Joe Peruzzi, Alice Tombulian and Ann Marie Rogers attending. The meeting was open to the public.   When Roger Schmidt walked in, Chairperson Peruzzi terminated the meeting based on advice from the PRC attorney.  The Township Board’s Attorney agreed with that decision.

At the April 13, 2016 PRC meeting, Joe Peruzzi gave a brief description of the March 16th meeting, and why it was terminated.

Ann Marie Rogers stated:

“Commissioner Schmidt attended this dog park ‘charade’ committee as a private citizen.  This Commission cannot take away his rights as a resident.

The fact that we even had this meeting is the first place, I believe, was a ‘sham and a charade’.  every penny was removed from the Budget.”

To which Parks and Recreation Treasurer Roger Schmidt agreed and said:


Parks and Recreation Manager, Mindy Milos-Dale, corrected Ann Marie and Treasurer Schmidt pointing out that there was $25,000 in the budget for the dog park work.

Commissioner Roger Schmidt stated:

“Another reason I went there (the meeting) was this is a waste of everybody’s time and BY GOING THERE, I KNEW THAT THEY WOULD GO AHEAD AND CLOSE THE MEETING DOWN, because that should have been done.  It (the meeting) shouldn’t have been done in the first place.”

During citizen comments, 2016 Parks and Recreation candidate, Beth Markel, defended the presence of Roger Schmidt at the meeting, even though it violated the recommendation of two Township attorneys.

Here is a video of comments made at the April 13th meeting:


Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Since the current Parks and Recreation Commission members were elected in 2012, there has been considerable conflict on the Commission.  Ann Marie Rogers, Roger Schmidt and 2016 PRC candidate Beth Markel filed a complaint accusing other Commissioners of violating the Open Meeting’s Act.  The Court dismissed their charges.  They are appealing the Court’s decision.

Roger Schmidt’s admission that he intentionally attended the meeting to cause it to be terminated speaks to the disruptive approach both he and Ann Marie Rogers have taken in dealing with Parks and Recreation issues over the past few years.  Last year the two of them got up and left a meeting in anger before the meeting was over. Roger’s lack of understanding that there is $25,000 in the budget for a dog park indicates that he is not qualified to be the Treasurer for the PRC.

The parks in Oakland Township are the envy of many surrounding communities. These parks are the result of years of cooperative and creative work by Parks and Recreation Commissioners.  We currently have two Commissioners that appear to want to change the historically non-political nature of the Commission using divisive actions.  Oakland Township deserves better than the childish and vindictive behavior (like storming out of the January 14, 2015 PRC meeting , and subverting the efforts of the subcommittee) when things do not go their way.

We will have an opportunity later this year to elect an entirely new Parks and Recreation Commission.  Our votes will determine the future direction of our parks.  We can elect a group of people that will work together respectful of one another, or continue to have the disruptive behavior that has been present for the last 3+ years.  Your votes will have in impact on our Township’s future. Stay tuned for more information on the Parks and Recreation candidates on this website.

Richard Michalski




Parks Commissioner Ann Marie Rogers violates her own criteria for holding public office

Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Ann Marie Rogers, expressed behavior standards for Township officials at the March 22, 2016 Oakland Township Board meeting.  Her own behavior in January 2015 demonstrates she does not meet that standard.

At the March 22, 2016 Oakland Township Board meeting, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Ann Marie Rogers commented that she did not support the potential appointment of fellow Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Joe Peruzzi, to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  She commented that she witnessed many actions by Joe Peruzzi that should disqualify him for any public position. She claimed Joe:

  • “Lacked a thoughtful temperament”
  • “Showed disrespect toward residents”
  • “Possessed an unpredictable and angry nature”

Several Board members took issue with the accuracy of her statements.

Ann Marie’s comments reminded several residents of her behavior that was discussed at the January 14, 2015  Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.  At that meeting, a resident, Joanna VanRaaphorst, described inappropriate and aggressive behavior she witnessed Ann Marie exhibit against a fellow citizen during the previous night’s Board meeting.  Joanna commented that Ann Marie Rogers had turned around and called another citizen “a whore”, and created a hostile environment for citizens attending the meeting.

Ann Marie Rogers defended her actions, and said she even said things “a little bit worse”.  There was no acknowledgment of inappropriate behavior.

Here is a video documenting the proceedings that are described above:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  With this year being an election year for the Township Board and Parks and Recreation Commissioners, the citizens need to make sure we elect people who meet our standards for acceptable behavior. Ann Marie Rogers expressed a good set of standards in the March 22nd meeting.  Since she is running for office again this year, she should be held accountable to those same standards.  Her behavior at the January 13, 2015 Board meeting and the Parks and Recreation meeting on January 14, 2015 demonstrate that she does not meet them.

Finally, the allegations she made against Joe Peruzzi continue to be unsubstantiated.  The Board approved his nomination for the Zoning Board in a 5 to 1 vote.  Supervisor Gonser, who had made similar accusations, was the sole dissenting vote.

Richard Michalski

Oakland Township’s ‘Manager’ or ‘Superintendent’ form of governance is growing in popularity in State

As many of you are aware, Supervisor Gonser, and former Trustee Maureen Thalmann, made repeated attempts at changing Oakland Township’s structure from a “Manager” form of governance to a “Strong Supervisor” form of governance.  He and Maureen wanted to change the Supervisor position to a full time position and eliminate the full time professional manager position.  The Supervisor would assume all of the day to day operations in the Township with assistance from a part time support person.

At the April 12, 2016 BOT meeting, Clerk Karen Reilly reported that many Township’s in the state are moving away from the ‘Strong Supervisor” form of governance to what we currently have in Oakland Township.  

Here is a video of Karen Reilly’s comments:

There have been many previous articles posted on this website regarding Supervisor Goner’s attempts at changing the structure of our Township.  Many of them cover the reasons why our current ‘Manager’ structure is preferred, and why Supervisor Gonser’s actions are reasons why a “Strong Supervisor” form of governance is not in Oakland Township’s best interest. Other communities are apparently coming to the same conclusion.

Here are links to previous posts on this topic:




The above articles make it clear why other communities are moving AWAY FROM their “Strong Supervisor” structures TO what Supervisor Gonser considers a “bizarre and unworkable” form of governance.  Maybe the ‘bizarre and unworkable’ adjectives apply to Supervisor Gonser, as former Township manager Warren Brown suggested in his resignation statement noted above.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Supervisor Gonser is planning on running for reelection this summer and fall.  Although he did not disclose his desire to change how Oakland Township is structured prior to his election in 2012, his actions over the past few years make it clear what his intentions were and continue to be.

Between now and the primary elections this summer, there will certainly be discussions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of governance.  I recommend you read some of the previous postings listed above to familiarize yourself with why we have our current ‘Manager’ form of governance.

It is very interesting that other communities are moving away from what Supervisor Gonser is proposing.  Our current structure has helped create our outstanding community.  It appears other communities are beginning to see the wisdom of our ways.

Please consider Terry Gonser’s position on this in the upcoming summer election.

Richard Michalski

Comparison chart of candidates for Oakland Township Supervisor position – One Editor’s Opinion

The cutoff date for submitting petitions by individuals who are interested in running for office is rapidly approaching.  April 19th is the cutoff date.  As of today, I am aware of three candidates who have submitted their signed petitions for Supervisor.  As I stated in a previous post, there are two editors for this website- myself and Jim Foulkrod.  We have differences of opinion regarding who is the best candidate for the Supervisor position.  However, we both agree that current Supervisor Gonser is not the best person for the position based on his actions and performance over the past 3+ years.

I have put together a comparison chart that shows the qualities I would like to see in our next Supervisor.  I included my perspective on each candidate in those areas.  You may have other criteria & perspectives that you feel will influence your voting decision this summer.

Here is the comparison chart (click on image to enlarge):

Candidate comparison chart - RJM

For even LARGER image, click on following link:

Oakland Township Supervisor candidate comparison chart

Please review the chart, and feel free to comment on the various candidates.  Please do not use ‘pseudonyms’ or inappropriate comments

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  As many of you know, we have had a very turbulent 3+ years since Supervisor Gonser came to office.  We need to make sure we select a Supervisor that will prevent our citizens, and surrounding communities, from questioning:

“What in the world is going on in Oakland Township?”

A thoughtful analysis of the candidates and your informed decision, will help make sure that happens.

From my perspective, Mike Bailey is the right choice for that position!

Richard Michalski