During Supervisor Gonser’s 12 months in office, he has demonstrated an authoritarian style that one citizen had characterized as “dictatorial”. Here are several examples of Gonser’s authoritarian or ‘dictatorial” behavior (with links to previous posts on this website):
– His definition of transparency ( letter was obtained through FOIA request.)
“While I am for transparency, there are policy decisions and strategies that must not be shared until after they have come to fruition. —- I think we have to be careful as to what we circulate in emails. Phone calls may be in order.” – Terry Gonser to Treasurer Langlois – April 6, 2013
– His decision to vote on an issue for which he personally benefited.
– His decision to proceed to obtain an Attorney General Opinion on a matter the Board had previously rescinded. He made statement that he sent a letter “as an individual”, when he actually sent the letter 8 DAYS LATER – attempting to “cover his tracks”!
– His decision to take over the Land Preservation Fund from the Parks Commission without Board approval.
– His participation in an alleged Open Meetings Act violation regarding the Paint Creek Cider Mill Concessionaire’s agreement that is being investigated by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Dept.
– His belief in a UN conspiracy theory called “Agenda 21”, and his unwillingness to explain his position on this position in public.
– His decision to request, as Township Supervisor, legislative changes in Lansing regarding “Agenda 21” items without support from the Board.
– His decision to propose a trail near the Paint Creek Cider Mill that had significant grade issues prior to any engineering assessment.
– His decision to replace several Board/ Commission members without telling the previous Board/ Commission members their terms were up or asking them if they were interested in reappointment.
– His decision to authorize work being done on a Park Parcel without any agreement from the Parks and Recreation Commission.
– His method of attacking Trustee Keyes, who had repeatedly challenged Gonser on several of the issues described above.
– His abuse of ‘power’ in how Jim Creech’s employment was terminated.
These actions demonstrate a leadership style that Oakland Township cannot afford to formalize by giving him more authority. With more authority, he will be making more decisions “behind the scenes” with little or no citizen or consultant input.