Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser ran on a platform of “transparency”. Since he has come into office, the various governmental Board, Commission and Committee meetings are being broadcast live and are captured on video for playback on the Township website. HOWEVER, the discussions between Board members that occur ‘behind the scenes’, and not on camera, can be violations of the State’s Open Meeting Act, and certainly contribute to the amount of “transparency” in our Township governance.
In an April 6th document received through a Freedom of Information Act request, Supervisor Gonser responded to Treasurer Langlois discussing a concern raised by a citizen about how an April 1 policy decision had been made. The policy decison impacts the relationship between the Township Board and the separately elected Parks and Recreation Commission.
Here is Supervisor Gonser’s statement:
“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.”
Is this another way of saying “I am all for transparency unless there is something to hide”?
Why is this important to the Citizens of Oakland Township? Transparency in government goes beyond having meetings videotaped. The discussions that our leaders have on decisions that affect Township residents are to be made in public, not on phone calls, and certainly not held back until the results “come to fruition”.
Do you agree with Supervisor Gonser’s definition of transparency?
For more information on the topic where Supervisor Gonser’s statement was made go to: