Tag Archives: Board of Trustees

Trustee Mike Bailey’s Campaign Kick-off event scheduled for March 13

Current Oakland Township Board Trustee, Mike Bailey, has announced his candidacy for Township Supervisor.  His campaign kick-off “Meet the Candidate Open House” is scheduled for Sunday March 13, 2016 at the Cranberry Lake Farm.  Mike has decided to try putting his many years of experience on various Township Commissions and Boards to greater use by running for Township Supervisor.

Mike has invited all to attend the event.  The informal get together will be between 2 and 5 PM.  The address is:

384 West Preadmore Road

Oakland Township, MI 48363

Here is a copy of his invitation announcement (click on image to enlarge):

Mike Bailey Campaigne Kick-0ff

Mike Bailey Kick-off Invitation

Richard Michalski

Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Andy Zale announces his candidacy for Township Supervisor

The editors of this website recently received an announcement from Andy Zale indicating that he is running for Township Supervisor.  Andy is currently the chairperson of the Township’s Parks and Recreation Commission.  His announcement letter is shown here:

Announcement Letter OT Watchers

This year is a major election year. Not only will we be voting for the US President, but our Township Board and Parks and Recreation Commission positions will be on the ballot. As you may recall, the primary election will take place on August 2, 2016. The general election will be November 8, 2016. Please put these dates on your calendar.

The campaign season has begun, and this website will provide information on the candidates as information becomes available. We hope that it will help our citizens make informed decisions in August and November. Any editorial comments will be noted as such.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? The primary election is usually the more important election for the local positions since that is when the political parties nominate their candidates. Since our community usually elects the Republican candidates in the general election, the election in August will most likely determine who will sit on our Township Board and Parks Commission. Please make sure you vote on August 2nd.

Richard Michalski

Six of seven Township Board members announce their candidacy for Board positions

This year is a major election year.  Not only will we be voting for the President, but our Township Board and Parks and Recreation Commission positions will be on the ballot.  As you may recall, the primary election will take place on August 2, 2016.  The general election will be November 8, 2016.  Please put these dates on your calendar.

The editors of this website received a letter from one of the current Board members announcing the following:

For immediate release:

Six of the current members of the Oakland Township Board of Trustees have announced their candidacies for the November 2016 election.

Mike Bailey, trustee, is running for Township Supervisor. Mr Bailey has been a trustee since 2008 and previously served 20 years on the Planning Commission, the last several years as its chairman.

Township Clerk Karen Reilly is running for re-election. She is currently serving her first 4-year term as Clerk.

Township Treasurer Jeanne Langlois is running for re-election. She is currently serving her first 4-year term as Treasurer. She is also a member of the township Safety Paths and Trails Committee.

Robin Buxar, trustee, is running for re-election. She was appointed to the township board in November 2013 and elected to the position in 2014.

John Giannangeli, trustee, is running for re-election. He was appointed to the township board in April 2014 and elected to the position in 2014. He also serves on the township Planning Commission (since October 2013) and previously served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of Review.

Frank Ferriolo, trustee, is running for trustee. He was appointed to the township board in May 2015. He also serves as a member of the Paint Creek Trailways Commission.

It should be noted that current Trustee Mike Bailey has decided to run for Supervisor.

The campaign season has begun, and this website will provide information on the candidates as information becomes available.  We hope that it will help our citizens make informed decisions in August and November. Any editorial comments will be noted as such.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? The primary election is usually the more important election for the local positions since that is when the political parties nominate their candidates.  Since our community usually elects the Republican candidates in the general election, the election in August will most likely determine who will sit on our Township Board and Parks Commission.  Please make sure you vote on August 2nd.

Richard Michalski

 

Oakland Township Board approves Oil and Gas Drilling ordinance

At the February 9, 2016 BOT meeting, the Oakland Township Board approved the proposed Oil and Gas drilling ordinance for Oakland Township.  The Board passed it in a unanimous 6 to 0 vote (Trustee Ferriolo was not at the meeting).  It was very clear from Board member comments that the Board was in favor of approving the Ordinance.  The purpose of the ordinance is to minimize the impact of oil and gas drilling operations in our Township.

Supervisor Gonser commented that his questions regarding the ordinance had been answered by MDEQ’s response to his request for clarification.  He concluded MDEQ “did not have disagreement with the ordinance.”  Others who read MDEQ’s response interpreted their response differently, but we are grateful for the unanimous support from the Board for the ordinance.

Thanks go to the the citizens that commented on the ordinance. Special thanks should be given to Erin Howlett, from Rochester Hills’ ‘Don’t Drill the Hill’s’, and Denise Demak, from Shelby’s ‘Citizens Against Residential Drilling’. Both helped Oakland Township learn from their community’s’ experience on this issue.

Here is a copy of the ordinance (an earlier agenda is included)

Janaury 12, BOT meeting agenda and Oil:Gas draft ordinance

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  With the passage of the ordinance, Oakland Township is now protected, to the fullest extent under the law, from oil and gas drilling operations in higher density residential portions of our Township.  We thank the Board and the Planning Commission for moving rapidly on this issue.

Richard Michalski

Blossom Ridge (and Carillon Creek) development approved by Township Board

On February 2, 2016, the Oakland Township Board voted to approve a proposed Consent judgment settlement regarding the Blossom Ridge Senior development. The agreement also included a second parcel on the corner of Adams and Silverbell (by the Church). The Blossom Ridge issue has had many posts on this website over the years. It has been a contentious issue during this Board’s entire administration. In fact, every member of the Board played a role in having this issue proceed to a referendum vote in the summer of 2013.

The legal advice from our Township Attorney, and Judge Howard, clearly played a role in having the majority of the Board vote to approve this Consent Judgment. The vote was five to two, with Treasurer Langlois and Clerk Reilly being the dissenting vote.  Their objections centered on the fact that they did not think that the agreement should have included the second parcel (Carillon Creek parcel), even though our Township Attorney stated that a mutually agreeable solution to the Blossom Ridge parcel was not possible without consideration of the second parcel due to demands made by the Board on the Blossom Ridge parcel.

Most of the Board members shared the rationale for their decisions in great depth (exception being Clerk Reilly), and can be seen by visiting the Township website link included below.

Trustee Buxar summarized her decision by using a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King:

“Cowardice asks the question – Is it safe?

Expediency ask the question – Is is political?

Vanity asks the question – Is it popular?

Conscience asks the question – Is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is not, safe, political, or popular, but must make it simply because it is right!”

Here is a link to the Township’s website:

http://vp.telvue.com/player?id=T02627

Once you go to the website:

On Playlist tab, click on Board of Trustees 2016
On Video tab, click on February 2, 2016 BOT meeting
On Chapter tab, click on Chapter 3

The following link to a press release provides additional information on the agreement

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/settlement-agreement-provides-expanded-housing-152100205.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=ma

So what does that Township get out of this agreement?

  • A Senior Assisted Living development that meets our ordinances and community needs.
  • A Senior Health and Wellness Center that meets our ordinances and community needs.
  • Eliminates the burden of Township having to prove it has provided ‘reasonable accommodations’ to a protected class of citizens.
  • Eliminates the potential $17M in delayed damage.
  • Eliminates the loss of being covered by our Insurance Company.
  • Decreases the potential density on the Research Laboratory zoned parcel.
  • Eliminates the potential for oil and gas drilling and cell towers on the parcels.
  • Accessible parkland available to the public in the portion of Township with the highest residential density.
  • Protects the Township against future similar lawsuits if the Carillon Creek parcel gets rezoned to the zoning districts as proposed by our attorney.
  • Township continues to have Engineering Control over the proposed developments.
  • Plan includes a restaurant in our community that our recent survey indicates is a desire of our residents.
  • Developer contributes $400,000 for a water storage facility to help improve seasonal water pressure issues (location will be determined by County water resource commission.)
  • Developer contributes $200,000 for an Advanced Life Support vehicle.
  • Developer contributes up to $125,000 in matching funds for a Veteran’s Memorial facility.

Finally, the biggest win for our Township is that we get this divisive issue behind us and heal the rift in our Township.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  The passage of this consent Judgment puts this contentious issue behind us.  The five Board members who voted to approve the agreement made their decision concluding that it was in the best interest of the Township.  Their decision was made in spite of their earlier concerns over the initial proposed development.  They need to be commended for taking that action.

Citizens should consider whether the decisions made by two of our top Township officials, (Treasurer Langlois and Clerk Reilly), really were made in the best interest of the Township.

Richard Michalski

 

Key Blossom Ridge Consent Judgment information discussed at January 26, 2016 BOT meeting

The January 26, 2016 Oakland Township Board meeting was very informative regarding the proposed Blossom Ridge Consent Judgment that the Board is considering. There were many facts and opinions shared.  Our Township Attorney also corrected many inaccurate claims that have been shared by some of the citizens opposed to the development.

Because the issue is so complex, it is difficult (and almost impossible) to accurately summarize the points made by the Attorneys, Consultants and citizens at the meeting.  As a result, I recommend that citizens who have an interest in this issue, and are willing to spend time understanding the many complexities involved in this decision, visit the following Township website and watch the meeting proceedings.

Once you go to the website,

  • On Playlist tab, click on Board of Trustees 2016
  • On Video tab, click on January 26, 2016 BOT meeting
  • On Chapter tab, click on Chapter 5

It will take you to the 4:50 (minute:second) point in the meeting.

http://vp.telvue.com/player?id=T02627

  • The Former Oakland County Chief Judge Barry Howard, who was the arbitrator in this case, gives his presentation until the 27:40 point in the meeting.
  • Between 27:40 and 52:20, Oakland Township Planning Consultant, Dick Carlisle, discusses the proposed development from a planning perspective using our zoning ordinance as a guide.
  • Between 52:20 and 96:00, Township attorney Dan Kelly give his report on the legal implication of this case.

The rest of the meeting primarily shares citizen inputs on this issue – some in support and some in opposition.

As I stated, it is complex and not easy to simplify for this post, but only by watching the reports will you understand the legal and planning issues our Board must consider.

The Board is scheduled to make a decision on this matter on February 2, 2016 at a 5 PM meeting at the Township Hall.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  This issue has been a divisive one in our Township for years.  I apologize for not being able to give you a ‘Reader’s Digest’ version of this issue, but I feel it is important for those who want to form their own objective position on this issue to watch the video.

Richard Michalski

Board of Trustees should follow the advice of attorneys on the Blossom Ridge Settlement Proposal

On Jan 26th the Board of Trustees will discuss and invite public comment on the proposed consent judgment to settle the Blossom Ridge lawsuit.  see our recent post on this topic

Dan Kelly has said that all the attorneys advising the township in this matter recommend approval of the proposal.

Attorneys recommending acceptance:

  • Dan Kelly – Township Attorney
  • Judge Barry Howard – Facilitator
  • Dale Stuart – Township Manager
  • Carol A. Rosatti – Attorney for the Township’s insurer

I urge the Board to follow the recommendations of the attorneys knowledgeable about this case and to be aware that the opinions of people that are not as knowlegable can contain errors about legal meanings.

A case in point: A letter from 18 residents contains legal fallacies

The board has received a letter from Eighteen individuals, all of whom live near the Blossom Ridge property, citing reasons that they are urging the board to reject the proposed agreement. They put forward a very important fallacy regarding legal precedence which they use many times in different forms and contexts.  It  is asserted by them that:

“The precedents established by this Consent Judgment”:

  • “will essentially eliminate building size restrictions for future multi-family (R-M) high density developments”;
  • (will have) “impact on future lawsuits”;
  • (undermine) “the confidence of the Oakland Township electorate in the local government for future zoning decisions”;
  • “will establish a new minimum lot size standard for multi-family (R-M) zoning”;
  • “The precedent set by compromising the zoning ordinance standardwill make it more attractive for non-conforming future high density R-M development in the Township”;
  • “will make it more attractive for non-conforming future high density R-M development in the Township”;
  • “the Zoning Ordinance… needs to be defended and not weakened through this Consent Judgment”.

The fallacy of consent judgment precedence:

The problem with these arguments is that a consent judgment agreement between parties to a lawsuit does not establish legal precedence.  Only published opinions of a judge’s decision in a trial establish precedence. In my 20 years on the Planning Commission and 12 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals I have never seen any alteration,  reduction, weakening or compromising of our zoning ordinance by  consent judgments.  The language, meaning and effect of our ordinance have remained intact and in full force.

If the township loses, the Federal Court could force changes to our Zoning Ordinance:

This is a very real likelihood in that if this matter goes to trial and violations of the Fair Housing Act are found the Federal Court may order changes to our zoning ordinance to force compliance with the Fair Housing Act.  That is when citizens will experience a loss of control.

Jim Foulkrod