Tag Archives: John Giannangeli

Civility will return to Oakland Township! Our reputation restored!

Congratulations! Our collective efforts have been successful!

Voting_icon

Here are the names of the unofficial winners of the Oakland Township Board positions for 2016-2020 – pending the results of the November election:

Supervisor – Mike Bailey

Treasurer – Jeanne Langlois

Clerk – Karen Reilly

Trustee – Robin Buxar

Trustee – Frank Ferriolo

Trustee – John Giannangeli

Trustee – Lana Mangiapane  (only member of Terry Gonser’s ‘ticket’)

Here are the names of the unofficial winners of the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commission positions for 2016-2020 – pending the results of the November election:

Emily Barkham

Craig Blust

Dan Bukowski

Colin Choi

Cathy Rooney

Daniel Simon

Hank Van Agen

In addition, both the Parks renewal millage and the OPC transportation millage were approved.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?

With these public servants:

  • Civil, ethical and professional behavior will be restored at both the Board and Parks Commission level.
  • Turmoil regarding the form of governance in Oakland Township will be eliminated.
  • The certainty of the position of Township Manager will enable us to have the most qualified professional municipal manager run the day to day operations in the Township.
  • Conflicts between the Board and the Parks and Recreation Commission will be eliminated.
  • The great reputation of our Township will be restored.

Will there be difficult and contentious issues our community will have to deal with?  Absolutely!  Will there be differences of opinion on how to resolve the issues?  Absolutely!

However, we have seen how the returning Board members have developed and worked together as a team over the past few years.  Our future looks bright!

Thanks to all the great candidates that chose to run for office!  Thanks to the retiring Parks and Recreation Commission members for ‘vetting’ the new Commission’s candidates, so their legacy will continue!  Thanks to the countless others that helped get the new officials elected! Thanks to all those who have been following this website!  Thanks to all of those who contributed to the ‘Oakland Township Watchers Action Committee’ for helping to make the election results a success!

BUT, most of all, thanks to all those who voted!

YOUR VOTE COUNTED!

Richard Michalski & Jim Foulkrod

 

 

 

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

 

Is Detroit Water still an option for parts of Oakland Township?

At the May 26, 2015 Oakland Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser announced that he planned two public meetings for citizens impacted by  the water supply systems that are being considered for two sections in Oakland Township.  One section is in the Southwest portion of the Township, and the other is in the Southeast portion of the Township.  Gonser announced the meetings would occur on June 18, 2015.  Treasurer Langlois thought the meetings were premature, and was opposed to having the meetings.  Trustee Giannangeli indicated that Detroit Water is still under consideration by the Township.  This option could result in water tap fees for the impacted citizens.  It was recently posted on the Township website that the meetings have been postponed.

During the May 26th meeting, Supervisor Gonser announced that:

  • high water towers are not being considered,
  • the ground water storage tanks will not be installed on parkland, and
  • Oakland Hunt would not be a subdivision included in the Southeast water district.

Gonser went on to say that there are two aspects to the water supply system issue.  Engineering issues are one.  He wanted to present this information at the June 18th meeting.  The other aspect is the legal, or operational, issues associated with the systems.

He indicated there are three legal options under consideration for the management and operation of the water supply facilities.  The three options are:

  1. continue as-is, but with the Township agreeing to a PA342 agreement with the County, where the Township would be responsible for part of the bonding of the system,
  2. have the Township form a Department of Public Works Department and take over the operation of the system, or
  3. contract with an outside company to have them maintain and operate the system.

Trustee Giannangeli also commented that Detroit City Water is still an option.

Treasurer Langlois commented that the June 18th meeting was premature since she felt the legal/operational matters needed to  be understood before going back to the citizens.

After the May 26th meeting, the Township website posted that Gonser’s announced June 18th meetings have been postponed.

Here is a map showing the proposed water system districts in Oakland Township (click on map to view larger version):

Proposed Water System Districts

Here is a link to a copy of a summary of the February 9, 2015 meeting held on this topic:

020915_OAT_Public_Meeting_Summary_final__1_

Here is a video of the discussions at the May 26th meeting:

 

Here are previously reported posts related to this topic.

Some Oakland Township residents may be entitled to a $2,500 refund from the Township

Oakland Township sued for over $4 million in Water Tap Fees

UPDATE: Oakland Township sued for over $4 (now $5) million in Water Tap Fees

Supervisor Gonser announces Township plans for water treatment and water storage facilities

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Trustee Giannangeli’s comment raises an issue regarding potential costs to the residents impacted in the two water district sections of the Township.  The Board had previously decided that Oakland Township would not use Detroit Water, and as a result refunded several million dollars in water tap fees to (primarily) developers who paid for future connects to the Detroit water system.  Since that money was returned to (primarily) developers, if the Township now decides to have Detroit water, the private homeowners impacted may have to pay a water tap fee.  Some of those homeowners may have understood that any future water tap fee to the Detroit system was already included in the purchase price of their home.  They may now be faced with paying for it a second time.

It appears Treasurer Langlois, who is a member of the water system subcommittee (along with Giannangeli and Gonser), was surprised that the June 18th meeting was being announced.  Gonser’s decision to announce the meeting is yet another example of him overstepping his authority and making a decision without subcommittee and Board approval.

RIchard Michalski

 

Trustee John Giannangeli reluctantly apologizes for calling Planning Commission Chairman a liar

During the commissioner comments portion of the October 7, 2014 Oakland Township Planning Commission meeting, Chairman James Carter confronted John Giannangeli for calling James a liar at the September 9 Planning Commission meeting.  The video recordings of the comments made at the September 9th Planning Commission meeting and August 12 Board meeting clearly indicated that John Giannangeli was the one who lied.  

After being confronted with the facts, John Giannangeli still refused to admit that he lied and refused to apologize, and said:

“I am going to say what I should have done the last time, which is, I am not going to say anything at all.  You have your opinions – I have mine!”

After additional comments from James Carter, John Giannangeli was clearly embarrassed into making a reluctant apology when he said:

“I am sorry I called you a liar!”

James graciously accepted his apology and indicated he would never bring it up again. 

Here is a video of the October 7th comments:

Here is video that shows the basis for James Carter’s comments to John Giannangeli:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  John Giannangeli’s character clearly comes into question when he accuses someone of lying, when he was the one who had lied.  John was nominated by Terry Gonser to fill the vacant Trustee seat when Sharon McKay quit the Board.  A previous example of John’s ‘volatility’ was previously reported on this website.

In the November 4th election, John is on the ballot to officially fill McKay’s seat.  There are three people on the ballot to fill two seats (Robin Buxar is also on the ballot to fill Judy Keyes’ seat).  I would recommend the voter’s send John a message by not voting for him.  I am not endorsing the third candidate.  The ballot instructions says “Vote for not more than two”.  If you find John’s actions inappropriate, I recommend you vote for only one, Robin Buxar, to send John a message.

Richard Michalski

Trustees Thalmann and Giannangeli fail to comprehend Trustee Buxar’s comments

At the September 9, 2014 Board meeting, Trustee Buxar commented on how there have been comments made by Board members at other Township meetings implying that Board conversations occurred when those conversations had not occurred.  She went on to say that conversations may have occurred between other Board members, but did not include her.  She asked that these statements be stopped in the future.  

Trustee Thalmann responded in a manner that had nothing to do with the issue that Trustee Buxar brought up.  In fact, she took the opportunity to attempt to ‘pat herself on the back’.  Although not captured on video (I was present at the meeting), the expressions on Trustee Giannangeli’s face when Buxar was making her comments were ones of bewilderment.  

The statement that Buxar made was in response to Trustee Giannangeli’s comments at the September 2 Planning Commission meeting.  As reported previously, Trustee Giannangeli made comments regarding the Board’s request for an RFP for the Planning Consulting services BEFORE any such discussion occurred with the entire Board in an open session.

Here is a video of Trustee Buxar’s comments, and Trustee Thalmann’s response:

Here is a link to the previous post regarding Trustee Giannangeli’s inappropriate comments:

Another Open Meeting violation by Oakland Township Board or Gonser’s ‘puppet’ speaking?

 

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  This is yet another example of how several members of the Board fail to recognize their mistakes, and learn from them.  The self rationalization of their actions apparently give them a sense of infallibility that this Township can ill afford.

Richard Michalski

Township Board approves potentially precedent setting (and costly) policy on Road maintenance

The Township Board approved spending $40,000 of funds from the ‘general fund’ to improve the gravel road portion of Silverbell Road at the September 9, 2014 Board meeting.  The Board approved spending this money by a 4 to 3 margin.  

Treasurer Langlois expressed concerns regarding:

  • the lack of having a comprehensive plan for our Township Road improvements that would ensure we were addressing the most critical roads,
  • the use of ‘general funds’ for this project, and
  • the precedent setting action of the Township assuming responsibility for the safety of the roads.  The Oakland County Road Commission has that responsibility.

This decision may cost the Township ‘dearly’ in the future.

At the September 9, 2014 Oakland Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser stated that the Road Commission had contracted for enough limestone to improve about one additional mile of gravel roads in Oakland Township. This limestone was in addition to the improvements that occurred on Dutton Road this year.

Road improvements in our Township (above and beyond what is required for safety) have historically been covered by what is called tri-party funds.  The dollars for these improvements come from three sources, 1/3 from the Road Commission, 1/3 from the County and 1/3 from Oakland Township (hence the name tri-party fund).   In other words, our dollars are ‘leveraged’.  The cost for the Dutton Road improvements was also shared between Oakland Township and Rochester Hills.  That improvement was totally covered by tri-party funds from both communities.

The cost for the additional mile of limestone could not be totally covered by the remaining 2014 Oakland Township tri-party funds.  It would require an additional $40,000 from Oakland Township’s ‘General Fund’.  Supervisor Gonser wanted to authorize the Road Commission to purchase and use the limestone on Silverbell road in response to safety concerns raised by citizens.

Treasurer Langlois indicated she was not in favor of using Township ‘General Funds’ to improve road safety when road safety was the responsibility of the Road Commission.  She also pointed out that the Township’s road improvement planning has deteriorated since we lost our previous Township manager.  Treasurer Langlois, Trustees Buxar and Bailey all expressed disappointment that a more comprehensive plan had not been developed that would ensure the most critical roads in the Township were being addressed.

The Township Board voted on the motion to purchase the limestone, and it passed with Gonser, Reilly, Thalmann and Giannangeli supporting the motion.  Langlois, Buxar and Bailey being the dissenting minority.

Here is a video of Treasurer Langlois’ concerns with this motion:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  The use of general funds for road improvements to eliminate safety concerns could be a precedent setting action.  The Road Commission may now look to the Township to pay for future road improvements that they consider safety related. Until now, the Road Commission has been responsible for safety.  The Board’s decision may cloud that responsibility going forward. If the Township becomes responsible for road safety, our taxes will certainly increase to cover those costs.

The politically expeditious decision by Supervisor Gonser, Clerk Reilly and Trustees Thalmann and Giannangeli may cost the Township dearly in the future!

Richard Michalski

 

Another Open Meeting violation by Oakland Township Board or Gonser’s ‘puppet’ speaking?

The August 12 Oakland Township Board meeting had an agenda item to discuss a Request for Proposal (RFP) for planning services.  Due to the length of that meeting, that agenda item was never discussed.  It was tabled until the September meeting.  The Supervisor never requested any input on this topic from the Planning Commission, even though they could be significantly impacted by the Board’s decision.

At the September 2, 2014 Planning Commission meeting, Trustee Giannangeli failed to bring up this issue for discussion.  However, Chairman James Carter added it to the agenda based on a request from another Board member.  During the discussion, Giannangeli indicated that the Township Board wanted to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Planning Consultant services in Oakland Township.  He went on to say that they may want two RFP’S.  One for the Planning consulting services for developing the Master Plan, and yet another one for the ongoing Planning Commission support services.  This topic had never been discussed in an Open Meeting with the Township Board, yet Giannangeli presented it as a request from the Board.  

Where is Trustee Giannangeli getting this direction?  If it is coming from the Board, it is a violation of the Open Meetings Act since it was not discussed in an open meeting.  If it is coming from Supervisor Gonser, then Gonser is usurping the authority of the entire Board.  In either case, John Giannangeli’s comments were inappropriate.

Here is a video of this discussion at the September 2 Planning Commission meeting:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  If the direction Giannangeli said DID come from the Township Board, it was a clear violation of the Open Meetings Act.  If the direction Giannangeli stated as coming from the Board really was just a conversation Giannangeli and Gonser had, it is an example of how Gonser is using Giannangeli as his ‘puppet’ on the Planning Commission.  This is not the first time Gonser has attempted to influence the Planning Commission by having personal conversations with his ‘appointees’.  It was previously reported on this website how Gonser used Ron Hein, another one of his appointments, to influence the strategic direction of the Planning Commission.

As Gonser continues to ‘purge’ the various board, commission, consultant members in Oakland Township, history has already demonstrated that his replacements look to Gonser for ‘direction’.  Is that the type of leadership and community the citizens of Oakland Township want?

Richard Michalski

Here is a related previous post:

Supervisor Gonser attempts to influence Planning Commission’s Master Plan

Richard Michalski

Trustee Giannangeli falsely accuses Planning Commission Chairman James Carter of lying yet Giannangeli was the one who lied

At the August 12, 2014 Oakland Township Board meeting, Trustee Giannangeli defended the appointments the Supervisor wanted to make to the Planning Commission by denigrating his fellow Planning Commission members.

At the September 2, 2014 Planning Commission meeting, Planning Commission Chairman, James Carter asked Giannangeli to explain his comments to the entire Planning Commission.  John not only denied saying what he said, but called James Carter a liar and then refused to explain his accusations.  He did not have the courage to express his concerns ‘in person’ with his fellow Planning Commission members.

During the discussions that occurred at the August 12 Board meeting, Trustee John Giannangeli made several negative comments about the Planning Commission. These comments were used to justify appointing three new members to the Planning Commission (in addition to the two relatively new members that they appointed previously). The Planning Commission consists of seven members. There are now only two experienced Commission members as they undertake revisions to our Township Master Plan.

Trustee John Giannangeli is a member of the Planning Commission.  He made a recommendation at the Board meeting that the Township should set ‘term limits’ for the Planning Commission and other positions in the Township. He also made the following statement about the Planning Commission:

“They think they own the Township, not the residents. I sit on the Planning Commission and I listen to those comments they make sometimes and I keep my mouth shut.”

At the September 2 Planning Commission meeting, Chairman James Carter asked Trustee John Giannangeli to explain the comments he made at the August 12 meeting. Giannangeli denied that he recommended ‘term limits’ for the Planning Commission members, even though the recording of that meeting indicated that he had made that recommendation. Giannangeli even accused Carter of lying!

When Carter asked Giannangeli to explain his comment about the Planning Commission acting like “they own” the Township, Giannangeli got very defensive and refused to explain the comment he had made at the August 12 meeting. He appears to only have the courage or ‘backbone’ to express his opinion when he has others present to defend him!

Here is a video of the discussions that occurred at both the August 12 & September 2 meeting:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?   Oakland Township is a highly desirable community. This did not happen by accident. The past Planning Commission members played a major role in making Oakland Township what it is. Our Supervisor wants to change it by appointing new people to the Planning Commission.

John Giannangeli is an UNELECTED Trustee that Supervisor Gonser nominated for the position created when Trustee McKay quit. He is also the Board’s representative on the Planning Commission.  This summer, John was voted in as a Republican candidate for Trustee for the fall general election. It was an unopposed primary race. There were two candidates for two positions, yet John Giannangeli received 31 fewer votes than the other candidate, Robin Buxar (1329 vs. 1360).

Did those 31 voters have a better understanding of who John Giannangeli really is?

The citizens will have an opportunity to vote for (or against) John this fall in the general election. Since there are two Trustee positions and no Democrats or Independents on the ballot, maybe a “write in” candidate could fill that seat and change the makeup of our Township Board.

We will have two more years of Gonser’s tyrannical leadership. However, we can impact our future NOW by finding a ‘write-in’ candidate to run against John Giannangeli this fall and take back control of the Board by replacing Gonser’s extremist ‘puppet’.

Richard Michalski

Here is a related link that is worth revisiting:

Township Board appoints John Giannangeli to vacant Trustee seat. Will the real John Giannangeli please stand up?

 

Supervisor Gonser incorrectly blames others for failure to be prepared for employee health care decision

At the August 12, 2014 Board meeting, the Board was forced to make an uninformed decision regarding the health care plan for Township employees.  The Township employee health care plans take effect on September 1 each year.  The Board decided to ‘opt out’ of the cost share obligation of Public Act 152 of 2011, and continue the current coverage for employees. This decision was made since no one on staff looked at alternatives in time for the September 1 deadline.  They also had not looked at the carry-over plan that was approved.  The Board had virtually no time to review or make an informed decision on this matter.  This is clearly an example of poor planning on the part of our Supervisor and Township Manager.

John Giannagelli indicated that he was disappointed that they had to ‘opt out’.  He thought that maybe the 152 plan options would have been better for the Township.  Supervisor Gonser then stated:

“Unfortunately, this was not identified earlier… really last year.  It was completely missed”

Here is a video of that discussion:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Terry Gonser continues to deflect any criticism on issues for which he bares responsibility.  Attempting to blame this issue on someone (our former Manager) from over a year ago does not pass the credibility test (sounds like Washington doesn’t it).

The current manager, Ann Capela, has been on staff since February, and certainly should have been able to investigate the health care options during the past 6 months.

Our supervisor has repeatedly stated how many hours he spends at the Township Hall.  His presence may actually be preventing our Township Manager from doing her work. Gonser needs to get out of the way, and let the staff do their work.  He also needs to stop blaming others.

I was once told, “Poor planning does not constitute an emergency!”  This is clearly a case of ‘poor planning’, yet our Supervisor continues to ‘fire’ the experienced planning individuals on our Planning Commission, and wants to provide the Planning Commission with his ‘strategic planning vision’.  Does he merit that trust? I think NOT!

Richard Michalski

Oakland Township’s controversial Planning Commission appointments

As reported previously on this website, there were three new Planning Commission appointments made at the August 12, 2014 Oakland Township Board meeting.  These three new appointments are in addition to two other recent appointments (Hein and Giannangeli).  There was considerable controversy over Supervisor Gonser’s nominees, but in the end, all three were appointed.  All were appointed though split decision votes.  The issues raised were:

  • Appointing a non-resident to the commission
  • Appointing a builder and real estate broker to the commission
  • Lack of planning experience on Commission, with 5 new commission members, as Township begins Master Planning process
  • Lack of geographic diversity – 5 of 7 commissioners are now from the Southwest quadrant of Township
  • Lack of age diversity
  • Lack of gender diversity
  • Concern over Gonser’s yet undisclosed ‘goals’ for his Master Plan ‘vision’
  • Concern that some of the individuals appointed “are going to do something for him (Gonser)”
  • Appointing an individual that admitted not having the time to fulfill his previous responsibilities as a Tax Board of Appeals member
  • Lack of using a robust selection process 

These concerns were raised by several Board members as well as concerned citizens, yet the majority of the Board approved Gonser’s nominees.

Planning Commission Chairperson, Jim Carter, made several recommendations for the Board to consider before making any appointments.  He indicated that these had previously been communicated to Supervisor Gonser.  He read the statutory requirements for the Board’s appointments to the Planning Commission.  Here are his recommendations:

  • Experience – consider reappointment of current commissioners since Township Master Plan is under review and there are already two inexperienced Planning Commission members
  • Training – nominees should attend state sponsored Planning Commission training
  • Geographic diversity – have representation from all quadrants of Township
  • Gender diversity – include women for appointment
  • Age diversity – include range of ages

Jim concluded by stating:

“New candidates are being considered as a result of the Supervisor’s desire to his stated goal of ‘Going in a new direction’.  Please consider the qualifications based on good Planning rather than political motivations.”

Danny Beer nomination

Supervisor Gonser nominated Danny Beer, who is NOT a resident of Oakland Township, but owns Lyon Gear in the Southwest Quadrant of the Township.

Treasurer Langlois stated:

“Until we have exhausted every avenue for putting a resident on the Planning Commission, we do not need to look outside the Township.”

Trustee Bailey concurred.

During Citizen comments on this appointment, Frank Ferriolo stated:

“This appointment is the antitheses of what . . .  how this Planning Commission should be placed.”

“This representation of an overweighted section of the Southwest is incredible.”

“He (Gonser) obviously has a ‘goal’ here. Some of the people that he is appointing are going to do something FOR him.”

Reg Brown, a resident that had taken a 7 week class on Planning at his own expense, stated:

“I previously asked (the Board) that Mr. Carter (PC chair) present a summary of people who are currently on the Planning Commission so the Ordinance can be complied with. For some reason, that has never been done.  I think more work is needed on this.”

The vote for filling this position was then taken.  Danny Beer was appointed by a 4 to 3 vote.  Gonser, Reilly, Thalmann and Giannangeli voted in support.  Buxar, Bailey and Langlois voted against the appointment.

Gary Kwapis nomination

Supervisor Gonser nominated , Gary Kwapis, an Architect who lives in the Southwest quadrant of the Township to replace Barbara Wolak.

Janine Saputo (one of only two women on previous PC) reiterated the recommendations made by Chair Jim Carter, and asked the Board consider reappointment of Barbara Wolak to the Planning Commission.

During citizen comments, Frank Ferriolo stated:

“We are looking at a Master Plan going forward where we need HISTORY.  Look at what you are creating.”

Reg Brown stated:

“Experience is valuable!”

Trustee Buxar expressed concern over the makeup of the Commission:

“Five of seven members live in the Southwest quadrant of Township.”

Treasure Langlois stated:

“Right now between the 6 sitting Planning Commission members we do have representation from all four quadrants of the Township.  That will drop to two, and we will have five (with Gonser’s other nominee included) from one, one from another, and one from outside the Township.  THAT IS NOT BALANCED TO ME!”

She went on to say:

“Having been on the Planning Commission briefly, I think Planning Commission experience is valuable.  I would have grave concerns about a Planning Commission with very little Planning Commission experience.”

Langlois did say that she would support Gary, but would not vote for another person from the Southwest Quadrant of the Township.

The vote for filling this position was then taken.  Gary Kwapis was appointed by a 5 to 2 vote. Gonser, Reilly, Thalmann, Langlois and Giannangeli voted in support.  Buxar and Bailey voted against the appointment.

Anthony Scaccia nomination

Supervisor Gonser nominated, Anthony Scaccia, a Builder and Real Estate Broker who lives in the Southwest quadrant of the Township to replace Roger Shultze.  Anthony is also currently an appointee to the Tax Board of Review. After his introduction, Anthony admitted that he was not able to ‘focus fully’ on his responsibilities on the Tax Board of Review because his clients were ‘trying to reach him’ during the reviews.

Here are Anthony’s comments:

“It has been very difficult  for me to focus fully on what I have been doing at the Board of Review because it was happening during the daytime hours when I have a lot of clients trying to reach me.”

He went on to say that he wanted to support the Township, but on a different Board “when I would not have to be available during the day.”

Treasurer Langlois commented:

“The business he conducts in the Township would put….there would be a number of instances where he would have to recuse himself from something, or there would be the appearance that his vote or decisions were based on his business, and I don’t think we need that in the Township.”

Trustee Bailey said:

“As a former Planning Commission member for 20 years, I must say that I do object to having a Planning Commissioner where his day job is being a builder… Their point of view is going to be biased……”

Resident Frank Ferriolo commented that the Planning Commission is going to be ‘out of balance’.  He went on to say that the only time he has seen Mr. Scaccia at Township meetings is after Gonser asked Scaccia if he would consider being appointed to the Township Board (McKay replacement) or Planning Commission (Roger Shultze replacement).

The vote for filling this position was then taken.  Anthony Scaccia was appointed by a 4 to 3 vote. Gonser, Reilly, Thalmann and Giannangeli voted in support. Langlois, Buxar and Bailey voted against the appointment.

The Planning Commission is now populated with 5 new Gonser appointments.  Danny Beer does not live in the Township, but his business is in the Southwest quadrant of the Township.

Here is a map showing where the previous Planning Commission members lived: (click on map to enlarge)

Previous PC representation

Here is a map showing where the current Planning Commission members live: (click on map to enlarge)

New PC represetation

 

Clearly the Planning Commission no longer has the geographic diversity that Planning Commission Chair Carter had requested.  In fact, Jim Carter’s recommendations fell on ‘deaf ears’.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Gonser has stated he wants to take the Planning Commission in a ‘new direction’.  He has not publicly stated what his ‘vision’ is, however, he has told Planning Commissioner Ron Hein that he intends to provide the Planning Commission with ‘strategic direction’ to use in formulating our new Township Master Plan.  The Master Plan has historically been a ‘bottoms up’, citizen input process.  Gonser will now make this a ‘top down’ process.

Gonser now has five members of the Commission that may fulfill Frank Ferriolo prediction:

“He (Gonser) obviously has a ‘goal’ here. Some of the people that he is appointing are going to do something FOR him.”

The citizens of Oakland Township need to get involved in the Master Planning process so it does not become “Gonser’s Plan” based on input from builders, and real estate brokers.  Your input is critical!

One final point.  I was a member of the Tax Board of Review in the 80’s.  I was also a member of the Planning Commission for over 26 years.  Anthony Scaccia’s assumption that the Planning Commission appointment will be less demanding of time is not based on fact.  His appointment to the Commission not only violates the appearance of a conflict of interest, but raises questions why the Board would have appointed someone who has already demonstrated that he cannot commit the time to a previously appointed position.

Richard Michalski

Here are some related articles:

Supervisor Gonser attempts to influence Planning Commission’s Master Plan

Supervisor Gonser demonstrates his lack of knowledge of Oakland Township Zoning

Did Supervisor Gonser try to mislead the citizens, or was he ignorant of the facts?

Supervisor Gonser’s REAL views on trails, pathways, bike paths and environmental protection

Preferential treatment of large land owners

Are you a “subdivision rat”? Supervisor Gonser expresses his opinion!

Here is a video or the Board meeting discussions described above: