Tag Archives: Karen Reilly

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


Does Oakland Township’s Clerk, Karen Reilly, have any thoughts of her own?


For those of you who have been to, or watched, Oakland Township Board meetings since November of 2012 you may have noticed that Karen Reilly, our Clerk, rarely contributes to the Board’s discussions.  The meeting on August 12, 2014 had an agenda full of substantive topics, most notably the appointment of many new individuals to various Boards and Commissions.  NOT A SINGLE COMMENT was made by Karen Reilly during the entire 4 1/2 hour meeting.

During the December 7, 2013 Board meeting, when the Board was interviewing candidates for the Township Manager position, one of the candidates asked each Board member why they ran for office.  Karen’s response was:

In an earlier 2013 meeting, shortly after taking office, Karen explained why she did not participate in a State supported training session for Township Clerks.  Karen had no experience in Township Clerk responsibilities, and clearly had no desire to get a better understanding of the Clerk’s responsibilities.  Here is her statement:

As reported in a previous post on this website, she did respond (on a ‘live’ microphone prior to the beginning of a Board meeting) to former Trustee McKay on why the minutes of closed meetings do not have any documentation of what was discussed during the meeting.

Her ‘off the record’, open microphone comments show she is articulate so maybe her ‘on the record’ silence can be understood via her comment:

“…the point is you don’t want to put too much in there. Because… whatever you say can be held against you. The less you have in there the better off you are…”.

Is she self-editing her participation at our Board meetings because she feels her ideas are dangerous or unacceptable to our community? 

There are certainly differences between introverts and extroverts on how they act in public.  However, I believe that when a citizen runs for public office, even an introvert should be expected to explain the rationale for taking a position on an issue.  Karen never explains the rationale for her votes.

As you know, Karen’s husband, John, ran for the State Representative seat in the 46th district in the August primary.  In early 2014, I asked John if he would include me on distribution to the Oakland Township Republican meetings that he chairs.  I did attend one of these meetings in January of 2014 when I found out about it.  This is one of the meetings that Karen referenced in her ‘reason’ for running for office.  One of the agenda items at that meeting was:

  • The Republican establishment’s “war” on tea party and libertarians at both the national and state levels 

Several Oakland Township Precinct delegates attended as well as our Supervisor, several other Board members, our state representative Tom McMillin, and various citizens .

Before John would add me to his distribution list, he wanted to know where and why I stood on a number of political issues.  I found his requirement strange and inappropriate.  He responded by saying he was “surprised” that I found his request inappropriate. It was clear he was not interested in having an open discussion in his meetings.  He wanted to understand my (an unelected citizen) thoughts on issues, before he (an elected precinct captain) would include me on distribution.  I refused to participate in his exclusionary forum.

What is the linkage between Karen Reilly’s lack of comments at Board meetings and John’s requirement?  I think the citizens of Oakland Township deserve some insight into the thought process of our elected Clerk.  Karen needs to express the rationale for her taking the positions she takes.  John’s requirement for similar information from a private citizen was inappropriate.

From my perspective Karen either does not have any thoughts of her own, or is afraid to express them.  Is she following what her husband tells her to do, what Supervisor Gonser tells her to do?  Is she living by her own advice “whatever you say can be held against you (or her husband)”? Is she trying to minimize any political damage she could create for her husband’s political aspirations since she ran for office because of his involvement in politics?

At any rate, the citizens deserve to have a better understanding of what our Clerk ‘really’ thinks on issues.

Here are several related articles:

Is Oakland Township’s leadership part of the Republican Party “establishment”?

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

Richard Michalski

Township “administration” authorizes paying for luncheon tickets – against wishes of several Board members

At the July 8th Board meeting, it became known that the Township ‘administration’ made a decision to have the Township purchase 6 tickets to a luncheon that was to honor Supervisor Gonser for completing a program with the Chamber of Commerce.  This decision violated a previous Township practice and “The Principles of Township Governance” that was approved in June of 2013.  The decision was made even after concerns for purchasing these tickets were raised by several Board members. 

At the June 10, 2014 Township Board meeting, Treasurer Langlois requested that a bill not be paid, since she thought it inappropriate for the Township to pay it.  The bill was for $150 to cover 6 people attending a Rochester Chamber of Commerce recognition luncheon for completing some program.  One of the honorees was Supervisor Gonser.

After the June 10th meeting, Treasurer Langlois discovered that the bill had been paid prior to the meeting. This payment not only violated the policy of not paying bills without Board approval (other than those that have defined payment dates such as utility bills), but the Township practice for participants to pay for their own tickets to such events, and the “Principles of Township Governance”.

Treasurer Langlois indicated that when she received an email indicating that tickets would be purchased by the Township, she questioned the appropriateness of doing so.  Trustee Buxar responded in a similar manner.

Treasurer Langlois indicated that “the administration” had approved paying for 6 tickets, even though it had been against previous Township practices.  Several Board members and staff members attended the banquet thinking that they would not have to pay for the tickets.

Incredibly, Clerk Reilly said that when she was initially approached on attending the luncheon, she indicated she would not attend if she had to pay.  When she found out that the Township WOULD PAY for the tickets, she decided to attend.  As the Township Clerk, she also approved the payment of the $150 bill prior to the June 10th Board meeting, violating the approved payment policy.  She indicated that she had not repaid the Township, and did not offer to do so.

Supervisor Gonser indicated that two “attendees” had repaid the Township for the tickets, but did not disclose who attended or paid the Township back.  He indicated that the expense to the Township was only” $100″, and “it was not the end of the world!”.

Gonser went on to say that this incident was due to a “misunderstanding and a lack of a policy”, even though several Board members indicated that this was against the previous practice of the Township.

The Board ultimately approved the payment by a 5 to 2 vote.  Treasurer Langlois and Trustee Buxar were the dissenting votes.

Here are portions of the July 8th Board meeting where this was discussed:

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  This is yet another example of Supervisor Gonser’s leadership style. The ‘administration’ of our Township consists of Supervisor Gonser, Treasurer Langlois, Clerk Reilly and township manager Ann Capela.  The Treasurer indicated that she did not support the decision. The Clerk indicated she did not make the decision. In a phone call with our Township manager, Ann Capela indicated that Gonser had made the request and she approved it since she thought it was appropriate.  Gonser made this request in spite of the feedback given by Treasurer Langlois and the past Township practice.  Gonser did not have the courage to acknowledge his actions in public.  Gonser’s actions, as well as Clerk Reilly’s, violate the “Principles of Township Governance Policy” approved in June of 2013. We now know why, even though they voted to approve the policy in June of 2013, they refused to sign it!

Principles of Township Governance Excellence document

Richard Michalski

Board refuses to sign “Principles of Township Governance Excellence” Pledge

“State of Township” or “Self aggrandizement”?  You decide!