PLEASE ATTEND A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING THAT HAS BEEN SCHEDULED BY SUPERVISOR GONSER FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 31 AT 7:00 PM. THE MEETING IS AT THE TOWNSHIP HALL. THE PURPOSE IS TO APPOINT TWO NEW MEMBERS TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION THAT WILL HELP DEFINE OAKLAND TOWNSHIP’S FUTURE.
Some of you are probably aware that two Planning Commission member’s appointments end in September. They have not requested to be considered for reappointment. On August 28th Supervisor Gonser asked for a special Board meeting on August 31, 2015 to vote on his nominees for those two positions. He is nominating:
- Barbara Schmidt (wife of Park’s Commisioner Roger Schmidt)
- Jeaneane Landers
The applications they submitted on August 27th and 28th are shown here:
Applications from Schmidt and Landers
Others that had submitted their applications earlier, but apparently were rejected by Supervisor Gonser, include:
- Dominic Abbate (former Oakland Township Trustee and Planning Commission member)
- Craig Blust (member of Trails and Pathway subcommittee)
- Salavatore D’Anna
- George Platz (former Chairman of Zoning Board of Appeals)
- Mark Plaza
Two of these candidates (Abbate and Platz) submitted their names for consideration for the open Trustee Position created when Maureen Thalmann resigned earlier this year. Since they were not selected for the open Trustee position, the Board asked them to consider applying for other positions as they became available. They clearly followed the Board’s request. Their applications for the Trustee position, with experience noted, is shown here:
Abbate and Platz applications
Efforts will be made to get copies of the other’s applications and post them on this website so the citizens can review their credentials and experience as well.
AUGUST 31UPDATE: THE APPLICATIONS FOR THE THREE ADDITIONAL CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN OBTAINED AND ARE SHOWN HERE:
A copy of the meeting notice is shown here:
August 31, 2015 Special Board meeting
Supervisor Gonser is the one who nominates the individuals that are to be considered by the Board for the open positions. A number of people have applied for the positions. Some of these candidates have Township experience regarding Zoning, Planning, and other subcommittees in the Township, others do not.
It should be noted that, per state law governing Township Planning Commission appointments, if the Board does not approve Gonser’s Planning Commission nominees, the currently seated Planning Commission members may continue to serve on the Commission if they agree to do so.
Over the past two years, Gonser and the Board have replaced 5 of the previous Planning Commission members with new people. The Commission consists of 7 people. With the loss of the two that are scheduled to leave in September (Chair Jim Carter, and Secretary Janine Saputo), the most experienced Planning Commission member will only have two years of experience.
In addition to the loss of the experience on the Planning Commission, our Township Planning consultant for many years, Larry Nix, has decided to discontinue his support of Oakland Township. He will continue to support other communities in Michigan.
One final critical skill loss is that Elaine Leven, who has been our Township Planning Coordinator, has accepted a position as Marine City Manager.
So, all of our experienced Planning people are no longer involved in Township Planning. This while our Township Planning Commission is responsible for updating our very important Township Master Plan.
When the Board took office in 2012, there was close to (and possibly more than) 100 years of collective Oakland Township Planning experience between the Planning Commission members, the Planning Consultant, and the Township Planning Coordinator. If the Supervisor’s recommendations get approved, and when the Planning Consultant and Planning Coordinator leave. We will have less than 10 years of collective experience working on our Master Plan.
As I stated earlier, there are several candidates that have Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Township Subcommittee experience or even Township Board experience that would serve the Township well by being appointed to the Planning Commission.
Your participation in the August 31 meeting is critical in making sure that the Supervisor chooses wisely in his nomination, and that the Board only approves individuals that have demonstrated their knowledge and willingness to add much needed experience to the relatively inexperience Planning Commission as we work on our Township Master Plan.
Here is a link to an Oakland Press article on Monday’s meeting:
Oakland Press article on Planning Commission appointments
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Simply put, the future character of our Township is at stake. Is Oakland Township such a terrible place that Gonser feels it necessary to use the Planning Commission to redefine ‘what we are’ just to satisfy his ego.
Richard Michalski – Former member of Planning Commission for 26 years