Tag Archives: Supervisor

Trustees reject Supervisor Gonser’s desire to become a “Strong Supervisor”

At the November 20, 2013 Board of Oakland Township meeting, the Board agreed to proceed with the selection process to fill the Superintendent vacancy created by Jim Creech’s departure.  The responsibilities of the Superintendent will continue to be based on Ordinance 97. The vote was 5 to 1.  Supervisor Gonser was the single dissenting vote. Supervisor Gonser had desired to eliminate the Superintendent position, have the Board authorize him to assume some of the Superintendent’s responsibilities, making him a “Strong Supervisor”.  A Manager position  would be created to pick up the remaining responsibilities.   

The Board was considering a suggestion, previously made by Trustee Thalmann, to have Supervisor Gonser assume some of the responsibilities that our previous Superintendent, Jim Creech had based on Ordinance 97.  That structure had been in effect since 2002.  The Superintendent responsibilities, “A” through “O”, are called out in the Ordinance.

Ordinance 97

If this recommendation had been approved, the Superintendent position would be eliminated, a Manager Position would likely be created and Supervisor Gonser would have additional power in running the Township. Oakland Township would be under what is referred to as as “Strong Supervisor” Township.

Supervisor Gonser had invited the Supervisors from Orion, Addison and Independence Townships to the past two meetings to describe how their Townships operate under the “Strong Supervisor” structure.  There were many questions asked of them by Board members and citizens.

Treasurer Langlois reviewed the responsibilities in Ordinance 97, and concluded that those responsibilities were all administrative, and did not see any reason to move to a “Strong Supervisor” structure.  She stated that the selection process for a replacement for Jim Creech needs to proceed, and saw nothing wrong with the Superintendent position continuing to retain the responsibilities defined in Ordinance 97.

Here is her justification for her motion, and the vote by the Board:

Trustee Thalmann was not present at the meeting, and Supervisor Gonser made several attempts to have the vote deferred to some future meeting when she would be present.  A number of citizens supported having the vote take place that evening. One of the reasons given for proceeding with the vote was that the Township had reviewed a number of resumes of candidates that had submitted applications for the Superintendent position.  Proceeding with interviews, not knowing what the individual’s responsibilities would be was a major factor in making the decision now.  There was a strong feeling that the position needed to be filled quickly.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  By keeping the position of Superintendent, and selecting a qualified person, the Township will have a person that has the professional background to make a municipality run efficiently.  It also provides a level of stability that is needed when Board member changes occur.  The Board’s strength is retained by not having the Supervisor become too strong and possibly abuse his/her power.  See the following post on recent actions by Supervisor Gonser.

Supervisor Gonser’s Actions


Richard Michalski

Supervisor Gonser accuses creators of this website of ‘cowardice’ while he refuses to admit HE made unauthorized request!

At the August 13th Board of Oakland Township meeting, several citizen made comments about this website.  Supervisor Gonser responded by saying that the creators of this website were cowards and should appear at the meetings ‘in person’.

One of the creators of the website WAS present for the beginning of the meeting.  He was not present when the Supervisor made his comments.

The author of this post was on vacation, and watched the entire meeting using the Township’s website.  For the record, and to the dismay of Supervisor Gonser, I have made many comments at Board meetings, challenging the Board on many issues.  He has cut me off at the 3 minute limit, while he has allowed others that share his views to continue for much longer.

So WE are cowards because we document the FACTS on Board issues and share them with citizens who do not have the time to watch all the meetings and “CONNECT THE DOTS” themselves?

Please watch the attached video from the August 13th meeting, where Trustee Keyes asked who authorized work for a parking lot on a park parcel, since the Parks and Recreation Commission had not made that request.  Supervisor Gonser sat silent for 20 seconds.  At the September 10th Board meeting, Superintendent Creech indicated that Supervisor Gonser did authorize that work.  Yet Supervisor Gonser sat silent for 20 seconds at the August meeting only to state at the end of the silence:

“We are probably not going to solve this in front of the the Television cameras tonight!

Supervisor Gonser did not speak up when he knew he authorized the work on the Park parcel!

He made accusations of cowardice when two of the creators of this website were not present!


Someone once told me “If the truth hurts, it is because you do not like what it says!”  I will let the readers decide who is truthful and who is a coward.

If you are a concerned citizen of Oakland Township, I would encourage you to come to several of the Board of Oakland Township Meetings, and voice your opinion on matters.  The current Board has a small group of citizens that always participate supporting the Board’s point of view.  Diverse opinions are needed to protect Oakland Township’s future from being defined by this small group.

Richard Michalski

Here are the videos confirming the above statements.