At the May 13, 2014 Oakland Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser unilaterally made a decision that violated the recently approved bylaws regarding citizen comments during Public Board meetings. By doing so, he violated former Trustee, Judy Keyes’ right to speak. He did not allow her to speak during the second “Public Comment” portion of the agenda, even though the bylaws specifically allow for residents to comment during the first and second “Public Comment” agenda items.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Supervisor Gonser made a unilateral decision to not allow citizens to comment during the second citizen comment portion of the meeting if they had commented during the first public comment portion. THIS DECISION IS IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE APPROVED BYLAWS GOVERNING BOARD MEETINGS! This decision violated Judy Keyes right to speak. Unfortunately, none of the Board Members were willing to challenge Gonser’s decision.
Supervisor Gonser continues to feel he has the power to make decisions for which he does not have the authority. Not following the bylaws is a clear indication of his respect for ‘the rule of law”. Just because he discovered other communities may not allow citizens to make more than one public comment during a Board meeting, does not give him the authority to change the rules on how Oakland Township is governed.
It is also amazing, but unfortunately not surprising, that Supervisor Gonser violated Judy Keyes’ right of speech in the same meeting where she asked that both he, and the Board, protect her right to free speech.
It is absolutely amazing that the Board did not challenge him on this decision. Are the citizens of Oakland Township really blind to what is going on in our Township? If you find his behavior reprehensible, please start getting involved, or at least send emails to other Board members encouraging them to stand up to him!
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