Highly Questionable accusations made at Oakland Twp. Parks meeting

You will be interested in my new post on the Oakland Township Watchers site.   At the Dec.11th Parks meeting,  in a truly toxic prepared six minute statement, Parks Commissioner Ann Marie Rogers accused Parks Commissioners Dave Mackley, Alice Tomboulian, Colleen Barkham and Joe Peruzzi  of acting illegally and unethically and being a devious secret cabal.  You will have to watch the video to believe it.


Observing OT Resident December 18, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Isn't the fact that an Elected Commissioner "calls out" publicly an employee of the Twp. an act which is most egregious and warrants an official complaint of grievance against the Twp. by this employee? This was a very tasteless and unwarranted display by an elected official. Very disappointing and down right venomous.
Observing OT Resident December 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM
You miss my point entirely. Even if Commission Ann Marie Rogers accusations were indeed valid OMA violations, which I do not yet see evidence of, Commissioner Rogers had NO right naming an employee of the Twp. in an accusation in public. The employees do have rights and there are personnel committees or Management who are charged with the duty to handle any non-conformances to policies discreetly and also to give the employee an opportunity to respond or explain. What Commissioner Rogers did could be a violation of this employees rights to privacy in matters of personnel issue and could be used for a grievance against the Twp. As a resident and one who voted for Ann Marie, I found her statement to be way over the top, to the point where it and she lost all credibility with me and my friends and neighbors who also watched that meeting with great shock and disappointment.
Peter Unger December 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM
You don’t seem to understand my point. There may be illegal actions that took place. Putting the entire fault on the whistle blower, who I agree did it awkwardly, is removing the main point. The commissioners and the employee knew better and should not have had private meetings. This was not an innocent mistake; they were having email meetings for a year, from the time of the new commissioners were voted onto the board. I did not agree with former trustee Judy Keyes actions with interrogating people at Oakland Township meetings. Her tactics were never demeaned by “Oakland Township Watchers”, instead she was supported. The township needs everyone to act with respect to each other, and all this needs to stop. It is not productive. Those involved in the private meetings need to face the reality of their actions, it was to destroy the strength of all members of the board being informed.
Observing OT Resident December 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Judy Keyes asked questions of fellow elected officials, which is highly appropriate and what she was elected to do on behalf of the people who elected her, since residents at the podium do not get their answers to their questions from the podium as stated by Supervisor Gonser. Commissioner Rogers had NO right to go after an employee in such a demeaning and belittling fashion, not merely "awkwardly." I still do not see anything in Commissioner Rogers statement that constitutes any PRC members getting together to form a decision that requires a PRC vote because it is a matter of policy setting or expenditure of tax dollars and acting on that decision outside of an open meeting, no matter how badly some people wish it were there. There simply is no proof that has been presented. Bottom line, No elected official has the right to call out an employee by NAME, over and over again with accusations of wrong doing in an open meeting. Municipal employees have the right to PRIVACY and are to be NOTICED of personnel issues so they may have the opportunity to request them to be handled by the elected body in a CLOSED session. You and I do agree on one thing though, NONE of this is productive.
Carol Cook December 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I just watched the video link because I was forwarded it by a neighbor. I found this Commissioner's conduct abusive and appalling and am very sad to know that Township employees are treated this way. I don't even care about the so called, "violation," this is not the way to handle things. I don't even know if I voted for her or not, but I would not again.
Peter Unger December 18, 2013 at 05:39 PM
The parks commissioner blew her anger at more than the employee. It was also angst at the four commissioners who may be part of the deceit to the citizens of Oakland Township. None of you are angry at them? You are upset because this involved a township employee. I did not see any raging headlines on “Oakland Township Watchers” when Keyes verbally attacked the woman who recorded the minutes at the Oakland Township board meetings. She quit being the recorder after that. I saw no headlines when Keyes harassed the auditor from the company that reviews the township books. Or where was the alarm when Keyes interrogated the engineer that presented the remediation ideas of the of the mill race? The hypocrisy of those of you that do not see that these four commissioners and an employee may have participated in illegal activities is very alarming. Instead of worrying about the employee being harassed, the employee should be worried that she and the four commissioners maybe charged with malfeasance; wrongful conduct; plus disregard for the open meeting act.
Observing OT Resident December 18, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Trying to distract away from the wrongful actions to "kitchen sink" by bringing up someone or something else from the past is a tactic that simply does not work. Didn't Trustee Keyes resign? I don't see what she has to do with Commissioner Rogers and her wrongful actions. Besides, I have no recollection of what you are referring to. Someone has to speak up for the employees, and that is what is happening. If someone has something to charge someone with, get on with it. All this 'talk' is questionable. I am leaving to enjoy the holiday with my family tomorrow and will be enjoying Christmas immensely. I have nothing further to say on this subject. I wish you and everyone reading this, A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Peter Unger December 18, 2013 at 06:41 PM
You finally get my point! The distraction here is suppose to be what Rogers did; when this should an uproar about what the employee and the four commissioners may have done. Watch all the Oakland Township board meetings and you will find what Keyes did, but I know there will never be any headlines about it on "Oakland Township Watchers" because your web site is bias.
Carol Cook December 18, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Mr. Unger, you admit this commissioner "blew her anger at more than the employee."? What? This is supposed to be a defense for Commissioner Rogers. You are not helping her at all.
Cal Kingsbury December 18, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Yes, Mr. Unger, this is simple. I do not want our Township employees treated in such a demeaning and quite frankly, threatening manner. I hope more residents are appalled at this behavior as well.
Whereisthechange? December 18, 2013 at 07:24 PM
I am! This is NOT what I voted for. Keep emailing this out to others.
Peter Unger December 18, 2013 at 08:02 PM
I sure am not defending the four commissioners and the employee! And it seems none of you have been paying attention to what another trustee was doing previous to this incident. If Commissioner Rogers has to sit and listen to "new rules" for park commissioners to request information from the parks department; than maybe it is time for those commissioners and employee to wake up and stop working to divide the park commission. Emailing out bias information from the "Oakland Township Watchers"? Ha!
Marty Rosalik December 18, 2013 at 08:22 PM
The allegations by Commissioner Rodgers are opinion as she clearly states before the 2 minute 49 second mark on the posted video. In my opinion... her charges are just as valid as the Open Meetings Act allegations over on that web site. NOT so much. We citizens are hearing the smoke alarms from many sources without ANY official action or charges. This has become theater of the absurd. OMA violations! Abuse of power! Federal investigations! Lions and Tigers and Bears! This is starting to look like the drama over in Cottrellville Township and that is NOT a good thing. Lots of large smoking personalities but NO heat or fire folks. I for one will not pick a side here, rather I would prefer to give ALL parties a trip to the wood-shed. How much more time and taxpayer money will be wasted by ALL parties here just to throw mud at each other?
Peter Unger December 18, 2013 at 08:41 PM
I agree with Marty, this all has to stop. Work together. Watch the real videos of the meetings on the township web site. Establish your own opinion, come to meetings. This "Oakland Township Watchers" is not truthful.
Cal Kingsbury December 18, 2013 at 09:23 PM
One correction Mr. Rosalik, I believe there have been actual criminal charges filed against the Board of Trustees and there is a pending lawsuit. That is a bit more basis there than mere opinion. I don't want to debate you or anyone else, just pointing out a fact.
Marty Rosalik December 18, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Cal... it's NOT crimianl yet. So I will correct your correction. http://www.theoaklandpress.com/20131216/in-brief-hearing-between-oakland-twp-and-former-trustee-delayed-until-january
Long Time OT Res December 19, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Rogers came down on the other park commissioners like a sledge hammer! I'm not so sure that was the end of it. She seemed to have some good information and there may be charges filed down the line. The PRC denied any wrongdoing. When people are on boards as long as some of these commissioners have been, it is probable that a bully pulpit mentality has taken hold and Rogers is voicing her concerns at not being able to break through their circle. It sounded like it took a year of frustration to get to the point that she did. I am for term limits and this is why.
FCF December 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Thank you Mr.Peter Unger for focusing on the facts in your opinion regarding this matter. As is quite obvious some other opinions are based more on biased views. The discovery and accusations by Commissioner Rogers which she read at the December 11th Parks Meeting shown in the video from minutes 140 to 147 clearly call out exclusionary activities on the part of four commissioners and the Parks Director. Whether these rise to the level of Open Meetings Violations remains to be seen. I believe in the eyes of most residents though there is a big difference between a "gotcha" attack by someone against a Township body for an unintentional OMA violation and what might well have been going on at Parks! This is not a simple matter of a possible fine. If "there is more to come" as Ms. Rogers claims and she can fully support her claims of repeated acts of collusion against the full commission and the township then resignations are in order as these people have violated a sacred trust! If on the other hand she cannot, then I think what she has done so far to expose the unwelcoming attitude by the old guard, which many of us who have viewed all of the recent Parks Meetings have seen for ourselves, may be enough. We can then hope the Board now headed by Mr. Zale will usher in some fresh air!
Cal Kingsbury December 19, 2013 at 04:47 PM
We still talking about this? Ok. Marty, thanks for the link, but I said pending lawsuit against the Board of Trustees AND criminal charges, which are in the hands of the Oakland Co. prosecutor from what I have been told, can't verify that, as I do not wish to bother the prosecutor in an ongoing investigation. So, this is in addition to what you brought forth with your link. Just making it clear on that one point, not drawing conclusions from it, just yet. Like Observing OT resident. I too have nothing further to say on this subject. I will leave this to the authorities to hash out in determining the ongoing litigation and investigation with the Board of Trustees, as well as whether there are OMA violation charges based on Commissioner Roger's angry, reckless and broad accusations or an employee who files a grievance against the Twp for a violation of her privacy rights when it comes to a reprimand. I think the latter option has more merit though based on what is in the entire video of this Parks meeting. I too wish you and anyone reading this a Merry Christmas!


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