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Posted: 01/02/13

New board plans to fulfill
campaign promises in `13

Observer Special Writer
      Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser is optimistic about 2013. His top priority for the coming year is giving Oakland Township residents what they asked for.
       "I want to accomplish as many of our campaign promises as possible," he said.
       One promise is to televise board meetings.
       "We want to have all meetings televised on our cable channel, streamed online, and archived for future reference," said Oakland Township Trustee Maureen Thalmann.
       Thalmann also wants to make sure the township citizens get what they asked for.
       "We want to provide transparency in all aspects of township government," she said.
       The board has already sent out proposals for televising township meetings and has also posted their meetings on YouTube.
       "(We are) putting a lot more information online so residents can see it before the meetings," said Gonser.
       That includes documents and other related business items discussed in meetings.
       "We want to have all financial aspects for the township administrations to be available to the taxpayers so they can see where their tax dollars are going," said Thalmann.
       Gonser also wants to prepare a comprehensive ethics policy.
       "I want to approach everything with an ethical manner," he said.
       Two major issues from 2012 will keep the board on their toes through the new year.
       "I think the biggest thing is to get Blossom Ridge straightened out," said Gonser. "I'd also like to see the (Paint Creek) mill race preserved as it was before the dam came down. I'm confident we're going to be successful."
       The Parks and Recreation Department has plenty in store for this winter. The two sledding hills at Lost Lake Nature Park have been given a makeover to better manage the acceleration and direction of sleds as well as separation of the sledding and walking areas. Both hills were graded, reseeded, and covered with mulch.
       The sled hills will only be open when there is at least six inches of snow on the ground and when the ground is frozen to prevent damage to these new improvements.
       Construction on the improvements to Lost Lake Nature Park is on schedule.
       "It's about 90 percent complete," said Parks and Recreation Director Becky McLogan.
       The grand opening of the new Lost Lake Nature Center will take place in the spring, with a ceremony tentatively scheduled for May.
       Oakland County Parks and Recreation has recently completed the Addison Oaks Connector Trail, which partially runs through Oakland Township, allowing access to multi-use trails at Cranberry Lake Park. Improved access will soon be under way at the northern end of the park, with several Eagle Scout candidates assisting park staff and volunteers.
       A grand opening ceremony for the Addison Oaks Connector Trail is scheduled for May 1, 2013.
       Overall, Gonser is looking forward to 2013.
       "We're going to do some innovative things for citizens," he said. "I'm very encouraged."

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