Home Opinion OP-ED: Biz Relationship of Township Supervisor & ’81’ Development Attorney Questioned

OP-ED: Biz Relationship of Township Supervisor & ’81’ Development Attorney Questioned

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On April 14, 2016 a local citizen sent a message to the Peninsula Township Board which detailed the publicly-available history of the long-standing business relationship between the Peninsula Township Supervisor and Attorney Joseph Quandt. The citizen did this to ask if it seemed appropriate that the Supervisor participate in discussions regarding “The 81” development project, for which Attorney Quandt was advocating.

It has been suggested that since the events to which the citizen referred took place several years ago, the relationship between the Supervisor and Attorney Quandt should not be an obstacle to the Supervisor’s involvement.

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However, a letter dated Feb. 3, 2016 was addressed to Robert A. Cooney, Grand Traverse County Prosecutor. The subject of the letter is “Pete Correia Land Division Act Compliance.” The letter describes the numerous documents Attorney Quandt supplied to the Prosecutor in support of Mr. Correia’s position. It concludes: “Bob, I’m hoping that all of this information is clear, objective and definitive as to the size of the parent parcel for purposes of determining the number of land divisions allowed from the parent parcel. It is our hope and expectation that you will not be pursuing litigation against Mr. Correia.” The letter is signed “Joseph E. Quandt.”

This letter was written on behalf of the Supervisor as recently as three months ago, during a time in which the approval for “The 81” development was still pending final action.

It has also been suggested that perhaps Attorney Quandt no longer represents the developer of “The 81” project, so Mr. Quandt’s relationship with Mr. Correia is no longer an issue. However, in the application for the community septic system for “The 81” project filed with the DEQ in March of this year, and which David Taft reviewed in the DEQ Cadillac offices, the Board of Directors of “The 81 Development Company, LLC” names three persons: Mr. O’Grady, Mrs. O’Grady and … Joseph E. Quandt.

Given all of this information, and given that Trustee Jill Byron was forced to recuse herself from “The 81” vote because she might have had “a potential bias or prejudice against the developer” for “liking” a Facebook page, does it not seem logical for the voters and citizens AND THE TOWNSHIP BOARD to question whether Mr. Correia might have a potential bias FOR the developer, and should therefore recuse himself?

Marilyn Elliott
Peninsula Township Resident

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

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    • Maybe, but they’ve been in such a tailspin the past few years (I used to write for them years ago) and not always accurate with their reporting. I think a lot of Northern Michigan people get their news on Facebook through sites like UpNorthLive, 9&10 News, and in the case of Old Mission residents, through Old Mission Gazette. We’re up to about 4000 email newsletter subscribers now. – JB

  1. The entire 81 development was forced down the throats of Peninsula residents by the current township board and current planner as evidenced by their repeated refusals to have reasoned and thoughtful discussions with concerned residents . Too much emphasis was placed on the rights of the developer and not the best decision for the community. Wait till the land is irreversibly changed for development and the developer goes bankrupt leaving the land raped. Remember to vote during the August township elections. These clowns ( and staff) need to go. Take back our community


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