Election 2024: Peninsula Township Candidate Q&A - Isaiah Wunsch
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Election season is upon us! I’ve sent out a list of questions to all the candidates running for office in Peninsula Township, and I’ll be publishing them here on the Gazette in the order they’re received. Read on for thoughts from Isaiah Wunsch, who is running for a seat on the Township Board. Candidates include:

Supervisor: Kelly J. Clark, Maura Sanders
Clerk: Rebecca W. Chown
Treasurer: Katie M. Clark
Trustee (4 positions available): Kate Jerman, Mark Luea, J.P. Milliken, David K. Sanger, Fred Swaffer, Jr., Julie Alexander, Warner Queeny, Armen B. Shanafelt, Isaiah S. Wunsch

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View all candidate responses here, and read on for thoughts from Kelly Clark, who is running for a seat on the Township Board.

About You

What is your name, party affiliation, and what Peninsula Township office are you running for?

Isaiah Wunsch, Democratic, Township Trustee.

Why are you running for this position, and what qualifications do you bring to the role?

I am running for this position because I have had a lifetime passion for the Old Mission Peninsula, and I believe that I have several qualifications and substantial experience that allow me to serve the residents well.

Have you served on any Peninsula Township committees or boards, and if so, which ones?

Over the course of the past decade, I have served on the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Township Board, and I am currently serving out a term as Township Supervisor.

How long have you lived on the Old Mission Peninsula?

I have maintained my primary residence on the Old Mission Peninsula for 37 years, but split my time between OMP and Ann Arbor, East Lansing, and Lansing during my college years and during the first few years of my career.

What is your vision for Peninsula Township in 10, 20, 50 years? Do you support maintaining the rural character of the Old Mission Peninsula?

I support maintaining the rural character of Peninsula Township, and encourage current and prospective board members to consider the feedback received from residents during elections and the master planning process, as well as best practices for municipal zoning when considering changes to future land use in the township.

For instance, if we are to allow more commercial uses or increase the buildout density of residential areas, I strongly believe that we should do so through planned re-zoning of certain areas, through a transparent public process. I do not believe that the Township Board should add commercial uses to non-commercial properties without carefully considering the legal implications of such actions.

Finally, the Master Plan and the survey data used to develop the Master Plan provide periodic snapshots of where broad resident sentiment on the issue of additional development stands. My interpretation of the current Master Plan is that most residents want Old Mission to be a relatively quiet, rural bedroom community with a thriving agricultural sector and modest commercial activity.

Do you support large scale developments such as “Peninsula Shores,” formerly known as “The 81 on East Bay”?

I believe that the residents have shown through their consistent support of the PDR and Pelizzari millages that there is relatively little appetite for large scale developments in Peninsula Township. However, I support due process and rule of law, and I believe that it is incumbent upon the board to treat any applicant, be they a multigenerational owner of a small lot or a commercial developer, equal protection under the law.

While residents do not want more development, it is important for us to be proactive about using PDR and other market-oriented tools to limit development rather than relying on subjective decision making at the board level.

How will you ensure community transparency in Township finances, meetings and decisions?

I believe that Peninsula Township currently does a good job of communicating its financial status monthly and in discussing our annual budget in detail at public board meetings. Quarterly snapshots or other tools may be helpful to provide residents with more information about the budget.

The board currently operates in strict compliance with the Open Meetings Act, and as Supervisor, I have demanded that board members adhere to the OMA by avoiding ex parte communication outside of board meetings. Part of the reason that our board can be slow to act is that all of our discussions and decisions about project and policy issues occur in our monthly meetings.

How do you plan to make a difference on the Old Mission Peninsula? What are your top priorities?

My top priority is to keep the wineries out of our residents’ pockets in the WOMP (Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula) litigation, and to seek to resolve the policy grievances of the wineries in a way that does not expose the Township and its taxpayers to unbounded legal risk in the way that previous ordinances did. This may require the Township to take a firm stance on some issues—much of the current dispute is about whether the Township had a right to negotiate certain compromises with the wineries, and to hold them to certain limitations that they themselves had agreed to.

In addition, I am cognizant of the growth challenges that our community faces. Peninsula Township needs to mature as a local unit of government in order to face the demands of its future and to maintain the quality of life that its residents aspire to. Whether we look at different structures of government or different prioritization of limited resources, I believe that we need to design our local government to capably address both the challenges of the present and the challenges of the future.

Citizen Engagement

How can Peninsula Township encourage citizens to become more involved in Township issues, attend meetings, etc.?

While I don’t love social media, I have felt it important to engage on these platforms in the past few months. A lot of negative sentiment toward the township has accumulated over the course of the past two years because we chose not to engage. Many of our residents do not have the time or the interest in particular issues to engage at meetings, so using platforms to reach out to the community can be a valuable tool.

I have seen this not only from pushing back about misinformation that has been spread about local government issues, but also in the positive feedback received by our community police officers when they have provided periodic updates.

Peninsula Township relies on volunteers to help with public services, such as well-maintained parks and serving on Township committees and boards. How can the Township increase this pool of volunteers?

Peninsula Township is fortunate to have a large population of active residents with a wide range of perspectives and career experiences. As our demographics have shifted over the course of the past decade, I have been more and more impressed with the volunteer pool that we are able to attract to serve on committees and boards.

The implementation of issues-specific standing committees such as the new agricultural committee will give resident volunteers new voice in local government, as well. While we are blessed with volunteers who are able to help with governance, one-off projects, and specific interest areas, we also need to be aware of the limitations of volunteers to help with issues such as large scale parks maintenance.

Do you support holding periodic town hall meetings where citizens can have back-and-forth discussions with Township officials?

Peninsula Township has had three separate law firms and attorneys since I joined the board eight years ago, and all of them have recommended against back and forth with residents during public comment. It is important to me that all residents, and not just the loudest residents, have equal opportunity and rights to engage with the board. I believe that committee meetings and civil one-on-one discussions are more constructive opportunities to weigh in than grandstanding and soapboxing during public comment.

Do you support an open-door policy at the Township where walk-in visits are allowed?

When I took over as Township Supervisor, I recommended that we remove the door locks at the Township offices and was informed that they were not placed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but at the recommendation of the G.T. County Sheriff to ensure the safety of staff from active shooter events. While it is important to me that the public always feels welcome in the Township offices, as a manager, I am also responsible for the physical safety of staff. A renovation of the Township office vestibule could reasonably accomplish both goals, but would cost money that the Township does not have to spend.

Township Administration

The Township has experienced a high level of turnover in the Planning department during the past decade. How can the Township improve staff retention?

Staff need to be supported by board officers who can strike a reasonable balance in managing the time, availability, and priorities of staff in such a way as to optimize workflow for staff. Board officers are frequently asked to push staff to make unethical or illegal decisions by a small handful of residents who do not want to follow process—protecting the integrity of process, and treating all residents equally as a board member is tough in a small community, but I have found it to be helpful in retaining Planning staff during an historically difficult time for the Township.

Which parts of the Township budget do you believe could be cut or eliminated?

I believe that we need to prioritize fulfilling our statutory obligations. As such, I would look to parks and road brining as the first areas of the budget to cut. In my experience, the current demands for services of residents do not line up with funding levels.

Will you adhere to due process, or will you make decisions based on circumstances and relationships?

I believe that due process is integral to Peninsula Township, and will only become more important as development pressure continues to increase. Favoritism, favors, and inconsistent application of policy are dangerous and can lead the Township into costly legal issues.

Do you support or oppose moving to a charter township and why?

I support giving the voters a chance to evaluate and decide on moving to a Charter Township. We are currently unable to execute on a number of resident priorities such as parks improvements and Bluff Road repairs because the Township operating budget does not currently provide a mechanism to fund these sorts of projects.

My gut feeling is that the residents would be comfortable paying an average of $100 or so more per year in exchange for a higher level of service in some of these regards, but I think that it is most appropriate for the community to discuss and decide on the issue as a whole.

Regarding hours at the Township office, do you support moving back to a five-day work week of seven-hour days, 9 to 5 or 8 to 4, with an hour off for lunch?

We are currently able to retain a number of staff at lower salaries than commanded by market because we offer a 4/10 schedule. I support the current schedule, because I support providing the best ratio of cost to service to our residents.

Would you support lowering application permit fees, dropping the cash requirement for escrow funds, and allowing a bond in lieu of cash at applicant’s choosing?

I believe that developers, and not the taxpayers, should pay for development. The costs of permitting, legal and engineering fees, and risk would not go away if the Township eliminated these fees, they would simply be shifted from developers to taxpayers.

Master Plan, Ordinance and Enforcement

How will you address residents/applicants who refuse to follow the ordinance? How will enforcement take place?

First, I always strive to follow the ordinance myself. I have several residential properties in the township that I could short-term rent, for instance, but have turned them into nice long-term rentals for working families. It is important that Township Board members themselves set a good example for the community.

In the 2024 budget, we have increased funding for enforcement activities. The process that we currently adhere to is to respond to complaints (we do not proactively look for violations), to have the code enforcement officer discuss compliance with the property owner first, to issue a written citation if they refuse to comply, and to use the circuit courts as our last option if they still refuse to comply. Most residents want to follow the rules, and I am only aware of a couple of situations where we have had to bring the issue before a court.

In areas where the Township’s operational budget is already strained, how can the Township address more resident complaints, allegations of non-compliance, and public nuisance issues?

We found money in the budget to fund enforcement at 20 rather than eight hours per week for the next fiscal year.

Have you read the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, and do you understand the procedures for adopting a Master Plan and amending a zoning ordinance?

Yes.

Will you follow the zoning ordinance as written, or will you make exceptions where convenient?

My dogged refusal to make exceptions to the zoning ordinance for certain members of the community has made me substantially less popular in some quarters since I took over as Supervisor.

What elements of the Master Plan do you feel are lacking most?

I believe that the current draft of the Master Plan is a fair representation of the work that we did when I served on the Master Plan committee and of the community sentiment expressed in the 2019 Master Plan survey, which nearly a quarter of our residents responded to.

Wineries and Winery Lawsuit

Had you been on the Township Board during the WOMP v Peninsula Township settlement discussions, how much Township money would you have given up to the wineries?

I was on the Township Board during the WOMP litigation, and I believe that the decisions handed down shortly before the trial show the excellent ROI of our investment in vigorously defending the ordinance.

If Township insurance does not cover all the damages claimed by the wineries in the winery lawsuit, how do you feel about OMP residents having to personally pay for those damages?

As a resident and taxpayer, I would be furious if I had to pay damages to wineries who are disputing rules that they themselves participated in writing before I was a taxpayer in the township.

Regarding the Wineries:

  • Should they be allowed to have unlimited weddings? No.
  • Should they be allowed to operate full-service restaurants? No.
  • Should they be allowed to be open until 2 a.m.? No.
  • Should they be required to support OMP farmers via collaborations and/or using locally-grown produce? Yes.

Overall, what are your thoughts on the winery lawsuit?

We appointed a winery representative to the Township Planning Commission two years before WOMP decided to sue the township. In his interview, he was candid about his top priority being to advocate for the interests of “his business.” Instead of bringing to the Planning Commission, our legislative body, the grievances of his industry, he actively worked to bring a federal lawsuit against the Township.

I am glad to see that the wineries are finally testing their own policy preferences at the ballot box, but it is a shame that they had to waste millions of dollars of their own money and the taxpayers’ money before realizing that they should have attempted to avail themselves of the democratic process.

OMP Farmers

Do you support ordinances that help OMP farmers thrive, such as food processing kitchens, workshops, cooking classes, farm tours, larger roadside stands and more?

I participated in the drafting of and voted for a new farm market ordinance that allowed many of these new uses. I am strongly supportive of authentic agricultural uses that are primarily focused on adding value to agricultural products, but am skeptical of both the policy merits and the legal defensibility of more tourism forward agritourism issues such as on farm yoga, sauna and spa businesses on ag land, etc., where such uses do not have a demonstrable connection to agriculture.

How will you assist young farmers looking to start their business or sustain existing farms for young farmers?

As a young farmer myself, I am passionate about supporting agricultural entrepreneurs in my personal and professional life. I am excited to see what ideas surface at the agriculture committee meetings over the course of the next year. Our current policy environment has created a bifurcated environment where ag development has trended toward either highly capital-intensive processing and retail ventures with high potential to disrupt residential neighbors or lower value commodity production that limits profit opportunities for farmers.

I believe that there is a missing middle of policy options that the Township can explore that will allow farmers to make a decent living without allowing de facto night clubs adjacent to residential neighborhoods.

Do you believe in the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program? Do you believe that a PDR conservation easement should place limitations on the future commercial use of a property?

Yes and yes. I have sold conservation easements on my properties, and I accept the restrictions that the taxpayers and donors who purchased those easements placed on my land. As a beginning farmer, I would not have been able to purchase my farms without a local conservation easement program.

Do you support an OMP farmer’s market and/or a local artists/artisan market?

I support a conversation about it. My first business was a farmer’s market stand, and I am not confident that we would have the population density to support a farmer’s or artisan market, but I would be open to evaluating such a proposal if it was cost neutral to the Township.

Taxes

In your view, what will Township governance look like if the AxMiTax ballot initiative passes?

Dysfunctional. Planning, zoning, assessing, and elections would grind to a halt, and the Township would fail to perform on its legal duties. We would have no legal budget, and special interest groups like WOMP would be able to coerce the Township Board into giving in on a wide variety of policy issues due to lack of legal resources.

Parks maintenance would cease. Public safety funding would be questionable for fire, ambulance and police services. The PDR program would go away. While I am rather fiscally conservative, I feel that the AxMiTax proposal is feckless and irresponsible, and that anyone who supports it should not be trusted to manage taxpayer money.

Do you support a Parks Millage to maintain and improve Township parks?

Parks funding needs for the Township tend to be tied to grant opportunities or other one-off needs for funding. A parks millage could make sense for a baseline of parks funding, but increased general fund revenue through a Headlee Rollback or Charter Township would allow the Township to pursue a wider range of capital budget priorities. I could see putting this question to the voters, but I think that it would make more sense to encourage a conversation on Charter or Headlee first.

What are your thoughts on the Headlee Rollback?

I feel that it would be fiscally responsible to put either the Headlee Rollback or the Charter question to the voters within the next four years in order for the Township to maintain a balanced budget while keeping up with increasing demand for services. If residents do not want to pay more taxes for more services, that is fine, but there has been a significant uptick in calls for the Township to invest resources that a General Law township will never have. As an elected official, I serve the voters and will respect their decisions.

Other Township Issues

Should there be a public vetting of candidates as to whether they are each in compliance with the Township?

Sure.

Do you think Bluff Road should be fixed and re-opened? How would you go about making that happen?

Bluff Road will not be fixed without private or public dollars going toward the project from the Township. I worked diligently with Bluff Road residents to develop a cooperative agreement with the Grand Traverse County Road Commission to cost share a repair of Bluff Road, but funding for such repair from the Township side would have been contingent on the passage of Charter or a Headlee rollback, which will not occur for at least two years. In the interim, residents could raise funds for the repair, but I do not believe that to be a feasible solution.

What is your opinion of short-term rentals on the OMP? Should they be allowed? Do you operate a short-term rental on the OMP?

I believe that our residents generally do not want to live amongst STRs. I don’t believe that short term rentals should be allowed in Peninsula Township based on the public feedback received in an STR and Bed and Breakfast committee that I chaired several years ago. While I own several rental properties on OMP, I do not short term rent any of them, because so doing would violate the zoning ordinance.

What is your opinion on additional residential buildout on the OMP?

I respect the rights of property owners, but also am a firm believer in the PDR program as a tool to limit buildout on Old Mission. I believe that the current lot coverage requirements are about right, and do not believe that the Township should substantially change policy to allow larger structures on small waterfront lots.

How would you address the desire for more commercial activity by some residents and the lack of commercially-zoned property?

This should be addressed first through a survey, and if survey results support it, we might look to add a small community center or commercial zone somewhere along M37. I do not support large scale commercial rezoning or permissive rules that would allow substantial commercial activity outside of the commercial zone.

Do you support a non-motorized pathway similar to the TART Trail throughout the Old Mission Peninsula? How would you make that happen when a trail cannot cross farmland due to farming rules and regulations?

As a significant landowner and farmer, I would support trail development and believe that TART has provided a good template for how trail development can work well adjacent to agricultural land. The Township could be a non-financial partner in trail development, but the development of a multimillion-dollar trail system would require the establishment of a third party, private nonprofit entity to fundraise for and build a trail.

Should Peninsula Township seek collaboration with our regional partners such as the Michigan Department of Transportation, Grand Traverse County Road Commission, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)?

Absolutely—it is important to foster and build these relationships.

Do you support the proposal of a new fire station to replace Fire Station #1 in Mapleton?

We definitely need a new fire station to replace the aging Station #1.

Would you support a new community center?

I have not considered this question, but am always open to evaluating proposals.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Jane – great questions. I would hope each candidate is interviewed and provides answers as comprehensive as Isiah has. Very educational. Thank you

  2. There are a number of disturbing responses to the questions from Isaiah Wunsch. First off, he is critical of those of us who question township government actions. He talks of “about misinformation that has been spread about local government issues” on social media and simultaneously says “many of our residents do not have the time or interest to engage at meetings”. He also feels that when we speak up at meetings we are “grandstanding and soapboxing”. Really? Citizens are turned off at public meetings because we are given three minutes to speak and when we do, we are ignored. For example, at the last Planning Commission meeting two residents gave comment on the master plan. The commissioners did not acknowledge even one point of valuable information presented by those citizens. In fact, one commissioner (caught on mike) whispered to the chair to move the meeting quickly and get the public comment over. We citizens are basically ignored at public comment, and we can’t (are not allowed) to ask questions with an answer from our elected and appointed officials because as Isaiah says “all of them (twp attorneys) have advised against back and forth with residents during public comment.” So, we turn to social media where we can ask questions and get answers from other citizens. Of course we lose interest. And we lose trust in our government and elected and appointed officials.
    Ignored in any of the winery lawsuit questions is, was it worth it to spend over $1MM in two years to guard against wineries having a restaurant and weddings? Remember (also no comment from Isaiah) that at the infamous St. Joeseph church twp meeting two years ago the then twp. attorney brought back a verbal settlement agreement for the board to approve. This settlement process was approved by the board at the time. But the board listened to the scare pressure from PTP members and voted the settlement down. Does any citizen believe that then attorney Greg Meihn would have brought back a settlement offer to the board that would have cost the twp any money? Of course not. And the judge ordered Twp to pay a fine for reneging. So two members running for re-election Wunsch and Sanger voted down that settlement which has now resulted in the over $1MM dollar tax payer loss for lawyers fees. And then they ask us to consider the Headlee rollback and conversion to Charter Twp to raise taxes for that loss. We citizens are not stupid. Can’t wait to hear from the other board members running for election who have ignored other attempts for settlement/ reconciliation.

    In his answers Isaiah says “yes” that he understands procedures for adopting a master plan. Unfortunately he does not fully grasp the State mandated procedures. All board members and commission members and planning staff need to read and comprehend the MPEA and MZEA State Statutes regarding procedures for protecting the public input into the process. We deserve better in Peninsula Twp.

    Please seriously consider a change to our township leadership. Thank you.
    Curt Peterson
    Peninsula Twp

  3. Curt I agree with you. I watched the planning commission meeting on you tube. As usual two citizens presented comments with what I thought were good suggestions. There was no reaction or discussion from the planning commission members. They then proceeded to vote to pass the master plan onward.

    now as to his reply to this question let’s take a close look.

    Will you follow the zoning ordinance as written, or will you make exceptions where convenient?

    My dogged refusal to make exceptions to the zoning ordinance for certain members of the community has made me substantially less popular in some quarters since I took over as Supervisor.

    Of course he neglects to mention his utter disregard to the ordinance with regard to signs. He posted a larger than acceptable sign on his truck at center rd. Meanwhile Dave Sanger two years in a row cited or told the lavender farm owners on Carroll road they could not have their tiny little sign there,
    So not only was that favortism in enforcement against the one but not against Isiah by Dave but the township then voted a moratorium on sign enforcement so Isiah could have his truck and signage. For the record the township never did this before Isiah put his sign there and many of us had our signs confiscated by Dave or stickered. Where was his dogged refusal to make exceptions when it came to his own actions. How many times did members of the board drive down center and see that truck there for the tree years it was there. So perception is not good on this. I do think the sign ordinance moratorium is helpful to the farmers. But wouldn’t it be better to just write a new ordinance for harvest time. And while the township is at it, I think they should put an end to Dave serving as both a trustee and an ordinance enforcement officer. He never has recused himself from voting on ordinances he would be called upon to enforce. obviously he only enforces them against non supervisors .In addition, being one of the “bosses” of the enforcement officer and also sitting on the board with others who have a duty to oversee the employees of the township, how can we expect them to move against their co trustee if he does something wrong. Also he certainly is not going to find anything wrong with his own actions.
    When it does come time to vote keep this in mind- not once have any of the people up for reelection ever said anything about this conflict. The appearance is not good on anyone not just Dave.

    • Louis, as I have repeatedly explained to you, I voluntarily complied with the sign ordinance within 48 hours when Dave made me aware of the violation. If a 48 hour sign violation is the most substantial criticism you can level at me—and you have for over a year now—I’ll take it, but let’s just remind the public that the supervisor candidate whose sign you have in your yard operated an illegal short term rental out of his primary residence for over a year, has numerous unresolved zoning violations that he apparently had no intention of fixing, and has an unpaid fine with the circuit court that has been outstanding for over a year. We all make mistakes, but apparently only some of us take responsibility for fixing them.

    • Respectfully Martha, I value the dissemination of factual information above strict adherence to decorum. I have watched Mr. Santucci and Mr. Peterson knowingly spread falsehoods on this and other forums for years, and as one of the central figures in the disinformation that they are spreading, I believe that it is incumbent upon me to set the record straight.

  4. Isaiah is learning to be a good politician. While there are many statements that Isaiah made that were factually wrong I will leave them to others to point out. I would like to take issue with his statements regarding how the township interacts with the community. First, the locked doors policy is wrong. Putting it on the sheriff is a cop out. I also live in Meridian Township which has more crazies than here and no doors are locked. I hope whoever is elected changes this policy. We should not be afraid of our constituents and if you are carry a firearm to protect yourself.

    Second, the meetings and citizen input is a farce. I have heard hundreds of citizens make remarks at Board meetings. It is the rare occurrence where any comments at odds with the Board are given respect that they deserve. It is also very rare for the Board to vote anything but 7-0 on any issue. Not only is the vote 7-0 but there is also little to know public board discussion on issues of importance to all of us. This is more like Iran than the US.

    Most citizens do not have the time or interest to go to or watch board meetings but from the feedback I get from my pick your own cherry operation I know there is a concern about how this Township operates under the current Board’s leadership.

    • Marc, please point out the statements in my responses that you believe to be factually inaccurate. Unlike your cadre and the candidates who you support, I want to make sure that I am being honest, and I am open to being held accountable for my mistakes and for taking the initiative to fix them.

      To your criticisms:

      First, your suggestion is that we ignore that advice of law enforcement and arm our staff as an alternative? Is that correct? While this is a well-worn talking point, I am not aware of any private or public sector manager who would actually find such a policy to be advisable.

      Second, our board adheres to basically the same public comment process as every other municipality in the state as I’m sure that you are aware. You, your brother and Peterson continually attacking the board for maintaining the same SOP for comment as other public boards is disingenuous. You accuse us of violating the Open Meetings Act in the second part of this bullet—do you have any evidence to support this assertion? In what ways is Peninsula Township more like Iran than the US?

  5. OK Isiah I will answer your questions. As to what you said which is factually inaccurate number 1 you said the following: and to seek to resolve the policy grievances of the wineries in a way that does not expose the Township and its taxpayers to unbounded legal risk in the way that previous ordinances did. This may require the Township to take a firm stance on some issues—much of the current dispute is about whether the Township had a right to negotiate certain compromises with the wineries, and to hold them to certain limitations that they themselves had agreed to.

    Further on you said the following: I was on the Township Board during the WOMP litigation, and I believe that the decisions handed down shortly before the trial show the excellent ROI of our investment in vigorously defending the ordinance.

    If Township insurance does not cover all the damages claimed by the wineries in the winery lawsuit, how do you feel about OMP residents having to personally pay for those damages?

    As a resident and taxpayer, I would be furious if I had to pay damages to wineries who are disputing rules that they themselves participated in writing before I was a taxpayer in the township.

    The truth is the wineries did not agree to the limitations. They were forced to accept them as a precondition of obtaining a SUP. You know this because the Judge said that that was the case. As to whether or not you got a good ROI on your defense of the ordinance remains to be seen. I saw the original document where the first winery approached the Board with its request for changes and it was much better than what is likely to happen after this case is finished. Also while I do not know specifically what was in the agreement between the wineries and the Township that was rejected by the Township I firmly believe it was better than what you will get from the courts. However, we will not know that until the court’s final ruling and unless the two parties make public the proposed agreement.

    As to the working hours going back to five days a week. Township employees are well paid with salary, health benefits, and retirement benefits. A comparison with employees from other township would be useful to making your argument.

    As to my comment on employees packing heat, it was a sarcastic comment. However, as ridiculous as you think it is, it is not as ridiculous as locking the doors and the message to the community that sends.
    Comparing this Board to Iran and not the US was wrong. I should have compared it to Communist China. First, you all vote in lockstep with little to no discussion. Second, over the past 6 years several Board members quit while serving their term. They were replaced by the existing board members just like what happens in China. Did you look for people who would challenge you or people who thought the same as you? Their votes and comments answer those questions.

    As to the three minute time for comments. First, while I would like some give and take, I understand your point. However, when the board has its own discussion after the comment period, I would like to see a recognition that the commenters were heard and if you or other board members did not agree state why. Back before this board was elected I remember board meetings where people were allowed to have a back and forth when issues were being discussed. Maybe if the Board undertook fewer controversial issues, there would be fewer people trying to comment and more time for those who want to comment.

    I am glad you take the time to respond to others on line as it gives all a chance to not only make their voices heard but to get your opinion as well.

  6. Isiah
    so you only do things because other communities do it. Well others do not lock their door as Marc pointed out. Just one example. Since you are so quick to point out either your lawyer told you to do or not do something or other towns don’t do it that shows me a sheep follower not a true leader. What’s wrong with allowing more than 3 minutes to hear from citizens. There is no law against it. I have also asked you as an alternative to hold a town meeting once in awhile which you have declined. It just shows me you are not interested in hearing from folks who have views for or against an issue.
    Now to the issue of the truck etc. That truck was out there the first year for more than 48 hours and last year as well while the lavender farm people were cited by Dave. In any event the point is you are critical of Kelly for not following ordinances and you were guilty of the same.
    I support the truck and larger signs etc. I am jut pointing out that you received favorable treatment and there is no getting around that. Do you expect anyone to believe that if you did not have a business on gray road that the sign ordinance moratorium would have been put in place.
    Maybe ask the farmers who had their signs confiscated or stickered over they years. You could have easily proposed that a sign ordinance moratorium be out in place all the years you did not have a business there and you were on the board and a supervisor. Instead you stood by and let Dave sticker and browbeat others to remove their signs. Then all of a sudden out comes your truck and things begin to change.
    Finally, why is it that you do nothing with regard to the issue of Dave being both a trustee and enforcement officer. Dave being both a trustee and an enforcement officer is just plain wrong especially when he does not recuse himself from voting on ordinances he is called upon to enforce.
    Perception is important and the whole board is complicit in this being allowed to continue. Is it the case of washing each others hands. You allow my truck until someone forces the issue and I will not raise the obvious problem with you being both a trustee and an enforcement officer.

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