October 7, 2013
Friends, Neighbors & Readers,
We’re signing off and taking a more editorial approach to our final article. It has been our intent to retire our site once the recall effort got underway but that seems to be taking much longer to get going than we envisioned. We will leave the site up for references purposes until next year. It has been a pleasure to serve the community in this capacity and we thank everyone for their support over the last 9 months. This site did not rely on others’ information and we take responsibility for the contents. Everything posted was initiated by the editorial board, was carefully researched and represented original work. We received some fairly wild accusations about the board from time to time but chose not to publish unsubstantiated claims. If the claims are true we hope these will be used as part of the recall efforts.
For many months, we have wanted Mr. Conti (and those of his administration who remain close minded and antagonistic toward anyone who does not agree with them) to step down. We are not proponents of recalls; however, in Alamo’s instance, it appears to be the only recourse to bring sense back to the community.
We hope the electorate isn’t fooled by Mr. Conti’s slick explanations. We hope the electorate realizes that Mr. Conti and his cohorts are controlling this community as if a dictatorship was adopted in Alamo Township. We are disturbed by the number of “vanity” and “ego” projects Mr. Conti puts forth while ignoring the very infrastructure of our community. None of this could occur without the township board letting Mr. Conti have free rein. We hear individual board members complaints about this and call upon them to use their voting power to stop it. .
We find Mr. Conti’s talk to be cheap and his ego super-sized. One only needs to attend township meetings to see the true state of affairs in the township. A rudderless ship where the captain island hops, starting various projects but not completing them and moving at break neck speed as if he’s in a race. If someone holds a view other than what he (and his cronies) want or believe, they are labeled obstructionists and their alternative views or wisdom are disregarded like garbage. Mr. Conti and his cronies are arrogant, believing they know best and others’ views and wishes for the township are worthless. We call upon the board to make good on its promise to tape and make available board meetings for viewing. We call upon the board to publish the final minutes of all boards.
You have only to look at the ill-fated noise ordinance. An ordinance that, apart from the effect it would have had on the Kalamazoo Speedway, would have impacted every resident’s ability to cut their grass, use a chainsaw or a leaf blower. This ordinance blew through the planning commission in one meeting and was placed on the township board’s agenda for adoption in under 30 days. That is lunacy. Neither board (planning commission or township board) showed any understanding of what was contained in the ordinance or the ramifications of its adoption. Good government does not promote this sort of activity. Was adoption of a noise ordinance really the first order of business this board needed to tackle? We don’t think so.
Numerous policies and committees were put in place with appointments recommended by Mr. Conti. The Planning Commission was stacked with Conti cronies who, still, have not attended the intensive citizen planning training so that they know what they are doing. Instead they choose to hire consultants rather than do the job for which they were appointed. The Planning Commission needs a makeover and it needs one now. The township board needs to wake up. Form only committees that are necessary. Do its own work. Appoint individuals to the boards and committees that ARE necessary with individuals who are representative of the whole community, not solely people who reside in Mr. Conti’s back pocket.
People joke that the park advisory committee is running the township but this IS what is happening. Mr. Conti is inappropriately embedded in the park. He attends meetings to ensure control. He promotes private entities that are not part of township government. One of the trustees promised to do an analysis of the ordinance setting up the park committee…..where is this?
We call for a full review of the park advisory committee. This committee was given a variety of tasks to complete and we don’t see that they were done. Instead they have chosen, with the Mr. Conti’s support, to place equipment in the park without township board approval and seek township reimbursement for projects for which other funding was to be acquired (e.g., foot bridge). We ask where the township 4-wheeler is being kept. The February 22, 2011 park minutes report Dick Bennett (who for some reason serves on the park committee, planning commission and board of review plus acts as a ranger) stating the 4-wheeler should be kept on township property. We agree. A review of township board minutes and park minutes reveals a LONG list of directions to the park committee that have been ignored. Why isn’t the township board holding the advisory committee accountable? Why are most of the park committee minutes missing on the website?
Who is sponsoring the car show in the park? Why don’t the township board minutes show this was approved to occur? We believe if the park committee is a sponsor (as Mr. Conti stated at a public township board meeting) that funds raised through the donations belong to the township. If another entity is sponsoring then donations may go as the entity directs; however, the township should expect a portion for the use of its facilities. There are financial rules the township must follow but it turns a blind eye instead. We have a total lack of understanding for why the park name had to be changed so rapidly as if there was a crisis to be resolved. In contrast, resolving storm damage has spanned numerous meetings and is still not resolved. Where are the township’s priorities?
Mr. Conti has been the subject of two police reports bringing shame to Alamo. First for harassing the township treasurer and now for an accusation that he briefly exhibited behavior with a sexual connotation following the last board meeting. No charges will be filed as the police concluded no criminal offenses had taken place. And because even scum deserves fair reporting, we would like to correct a widespread rumor that Mr. Conti was removed from the township hall in a squad car. He was not.
We hope this site is used as a reference for a new administration to pick up the voluminous numbers of activities that need to be finished, rectified or determinations made about continuing. We hope the township board starts doing its own work using public comment appropriately. We understand that it is ultimately the officials we elect who must make the final decisions. We hope the township board revisits all the committees that have been set up. The township board was elected to work on behalf of the township, not pass off work to committees so that they can be puppets to the administration, or worse, useless. Alamo needs a planning commission comprised of members with diverse backgrounds and views. One that is willing to put the time in to both obtain critical training and do its own work. The current commission has arrogantly gone about its work under the “leadership” of a bully making up their own rules (noise ordinance, non-conforming use, that boarding isn’t part of kennel operations, inappropriate contacts with applicants for permits and assuming policing roles that are not part of their charge). Tasks the planning commission was to complete (modification to the sign ordinance and completion of the vital land use plan) remain undone.
The new supervisor needs to show initiative while being aware that she or he is not a dictator and is part of a 5-member board with the board determining its direction and tasks. The Conti cart (loaded with his cronies) has been ahead of the horse since the day this administration took office.
The November 2012 election must be some sort of cosmic joke. The majority of residents hoped for a better Alamo. What we got was poor planning leading to costly and unnecessary special board meetings, upheaval, chaos, police reports, lack of contracts despite policies instituted by this board demanding them, lack of board approval for the terms of contract personnel (consultant, attorney, etc.), institution of various initiatives without a proper hearing and a caste system where if you are part of the cult you are heard and if you aren’t, good luck and be prepared for backstabbing and a total lack of respect in public settings. Mr. Conti’s antics are now legendary, but also watch the clerk and Potter-Williams for the same disdain and lack of respect. Among other things, we are disappointed that the clerk says one thing privately and then does not vote her convictions.
We believe the township would be better served without Mr. Conti, Ms. Potter-Williams and Ms. Endres and hope they step down and let the remaining board members appoint replacements who have the township’s best interests at heart. There are fair minded individuals who have experience in township government who are willing to act as the public servants Alamo Township residents deserve. They are more than capable of serving for the good of the township until a special election can elect permanent members to the board. Whether existing board members are ousted through a recall or through current officials stepping down, we call on everyone in the township to GET INVOLVED. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Support only men and woman who have EXPERIENCE in township government. Support only men and women who have clearly demonstrated an ability to be open minded, to embrace differences of opinion and show respect. OUR FUTURES DEPEND UPON IT. Please don’t settle for less.
August 2013 (4 articles)
August 12, 2013 (Newsletter and August Township Board Meeting Agenda/Packet)
August 11, 2013 (Editorial - Trees & Forests)
August 6, 2013 (Speedway)
August 5, 2013 (Another Month - Same Old Stuff)
July 2013 (1 article)
July 5, 2013 (Inquiring Minds)
June 2013 (4 articles)
June 8, 2013 (Response to Mailbag)
June 4, 2013 (Guest Editorial)
June 3, 2013 (Not Walking the Talk)
June 2, 2013 (Zoning Board of Appeals)
May 21, 2013 (Township Board Meeting of 05-13-2013 Part III)May 21, 2013 (Township Board Meeting of 05-13-2013 Part II)May 20, 2013 (Township Board Meeting of 05-13-2013 Part I)May 15, 2013 (Special Edition – Lawn Service Bid)May 13, 2013 (Township Board Meeting Agendas)
April 2013 (6 articles)
February 2013 (3 articles)
February 26, 2013 (Academy Awards)
February 22, 2013 (Noise Ordinance and Township Board Violations)
February 11, 2013 (Change is Hard)
January 2013 (1 article)
January 22, 2013 (Lack of Transparency)