When I saw the envelope with Lakewood Village President Erin Smith’s name and office on it and no return address, I was surprised.
Still, I live in Lakewood, I figured she might be writing the community about the SportsPlex about which I have severe qualms. So far, no written explanation of what is planned has been mailed to residents, although the winter newsletter was in the mail when I went to the early December board meeting to inquire how the village could afford to subsidize the developer to the tune of a million dollars.
Lakewood residents have good reason to be leery when a village board gets big ideas that cost money.
After all, I and other Lakewood residents ended up paying hundreds of dollars per year to pay off the Red Tail Golf Course bonds that the village board had promised me, former village Trustee Roger Reid and attorney Jim Bishop the golf course would never “cost me a dime.” (Lakewood residents will still be paying for those bonds this year because the golf course does not make enough money to pay for operating expenses and its “mortgage.”)
When I opened the envelope, it was information about the proposed Route 47 and 176 sports complex development.
But not how it would affect Lakewood residents.
Rather, it was about the village president’s support of McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler’s re-election.
Village President Smith bases her endorsement on her interaction with Koehler on SportsPlex matters:
“He has provided his support as we meet with the Illinois Department of Transportation, along with state and federal legislators regarding this strategic development.
“We have a long way to go before we’re ready to approve development at this intersection, and I am confident that Ken Koehler will support our efforts every step of the way.”
Smith goes on to point out that Koehler knows
“the importance of intergovernmental
agreements and cooperation,”
but last Wednesday night at the Young Republican’s 1776 candidates’ forum, Koehler opponent Ellen Brady Mueller took the county board to task for not requiring development on Crystal Lake’s watershed to meet the standards of Crystal Lake’s Watershed Ordinance.
In the proposed 2030 Plan, which Smith praises in the endorsement letter, the county does not propose to let Crystal Lake’s well-researched lake watershed protection rules to take precedent.
So, when Smith praises Koehler for his protection of “open space, groundwater and historic areas,” I must admit the groundwater protection part so far seems to have missed the Crystal Lake watershed, the protection of which is so important to the 420 homes in my Country Club Additions subdivision (located between the lake and the Crystal Lake Country Club).
I figure if one is going to promise to protect groundwater, one should start where one lives and that’s Crystal Lake in Koehler’s case.
The Crystal Lake area has half the 24 county board members representing parts of it. Districts 2, 3 and 5 ought to be watching out for the interests of Crystal Lake.
So, when you see one of those 12 county board members, ask them why the 2030 Plan ignores the protection of Crystal Lake.
And, as I read the map, it appears that Smith lives in District 5, rather than Koehler’s District 2.
The letter from Smith does not say who paid for it. When I called her, she verified that she wrote the letter, but, when asked if she paid for it, said
“I did not.”
The problem for whoever mailed it, if that “whoever” is a political action committee, is that state election disclosure law says it has “to be identified by the payor.”