Lakewood Lakewood Village Trustee Ken Santowski Gives April Report

Each month it has become the tradition for Lakewood Village Trustee Ken Santowski to give his take on what happened at village board meetings the month before.

It is something that I wish other local governmental officials would emulate.

There is no reason to believe that your constituents, local board member of every tax district, have any idea what you are doing or trying to do for them.

I invite you to use this McHenry County Blog to let people know what’s up.

After all, why should Bugs Bunny be the only one to want to know the answer to that question?

Village Board update for the Month of April 2011

Well the month started off with the April election.

What the heck were you people thinking?

Somehow 306 of you voted me in for a second term as Village Trustee.

Be careful what you vote for….you just may get it.

Ken Santowski

I will give you open and honest dialogue, voting as you request and the use of common sense judgment.

I apologize for not “campaigning” as I should have.

I decided I did not want to add to your junk mail collection from politicians.

Even though I would have used colorful paper and catchy phrases, I would have still wound up in the shredder.

I personally want to thank the 3 out of 4 people in my own home that voted for me.

I am not sure if they are telling the truth if any of them voted for me.

The April 12th meeting followed the final budget meeting for fiscal year 2011-2012.

There were only a couple of items on the agenda that we had to deal with.

One item had to deal with the village awarding a contract to Web-QA services to help promote the village. This type of local directory of goods and services will hopefully promote commercial entities, private home businesses and developers to do business within the confines of our village.

While the idea of this type of self advertising seemed like a great startup I was not happy with the terms of the contract.

If the provider failed to achieve the success it has promised I wanted the ability to cancel the agreement.

This was not the case, so I voted against awarding the contract. Do what you say, provide what you promise and we will pay you; or refund my money all or in part.

Lastly for the April 12th meeting was a motion to reject all bids for telecommunications equipment. Our 911 service is provided by a company called SEECOM.

Recently several communities including ours were involved in an application for a federal grant to upgrade some of that equipment. We won that grant and recently ask for bids.

Ken Santowski

SEECOM was in charge of requesting the bids and somehow the language used in the bid requests got confusing so that the 2 companies that placed bids were not bidding on the exact same equipment upgrades.

So, to make things fair, we rejected both bids after some public discussion with all parties involved.

We did go into executive session that night but I can’t tell you what we talked about cause it’s a secret.

The April 26th meeting was going to be the final full meeting for the current board, but unfortunately Blake Hobson was out of town.

Julie Richardson was there but apparently she won’t be there for the next meeting when the 2 new trustees, Gary Sexson and Jeff Iden, are sworn in.

It has been a definite experience working with the 2 of them and I wish them well on their next adventure. More on them next month.

There were a couple of minor issues to be discussed at the meeting.

We as aboard have decided to sell of another parcel of land that has been deemed “surplus”.

This parcel is known as 8810 Bard Road and is very near where the Bard road fire station building is.

While this property will be put up for sale, we have no timeline in mind for someone to purchase it.

It is residential property, so hopefully someone can visualize a home being built there someday. Only time will tell.

Unless I took bad notes that night I believe the sale price is $96,000 for the 1+ acre site. Tell your friends about the wonderful community you live in.

The other motion was to waive all of the bid requirements regarding the upgrade of telecommunications equipment in regards to the grant that was awarded to Lakewood and several other communities.

The motion was also to award the upgrade contract to Motorola; the preferred vendor with SEECOM.

Without boring you I will tell you this. I was not happy with the whole way this was handled.

SEECOM made some serious mistakes when they asked for bids and put the Village and this board into an awkward situation.

I felt that since all bids were previously rejected that we should start at the beginning; but once again I was told that there was not enough time to start over.

I am not sure how much time was needed to redo the process.

fter all, things happen and when someone wants the business bad enough they will commit the resources to move mountains if they have to.

But the board voted to award the contract to Motorola, thus eliminating Radicom from the process.

I did not think that was fair to them so I voted against awarding the contract to Motorola. Incidentally, Radicom’s equipment is used by LITH and they don’t seem to have a problem.

Again we went into executive session but I can’t talk about that.

On Saturday I participated in the McHenry County Earth Day celebration.

It was held at the Prairie View Education Center just west of Route 31 off Route 176. It was another beautiful day and we helped collect up all kinds of recyclable items.

It was a worthwhile event helping to keep certain hazardous and toxic materials out of the landfills thus keeping it out of our water tables.

At my request I invited newly elected congressman Joe Walsh to stop by and visit with us.

He came by for a while and we all chatted. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat it appears that he wants to do the fiscally correct thing.

Let’s hope he can accomplish some, most or all of his goals.

Lastly the new board comes online this month. There will be several major issues looking the board right in the face.

Most are public knowledge while some are still in closed door discussions.

Either way let’s hope the new board can accomplish the goals that will work best for the entire community; not just certain neighborhoods and or streets.

WE must work together to do what is best for Lakewood.

Talk to you soon

Kenneth M Santowski

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