An email from newly-elected Lakewood Village Trustee Paul Serwatka:
The Northwest Herald released an article yesterday, giving a glimpse of the battle that lies ahead.
Residents have responded, describing some board members’ responses as “obtuse,” “pig-headed” and “narcissistic”…
One thing is certain, we have a board of trustees, who seem to have forgotten their place!
As I stated, but wasn’t printed in this interview, my first objective will be to teach and/or remind board members the essential elements of a trust and the legitimate role of the trustee – which is to manage assets (government and revenues) with loyalty to, and for the benefit of, the beneficiary – THE RESIDENTS!
As typically happens in government, our current board seems to have lost sight of this (or perhaps they never truly understood it) and have adopted the philosophy that their role is to serve and expand government, at the expense of, and to the detriment of, the residents. THIS, FIRST AND FOREMOST, MUST CHANGE!
The role of the residents, in this endeavor, will be paramount. There will be times where a call-to-action will be needed. We CAN turn this around… but, as cliché as this sounds… it truly takes a village…
Below is the article:
The subheadline reads,
Lakewood trustees confident in how they’ve been voting
The headline on the jump page reads:
Smith: Village needs to do
better job communicating
Trustee Ken Santowski says he sees no reason to change the way he has been voting, but the article does not point out that he was the only one to vote against formation of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. He was the only one against the proposal.
Smith accurately notes that better communication is needed.
This was so evident when the SportsPlex was first brought up.
Although a village newsletter came out about two weeks before the hearing, no mention of the SportsPlex was made.
Even so about 120 people showed up for the approval meeting.
The second time the SportsPlex was brought forward five years later there would have been no direct notice to residents until I made the suggestion that a post card be mailed out.
To the credit of the Board, post cards were mailed out.
As a result, a lot more people showed up for the second hearing on the SportsPlex in January than showed up for the first hearing about five or six years ago.
Smith also says that there have been no updates since that hearing, “allowing misinformation to fill the void,” not attributed, but presumably a conclusion of the Village President,
She tells the NWH that there is an agreement between the SportsPlex and the village that is “still in draft form.”
While the Freedom of Information Act does allow draft documents to be kept from the public, sharing such information prior to the election might have eliminated the complaint about voters being ill-informed.
No where is it written that draft documents cannot be made public.
It is just an excuse that many governmental bodies use to keep information from the public.
This draft SportsPlex agreement could have been (and still could be) posted on the village web site.