An email from Lakewood Village Trustee Ken Santowski:
My fellow Residents:
It was nice to see even a few people in attendance for this evenings board meeting.
A couple of residents had actual business with the board while 2 other residents wanted to voice their concerns about a particular situation within the village.
During the public comments section of the meeting one resident couple voiced their concerns about the restoration part of the east side sewer project.
They were concerned that as the project nears completion the contractor might not be using the best possible materials to finish the restoration. We listened to their concerns and will address them with the contractor. The resident seemed satisfied with our intent to follow through.
There were several other agenda items but one in particular was extremely positive in regards to Lakewood.
One of the parcels of land that was donated to the village on Redtail drive has an offer on it.
We voted to accept the offer since it was within the guidelines of no less than 80% of the appraised value. The offer was from a non-resident which means people are moving into Lakewood. We welcome them.
During trustee comments I replied to a request from Trustee [Paul] Serwatka that the staff changed the way he was receiving his information from the staff prior to each meeting. While the rest of the board was content with the way in which information was provided to us through Dropbox, Trustee Serwatka was not.
Almost all of the information we receive is through scanned documents and then retrieved by each individual staff member and board member through Dropbox . The way we receive this information has been adequate enough for each board member to examine, highlight, take notes on and even print out if necessary.
Trustee Serwatka did not agree and even went so far as to suggest that he was receiving different information than the rest of the board. There is one file in Dropbox that presents our agenda and all of its related material; everyone receives the exact same information. The same information that is available to the public.
His reasoning was because he could not highlight, circle or make notes to the documents provided to him on his village IPad.
Trustee [Jeff] Iden tried to offer him some assistance on how to perform those functions but Trustee Serwatka said it could not be done. Both Trustees Iden and [Carl] Davis showed him examples of how to highlight and write notes but he still insisted it could not be done.
Then Trustee Serwatka mentioned that his IPad battery was dead and that he did most of the village work on his personal computer. Trustee Iden again offered to help him figure out how to make the notes and highlight those areas that were important to him. I pointed out that while the way we receive information may not be the way he wants to receive it, it works quite well for the rest of us.
Again Trustee Iden offered to help him use the tools that were already in place on his Village owned IPad. Trustee Serwatka continued his rhetoric that the staff change the way he receives his information. Again Trustee Iden offered to help him on both his IPad and home computer; but the offer appeared to fall on deaf ears.
Once the Village has the opportunity and finances to upgrade the hardware and software all board members and staff will be asked for their opinion and input. At this time I felt there was not a strong enough argument to spend additional staff time trying to fix something that was not necessarily broken.
I do have to admit that Trustee Serwatka was correct on one point.
During the last board meeting I made a motion to pull Catherine Peterson’s bonus off the bill list because she refused it. I should have simply noted that she refused the bonus and that no other further action was needed.
However I did make a mistake in how I handled that situation.
I made a motion to pull her bonus off the bill list for the evening. Her bonus was not on the bill list that night. It was a budget item that simply would never have been dispersed. There was no need to make any motion on it.
None of the other board members caught my mistake that night and all voted on the motion; including Trustee Serwatka . I am not perfect and I did publicly apologize for making that mistake. Trustee Serwatka was not accepting of that and actually accused me of fabricating facts and trying to hide things from the public.
None of us is perfect and those who know me can attest to my integrity and honesty.
I make decisions that may be unpopular with some residents but my intent is to try and govern with the best of intentions for the entire village.
I stand behind every decision I make and if anyone wants to know why I made that decision they are welcome to call, email or visit me.
I have a vested interest in Lakewood; I pay property taxes like most of you.
My decisions affect me personally as well as professionally. Please call me on my cell anytime at 847-910-2985