As if the Republican Primary Elections were not enough to try to keep track of, now Lakewood Village Trustee and only person on the ballot running for Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka sends the following email to constituents:
Friends and Neighbors:
I have been “biting my tongue” for weeks now, eager to provide an explanation, and truthful information, as to the ugly and rather nefarious political campaign scheme being carried out – by many of the names you already know – who not only oppose my candidacy to be our next village president, and not only oppose the three “Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government” trustee candidates running to be elected this April 4th, but ultimately – they very truly FEAR our team’s entire effort to bring REAL transparency and REAL accountability to our village government.
Please Do NOT Lose Sight of That!
Regrettably, many Lakewood residents (and even some outside of Lakewood) have been encountered by these ugly and nefarious tactics, including the dissemination of an “anonymous” packet of almost entirely false and intentionally
Bringing Everyone Up to Speed
I certainly hope that, by now, it is common knowledge that I am running to be our next Lakewood village president, and that I am running along with a team of three trustee candidate:
- Phil Stephen
- Richard Ritchie and
- Amy Fues Odom
in what is being widely regarded as the most important election in decades, for our village.
Of great significance to the “desperate attempt to maintain power and control” that I speak of, is the unmistakable, unquestionable fact that I, and each member of our team, pledge to bring absolute transparency and absolute accountability to our village board! – Together, this team WILL return our village government back to the residents of Lakewood!
Needless to say, those who currently “control” our village and have, for more than a decade, used it for self-serving agendas, KNOW that we mean business! And they are very, very nervous!
Collectively, our team is officially known as the “The Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government Team” and each of us will appear on the ballot as such, at the upcoming April 4th election!
(For newer readers who may not know, you can learn much more of our efforts, past and present, at our website: www.
We will also, soon, be adding an “ISSUES” page to our website that will address much critical information, some of which I will touch on in this newsletter.)
Now, let’s get down to business…
Some Quite Intriguing Recent Events
– On December 14, 2016 10-year incumbent trustee Ken Santowski filed candidacy papers to run for the office of village president – Ken Santowski was to be President Erin Smith’s chosen successor.
– Then, on December 27th 2016, trustee Ken Santowski withdrew his candidacy and was no longer a candidate for the office of village president
– Also, on December 27th 2016, trustee Ken Santowski tendered his resignation as a village trustee – (in doing this, he abandoned the office he was elected to serve, with more than two years remaining in his term.)
(His resignation also caused the remaining 2+years of his term to be filled and served, NOT by someone elected by the residents of Lakewood, but rather by someone single-handedly selected by President Erin Smith.)
But things get even more strange…
President Erin Smith has since told numerous residents, and some board members, that the reason for Ken Santowski’s withdrawal of candidacy and resigning as trustee, was that he and his family received “death threats” if he remained in the race.
While Ken Santowski does not reside with his his wife and family, the homes they have lived in, separately, for three or more years, are both within the village of Lakewood. I mention this only because Lakewood Police Dept. records indicate that no police reports of any such threats have been filed by Ken Santowski or any members of his family.
And, even stranger still…
On January 23, 2017, despite the purported death threats that we are to believe prompted Ken Santowski to withdraw his village president candidacy and resign from his elected post as trustee, Ken Santowski re-entered his bid for village president and filed to run as a write-in candidate.
On February 3rd Ken Santowski’s Write-In Candidacy filing was published and made publicly known by the county clerk.
Then, on February 8th “Anonymous” packets found their way to the driveways of many residents and were subsequently mailed to more homes, as well as local businesses, professional organizations that I belong to (outside of Lakewood), a social mom’s-club that my wife attends (outside of Lakewood) even my children’s pre-school. (also outside of Lakewood)
I have also received word from the Northwest Herald, informing me that this packet was delivered to them in early February. I was told that they have since begun researching police records, public records and FOIA documents. They informed me that they will be reporting on this once they have finished conducting their research.
I can only say that if the Northwest Herald earnestly and diligently researches these records and investigates this scheme, then a tremendous burden will be lifted from my shoulders, and Lakewood residents will know, unquestionably – not only the truth about my personal history – but even more importantly, residents will see, first hand, the lengths that those currently in power (as well as those who seek to protect them) are willing to go to protect what they see as their fiefdom, and their personal slush-fund of our Lakewood tax dollars.
And, while I have been advised to, not yet speak out publicly, I felt the need to at least get the ball rolling.
I will talk of this in greater detail as we move forward, but I will say this, here and now:
- I do NOT have any type of criminal/arrest record, whatsoever!
- I DO own my Lakewood home! And, I own it mortgage-free! (though I do frequently use my home as collateral for other real estate acquisitions & renovations, as I have done for 20 years, having acquired a real estate portfolio that includes a number of single-family rental homes, condominiums, and 3 to 10 unit apartment buildings)
- I absolutely DO pay Real Estate taxes on my Lakewood home.
In light of some of the questions that I have received regarding this “anonymous” packet, I have taken the time to do the following:
- I made the 3-hour round-trip drive to 3510 South Michigan Ave, in Chicago to order a criminal history report from Chicago Police Dept.
- I have submitted to fingerprinting and a criminal History Background check with the Illinois State Police.
- I have requested a criminal history background check from Lakewood Chief of Police, Leigh Rawson
- I have dug through my files from the purchase/closing on my home as well as paid property tax records.
- I have requested the cancelled/paid property tax check from my bank, for the most recent two property tax installments.
I will continue with Part 2 very soon.