From Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:
Friends and Neighbors,
This is the Newsletter I’ve waited and worked 2 1/2 years to write to you!
Reporting on our June 13th village board meeting there are FOUR particular items that I am particularly excited to call to your attention.
1 – The appointment of Lakewood Resident, Patrick Rexroat to the Lakewood Board of Trustees.
As you know, my election as village president came mid-term of my 4-year term as your village trustee, causing my trustee position to become vacant.
With the advice and unanimous consent of our board, I appointed Lakewood resident, Patrick Rexroat to fill my vacated position.
Pat Rexroat has chosen to officially become part of the “Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government Team.”
What does this mean?
As with myself and every other member of our team, Pat has:
- Participated in a half-day training/workshop entitled: “Remember The Taxpayers – The REAL Guide to Being an Effective Elected Official”
- Pledged to govern according to the principles as discussed in this training
- Agreed to, and signed, a “Self-Imposed Recall Pledge” vowing to voluntarily step down from office if ever asked to do so by 60% (3/5) of Lakewood voters
- Elected to forgo his trustee salary
- Pat has also elected to (completely voluntarily) contribute his salary to The Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government Project which more directly benefits Lakewood residents. Read more about this HERE.
I have full confidence that Pat will serve our village very well.
2 – “DING DONG! – The Wicked TIF is Dead!”
The above caption was sent to me by several residents, among scores, that reached out to thank me and our new team of elected trustees, Phil Stephan, Ric Ritchie, Amy Odom and Patrick Rexroat for keeping our word and providing this critical taxpayer protection for Lakewood residents.
As anticipated, our new village board voted 4-1 to dissolve the $66 MILLION Dollar TIF Dist..
Dissolution of the TIF, also, automatically terminated the Intergovernmental Agreement with Woodstock D200 which pledged Lakewood Tax Dollars as collateral to the Woodstock school dist. in the amount of $9000 per student/per year – the cost of educating Lakewood students who may eventually reside within the boundaries of the TIF District, once homes are built in that area.
Terminating this agreement, as well as the TIF itself was a tremendous victory for Lakewood taxpayers.
Voting to dissolve the TIF were trustees, Phil Stephan, Ric Ritchie, Amy Odom and Pat Rexroat (I symbolically voted YES, as well.)
Voting against the dissolution was trustee Carl Davis.
Trustee, Jason McMahon, the single biggest, and certainly most vocal proponent for keeping this TIF alive, was absent – but Jason has undoubtedly made his advocacy for this TIF, as well as for taking on at least $7 MILLION Dollars in debt to run utilities to the intersection of Rtes 47 and 176, quite clear in multiple public emails, [McHenry County] Blog posts and social media.
At the completion of our vote to dissolve the TIF, the audience, of more than 100 residents, erupted into an applause, and I couldn’t help but smile.
Lakewood resident, Cal Skinner, also the principle behind the McHenry County Blog, was in attendance and provides a pretty detailed account of this portion of the meeting, HERE.
The Northwest Herald reports on this portion of the meeting HERE.
And, once again, I am extremely proud to have Lakewood again given STATEWIDE recognition and praise by ILLINOIS POLICY, HERE.
3 – Lakewood REFUSES Prevailing Wage Ordinance
As many know, I have spoken for sometime now, against the annual adoption of a Prevailing Wage Ordinance, and in my two previous years on the board, I have argued that our village should refuse to adopt the Prevailing Wage ordinance. Of course, my arguments were to no avail…
What is the Prevailing Wage Act?
Essentially, the prevailing wage law requires all contractors and subcontractors for works built by any public body, with public funds, to be paid the hourly rate set by the Illinois Department of Labor for that county. Imposing these wages greatly inhibits competitive bidding and typically drives village project costs up exorbitantly which takes money right out of the pockets of the taxpayers.
To be clear, I am not “anti-union” as some would try to spin it. I AM, however, vehemently anti-cronyism – and I believe “Prevailing Wage” is a very effective, very empowering tool that lends itself to the rampant corruption between upper-echelon union bosses and the corrupt, career politicians in Springfield. Prevailing Wage laws are a glowing example of the kind of bad politics that has gotten Illinois into the mess that it is in and that is causing our taxes to go through the roof!
Whether or not you agree with the above statement, it simply can not be disputed that Prevailing Wage laws serve, very intentionally, to inhibit competitive bidding on government projects and exorbitantly increases the costs of projects paid with taxpayer dollars.
And, while it is often said that not adopting a Prevailing Wage Ordinance for our village is purely symbolic because we are still forced to comply (which is true) I hold steadfast in arguing that by adopting such an ordinance, we are effectively giving Prevailing Wage laws our “stamp of approval” and indicating we are “okay” with paying such exhorbitantly high rates for government projects.
If we don’t like it – Why give it our stamp of approval?
Getting off my soap box, I am delighted to report that, this year, Lakewood has REFUSED to adopt the Prevailing Wage Ordinance!
While I had anticipated voting it down, trustee Carl Davis “one-upped me” by posing the suggestion of not even entertaining the motion at all.
At this, when I called for a “motion to approve” there was none.
No motion… No second…
Just a sort of “Sliding the trash off of our desk”… and we simply carried onto the next item on our agenda.
4 – Bringing Back The Ice Cream Man
As promised HERE, our new board voted to amend the ordinance that was upheld last year, banning the Ice Cream Man from our village.
This amendment allowed the return of the Ice Cream Man to Lakewood!
Also, as promised, I PERSONALLY put in a call to the Ice Cream Man, yesterday and invited him back into Lakewood – and we was quite delighted to be invited back!
Today, the Ice Cream Man, once again, made his way through our village.
I spotted him on Nicklaus Lane this afternoon and later, I spotted him driving through Turnberry.
“Tropical Chill Ice Cream” ( www.tropicalchillicecream.com ) is a local company based out of Spring Grove, IL.
They have 8 very attractive trucks (Blue and covered with polar bears and animals) and I am told that all drivers are local college students who have all undergone criminal background checks via Crystal Lake Police Dept.
Tropical Chill offers a variety of Ice cream products as well as Hawaiian Shaved Ice.
And for an added level of fun, you can track the Ice Cream Man via GPS from your smart phone as follows:
1. Go to your phone’s App Store
2. Download and install the “fieldlogix” app
3. Username: customer (all lower case)
4. Password: tropicalchill (one word)
5. Once you are logged in, you can see all eight Ice Cream Trucks, and if one is showing in Lakewood, you can click on an interactive map to see his exact location.
I still have much to report in the coming days, much more in the works, and many promises to fulfill, but I am thrilled to be able to report on the fulfillment of these promises, today!
I hope you are all as pleased, and as proud, of our new board of trustees as I am!