Lakewood Trustee Jason McMahon Calls Out Village President Paul Serwatka

From Lakewood Village Trustee Jason McMahon:

Lakewood Residents Intentionally Misled

Paul Serwatka intentionally misled Lakewood residents by stating that Jason McMahon and developer Lou Tenore have a “grossly improper” relationship.  Paul Serwatka knows the truth and the phone records provided show proof.  I was the person that informed Paul Serwatka of Mr. Tenore’s voicemail in an effort to be completely transparent.

Paul Serwatka stated:  “Worthy of your attention – Last week I was made aware of the fact that Lou Tenore, one of the principles of The Sportsplex has been in contact with one of our village trustees, Jason McMahon. While the exact scope of this contact in not known, it is arguably, grossly improper that a developer would not first confer with the village president before contacting a trustee on a matter such as this – and the fact that trustee McMahon, specifically, was contacted, I find even more suspect.”

– Paul D. Serwatka, Village of Lakewood President

Paul Serwatka used his position as President to announce this in a public meeting.

He went further, using his title as President to disseminate this information in his newsletter, on Facebook and a blog post to inflict as much damage to my reputation as possible.

Only I, Shannon Andrews and Paul Serwatka knew of Mr. Tenore’s call.

However, somehow, I was accused of conspiring with Mr. Tenore on the McHenry County Blog by pseudonym S. Prichard in yet another attempt to assail my character.

PICTURE 1:  June 1, 2017 at 3:06 PM – Developer Lou Tenore left a voicemail message on my home phone which is the number posted on the Village website.  When I arrived home and listened to the message, I immediately felt uncomfortable and placed a call to Interim Village Manager, Shannon Andrews.

PICTURE 2:  June 1, 2017 at 6:05 PM – I immediately called Interim Village Manager, Shannon Andrews, on her mobile phone.  She did not answer.

PICTURE 2:  June 1, 2017 at 6:24 PM – Ms. Andrews returned my call.  We spoke for approximately 13 minutes.  I asked why Mr. Tenore was calling me instead of speaking with her and Paul Serwatka.  Ms. Andrews explained, Mr. Tenore had called the Village Hall stating there were developments he wished to discuss.  Ms. Andrews explained she felt uncomfortable with the timing of the call from Mr. Tenore, given the upcoming TIF vote, and requested he contact the President and each of the Trustees as she did not want to have an appearance of bias one way or the other.  I informed Ms. Andrews I was going to call Paul Serwatka to be sure he was aware Mr. Tenore had called me.

PICTURE 3:  June 1, 2017 at 6:38 PM – I called Paul Serwatka.  The call was answered; however, I believe it was an accident because he did not speak.

PICTURE 3: June 1, 2017 at 6:39 PM – I again tried Paul Serwatka on his mobile phone.  This time his voicemail answered and I left a message.

PICTURE 3: June 1, 2017 at 7:59 PM – Paul Serwatka returned my call.  We spoke for approximately 48 minutes.  We discussed the TIF, Mr. Tenore’s call and that I would be out of town for the TIF meeting.  Paul assured me he was aware Mr. Tenore was calling Trustees and that he himself had received a call from Mr. Tenore.  I explained to Paul Serwtka I would not be returning Mr. Tenore’s call.  He said he understood.  I also requested the TIF meeting be postponed until I could be present. Paul declined.

I am a resident, the same as all of you.  I was honest and upfront with Paul Serwatka regarding a phone call I had received.  Instead of treating me with respect, Paul Serwatka used me as a pawn for his own political gain.  Lakewood deserves better.


Lakewood Trustee Jason McMahon Calls Out Village President Paul Serwatka — 16 Comments

  1. This may be the case but it also clearly shows that a developer of a project who stood to be granted millions in TIF taxpayer dollars felt comfortable calling trustees and the Vlg Pres. as he most likely did when the old gang sat at the helm. And that folks, IS grossly improper.

    Good thing we got the new board.

    Sorry if the New Vlg Pres. felt he couldn’t trust you.

    Right or wrong about that, you were brought in by Erin Smith, the vlg Pres. that was not trusted.

    Perhaps you were collateral damage of a changing political climate in Lakewood.

    If you were on the up and up, which you very well could be, then that is a shame.

    Maybe you are/were guilty of nothing but association to a shady character, who wanted millions of taxpayer dollars to go to another shady character and they were accustomed to things like having meetings out of the public eye.

    Lakewood does deserve better (Better than Smith and her ilk and at least we have that now.)

  2. This McMahon guy has some issues, namely, a reading disability for one.

    The comment he quotes Serwatka stating is about this Tenore fellow’s contacting a trustee being improper, which I would agree it is.

    Serwatka said nothing about an “improper relationship”.

    I don’t see anything “misleading” in Serwatka’s statement.

    And what exactly are these excerpts of a phone record supposed to prove?

    This doesn’t prove the number or extent of contacts or phone calls and they certainly don’t prove anything about the content of any conversations.

    The more this guy talks, the more ridiculous he sounds.

    Serwatka and the new board are doing nothing but great things for Lakewood.

    This McMahon would do Lakewood well to join the effort or get it out​ of the way.

    This ridiculous and most unnecessary obstructionist behavior only impedes good things happening for Lakewood.

  3. Camp Lake,

    The developer called the Village Manager with his updates first.

    After the Turnberry CC debacle, she thought it best to have him call the President and Trustees to keep everything out in the open.

    I called Paul Serwatka specifically to prevent this situation and instead he used it against me.

  4. Paul (Patrick McHenry)

    As a a trustee you railed against the Village Staff and Board for not keeping you in the loop. Now as President, when Trustees are kept in the loop, it is improper? Pick a side.

    It is laughable you try to split words to defend the accusation leveled by Paul Serwatka. In fact, Paul Serwatka took it a step further in an open Board meeting, as the President of Lakewood, accusing me of meeting with Lou Tenore; which he knew was not true. Give it a listen.

    The phone records prove I called you immediately after receiving the voicemail from Mr. Tenore. I know you are leery because Erin appointed me. My intention was to be upfront with you. Instead you used it against me.

    How can I be “onboard” when you won’t even return a June 22, 2017 email requesting a copy of the written Police Department plan you spoke of in your press release? I guarantee if the shoe was on the other foot, 700 Lakewood residents would have received an email about a hidden agenda.

  5. Jason, you are absolutely correct in your desire to not have your character impugned without specific evidence.

    This is why elected officials are titled “Honorable” and should be presumed as such until a preponderance of specific evidence proves otherwise.

    Paul should publicly apologize for your offense to move past it.

    This said the issue which gave rise to these back and forths is one of the top issues Lakewood voters swept Paul and his team into office to dismantle.

    When you are a local official in an elected seat and you fence sit on a hot button issue with the majority of the electorate sure of their position please expect to get dragged on that fence a bit(this may cause chafing).

    It’ll all be okay if we can separate the issues from the people through respect.

    You both are representing what you believe to be right.

    Make sure, Jason, you are clearer on where you stand and people will, and should, respect you for it.

  6. McMahon: Refocus on what’s important.

    In 5 days, nobody will give a hoot about this alleged ‘transgression’ …… Politics ain’t beanbag …. get some skin grafts at Presbyterian St. Lukes so your hide will be better toughened.

  7. In a best case scenario for McMahon, this is a classic example of the “Boy who cried wolf”…

    In a more likely scenario, this is yet another lie, like so many others he has made publicly, such as:

    His headline reporting that dissolving the TIF will mean a “12% property tax increase to Lakewood residents”.

    His assurance that “no future board will EVER allow residential development within the TIF dist”.

    That Serwatka “is usurping Illinois statute and Lakewood ordinances” by recommending appointment of a new police chief.

    That Serwatka is “not authorized to make this appointment”, etc

    McMahon was appointed by Smith for the sole purpose of being an obstructionist. McMahon has accepted this role and continues to make good on his commitment to do so.

    Serve the residents, Jason!

    Not Erin Smith!

    And no Jason, I am not Paul.

  8. Thank you Priest. I try to stay on topic, not attack anyone personally and will certainly work to better inform residents where I stand. I am always happy to speak with anyone. Feel free to contact me.

    As you can see, S.Prichard continues to assail my character.

    This person is either Paul Serwatka or someone doing his bidding.

    There were only 3 people that knew Lou Tenore left me a voicemail: me, the Village Manger and Paul Serwatka.

    Yet somehow S.Prichard was “in the know” and promptly accused me of conspiring with Mr. Tenore.

    It is extremely difficult to work with people intent on destroying your character for political gain.

    I can’t even get a copy of the NEW written plan Paul Serwatka announced for our Police Department and I have been asking since June 22, 2017.

    How, as a Trustee, should I make an informed decision regarding a new Police Chief when the Village President will not share information?

    If this had happened to Paul Serwatka, it would have been a conspiracy.

    Instead, I am labeled as an obstructionist.

  9. Jason,

    Let’s be clear.

    You are now, by virtue of your acceptance of this public position, a whole new creature which you clearly are trying to wrap your head around.

    Whatever roles people have in life you have a few more now for which you, and many local new political leaders, are ill prepared or trained to inhabit.

    In the public role as Trustee you are owed the respect of space to speak and represent your constituency with no question of your personal honor unless or until unequivocal proof of your dishonor is proven.

    In your role as a political creature(now) you must make clear your positions or face the consequence of fence sitting.

    There will always be people unhappy with your positions so you must learn how to handle this without personalizing or equivocating to the point of being perceived to be milquetoast.

    Personally you’d best be confident and satisfied or public life will exacerbate your weaknesses, prey upon them and rip you apart.

    Your desire to have an evidentiary hearing over who a commenter on a blog is makes you appear weak and insecure rather than your desired outcome of outing a detractor.

    Stop it.

    Paul owes you a public apology because he too is in a public position which has made him the head of the table and if you feel your honor has been publicly impugned then it should be publicly restored by the elected leader.

    This does not make either of you right, just equal.

    As far as a Policing plan, this was not the topic of the article and any issue you have with another policy position or failure politically makes you look like a child tattling rather than the watchdog of an out of control elected official. (I’d guess, since Paul is neither the Chief nor an expert in policing he’s awaiting the advice of the new Chief and he jumped the gun in giving a time frame to bring forth a plan as he too is inexperienced politically.)

    You seem to desire the role of watchdog/counterweight to the new group in power.

    You just lack sophistication in your approach.

    Politics is 3D Chess on multiple boards and is difficult to play.

    Take your time. Be focused. Air out select issues on the blog, in session and at folks doors picking the right tools for each.

    Both you and Paul need to take a breath to realize your respective roles and the appropriate behavior in each role.

    You’ll both get there.

    Just remember, “The public hates a hypocrite and we’re all hypocrites.”

  10. The TIF meeting referred to in the article was the June 13, 2017 regular board meeting.

    The meeting was audio recorded by the village in mp3 format.

    That June 13, 2017 mp3 audio recording is posted in the “2017 Minutes” section of the Village website.

    The Village Ordinance Number 2017-18 dissolving the TIF is also posted in the “2017 Minutes” section of the Village website.

    The June 13, 2017 board meeting minutes should soon be posted in the “2017 Minutes” section of the Village website.

    Those meeting minutes were scheduled to be approved at tonight’s board meeting, and are thus also found in the June 27, 2017 Board Meeting entry in the “2017 Agendas & Packet Materials” section of the Village website.

    “2017 Minutes” and “2017 Agendas & Packet Materials” can be accessed as follows: > Government > Agendas & Minutes

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