Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka was unsuccessful in attempt to push two appointed Trustees off the Board and replace them with two other men.
Village Attorney Michael Smoron delivered the bad news to Serwatka before the meeting got underway, but not before the name tags of Jason McMahon and Patrick Rexroat had been removed and their names not called on the roll.
Senior Trustee Carl Davis pointed out for the record that the two uncalled Trustees were in their seats.
Smoron said that the only reasons for removal of village board members were
- conviction of a felony
- no”t being a resident
- owing the municipality money
“Am I aware of any grounds to remove any Trustee at this time?
“No,” the Village Attorney said.
“Well, I don’t know how to proceed right now,” Serwatka stated, suggesting that the board recess.
Serwatka expressed his frustration at not being able to obtain a written opinion on whether the law cited by Smoron or the one he was relying upon was superior.
“Nobody wants to put anything in writing,” Serwatka said.
He complained that “what he’s saying now is not what he said to me.”
“You liar,” yelled an audience member.
“I’ve had the same opinion and haven’t changed it,” Smoron replied.
“I’ve been through a similar [situation]. I explored [the question] with regard to another village with regards to remove a mayor [believed to be in Hebron, where he is also the Village Attorney].
Continuing in his inquiry, Serwatka asked again whether an officer who has been appointed could be removed.
“No,” Smoron replied again.
The audience applauded loudly.
“I accept that,” Serwatka said.
The Attorney suggested moving forward with the agenda items not referring to the appointment of Trustees.
Public Comment was then allowed.
Cheryl Lockwood, a regular meeting attendee, chastised those present “just when you’re having temper tantrums.
“Don’t just come when your temper is running.”
“What you did was wrong,” former Trustee and Treasurer Gene Fuery said.
“Are you leaving town?
“When are you going to resign?”
Realtor Carol Hoefer hearkened back to the RedTail Golf Club purchase:
“A lot of people didn’t like RedTail, but none of us yelled.”
Alice Burnett wondered how vehicle stickers could be eliminated and property taxes cut 10% and village services be rendered.
“I’m pretty sure we don’t want to be another Algonquin Township,” Vern Haggarty said.
George Mueller pointed out that McMahon and Rexroat disagreed with Serwatka.
“Other than disagreeing with you, what did they do?
“You’re no Kim Jong Un.”
“This isn’t Paul’s private company,” Tom Winfield added.
“If he doesn’t like you or what you do, he fires you.”
A woman noted, “You house has been totally dark for two weeks in a row.”
A support of Serwatka shouted, “He’s on vacation.”
Serwatka invited the woman to stop over that night.
Then came the show stopper.
Jessica Hawryluke, whose used the same day care center as the Serwatkas, reported the following:
“You told me the last day or pre-school [My Father’s World at Prince of Peach Lutheran Church] you were moving to Alabama.
“Your wife said you were going somewhere where there are looser laws.”
“I’m going to be moving in July,’ Serwatka revealed.
Hawryluke asked, “What are you fighting?”
“Because it’s the right thing to do,” Serwatka replied.
The Board went on to take no action of a Prevailing Wage Ordinance..
During comments by those at the dais, Rexroat said, “I want to thank the residents for coming today.
“It’s good to see Lakewood come out and support what’s right, not manipulation of the statute.
McMahon echoed his fellow appointed Trustee’s thoughts.