Lakewood Trustee Bryan Younge Offers to Be Temporary COA

Bryan Younge

During this past Tuesday’s meeting of the Lakewood Village Board, both Village President Phil Stephan and Trustee Doug Ulrich criticized Trustee Bryan Younge for wanting Chief Administrative Officer Jeannine Smith’s job.

It is clear that Younge thinks Smith should be replaced, but the implication from the criticism of Younge was that he was seeking to replace Smith to get the salary.

Now comes information from a May 6th email from Younge that sheds light on Younge’s “ambitions.”


  1. Tender resignations of Phil, Jeannine and Doug at the meeting. Documents will be prepared and present, needing only signature. Cite risk of FOIA. If they refuse, exit this roadmap and move to next plan. If yes, continue to (2). 
  2. Appoint acting president. I’d nominate either of you two, Brian or Ryan. All qualified. 
  3. Appoint acting CAO. I could step in unless there is a more solid full-time option. No pay. [Emphasis added.] Other trustees could help with lifting until we get though COVID and are able to refill position. Jan and Sue indicated the Village could run effectively for a little while without any CAO, and much longer with an able warm body there. 
  4. Appoint sixth trustee at the meeting. Many good options. I believe newly appointed president could immediately nominate this trustee and the board could approve. I can think of five good options. 
  5. Slide up to $75k to interim president if the replacement is fully employed and would be offset, good through next election or until special election. Pay would then go back to statutory amount.  
  6. Use $150k saved from CAO forbearance to fund interim president (if such pay is needed), to save one officer position, and to extend cost of living raises. Find money immediately earmarked for nonessential silo paint jobs to save other officer position. 
  7. Start police fund for later needs. Address immediate needs with operating funds, like make repairs to equipment, replace Village hall police door, and replace one patrol vehicle which is badly needed. 
  8. Assign simple committee heads, starting with culture liaison. Followed by social (organize byob seasonal parties for morale), and also philanthropy (good for resident children’s college apps). Nothing overbearing or complex. Could be trustees. 
  9. Issue a formal apology to employees for poor treatment. 

Thoughts? Lots of moving parts but the parts fit together. Smoron would need oxygen though. 


Lakewood Trustee Bryan Younge Offers to Be Temporary COA — 9 Comments

  1. So in Ulrich’s prepared statement, talking for Stephan, at last meeeting, making it appear Younge’s main intent in all of this was that he “wanted” Smith’s job, looks like a lie.

    At least Younge had a plan or ideas.

    The rest of the board appears to be having a difficult time.

  2. Here we have a Trustee who thinks he is smarter than the rest and does not believe he needs to waste time with achieving buy-in, but rather that he can dictate outcomes.

    Not the skill set most would look for in building a successful team.

    Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, however, facts, protocol, and the law do matter.

    What happened to due process, proper investigation and the truth?

    If there is mistreatment or harassment within any work group, it should be officially reported, first hand and through the proper process, not through a shoddy survey that was orchestrated unilaterally by one trustee.

    This loose canon, vigilante approach is actually a disservice to anyone who may have been harassed!

    These types of accusations need to be taken seriously and handled professionally in order to have any chance of holding people accountable for their actions and to protect the village from legal exposure!

    Anyone who has even the most basic corporate experience should know this.

    Instead, one trustee has single handedly made a mockery of our Community.

    According to Trustee Younge’s statement above, after being informed that his meeting request was in violation of the Public Meetings Act, he replied that his son (not he) had sent the invite (to select trustees, not all) to meet privately.

    Did his son also draft the meeting appointment and populate the invitee section with email addresses of the select trustees to be invited?

    How did his son know which trustees to invite and which to exclude?

    Maybe Trustee Younge’s intentions were good, maybe they weren’t, but there is no doubt that his actions have been unprofessional at best and possibly in violation of the law, putting our village at risk of law suits and dividing our community.

    The personal attacks between members of our community are childish, embarrassing, and unproductive.

    We should all take a breath and look objectively and rationally at the facts as they become available and try to see the forrest though the trees.

    It’s easy to jump to conclusions and take sides, it’s much harder to control emotions, put personal differences aside and make an educated decision.

  3. Wasn’t there a period where Lakewood went several months without a CAO/administrator and Serwatka stepped up and kept things running along with village staff.

    As I recall there were those who thought Lakewood would implode but as we saw it came out better than ever.

    Well until now maybe.

  4. I see Mike is trying to do damage control on every Lakewood article.

    Copying and pasting.

    After reading this, which mentions “saving” officers, appears the village is laying off two police officers?

    Are the residents aware of this?

    Didnt the village just approve a new mower and a sewer vac vehicle and made recent hires in other village departments.

    Shouldnt all nonessential expenditures and any hires be delayed during this time especially if they are forced lay off police employees.

    Perhaps its personal vendettas towards the police department?

  5. I have been trying to figure out Trustee Younge’s angle and it all makes sense now.

    He wants the Admin job with no pay to then run for Village President with a $75k salary, which is ridiculous.

    If we are replacing our Village Admin, we need a qualified full-time salaried staff member with a Masters degree in Public Administration.

    Something is just so fishy with this guy.

    There is no way in the world I would dedicate this much time and effort to stirring up the pot in my small town with 4 kids at home, 1 with cancer (that is often mentioned) and a full-time job. Where do these people come from?

    He needs to step down.

    He should have already.

  6. LakewoodResident – The Lakewood Village President does not make $75k per year, more like $2k per year.

    Time for a new protractor to work on those “angles”!

  7. Late to this discussion but…

    LakewoodResident your knowledge about Trustee Younge is severely lacking as is your judgement.

    If his goal is to acquire a $75K salary, pray tell why he would offer to assume the role for free?

    Especially given, as you stated with such compassion, he has a full-time job, 4 children and a child with cancer.

    Of course there is no way in the world you would dedicate the time and effort Trustee Younge is, because your inflammatory comment clearly reveals you to be no where in the same league as Bryan when it comes to character.

    Why is he doing this?

    Because he is a man of utmost integrity.

    He refuses to turn his back on Village employees who are being mistreated and abused

    His reputation and character have been assaulted but he takes a licking and keeps on ticking because that is the kind of person he is.

    He will not back down to bullies who prey on other people

    He loves the village where he makes his home and chose to raise his family

    So much so that he agreed to be APPOINTED as a Trustee at the request of Phil, and he makes the offer to act as interim COA for FREE.

    To quote a famous children’s book:

    “…perhaps those woho are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who… have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find totheir own surprise that they wear it well.”

    So if you want to know, “Where do these people come from?”

    It’s a little place called “Morality.”

    More humans should get to know it.

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