Lakewood Village Trustee writes his monthly update below:
Village Board Update from March 8th, 2011
The first board meeting of March 2011 was preceded by a budget workshop for fiscal year 2011-2012.
As you all know we are in the 4th year of a 90 year recession.
At least that is what it feels like.
Taxes go up; prices go up.
Yet it feels like we are always one step behind in our paycheck.
Even now more than ever we need “calgon to take us away”.
For those who are too young please Google “calgon”.
Even though it looks like the village may actually have a surplus proposed in the budget don’t be fooled into thinking it will last.
One of the single biggest reasons for the possible surplus is that we won’t be paying the full cost of fire protection this coming budget year because that is the way it was structured.
Less cost in the first year and then increases in the coming years.
If we take the “real” cost of fire service then most likely we would have a deficit budget if not at least a balanced budget.
While there were a few items that I might have wanted further discussion about; it did not seem appropriate to argue against them in the line items. I think I will just wait and see if those items need to be funded in the future.
Strangely enough the one item that did come up for discussion was the amount budgeted for replacing the signage upon entry into the village.
Sign on North Avenue in front of the Lakewood Village hall.
The parks and recreation committee asked for about a billion dollars (actually it was a lot less) to replace the signs letting people know they were in Lakewood.
They also came up with a plan to add signs in certain strategic points along our newly formed borders. Yes, we need to replace the signs.
The question is “when and for how much?”
Sign on Lakewood Road just north of Ackman Road.
A discussion ensued about increasing that amount so that more signs could be replaced and/or new ones installed.
One argument was that prospective developers and residents would see the signs and want to move here.
I am not so sure about that side of the argument.
Will potential investors in Lakewood care more about the signs or how much it costs to build here?
The sign at village hall is definitely on it last leg (or post) and needs to go away.
The question is will that sign make a difference in the decision process?
I am not sure, but we need to start making improvements in Lakewood; even to its signs.
Some may say $6500 is a lot for a sign while others think it is not enough. I believe the committee’s recommendation was $6500. Let’s look for a “sign” later his year.
With the budgets being the hot topics right now there is not much going on inside the village right now.
New Lakewood water tower's silhouette can now be seen next to the Turnberry Country Clubhouse.
If you look in the distance you can see the Turnberry water tower replacement going (and growing) up in the shadow of the original one.
Yes, the new one will dwarf the old one.
There was talk about painting the new water tower to resemble a golf ball and tee but that was deemed not worth the expense (and possibly might not be pleasing to the eye).
Oh yes and the infamous sports complex seems to be headed nowhere currently.
As you may have read in the NW Herald I was called by their reporter Brett Rowland.
Yes I would love to see “some” type of sports complex built on that site.
Part of the proposed McHenry County SportsPlex.
Based on recent history I cannot see it being the same one that was proposed since investors failed to bring their buckets of money.
Only time will tell.
We will just have to see what the courts and of course, Mr. Swanson decides to do.
Yes, I would love to get going on something at that intersection that would generate sales tax for Lakewood and get people to stop in Lakewood for any reason.
We now have
- 4 golf courses,
- 2 “nurseries” (I know they are more than that),
- a restaurant,
- dog groomer, and
- karate studio.
I am sure I forgot someone, so I am sorry.
Yes, we have some reasons to stop in Lakewood.
So, hopefully “someone” will build something, somewhere along that Route 47 corridor.
As most people know I have been very involved with the McHenry County Defenders trying to get people to recycle more and waste less.
Through my involvement with them I started what I think was the first county wide polystyrene (Styrofoam) public recycling drive. For the past 15 months I have doing that collection in conjunction with the Defenders monthly recycling events in McHenry and Woodstock.
About 10 months ago, I, along with the village of Lakewood, established sites throughout the village that the public (both residents and non residents) could drop off Styrofoam anytime day or night.
This, of course, at no charge to anyone.
Recently I added 3 schools, 1 in Johnsburg, 1 in Cary and 1 in Elgin that now recycle 100% of their foam lunch trays through my collections.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you to crown me king and carry me to my throne!
Not really, I want to tell you that recycling Styrofoam is now considered to be cool.
So those who have been waiting to get on the bandwagon because recycling Styrofoam was “dorky”, you can now hold your head up high and drop off the Styrofoam at numerous sites, including my home.
So, the next time you get a box of steaks, a bottle of wine or a new TV, think about the fun you can have recycling that cool white stuff.
Think of me, think of the environment and think of the future. You will be glad you saved the planet.
Julie Richardson's sign is next to this Turnberry subdivision sign.
Lastly, the April elections are quickly approaching.
As you all know I decided to run for re-election.
During the April 5th election you have to make a choice in 2 races for the Village of Lakewood board. There are 2 people running for the 2 year term. Only 1 can be elected.
Julie Richardson and Jeff Iden are running for that seat.
The other race is between Carl Davis, Gary Sexson and Kenneth M Santowski (me). Blake Hobson has decided to withdraw from the race.
Unfortunately that means that all three candidates will be elected in this race (as long as they get at least 1 vote).
Near La Forge Lane are these yard signs for Jeff Iden and Gary Sexton II.
As you know from in the past I do not like uncontested races.
Therefore since you HAVE to go out and vote for either Jeff or Julie I am asking that you vote for the other candidates as well; as long as you like them.
If you do not like me then vote for the others.
This way I know I will have to do my job better. (I was planning to do a much better job in my 2nd term already).
As far as Jeff and Julie are concerned they are both qualified candidates.
Julie is a past president and currently occupies that seat on the board.
Jeff has been heavily involved with committees, owns his own business and has what I think is a great perspective on the economy.
But it is your choice and your right to cast your ballot as you please.
So choose wisely and carefully.
If you so desire to have one of my election signs in your front yard please send me an email and I will put one in there. I also will be sure to remove it sometime between April 5th and December 25th. Don’t you just hate it when you see election signs up months after the election? Wonder if that person won or lost?
Well I have done enough rambling for this update. I hope to see all of you at board meetings, recycling drives and at various public functions. My vodka collection is increasing due to all of the fine suggestions from you, my friends.
Spring is finally approaching and I can hardly wait for the mosquitoes to come back.
This message has been sent to you because you have asked me to email it to you. You may forward this to whomever you please.
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All my best
Kenneth M Santowski, 847-910-2985