Lakewood Police Chief Retiring, New Deputy Village Manager

Lakewood Village President Erin Smith’s Spring letter:

From the President

Erin Smith

Erin Smith

Dear Neighbors:

As I write this article, it is a beautiful and sunny day in the Village of Lakewood. But the bitterly cold weather remains and is a reminder that the long winter season has not yet ended.

While I know that many of our residents have been frustrated by damaged mailboxes and snow piled at the end of driveways and in cul-de-sacs, please know that we are not alone as residents throughout the area face these same challenges.

During one of the most daunting winter seasons of the past few decades, our Public Works crew has worked tirelessly and with limited resources (manpower and otherwise) to keep our streets safe and passable. If you see one of these employees during the course of the day, please consider extending a “thank you” as they are truly the unsung heroes of municipal government.


While it doesn’t seem possible, the reality is that spring is (hopefully) just around the corner. Spring is a wonderful season for new beginnings, and nowhere is that more evident than within our staff.

After more than thirty-nine years of exemplary law enforcement service, including ten years as Chief of Police in the Village of Lakewood, Chief Howell has announced his retirement effective May 16, 2014.

On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, we want to thank Chief Howell for the fiscal oversight and professionalism that he has brought to the Lakewood Police Department. His leadership will be missed. A recruitment is underway and we plan to have a new Chief of Police in place prior to Chief Howell’s retirement.

As many of you know, our Public Works Director, Paul Ruscko, left last summer to accept the challenge of working in a larger community. With his departure, the staff and Board of Trustees discussed how to most effectively fill our organizational needs at this time.

It was agreed that the position of Deputy Village Manager, with direct oversight of the Public Works Department, provides the most flexibility for our organization.

The response to the recruitment was strong, and I am pleased to announce that Shannon Andrews has accepted the position of Deputy Village Manager with the Village of Lakewood. Shannon brings ten years of municipal experience as Assistant Village Manger at Lake in the Hills to this position. We know that Shannon will help us move a number of strategic initiatives forward. She began her duties on February 28, and I hope that you will join me in welcoming her to our community.


The single most important function of elected officials is fiduciary oversight, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Therefore, I could not be more pleased to report that Standard & Poor’s recently reaffirmed the Village of Lakewood’s long-term AAA Bond Rating.

Within its rationale, Standard & Poor’s states the following:

  • Lakewood’s economy is strong;
  • the Village’s budgetary flexibility is very strong and the budgetary performance is strong;
  • and management conditions are strong with good financial practices.

This achievement is important to the Village of Lakewood for several reasons, the most important of which is it will lower the borrowing costs of any future debt obligations.

Staff is in the midst of preparing the budget for Fiscal Year 2014 – 2015 (which begins on May 1).

As in the past, we are committed to providing critical infrastructure improvements in the most cost effective manner possible and within a balanced budget.

At a recent State of the Community Luncheon, Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley presented a table that compares the property tax rates of municipalities in McHenry County.

As it shows, the Village of Lakewood has the second lowest property tax rate in the area (only the City of Crystal Lake is lower). This is a remarkable feat, especially given the disparity in commercial businesses between the Village of Lakewood and other communities.

Municipal tax rates for taxes paid in 2012.

Municipal tax rates for taxes paid in 2012 i would presume.

RedTail Golf Club

A dedicated group of residents has been working over the winter months to develop a formal business plan for RedTail Golf Club. The plan will have three primary components:

  • strategies for increasing average revenue per round,
  • strategies for decreasing costs, and
  • creation of a plan for funding capital repairs and improvements.

The plan is nearly complete and will be presented to the Board of Trustees within the next month or so. Thank you to Trustee Gene Furey for leading this effort.


As the national economy continues to improve, we have seen a definite increase in residential building. And we continue to believe that construction of the new hospital in Huntley (which is supposed to break ground as soon as weather permits) provides an excellent opportunity to market our community to employees of the new facility.

The Village of Lakewood has also been supportive of the effort by the Crystal Lake Park District to purchase property at the southern intersection of RedTail Drive and Ackman Road for the eventual construction of a recreation center. The development of the site in this manner will bring activity to the area and help support existing businesses and, hopefully, spur interest from new businesses.

Location of the Ackmann Road property the Crystal Lake Park District seeks to purchase for a swimming pool site.

Location of the Ackmann Road property the Crystal Lake Park District seeks to purchase for a swimming pool site.

As always, I encourage you to contact me or any of our officials with questions regarding any of the projects highlighted in the newsletter or that you might read about elsewhere.

Village President


Lakewood Police Chief Retiring, New Deputy Village Manager — 28 Comments

  1. Lakewood is too large.

    He’s qualified for a Holiday Hills or town of similar size.

  2. Police Chiefs are usually the laziest and most vindictive men in a city.

    Linder was the perfect example of a do nothing thug.

    Why is who the Police Chief even news.

  3. And those that complain the most about the police…?

    Perhaps the same who are most in need of policing?

    Gotta love the “haters” they are so predictable and so well-informed.

  4. I always thought well of Chief Howell….

    I grew up with the Stoddards related to the last 2 chiefs and know they were top notch…

    I wish the best for Chief Howell and I will miss him.

    Lakewood has had a tradition of selecting very qualified and honorable police chiefs…

    I look forward to meeting the successor.

    Good luck Chief Howell!

  5. Truthful, SOME police officers deserve great respect and honor.

    Some are vindictive, lazy slugs.

    Crystal Lake was recently led by the bad ones.

    They destroyed morale in the department and they conspired with the MCSO in a failed attempt to destroy the SA and other honorable citizens.

    They failed and they are a disgrace.

    Simply wearing the badge isn’t enough, Truthful.

  6. CLM… FYI “Usually” does not mean the same thing as “some” Your words. They are not interchangeable.

    What’s this conspiracy between the MCSO and CLPD of which you speak?

    Truly, I’m in the dark on the CLPD aspect of that.

    I know of – but don’t agree on – the MCSO part of that equation.

  7. Jeff, luv ya brother but you are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY off on this one! Linder is a ….well, I won’t say. Let’s just say when he was told who was behind the car robberies in Lakewood, he did nothing.

    I gave him the names of the thieves, the car they were using, the license plate of said car, the place where the merch was being housed, and he still could not stop these punks from Hebron from gaining access to the unlocked cars parked in the driveways of Lakewood residents homes.

    Yea, this is a fact!!! Your village idiot Blondie new all about it as well and never fired the POS.

    Anybody notice yet all the retirements from local Sheriff, to local cops, to FBI agents in charge of policing McHenry County, to a US Attorney, to a Federal Judge.

    WOW, the sheep need to wake up.

    Good riddance Linder!

  8. PS. Now hurry up MIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz Smith, call Skinner on the phone to have my comment removed.

    Cal, are you going to bend again to Smith’s demands?

  9. Excuse me. Above should read Chief Howell.

    Don’t know Linder.

  10. Good riddance to the police chief!

    We moved from Lakewood since the police would not deal with a child predator living across the street.

    Apparently, it’s perfectly ok for a man in his 40’s to crawl on the floor under a chair that a 10 year old girl is sitting in and proceed to lick her leg.

    Sad but true!

  11. Interesting comment from Really? Funny thing, the man that was helping the punks from Hebron who were stealing from the local Lakewood Residents as I have outlined above, was a convicted felon living in Lakewood.

    I even had surveillance photos of the motorcycle AND car the punks were using on their heists. They were staying at the convicted felons house immediately prior to their crime.

    Howell joined Nygren in November of 2008 falsely trashing my “Investigative Instincts.” Of course that was to help Lantz win the 2008 coroners race. Guess she could not win on her own.

    Well, that was then and the readers of this blog and my former blog, “Dirty Keith vs. Dirty Harry” are fully aware of the TRUTH.

    I wonder how Andy and his supporters are liking local bloggers “Investigate Instincts” now?

    Sad thing is, I really don’t believe Andrew Zinke was a bad guy at all. He was spun around by the best spinners in the game and had no choice but to become just like the others.

    Mr. Zinke I am sure does not recognize the fact that his losing the recent Sheriff’s race will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I just hope it’s not to late for him.

  12. Thank you Mr. Bachmann for once again, letting the residents of McHenry County know what has gone on and will continue, unless the people wake up.

  13. “Truthful”, you seem sincerely interested in the truth while still being defensive of the CLPD. You’re the perfect test study.

    It seems that you at least realized that the MCSO was involved in a conspiracy to attack, defame, destroy the States Attorney. In so agreeing, you then acknowledge that the MCSO willfully wasted taxpayers dollars on a political witch hunt that had the PRIMARY purpose to destroy Nyrgren’s political enemies.

    This action is not only despicable, wasteful, and abhorrent, it is UN-AMERICAN to the core. You seem to at least agree that the facts unequivocally acknowledge these facts as true. Nygren has his office attack Bianchi, gets a court jester idiot judge like Gordon Graham to approve a “special prosecutor”, they hire loser and failing lawyers who are willing to follow the political plan, and the witch hunt begins. This has been established as true, as you even acknowledge.

    Any rational individual looking at the FACTS recognize this.

    So where is the CLPD involved? Well, Linder is the do-nothing dolt. He let’s his deputy Lowery run the show. Lowery is of course the close under-Sheriff to Nygren who got him that double-dipping job and so Lowery is willing to play along.

    Who are the co-defendents in the Bianchi cases? Why Crystal Lake residents who are political foes of Nygren: Salgado, Bianchi, McCleary, and Dr. Salvi. They CREATE phony cases to suggest Bianchi “fixes” cases and thus help the defendents. This is all THROUGH THE CLPD. The shame “cases” cannot even exist without the conspiring CLPD. This political witch hunt can’t take place without the CLPD being actively involved. In this Blog alone, Zinke had emails confirming this involvement.

    Lies, withholding of evidence, releasing Grand Jury Testimony….. ALL involving the CLPD….all with the blessings of Lowery and Linder. And, all grossly ILLEGAL, all INTENTIONAL, and all PLANNED with the MCSO attack on Bianchi.

    Is the CLPD interested in the truth? No. Do they expect to win cases in the courts? NO. They want to DESTROY the people’s lives in the press. The PRESS is complicit as well, otherwise the cash strapped newspapers don’t get press releases from the police departments.

    Do I have proof??? Look at the emails from the MCSO and the CLPD; additionally, the emails from the CLPD and the newspapers. It’s all been presented here and elsewhere.

    These are not disputed FACTS, “Truthful”, these are established TRUTHS. This is reality. Wake up. The men with badges in the CLPD ARE the BAD GUYS. It seems that you’re a defender of the CLPD. If you TRULY were, you’d investigate that corrupt office and help indict those officers who repeatedly broke the law.

    It seems the new Chief has cleaned things up; but that may only be a result of Linder retiring and Lowery leaving.

    Sickening. Eric Holder must be proud of them, however.

  14. Jeff Thorsen, “really sad news” . . . may you never find yourself on the receiving end of the corruption.

    For those that have been there, the idea of justice, was ignored, my sympathy and prayers to those who were victimized.

    Enough is Enough, time to Clean Up McHenry County!!!

  15. Thorsen is friends with Linder and Lowery.

    That’s why, despite running alongside Prim, Thorsen got crushed while Prim won.

    Thorsen was too close to the bad guys in the CLPD.

  16. CLM is one of the rising lunatic stars. What are your initials for? Certifiable Lunatic Material?

    Create phony cases, frame doctors, policemen, prosecutors? And to think they got away with it. Nobody has been arrested in this “plot”

    Consprcies are so much fun. Tin Foil dave raves on about he was beated down by “them” who refused to act on his incredible evidence. I never realized that Lakewood was such a power house. Dave lost to Lantz due to this :plot” LMAO! The point spread was 60 to 40. If not for them ignoring Dave an him crying about it in the blogs, it would have been 65% to 35%. Dave picked up some sympathy votes from the people who feel sorry for him.

    You take Truthfulls words and twist them. Read what T said you loon. Truthfull KNEW of the allegation about MCSO but said he didn’t agree. Now you say that he relaized they were involved in a conspircy. And he defneds CLPD because he asks you to explain what you meant by the conspircy they were invloved in. YOu are just to much, Nut jobs!

    I suppose if gets run out of Crystal Lake again, you’ll accuse every person living there of being involved in theplot. Afteral there’s obviously a connection. They live in the same town and MIGHT know him.


  17. Bottom line is this;

    If you were a victim of the Lakewood thefts, you can point your finger at Howell and Smith.

    Smith read about what I reported right here on this blog going back to 2009.

    Mizzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Smith, why are you President of Lakewood?

    It’s because nobody else wants the job, so I’m told.

  18. The boys at the CLPD have a long history of bad behavior…

    I personally have many stories..

    We will leave it to the Feds to take care of it in their own way.

  19. We didn’t want to move, but since we were told by “the powers that be” that we were unable to secure an order of protection keeping the “neighbor” away from our daughter, we felt we had no choice.

    Apprently, you can not get an order of protection from someone unless they are a relative or someone you have dated.

    I’m not sure if this is state wide or just good old McHenry county.

    When comfronted the “neighbor” stated that he wasn’t licking her leg, he was biting it.

    Still not good enough for the Lakewood PD to do anything about this.

  20. CLM, please read what I said about CLPD and the “Conspiracy” again.

    You’re doing more than just twisting my words, you’re mangling them.

    That’s the problem with attempting to engage in reasoned discourse in these forums…

    Even with my words right in front of you, you have to try and spin it your way and hope that nobody looks up the page and sees how off base you are.

    What I said was, “Truly, I’m in the dark on the CLPD aspect of that. I know of – but don’t agree on – the MCSO part of that equation.”

    I asked a question and now I’m “defensive of the CLPD”?


    I said that I was aware of the conspiracy angle, but did not agree with it and you say, “…you at least realized that the MCSO was involved in a conspiracy to attack, defame…”

    I suggest that you go back to fourth grade and take a remedial reading course.

    Your comprehension skills would seem indicate that would be a great investment for your time rather than posting here.

  21. Linder and Lowery were up to their eyeballs in trying to take Bianchi down with the Salvi angle of the investigation.

    Linder should have been booted out of CLPD long before he was

  22. The decision by Larry Howell to retire is excellent and long overdue news.

    In the 10 years Howell has been in Lakewood after a long undistinguished career in Lake in the Hills, he has worked an average of 3-4 hours per day while spending most of his time at LifeTime Fitness; he consistently altered crime statistics to misrepresent issues in Lakewood; he has attended multiple yearly conferences, some in foregin countries, which were nothing more than paid vacations; and has been a total embarassment for the community.

    The next time he sees in inside of a squad car will be the first time.

    All for a yearly salary in excess of $100,000.00.

    Now it is up to President Peterson and President Smith to pick his successor.

    Good luck with that.

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