Today a letter arrived from incumbent Village Trustee Ken Santowski.
Until over two years ago, Santowski was known for sending out an email each month telling what went on at Village Board meetings. I published most of them and wish he still were sending them. (Here’s one from June of 2011.)
In any event, with write-in Paul Serwatka’s vigorous campaign, Santowski has sent a mailing to area residents. You can see it below:
VOTE SANTOWSKI ON APRIL 7TH
To my Lakewood Neighbor from Kenneth M Santowski:
I have served on the Village Board of Lakewood for the past eight years. I am running for re-election to that position. During my past term, Lakewood has weathered the economic storm, kept reserves intact and achieved a AAA bond rating. With the efforts of the other board members and the village staff, we have kept Lakewood a financially healthy and responsible community.
I would like to continue to be a part of the Lakewood Village board. Why? I want to continue to keep Lakewood operating efficiently; this is my home, too. I believe I have accomplished this in my capacity as a Lakewood Trustee. I enjoy working with residents and listening to their concerns. I like meeting with builders, business owners, other city officials and village employees and listening to what they have to say.
Not all decisions are easy ones, but I believe I have taken the time to carefully examine the positive and negative impact my vote will make on the village, the environment and the residents. I vote the way I believe the residents want me to by simply asking them. While the board cannot make every resident happy all the time, I try to have professional and well thought out discussions with my fellow board members to ensure that our vote will have a positive effect upon our community.
In addition to being a Lakewood Trustee, I am the co-owner of Chicago Logistic Service, a small trucking company specializing in moving high tech medical, computer and office equipment. We also devote a part of our fleet to the windmill industry and the environment.
I am heavily involved in the recycling industry. Five years ago I began a 24 hour Styrofoam recycling program in conjunction with Lakewood that is open to all area residents (not just Lakewood) who have a desire to recycle. Two years ago I expanded the program to include the electronics recycling. With the exception of an initial investment of $2700 for a storage container (owned and paid for by the Village), these programs are provided at no cost to the residents. The programs are run completely by me. I am responsible for all labor and administrative duties. There is no involvement by Lakewood village employees.
Lakewood is actively pursuing commercial development for Route 47. If it’s not a sports complex then it will be some other viable commercial entity that will bring much needed sales tax and infrastructure fees into the Village. In order to attract any development we need to carefully negotiate with potential developers.
We need to guarantee that any development is not now, nor ever will be, a burden to the taxpayers. I am helping lay the ground work for development along Route 47 and would like to continue that work as a I would like another four years to continue working on these projects, as well as others, so I can help ensure that they will be performed in the best interests of Lakewood and its residents. I am asking you to help re-elect me on April 7th. I believe my voting record of the past eight years in Lakewood will show you that I am willing to work as hard as you need me to. Express your voice by expressing your vote and casting a ballot for Kenneth M Santowski
If you would like to get on my email list for events, votes and other happenings throughout the village or have questions about any of my recycling programs please contact me at KennethSantowski@gmail.com
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Incumbents on the ballot besides Santowski are Carl Davis and Gary Sexson.
Ken, you voted to buy that property at 47 & 176, which is speculating in real estate with taxpayer money.
You voted for the resolution to declare virgin property and a golf course to be “blighted”.
You voted to hire a sham consultant for a sham study that said a TIF was needed.
When I asked the Board at the public meeting how many TIFs the “consultant” had done, how many they had approved, and whether they had any evidence of the accuracy of their opinions, no one on the board knew — including YOU. (The answers were 50, 50 and “No”, meaning the consultant does exactly what he’s paid for — he approves every TIF and he has no evidence to support his opinion.)
You have voted for the maximum property tax increase every year.
“Carefully negotiate with potential developers”?
You guys were ready to give $66 million in tax subsidies to get a project that is incredibly weak. T
This wasn’t Microsoft or Amazon, it’s a bunch of people who’ve failed at other businesses, who want to start a business in an industry with a terrible track record, who have zero money in their project, and who have been turned down by every other government in the area.
Ken, I don’t think that’s a factual statement.
If a viable commercial entity develops Rte 47 it should pay taxes and take its own risk.
Who will be left to pay taxes when all the county is covered in tif?
It is disgraceful when those in power abuse the privilege in order to steer OPMoney toward self-interest projects; but it is like stabbing citizens in the eye with a pencil to do it and characterize it as good governance.
I wish there was a way to ‘LIKE’ comments.
The “Vulcan Lakes” or Three Oaks Recreation’s TIF is the largest in McHenry County at $14M…..and Lakewood wants $66M!!!
Also, if they (Crystal Lake) can change the way the TIF is paid then what is our assurance that any TIF can be changed the way it’s paid?
Scary and how do we (the minimally informed taxpayer ) inform the generally naïve public?
The TIF to create Three Oaks was originally to be paid development impact fees (as reported in Northwest Herald a few weeks ago which we recommended reading online).
Now “Crystal Lake Council abandons Park District” and no impact fees have gone to the Park District – which would be used to pay the TIF.
So guess who gets stuck paying the TIF?
You guessed it, McHenry County Taxpayers!
WOW, 17 TIF’s in McHenry County and not one of them (according to NW Herald report) profitable in the last five years!!!
Susan, The SportsPlex would have paid property tax and would have paid sales tax to the village.
There is no tax abatement here.
“I like meeting with builders, business owners, other city officials and village employees and listening to what they have to say.”
as a small business owner, I made several attempts to meet with you to discuss our project, yet you refused to meet with me….
yet had no problem voting it down.
Joan, I am not sure who you are and of my “refusal” to meet with you.
I also do not recall voting down you or your business: perhaps I did.
Please, for transparency sake, respond through this blog and give me some details so I may properly respond.
The Illinois State Comptroller website has a section on Tax Increment Finance Districts.
All Property taxes paid within tif go to Lakewood city managers.
Property taxes from tif development do not go to taxing bodies which must by law be paid: schools,
County and township services, MCC, MCCD, fire and rescue, and to cover funded or unfunded liabilities or pensions.
Other People must pay for these services to be provided for free to all tif properties.
Tif properties pay all their taxes to Lakewood. Lakewood gives tif properties’ developers some or all of that money back through grants or abatements.
Mischaracterizations about ‘benign ‘ economic nature of tif are also like stabbing taxpayers in the eye with a pencil.
Tifs practice forcible taking of money from a large body of individuals for the narrow benefit of a few individuals, without much scrutiny or oversight allowed.
“Please, for transparency sake, respond through this blog and give me some details so I may properly respond.”
, for transparency sake,respond through this blog and give me some details so I may properly respondretaliate against you.
Fixed that for ya, Ken.
Thanks for the corrected (or do I say correct) use of the language.
Should rawdogger be capitalized?
Respond is the word I used.
I am still waiting on Joan to respond.