Incumbent Lakewood Trustee Carl Davis Sends Letter

Carl Davis

Carl Davis

With this letter from Carl Davis all of the candidates for Lakewood Village Trustee have send information to voters of the approximately 4,000 person town.

There are three incumbents on the ballot:

  • Carl Davis
  • Ken Santowski
  • Gary Sexson

Trying to upset the apple cart is write-in candidate Paul Serwatka.

Here is the Davis campaign missive:

The letter from Lakewood Trustee Carl Davis.

The letter from Lakewood Trustee Carl Davis.

You can read Serwatka’s criticism of Davis and Sexson here.


Incumbent Lakewood Trustee Carl Davis Sends Letter — 6 Comments

  1. What a snake.

    Carl Davis knows how he would vote on the Sportsplex, but he’s refusing to say because he knows his vote will be unpopular.

    Actually, he’s not even a snake because snakes have backbones.

  2. Dear Carl:

    I will repeat here what I wrote above to Gary Sexson: I have discerned a pattern in the campaign against Paul Serwatka.

    First, accuse Paul of “misinformation”, but never say exactly what he has gotten wrong, never actually give any facts.

    Second, claim the SportsPlex is dead, so there’s no reason to vote for Paul — as if the SportsPlex were the only issue in this campaign, not how the TIF was created or your support for it and the SportsPlex.

    Third, claim you don’t actually support the SportsPlex.

    All of these assertions are false.

    Paul has run an issues based campaign.

    He opposes the TIF, he opposes the way the TIF was created, and he opposes the SportsPlex.

    He opposes raising our property taxes by the maximum amount permitted by law, year after year.

    You, on the other hand, in your letter accuse Paul of a “negative campaign”.

    Then you say he is “uninformed” — twice!

    You say he is “prone to making uninformed decisions based solely on emotion”.

    You write that Paul’s campaign is “based on the premise that rational, intelligent voters don’t show up at the polls”, insulting not only Paul, but also the VOTERS!

    You say his entire campaign is based on “attacking incumbents and spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt”.

    You argue that the fact that he is running as a write-in shows he lacked forethought and commitment.

    Then you try to create a phony war between people near RedTail and the rest of the Village.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    YOU are the one engaged in negative campaigning.

    Paul has run an issues oriented campaign and has put forth facts.

    He is running as a write-in specifically because this giant TIF issue came up, magically, shortly after the window for filing closed.

    And I don’t care WHERE he lives — and I live in the old part of Lakewood.

    As for those facts Paul supposedly has wrong, you write “the misinformation is so far from the truth that it is difficult to even form a rebuttal.

    What a crock.

    If Paul’s arguments are that bad it should be easy for you to list them one by one, cite the “misinformation” Paul put forth, and then show the facts that rebut him.

    You didn’t because you can’t.

    It is YOUR campaign that is negative and based on innuendo and fear with zero evidence.

    Let’s start with the TIF.

    I will repeat here much of what I wrote to Gary Sexson, but it applies to you as well.

    If you can find fault with anything I say here, please, respond, in writing, with facts.

    If you can’t, then please concede the points.

    TIFs were created to help blighted areas where there is strong evidence no development will occur without a TIF.

    The reasons for what the legislature intended to be high statutory barriers are

    (1) to make sure taxes are not taken away from other local governments unnecessarily; and

    (2) to make sure favored businesses don’t get sweetheart subsidies.

    In the case of the TIF that YOU voted for, taxes that would otherwise go to the school district and to other local governments will be locked up for at least 23 years.

    If, in ten years, development would occur at 47 & 176 without a TIF, THAT IS 13 YEARS OF TAXES THE SCHOOLS WILL NOT GET.

    If, in five years, development would occur at 47 & 176 without a TIF, THAT IS 18 YEARS OF TAXES THE SCHOOLS WILL NOT GET.

    Can you really say, with a straight face, that you are CONFIDENT that no development will occur at that intersection without a $66 million subsidy ($130 million with interest) for 23 years?

    Of course not!

    Heck, your fellow trustee Gene Furey himself said publicly and in the presence of witnesses that you all know development is coming down 47 towards 176.

    But YOU voted to lock that money away from the schools anyway.

    You voted for a lie.

    That is terrible public policy.

    But YOU don’t care, because you think the TIF might create a little extra revenue for the Village government.

    Screw the schools out of as much as $100 million in property taxes because it might — MIGHT — result in a couple million more dollars in sales taxes for the Village government?

    YOU voted for THAT.

    Then there is the method by which the TIF was created.

    As noted above, TIFs are for blighted areas.

    So what did YOU vote to do?

    YOU voted to declare virgin, undeveloped land AND a beautiful golf course “blighted”.

    Is it blighted?

    Absolutely not!

    But YOU don’t care — as long as you can find a lawyer willing to go along with YOUR declaration.

    And, as noted above, TIFs are supposed to be used only where it can be proven development will not occur without a TIF.

    So YOU voted to hire a firm to give the opinion YOU wanted.

    When I asked how may TIFs the firm had reviewed, the answer from the Village was, “We don’t know.”

    When I asked what percentage of TIFs the firm had reviewed they approved, the answer from the Village was,

    “We don’t know.”

    When I asked if the firm had any proof to support any positive opinion they had ever given, the answer from the Village was,

    “We don’t know”.

    Don’t know?

    You didn’t WANT to know.

    And the answers were: 50, 50, and “No”.

    The firm reviewed 50 TIF districts, it approved every single district it was paid to approve, and it has NEVER done a study to prove the TIFs resulted in growth that would not have occurred anyway.

    But YOU didn’t care.

    As long as you had a bought-and-paid-for opinion that would satisfy an attorney, that was good enough for you.

    When I presented the board with THREE DIFFERENT INDEPENDENT STUDIES showing that Illinois TIFs do NOT create growth beyond what would have occurred anyway, the board did nothing to respond.

    They didn’t dispute studies – they ignored them.

    YOU ignored them.

    So did the preponderance of the evidence show that a TIF was necessary and that the TIF area was blighted?

    Absolutely not!

    But YOU voted for it anyway.

    The process for creating the Lakewood TIF district smells.

    Those are FACTS.

    That is NOT “negative campaigning”.

    That is NOT “misinformation”.

    It is telling people facts about the issues and decisions YOU made.

    And, as for the SportsPlex, YOU and your colleagues were all in favor of it at every meeting the Village had, including the two “informational” meetings.

    But now you say you aren’t sure and that we should just trust you to make the right decision when all the facts are in.

    Well, there are sufficient facts about the SportsPlex.

    All of the facts you need to make a decision about the SportsPlex are well known:

    * The principals have tried and failed for five years to get this project going.

    * The principals have zero equity in the project — not one dime of their own money.

    * The principals have a track record of business failures.

    * Two U.S. senators declared the project one of the top 100 boondoggles in the country!

    * The business concept is a cross between Spikes, the failed indoor sports complex, and Lippold Park, which will be two miles down the road.

    * The business plan is that teams of kids are going to fly into Chicago and then traipse out to Lakewood every weekend for tournaments.

    That is ludicrous on the face of it. But especially ludicrous when you consider two other facts:

    * The number of children in this country is going down every year. We have more people in their 40s than we have kids between zero and ten years!

    * The participation rate of children in sports is declining every year, and the subsidy is for 23 years.

    * And it is for these reasons that the country is littered with similar projects that have failed and other competing projects just like the SportsPlex.

    Yet despite all this evidence, even now you won’t actually say that you are AGAINST the SportsPlex, just that we should just trust you to make the right decision, which you will do shortly after the election, when it’s too late for the voters to do anything about it.

    Based on your history, I would never trust you with such decisions.

    I, as a voter, think I have plenty of evidence to make a decision about the SportsPlex and about you.

    TIFs are bad public policy, the way this TIF was created was a horrendous abuse of the law, the worst kind of Cook County-style politics, and the SportsPlex was a highly risky project from the beginning, unworthy of ANY tax subsidy.

    Carl, the problem with being on the board for so long is that you have come to identify with it instead of with the people.

    But, Carl, there is a difference between the COMMUNITY that is Lakewood and the GOVERNMENT of Lakewood.

    You are committed to making the government of Lakewood as big as possible, to raising our property taxes by the maximum each year, to grabbing taxes from our schools, while at the same time giving tax subsidies to any weak business that comes along — anything that will increase the Village government’s revenue.

    You don’t think the community of Lakewood is “special”, you think the GOVERNMENT of Lakewood is “special”, and a bigger government is better.

    And that is why I will NOT be wasting my vote on you.

    I will write in Paul Serwatka, who has conducted an issues-oriented campaign.

    * Paul does not confuse a bigger village of Lakewood government with a better community of Lakewood.

    * Paul is committed to NOT raising our property taxes by the maximum every year.

    * Paul is committed to a clean process for passing legislation in this Village.

    * Paul recognizes that something that is bad for our schools is NOT good for the COMMUNITY of Lakewood, even if it puts money in the Village government’s coffers.

  3. Thank you, Mr. Wilson for saying everything so many of us would say, and more!

    There have never been this many write-ins in a local race before in McHenry County according to the clerks office.

    What does this tell you!?

    This is a referendum on incumbents, the state of this county, and the dishonesty we’re witnessing among politicians who are also supposed to be our neighbors.

    I’m pulling for just about every one of the write-ins!

    These people write letters pleading for us to vote for them.

    Why don’t they just do the right thing!?

    If they did, there would be no issues and there wouldn’t be so many write-in candidates.

    Mr. Serwatka, please get in touch with me.

    I’d like to volunteer for your campaign all day Monday thru to end of voting on Tuesday!

    CAPA and VotersInAction have my contact info.

  4. Steve, Tha k you for all of the informative and correct information.

  5. Carl,

    Your letter is such an obvious attempt to manipulate the people of Lakewood that those that read it should be insulted.

    Insulted that you think so little of them that you think they can be fooled by your note.

    It is a meaningful step towards transparency though, as I’m sure everyone is able to see right through it.

    Do yourself and the people of Lakewood a favor, vote for Paul Serwatka.

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