We have now reached the 24th of March, two weeks before the April 7th Lakewood Village Board election in which write-in challenger Paul Serwatka was campaigning on opposition to the SportsPlex and the recently established Tax Increment Financing District.
We pick up with an email from Village Administrator Catherine Peterson:
In an email that afternoon to Village Board members, Peterson asked,
“As we prepare for the mtg this evening, I would respectfully request that no mention be made of the sports complex.
“It is not an Agenda item, and how this message is conveyed publicly is very important in terms of our residents and future developers.
“In addition, I have not yet had the opportunity to speak with the leaders of the sports complex team.
“Ps do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding this correspondence.”
Gary Sexson, running for re-election, replied the Thursday after the meeting, March 26th:
“I spoke with President Smith last night at the MCCOG (McHenry County Council of Governments) dinner about the Sportsplex deal.
“Needless to say, I was surprised you called the vote off without reaching out to Bev [Thomas] and myself.
“I know you and Erin prefer a unified vote on many issues, but I never expected a 6-0 or 5-1 vote on this project.
“I had anticipated a 4-2 or 4-3 vote with Erin possibly casting the deciding vote.
“As you know, I have always beat the drum of economic development, and although the project has no ‘guarantees’, it is still probably a move in the right direction.
“IDOT and the intersection improvements seem to be the rate limiting factor in the equation.
“I know my schedule has been busy, but I would still like to have a discussion because the project may not be dead and/or if it is, we need to focus on what may be next at the intersection.”
“Pls know that I did not send that message lightly.
“It had been conveyed to me by several individuals that there was not enough support at the Bd level for the project to move forward. [Emphasis added.]
“Also pls know that I would gladly meet with you and/or Trustee Thomas to discuss the project at a place and time that is convenient for you.”
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