Lakewood Intrigue

An email to constituents from Lakewood Trustee Paul Serwatka:

Serwatka looking right

Paul Serwatka

 [I am well aware that this is the longest, and perhaps most disturbing email I have ever, and hopefully will ever, send.  But, I believe it is important. I implore you to take a few minutes… 

 In truth, I contemplated not sending this out because I fear, if this degree of negativity continues much longer, I will become viewed only as the purveyor of negative news. And that is NOT at all who I am or what I am about!

I truly believe that all the negative news that seems to be in such abundance in our village, is indicative of a village board that has long lost its way, and until we come to grips with it and see it for what it actually is, we will never rise to anything better.

I have complete confidence that we can and WILL rise to something MUCH better – and very soon!


I hope you will take a few minutes to read…]
————————————————————————————

Reporting on this Tuesday’s village board meeting, I have to say that, in conjunction with our previous, June and July meetings, the behavior, actions and inactions displayed by fellow board members has been some of the most disturbing that I have ever witnessed.

A Quick Overview

The actions and inactions of board members at the last three meetings, collectively, have clearly demonstrated, at the very least, an undeniable appearance of impropriety within our village board & administration – and at worst, a collaborated lie, or a “cover-up”, by certain board members and staff.

In fact, after my calling trustee, Ken Santowski to the carpet for taking the lead on the issue I am about to discuss, Village Manager Catherine Peterson, President Smith and Trustee Ken Santowski all acknowledged having a role in the misdeeds.

Though they didn’t elaborate on their roles, nor go so far as to admitting to collaborating a cover-up or lie, Village Manager, Peterson did apologize while characterizing it as “an error,” and graciously offering to take full responsibility.  President Smith, expressed her regrets, also shared in the responsibility and characterized it as a “miscommunication” and Trustee Santowski simply smiled, and said “it was a mistake”.

I regrettably, but confidently, believe it was none of these, but in fact, something else entirely.

Trustee Gene Furey, who knowingly and intentionally corroborated these misdeeds in our July meeting, was not present at this Tuesday’s meeting.

A Little Background

For quite some time now, I have had reason to suspect that certain information was being withheld from trustees or that, perhaps, this information was being shared among other trustees and only being withheld from me. Subsequently, certain FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) requests, among other things, seemed to corroborate my suspicions.

Also, since taking office, I have received board-packets consisting of “scanned images” of documents while other trustees claim to receive actual PDF documents. The major difference – for those not familiar with PDF documents – is the “SEARCH” function which gives the ability to “search” a document for specific terms or topics.  This “search” function does not work on the scanned images.

The “search” function adds an enormous amount of transparency and functionality, particularly, when one is attempting to research thousands of pages from past board-packets or study up on a specific topic such as “TIF district” or “Sportsplex” or “village hall” or when looking for information about a particular developer or contractor.

The SEARCH function essentially takes the proverbial “needle in the hay-stack” and places it right in your hand, saving you countless hours of exhaustive searching and reading, helping tremendously to uncover long-buried information.

And, as far as village staff would be concerned, it is actually much less work and much less time consuming for them to provide the packets in this searchable PDF text format.

I have requested multiple times, over the last year, in writing, that staff provide actual PDF documents rather than scanned images. And I continue to be told, it is being worked on…

Back to July’s Meeting

All this in mind – If you recall from my July 13th email – on the morning of our July meeting, Village Manager, Catherine Peterson sent an email to all board members informing us that she wished to forgo the $4000 bonus she was secretly awarded – and instructed that “the expenditure be pulled from the payroll list for tonight’s meeting”.

Having reviewed the board-packet quite thoroughly, I did not recall seeing this bonus listed. After receiving Ms. Peterson’s email, I reviewed the packet twice more and still found no such expenditure item listed.

That evening, at our July Village Board Meeting, President Smith opened the meeting and stated that Trustee Santowski was going to make a motion to have a line item removed from the Bills List in our “Consent Agenda.”

Ken Santowski

Ken Santowski

Trustee Santowski then looked down at his packet and publicly made an official motion to have a line-item expenditure removed from our Pay roll list.  As per procedure, he then went on to cite the line and read aloud the sentences pertaining to the $4000 performance bonus expenditure to be paid to Village Manager, Catherine Peterson.

At this point, I interjected, asking “is this expenditure on our bills list?” To which Trustee Gene Furey replied: “YES”, followed by President Smith also saying: “YES” and nodding. The other board members sat silently.

Being quite perplexed, at this point, I then stated: “I have dug through this packet at least 4-times and I didn’t see this item listed anywhere!” To this, President Smith replied: “It’s there.” Followed by Gene Furey stating: “It’s listed under Payroll.” I, again, replied: “I have looked at every page, up and down” and I did not see that expenditure listed anywhere.”

At this point, I felt a little foolish, being the only member on the entire board who did not see that line-item listed in our list of bills. From there the meeting continued.

The following day, I corresponded with Ms. Peterson via email (this correspondence is omitted due to its length but is available upon request) who now claimed, in writing, that the line-item expenditure that trustee Ken Santowski cited, read aloud, and formally motioned to have stricken from the payroll, in fact, never actually existed!

Flash Forward To Our August Board Meeting

In our recent August meeting, trustee Santowski first made a public statement that he was made aware that I have made multiple requests to have our board-packets converted to a different format (as I discussed above). He went on to state that he was “happy with the packets the way they were”, he stated that he didn’t see a need to provide the packets in a different format and he, then, asked that staff not make the changes that I have been requesting.

In the course of the meeting, we switched gears a bit, and I asked for an explanation of the events that took place in the July meeting, regarding Trustee Santowski’s official motion to remove the line-item expenditure that has now been officially confirmed to have never actually existed.

Ken hesitated, looking over toward Village Manager, Peterson and President Smith.

Ms. Peterson again stated that no such line item existed and that this expenditure, in fact, did not exist on this bill list.   Ms. Peterson then apologized for “any confusion” claiming it to be “an error” and took full responsibility.

I then suggested that an “error” on her part did not explain for trustee Santowski making an actual official motion to have a specific Line-item removed from his board-packet if the line item was, in fact, NOT listed in his packet to begin with.

I emphasized that an “error” on the part of Ms. Peterson did not explain nor account for trustee Santowski looking at his packet… actually citing a specific line item (that we are now told never existed)… and even going so far as to read aloud the text of this non-existent line item, verbatim! And then, of course, making an official motion to have this content, that doesn’t exist, stricken from the record??

At this point, I again asked trustee Santowski to explain/account for this…

Erin Smith

Erin Smith

Enter, President Smith – who interjected saying this was “a miscommunication between staff, herself and Trustee Santowski.”

President Smith went on to cite the July 12th email that was sent to board members, by Ms. Peterson requesting the line item for her bonus to be stricken. President Smith explained that Ms. Peterson wasn’t aware that the item was never entered into our bills list, so there was nothing to be stricken.

Once again, I suggested that that does not explain trustee Santowski looking down at his packet… making the official motion to strike the expenditure… citing the specific line-item… and reading it aloud verbatim, when it purportedly DOES NOT EXIST!

I, once again, (much to the frustration of the board) asked trustee Santowski to explain: how, and why, he made a motion to remove content that wasn’t even there… I asked him to explain how and why he would cite a line-item that didn’t exist… I asked him to explain what he was reading, or pretending to read, when he rattled off the text of this line-item expenditure that purportedly did not even exist…

To this, trustee Santowski looked up at me, smiled, and said only: “it was a mistake.”

I have to say, I struggle to believe that any of this can be explained away as a “mistake,” a “miscommunication,” or an “error”.

I have given more than ample opportunity for board members and staff to give a plausible explanation for this, and they have not.

I have only two.

And, while I do not want to sound too abrasive or crass, I dare say that the first calls for several psychiatric evaluations and the second, a federal investigation!

I feel compelled to offer my apologies for such a long-winded and negative email. I assure you, it gives me no more pleasure to deliver this information to you, than it does for me to deal with this behavior week in-week out…

But, until residents come to grips with what is really taking place, we will never be able to get this ship back on course…

I will, however, leave you with one very positive and, I believe, very powerfulthought…

“We are in the midst of an Awakening in Lakewood… Be a Part of It!!!”

August Board Packet:

http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Board_Meeting_8-9-16.pdf

July Board Packet:

http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Board_Meeting_7-12-16(1).pdf


Comments

Lakewood Intrigue — 21 Comments

  1. [see omitted email correspondence below]

    Good Morning, Catherine,

    1. Can you direct me to where, in yesterday’s board packet, payroll is listed? Particularly the line item for your bonus that was stricken during last night’s consent agenda. As I stated at the meeting, I was not able to find this in the board packet.

    2. Regarding your email from yesterday morning, directing the board to strike your bonus from the List of Bills to be Approved in last night’s Consent Agenda – Does this mean you are waiving/not accepting the bonus altogether?

    To be clear with you, (for what it’s worth) I believe I was perfectly clear when opposing this bonus in the closed meeting, that my opposition was not necessarily a reflection on you or your work. My opposition was based foremost on the fact that the board was not able to provide any basis as to why they felt a bonus was in order, other than to say “this is what we always do” nor could they substantiate the amount of the bonus that was proposed. Furthermore, and weighing more heavily with me, was the fact the board was so intentional in keeping this bonus, and more particularly the amount of this bonus, unbeknownst to the public.

    3, After my repeated requests to have board packets sent as a PDF document vs. a scanned image, this weeks board packet was, once again, sent as a scanned image and therefore unable to be searched, highlighted,marked up, commented on, etc. I’m sure you can relate to how difficult this makes it for trustees to perform their duties diligently. It also could become cause for question as to the transparency of staff, as well as the diligence of trustees who’s job it is to comb through and make important decisions based these packages each week.

    Your help and understanding is greatly appreciated.

    Paul Serwatka

    —————————————————————————-

    Paul –

    In response to your questions, please be advised of the following:

    1. It was my understanding that the payment of a bonus would be a part of the bill list or payroll for the meeting last evening, which was the reason for sending the message to the Board of Trustees yesterday morning. When the question was asked during the meeting about where it was specifically in the packet, my follow up research this morning indicated that it had not been included. I am trying to understand the miscommunication, and I apologize to you and the entire Board of Trustees for the misunderstanding.

    1. Regarding my e mail message to the Board of Trustees yesterday, I am waiving/not accepting a bonus altogether.

    1. Providing the board packet in the format you requested is a more time consuming process than is currently used. It is also a learning process for our Village Clerk. For the meeting on July 12, she believed she was providing the information to you in the format you requested. We will continue to work with her so that the board packets are sent to you in a format that is more user friendly. Our goal is to provide said packet for the August 9 meeting.

    Regards.

    [Catherine’s Signature]

  2. Are you suggesting that President Smith and Queen Erin are one and the same?

    Is she related to King Aaron?

  3. Lakewood residents will want searchable documents if they ever need to hire a lawyer in protest of the 2015 contract requiring them to pay $9000 per student per year for Lakewood TIF low income housing.

    Lawyer’s billable hours will really add up when he has to scour through 3-4 years of documents by hand.

    (There is a way for D200 to enforce this document, and ironically the citizens of Lakewood would have ended up paying far less to just develop the annexed area the old fashioned way.)

  4. So let me get this straight. The village (allegedly) creates two sets of financials: One set goes to all the trustees except for Mr. Serwatka and a “scrubbed” set goes to only Mr. Serwatka?

    The intent of the alleged scrubbing process would seem to be to remove transactions that Mr. Serwatka might find potentially objectionable (like the $4,000 bonus), thereby heading off any potential unpleasant discussion regarding the details or rationale behind a particular line item in the report.

    If true, one has to wonder how many times this has happened in the past?

  5. Let me summarize.

    One Trustee (Ken Satowski) read something during the Tuesday, August 9, 2016 Village of Lakewood 7PM board meeting at RedTail Golf Club, 7900 Red Tail Drive, Lakewood, Illinois.

    Another Trustee, Paul Serwatka, did not have that information in his board packet.

    ++++

    Why?

    ++++

    From Trustee Serwatka

    “The following day, I corresponded with Ms. Peterson via email (this correspondence is omitted to its length but is available upon request) who now claimed, in writing, that the line-item expenditure that trustee Ken Santowski cited, read aloud, and formally motioned to have stricken from the payroll, in fact, never actually existed!”

    ++++

    From Village President Erin Smith

    “It was my understanding that the payment of a bonus would be part of the bill list or payroll for the meeting last evening, which was the reason for sending the message to the Board of Trustees yesterday morning.

    When the question was asked during the meeting about where it was specifically in the packet, my follow up research this morning indicated that it had not been included.

    I am trying to understand this miscommunication, and I apologize to you and the entire Board of Trustees for the misunderstanding.”

    ++++

    What was the source document from which Ken Santowski was reading during the meeting?

    ….”trustee Ken Santowski cited, read aloud, and formally motioned to have stricken from the payroll…”

    ++++

    Submit a FOIA request to the Village of Lakewood for all emails sent to Ken Santowski for say a two week period prior to August 9, 2016.

    ++++

    This is an example of why board meetings should be audiotaped, and better yet, videotaped.

  6. Ken Santowski is an upstanding individual.

    Any suggestion otherwise is unnecessary rhetoric.

  7. Ken Santowski can tell us what he was reading at the board meeting, where he obtained the information, and if he has any idea why Paul Serwatka did not have the same information.

  8. Let’s be more specific.

    What document was Kent Santowski reading from.

    From whom did he obtain that document?

    When did he obtain that document?

    Produce a copy of the document.

  9. One of Trustee Paul Serwatka’s complaints is he had less information about a $4,000 bonus offered to Village Manager Catherine Peterson (she did not accept the bonus) than other Village of Lakewood Trustees.

    It’s not often an employee declines a bonus.

    ++++

    There are three versions of the story in the following documents:

    – Trustee Paul Serwatka

    – Trustee Ken Santowski

    – Village Manager Catherine Peterson

    ++++

    There are two Board Meetings in the story:

    July 12, 2016 Lakewood Board Meeting, board packet available on Village of Lakewood website.

    August 9, 2016 Lakewood Board Meeting, board packet available on Village of Lakewood website.

    ++++

    There are two articles about the story on McHenry County blog to date:

    August 10, 2016 Trustee Ken Santowski post on McHenry County Blog titled Trustee Ken Santowski Tells of Lakewood Meeting.

    August 12, 2016 Trustee Paul Serwatka post on McHenry County Blog titled Lakewood Intrigue.

    ++++++

    McHenry County Blog

    August 10, 2016

    Trustee Ken Santowski Tells of Lakewood Meeting

    “During the last board meeting [July 12, 2016] I made a motion to pull [Village Manager] Catherine Peterson’s bonus off the bill list because she refused it.

    I should have simply noted that she refused the bonus and that no other further action was needed.

    However I did make a mistake in how I handled that situation.

    I made a motion to pull her bonus off the bill list for the evening.

    Her bonus was not on the bill list that night.

    It was a budget item that simply would never have been dispersed.

    There was no need to make any motion on it.

    None of the other board members caught my mistake that night and all voted on the motion; including Trustee Serwatka.”

    ++++++

    McHenry County Blog

    August 12, 2016

    Lakewood Intrigue [Trustee Serwatka’s version of the events]

    “All this in mind – If you recall from my July 13th email – on the morning of our July meeting, Village Manager, Catherine Peterson sent an email to all board members informing us that she wished to forgo the $4000 bonus she was secretly awarded – and instructed that ‘the expenditure be pulled from the payroll list for tonight’s meeting’.

    Having reviewed the board-packet quite thoroughly, I did not recall seeing this bonus listed.

    After receiving Ms. Peterson’s email, I reviewed the packet twice more and still found no such expenditure item listed.

    That evening, at our July Village Board Meeting, President Smith opened the meeting and stated that Trustee Santowski was going to make a motion to have a line item removed from the Bills List in our ‘Consent Agenda.’

    Trustee Santowski then looked down at his packet and publicly made an official motion to have a line-item expenditure removed from our Pay roll list.

    As per procedure, he then went on to cite the line and read aloud the sentences pertaining to the $4000 performance bonus expenditure to be paid to Village Manager, Catherine Peterson.

    At this point, I interjected, asking ‘is this expenditure on our bills list?’

    To which Trustee Gene Furey replied: ‘YES’, followed by President Smith also saying: YES’ and nodding.

    The other board members sat silently.

    Being quite perplexed, at this point, I then stated: ‘I have dug through this packet at least 4-times and I didn’t see this item listed anywhere!’

    To this, President Smith replied: ‘It’s there.’

    Followed by Gene Furey stating: ‘It’s listed under Payroll.’

    I, again, replied: ‘I have looked at every page, up and down” and I did not see that expenditure listed anywhere.’

    At this point, I felt a little foolish, being the only member on the entire board who did not see that line-item listed in our list of bills.

    From there the meeting continued.

    The following day, I corresponded with Ms. Peterson via email (this correspondence is omitted due to its length but is available upon request) who now claimed, in writing, that the line-item expenditure that trustee Ken Santowski cited, read aloud, and formally motioned to have stricken from the payroll, in fact, never actually existed!”

    ….

    “In the course of the meeting, we switched gears a bit, and I asked for an explanation of the events that took place in the July meeting, regarding Trustee Santowski’s official motion to remove the line-item expenditure that has now been officially confirmed to have never actually existed.

    Ken hesitated, looking over toward Village Manager, Peterson and President Smith.

    Ms. Peterson again stated that no such line item existed and that this expenditure, in fact, did not exist on this bill list.

    Ms. Peterson then apologized for “any confusion” claiming it to be “an error” and took full responsibility.

    I then suggested that an “error” on her part did not explain for trustee Santowski making an actual official motion to have a specific Line-item removed from his board-packet if the line item was, in fact, NOT listed in his packet to begin with.

    I emphasized that an “error” on the part of Ms. Peterson did not explain nor account for trustee Santowski looking at his packet… actually citing a specific line item (that we are now told never existed)… and even going so far as to read aloud the text of this non-existent line item, verbatim!

    And then, of course, making an official motion to have this content, that doesn’t exist, stricken from the record??

    At this point, I again asked trustee Santowski to explain/account for this…

    Enter, President Smith – who interjected saying this was “a miscommunication between staff, herself and Trustee Santowski.”

    President Smith went on to cite the July 12th email that was sent to board members, by Ms. Peterson requesting the line item for her bonus to be stricken.

    President Smith explained that Ms. Peterson wasn’t aware that the item was never entered into our bills list, so there was nothing to be stricken.

    Once again, I suggested that that does not explain trustee Santowski looking down at his packet… making the official motion to strike the expenditure… citing the specific line-item… and reading it aloud verbatim, when it purportedly DOES NOT EXIST!

    I, once again, (much to the frustration of the board) asked trustee Santowski to explain: how, and why, he made a motion to remove content that wasn’t even there…

    I asked him to explain how and why he would cite a line-item that didn’t exist…

    I asked him to explain what he was reading, or pretending to read, when he rattled off the text of this line-item expenditure that purportedly did not even exist…

    To this, trustee Santowski looked up at me, smiled, and said only: “it was a mistake.”

    ———

    Email correspondence between Trustee Paul Serwatka and Village Manager Catherine Peterson on July 13, 2016.

    Good Morning, Catherine,

    1. Can you direct me to where, in yesterday’s board packet, payroll is listed?

    Particularly the line item for your bonus that was stricken during last night’s consent agenda.

    As I stated at the meeting, I was not able to find this in the board packet.

    2. Regarding your email from yesterday morning, directing the board to strike your bonus from the List of Bills to be Approved in last night’s Consent Agenda – Does this mean you are waiving/not accepting the bonus altogether?

    To be clear with you, (for what it’s worth) I believe I was perfectly clear when opposing this bonus in the closed meeting, that my opposition was not necessarily a reflection on you or your work.

    My opposition was based foremost on the fact that the board was not able to provide any basis as to why they felt a bonus was in order, other than to say “this is what we always do” nor could they substantiate the amount of the bonus that was proposed.

    Furthermore, and weighing more heavily with me, was the fact the board was so intentional in keeping this bonus, and more particularly the amount of this bonus, unbeknownst to the public.

    3, After my repeated requests to have board packets sent as a PDF document vs. a scanned image, this weeks board packet was, once again, sent as a scanned image and therefore unable to be searched, highlighted,marked up, commented on, etc.

    I’m sure you can relate to how difficult this makes it for trustees to perform their duties diligently. It also could become cause for question as to the transparency of staff, as well as the diligence of trustees who’s job it is to comb through and make important decisions based these packages each week.

    Your help and understanding is greatly appreciated.

    Paul Serwatka

    —————————————————————————-

    Paul –

    In response to your questions, please be advised of the following:

    1. It was my understanding that the payment of a bonus would be a part of the bill list or payroll for the meeting last evening, which was the reason for sending the message to the Board of Trustees yesterday morning.

    When the question was asked during the meeting about where it was specifically in the packet, my follow up research this morning indicated that it had not been included.

    I am trying to understand the miscommunication, and I apologize to you and the entire Board of Trustees for the misunderstanding.

    1. Regarding my e mail message to the Board of Trustees yesterday, I am waiving/not accepting a bonus altogether.

    1. Providing the board packet in the format you requested is a more time consuming process than is currently used.

    It is also a learning process for our Village Clerk.

    For the meeting on July 12, she believed she was providing the information to you in the format you requested.

    We will continue to work with her so that the board packets are sent to you in a format that is more user friendly. Our goal is to provide said packet for the August 9 meeting.

    Regards.

    [Catherine’s Signature]

    ++++

    One of the confusing aspects of the story are references to “payroll list” and “bill list”, neither phrases which appear in the Board packets.

    ++++++

    Edgar County Watchdogs is a resource for citizen watchdogs.

  10. Email from Catherine Peterson indicates, that Ken Santowski is not being truthful when he says “no other board member “caught my mistake” including trustee Serwatka”

    Serwatka says he immediately interjected, stating that he didn’t see the item listed anywhere, causing both trustee gene fury and president Smith to also state that it was.

    I can attest to this, add I was at this meeting.

    The email correspondence between Serwatka and Peterson corroborates Serwatka version.

    Serwatka is now again saying to Peterson:

    “Can you direct me to where, in yesterday’s board packet, payroll is listed?

    Particularly the line item for your bonus that was stricken during last night’s consent agenda.

    As I stated at the meeting, I was not able to find this in the board packet.”

    Peterson replies:

    “When the question was asked during the meeting about where it was specifically in the packet, my follow up research this morning indicated that it had not been included.

    It seems clear Serwatka clearly did catch this and call it to everyone’s attention at the meeting.

    In my mind, this put every board member on notice and ALL acted as if the information was listed.

    Trustee Fury and President Smith went do far as to actually state it was there. The others sat in silence which makes them complicit.

    If they didn’t see it in their packet, they would have said such, when asked.

  11. Expanded Chronology of Events regarding transparency of proposed $4,000 bonus for Village Manager Catherine Peterson, and searchable board packets, at the Village of Lakewood.

    ++++

    Chronology of events.

    ++++

    June 14, 2016 – Village of Lakewood Board Meeting

    Board Packet: http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Board_Meeting_6-14-16.pdf

    Board Minutes: http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/2016-06-14.pdf

    —–

    June 28, 2016 – McHenry County Blog article titled, “Serwatka Criticizes Lakewood Administrator’s Bonus, Attacks Prevailing Wage”

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2016/06/28/serwatka-criticizes-lakewood-administrators-bonus-attacks-prevailing-wage

    —–

    July 12, 2016 – Lakewood Village Board Meeting

    Board Packet: http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Board_Meeting_8-9-16.pdf

    Board Minutes: http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Board_Minutes_July_12_2016.docx

    —–

    July 15, 2016 – McHenry County Blog article titled, “Serwatka Lays Out His Take on Tuesday Lakewood Meeting”

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2016/07/15/serwatka-lays-out-his-take-on-tuesday-lakewood-meeting

    —–

    August 9, 2016 – Village of Lakewood Board Meeting

    Board Packet: http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/vertical/sites/%7BA79C7536-A08B-49AC-8F3D-38ACEDC9A6CC%7D/uploads/Board_Meeting_8-9-16.pdf

    Board Minutes: Not Yet Available

    http://www.village.lakewood.il.us/index.asp?SEC=5244C763-2DEB-4185-A132-94C891D6FF05&DE=E51E82FD-8659-4288-85B7-8B42BE1ECBC6&Type=B_BASIC

    —–

    August 10, 2016 – McHenry County Blog article titled, “Trustee Ken Santowski Tells of Lakewood Meeting”

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2016/08/10/trustee-ken-santowski-tells-of-lakewood-meeting

    —–

    August 12, 2016 – McHenry County Blog article titled, “Lakewood Intrigue”

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2016/08/12/lakewood-intrigue

  12. Wow, just wow. I am ever amazed at the juvenile nature of much to what is posted on this blog.

    I do credit those that have indicated the lack of professionalism because that is clearly a factor here.

    What is also a factor here is the lack of knowledge of those that are trying to read these board packets.

    If you understand financial statements you can tell exactly what is happening here.

    1) There would never be a single line item of a $4000 bonus in a financial statement. It would be included within the salaries line item under fund 8101.000. So the questions in the meeting that they were in the salaries portion, and the answers give by board members, were all correct based upon those members understanding. The $4000 bonus was offered, the Petersen opted not to take it. The actions of the board were appropriate as they were trying to make certain that the $4000 was not entered into a rolled up number in line item 8101.000. It is also obvious that Serwatka needs mentoring and guidance on how to read these reports.

    2) A very heavy percentage of these documents are printed out from programs that will not directly write to PDF format. Financials, etc. come out of accounting software that will probably not print directly to PDF. Also, every resident or community filing will never be a pdf and must be presented to the board in the form in which it was provided.

    So, there are no scrubbed documents.

    There were elected people trying to do their jobs.

    There is perfect transparency in these documents…

    And the people looking for adding to their list of conspiracies should sit down and shut up.

  13. What, then, was Santowski reading?

    Why did Furey and Smith state publicly that the item WAS listed?

    Why did Santowski, Smith and Peterson all acknowledge mistakes/errors/miscommunications etc?

    How do you attribute any of these events to Serwatka needing mentoring?

  14. There is obviously not perfect transparency in the documents (board packets).

    And it only takes 5 minutes to greatly increase the transparency using a $16 a month software product.

    ++++

    What is the name of the accounting software package from which the financials come from that will probably not print to pdf?

    +++++

    Any resident or community filling can be scanned to pdf and included in the board packet.

    +++++

    There are plenty of unanswered questions about the $4,000 bonus as listed above.

  15. Just about any document can converted to pdf one way or another so what are you talking about?

  16. Regarding the resident or community filings that must be presented to the board in the form in which it was provided.

    Those documents can also be scanned and included in the board packet.

    In addition to presenting them to the board in the form in which they were provided.

  17. Fascinating how small town bureaucrats think they can continue to screw the taxpayers for their own personal power or gains.

    Thanks to Swertaks, this mess may be rectified with the next election (or before)

    I’d say ‘unbelievable’ but unfortunately politics is full of narcissistic peons looking to stroke their ego at their constituents expense!

  18. Is the last name of “concerned voter” by any chance Smith?

    I wonder if Mr. or Mrs. composed the post.

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