Serwatka Reports on Latest Lakewood Board Meeting

A message from Lakewood Village Trustee Paul Serwatka to his constituents about the last Village Board meeting:

Sorry for the delay in reporting on last Tuesday’s village board meeting, I just got back in town.

While there isn’t a whole lot to report, there are three items worth calling attention to.

  1. Appointment of new, interim Village Manager, Shannon Andrews (former Deputy Manager)
  2. Another Small but Hard-Fought Step Toward Transparency
  3. Amendment to Non-Conforming Buildings Code in R-2 Zoning Dist. 

1. Appointment of Shannon Andrews as Interim Village Manager

After the recent resignation of Village Manager, Catherine Peterson, it was unanimously agreed that Deputy Manager, Shannon Andrews be appointed as the interim Village Manager through April 30th, 2017.

While this will expand the scope and responsibility of Ms. Andrew’s role in our village management, this does not effect the amount of salary or benefits she will be compensated. Her former position of “Deputy Manager” will not be filled at this time.

2. Another Small but Hard-Fought Step Toward Transparency

It is worth reporting that I have had a bit more success in the efforts toward transparency with board-packets and the public.

Our Board-Packets are, now, almost fully electronically searchable!

You may recall, at the time of my election, board-packets were NOT made available to the public at all!

The only items previously made available to the public were the Meeting Agenda and the Meeting Minutes, while all substantive/detailed information and financials were omitted.

After a few months, I was able to convince our staff to make the entire packet available to the public, online, including all financials and all substantive/detailed information – just as board members receive.

Until recently, however, these board-packets were created as “scanned images” which made them electronically unsearchable to both board members as well as the public.

This made it quite difficult and time-consuming to search for information on specific subject matter, such as “Sportsplex” or “tax levy”, etc.

Now, after nearly a year long effort, I have finally been able to work with our interim Village Manager, Shannon Andrews, to create these board-packets as “searchable PDF’s” – a format that allows them to be electronically searched, taking us out of the dark-ages when it comes to transparency with the public.

Sadly, this achievement, did not come without significant resistance from some fellow board-members, most notably, trustee Ken Santowski who lobbied to have the packets left in an unsearchable format.

[Board-Packets can be found at this link: ]

3. Amendment to Non-Conforming Buildings Code in R-2 Zoning Dist

(I received a few calls on this…)

I had some concerns with the original drafts of this proposed ordinance amendment, but, with the new language (I do not have a copy), as it was agreed, I don’t foresee a problem. 

Essentially, this amendment allows a homeowner who’s home is legally non-conforming (in that it encroaches into the required front, side or rear yard) the ability to rebuild any of the existing structure without requesting a variance approval, provided that the new structure remains within the existing footprint of the current structure. 
This amendment does NOT provide for any increase in height to any portion of the existing, or new, structure


Serwatka Reports on Latest Lakewood Board Meeting — 2 Comments

  1. Even the Village of Lake can have searchable board agenda packets for board members and the public with the ability to perform find, copy, and paste, certainly Crystal Lake High School District 155 and all the larger taxing districts can do the same.

    Some taxing districts have searchable board agenda packets for board members and the public with the ability to perform find, copy, and paste.

    Far too many taxing districts do not yet offer this basic measure of taxpayer transparency.

    Hopefully someone will approach CHSD 155 about this issue.

  2. Mr. Serwatka

    Please consider running for “Mayor” of CL we really need someone like you to save our town!

    Its so refreshing to read and see what you have done and brought to light to the people who care about their area they live in.

    Stop the un-necessary taxing madness that would be under your control…

    you seem like someone who would not be a power tripper but for the working tax paying working man…

    Thanks and keep up the great work you are doing.

    There are some of us out here that really do care!

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