An email from Lakewood Village Trustee Paul Serwatka:
My Most Important Newsletter To-Date!
It has now been more than 20-months that I have been crafting these newsletters, keeping hundreds of residents informed as to the activities that take place within our village board. As many of you know, much of what I have written about has not been very pleasant. But, I know you all agree that it has been quite necessary and quite revealing.
Today, I bring some very positive news, as well as an unprecedented commitment!
Today, I am actually excited to share with all of you, what I believe to be THE most important communication that I’ve shared to-date… The news that I know thousands of residents in our village have waited several years to receive.
Reflecting back to 2014, when we first began our mission – to ultimately restore accountable government in our village and to lower property tax burdens for Lakewood families – I spent more than 8 weeks that winter, and the ensuing spring, walking the village, knocking on more than a thousand doors, speaking with many hundreds of residents and placing hundreds of Yellow-and-Black signs along the way.
In doing so, I was honestly a bit caught-off-guard to discover the enormous degree of anger, apathy and outright despair, shared by hundreds-upon-hundreds of residents, toward our village government.
Door after door, I spoke with neighbors echoing almost the identical sentiments: “This village board is going to continue to do what they want – they always have, they always will.” I was repeatedly told: “Even if you’re elected, you’ll be but one vote against six. You’re not going to be able to change anything.”
My response was always the same: “I may be but one person, today… I may be but one vote, today – but, I have a strong voice… I have a strong will… I will not be intimidated… I will not back-down… I will not give up!”
Some of you have had a chance to see this first-hand at some of our village board meetings – and while, at times, it has gotten a bit ugly – the informed ones know it has been quite necessary!
Over the course of the last 20 months, while I, in fact, did remain largely “one against six” on many issues, I promised all of you that I would continue to shed light on the activities of our village board. I promised to continue to be, what has since proven to be a most unwelcome – but most necessary – source of transparency in our village government. And, I promised that I would work to bring residents together, to keep residents informed and to increasingly empower residents until our will and our voices, collectively, could no longer be ignored.
We’ve Come a Long Way
As more and more neighbors have stayed informed, shared my newsletters and helped spread the word of our mission, our inner-circle of influence has grown to more than 700-strong and, collectively, we have become more empowered and our voices have begun to be heard!
Today, with the incredible, and historical, success of PHASE I – The Lakewood Property Tax Referendum now “under our belt”…
With more than 2000 Lakewood residents, representing 92% of voters, demanding accountability – at the ballot-box – from our village board…
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce “PHASE II” of – The Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government Project.
“The Lakewood Tax-Fighter Party”
This April 4th, Lakewood residents will have an opportunity to elect some new faces to our village board…
We’ll have an opportunity to elect a team that has expressed a sincere desire to effect better government in Lakewood… a team that has demonstrated a definitive understanding of the need for transparency, accountability and reform in our village government…
This April 4th municipal election, we will have an opportunity to completely transform our village board into a board that is committed to Restoring Accountability, Providing Utmost Transparency, and actually LOWERING Property Tax Burdens for Lakewood Families…
And this team offers an Unprecedented Pledge & Commitment to residents, that has never before been made.
I, along with the team who helped to make our Lakewood Property Tax Referendum possible, recently began circulating petitions for:
~ Nomination of Candidates and Formation of New Political Party ~
This party will be comprised of the following candidates to be elected to the Lakewood village Board at the April 4th 2016 municipal election:
~ The Lakewood Tax-Fighter Team ~
- Paul Serwatka – Village President
- Philip Stephan – Village Trustee
- John O’Hara – Village Trustee
- Amy Fues Odom – Village Trustee
Each of these residents brings a unique skill set with specialized knowledge and experience, including:
- Business Management
- Real Estate Development
- Real Estate Market Analysis, Valuation, Mortgages, Property Mngmt
- Financial and Equities Markets/Portfolio Management
- Efficiency Planning of Transportation and Road Resurfacing
- General and Electrical Contracting
- Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services
- Police Protection Services
Of much greater importance, than any of these skill sets – I believe – is that each of these residents has committed and demonstrated, to me:
- A sincere desire to effect Better Government!
- A definitive understanding of the need for Transparency, Accountability and Reform in our village government!
- A thorough understanding of the intended role, and fiduciary duty, of the trustee! (To manage our village government and assets for the benefit of the Residents – Not the other way around)
- A genuine commitment to working for the welfare of ALL residents!
“All The Marbles”
This election, will be “for all the marbles,” so to speak!
The election of the Lakewood Tax-Fighter Team, on April 4th – quite frankly – will mean the end of “business as usual” in Lakewood government – and in a very literal sense!
This team represents the end of the “Status Quo/Business as Usual Politics” that have controlled our village for the last decade or more…
This team is here for one reason – and one reason only:
To give our village government back to the people of Lakewood!
Without YOUR Support – it will NOT be possible!
A Final Word – and an Unprecedented Pledge & Commitment
It is important to me that everyone understand (and I think all of you do) that I am not running to be our village president out of any political ambition. I have no aspirations to “be village president”. I do not seek power, prestige or pecuniary benefits, whatsoever.
But, I have seen, first-hand, the dire need for transparency, accountability, and responsible spending within our village government – and I hope I have proven to all of you that I am able, and earnest in my convictions, to serve and represent each of you – just as our village board was, once-upon-a-time, intended to.
And, I can say with complete confidence, that each of my fellow team members; Phil Stephan, John O’Hara and Amy Fues Odom share in all of my sentiments and convictions to do exactly that.
Our Unprecedented Pledge & Commitment to You
To demonstrate our sincerity in seeking only to; restore accountable government, and lower property tax burdens for Lakewood families – each candidate of the Lakewood Tax-Fighter Party hereby pledges a “Self-Imposed Recall” commitment.
Our Self-Imposed Recall Pledge
Each member of our team believes that residents should not have to wait until the end of a 4-year term, to “vote-out” an elected official who does not faithfully work to fulfill promises and diligently pursue the fulfillment of their duties.
And, while Illinois law does not include a provision to allow for the recall of elected officials, We believe it should!
We believe that any elected official who claims to serve and represent the best interests of their constituents, should willingly step-down from that office if asked to do so by those that he/she purports to represent.
That being our sincere belief, here is our pledge to you:
“If Lakewood residents ever feel that any elected member of the Lakewood Tax-Fighter Team has not lived up to our promises – If residents ever feel they no longer have confidence in our attitudes, our abilities, or the way in which our village is being governed during our term in office, each of us pledge to honor a recall petition, just as many other states do, and as Illinois should.
If, at any time during our terms in office, 3/5 (60 percent) of Lakewood voters petition asking that any or all of us step-down and resign from office – we pledge to voluntarily do so.”
Again, as me move forward to the April 4th municipal election, I implore you to realize the importance of YOUR help in making this transformation of our village government a success!
- We NEED YOU to HELP SPREAD THE WORD!
- Continue reading AND SHARING the Lakewood Tax-Fighter Newsletter!
- Urge Lakewood Friends & Neighbors to SUBSCRIBE to the Newsletter
- Sign our Petition!
- Attend our Campaign Kick-Off Event (To Be Announced Soon)
- Visit our website www.LakewoodTaxFighter.com and encourage neighbors to, as well!
- Place a campaign lawn sign come March – Let us know now!
- Hold a “coffee”/”Meet & Greet” at your home – Introduce our team to neighbors
- Stay up-to-date with ways you can help as we move forward.
This April 4th is our chance to liberate Lakewood!
I sincerely hope you will support our efforts.
Learn more about our campaign to restore Accountable government in Lakewood and LOWER property tax burdens for Lakewood families at www.LakewoodTaxFighter.com.