Erin Smith Urges Delay Before TIF Abolition Considered

The Lakewood Village Board has the abolition of its Tax Increment Financing District at tonight’s 7 PM meeting at the Red Tail Golf Club.

Today an email from former Village President Erin Smith was forwarded to Board members by Village Administrator Shannon Andrews:

Request to Delay Lakewood TIF District Vote

Erin Smith the day she revealed she was not running for re-election last summer.

I am writing to respectfully request that the Lakewood Village Board delay tonight’s vote to dissolve the TIF district.

I am also formally requesting that this email be shared with all Lakewood Board Members in advance of tonight’s meeting.

I have lived in the Village of Lakewood for more than 30 years and served on the Village Board for 12 years.

For several decades, successive Boards, having studied both short-term and long-term financial projections for the Village, have arrived at the same conclusion: the only way to reduce taxes on a long-term basis is to diversify the tax base through commercial development at Routes 47 and 176.

Lakewood’s TIF District.

The TIF district is an essential tool in recruiting commercial development and the only means by which the Village can pay for water and utilities required for development.

A TIF district cannot be created when commercial development is approved as it takes time to create a TIF and the developer will move to a neighboring town where a TIF is already established.

The members of this Board were elected with the promise of transparency.

Tonight’s vote is in direct conflict with this message for the following reasons:

  • The TIF district took two years to create and required multiple public notices and public hearings where less than 5 Lakewood residents objected. Eliminating it should also include public notice to all residents through a letter to each home and at least one public hearing where all perspectives are formally considered.
  • The full Board will not be present for tonight’s meeting and the fact that the Trustee who is absent is not supportive of eliminating the TIF makes the timing of this vote suspect.
  • This is also the first Board Meeting for one elected Trustee and the Trustee who will be appointed this evening. These Trustees have not had sufficient time to review all information related to the TIF district and should be provided with additional time to prepare.
  • Two key staff roles, the positions of Village Manager and Village Treasurer and Finance Director are currently vacant with the Deputy Manager doing her best to cover two full-time roles. These two roles are critical roles in terms of preparing an objective and comprehensive analysis for the Board to consider before a vote of such significance.
  • Given the long-term impact of eliminating the TIF, Lakewood residents should ALL be included in this discussion, not just residents who have been personally selected by President Serwatka to receive email and Facebook communication. Every member of the previous Board requested that Paul copy us on any email communication he distributed and we were all denied access. At least one Trustee who requested access to the Lakewood Taxfighter Facebook page was blocked.

If this Board is serious about transparency, you will delay tonight’s vote.

I cannot attend this evening’s meeting and would respectfully request that my letter be read out loud at tonight’s meeting so that it is reflected in the audio recording of the meeting.

Sincerely,

Erin Smith


Comments

Erin Smith Urges Delay Before TIF Abolition Considered — 9 Comments

  1. Very unusual for Erin to come out with this opinion . . .

    makes me wonder, if they are still using Zukowski’s Office (Rich Flood) and friends, doesn’t pass the smell test to me.

  2. Stinks to high heaven.

    Probably can smell it from the desolate parking lots of that big empty outlet mall in Huntley.

  3. “The TIF district took two years to create and required multiple public notices and public hearings where less than 5 Lakewood residents objected. ”

    –I was at 2 of the public meetings.

    There were far more than 5 residents objecting.

  4. Re: “the only way to reduce taxes on a long-term basis”

    Typical comment by an entrenched brain-washed member of “the swamp”.

    You reduce taxes by lowering the expenses, not through ‘selective capitalism’ which is actually communism in disguise.

    Re: “There were far more than 5 residents objecting.”

    Thanks to the tireless efforts of a few, Lakewood residents became ‘enlightened’ with the truth!

    Now we need to harness the enthusiasm to work for the election of more ‘enlightened’ people to work for us in Springfield and the Ware Rd. building in Woodstock.

    Start with working to support a new Clerk and a replacement of the Republicans who support Democrats.

  5. Amen, Cautious. This is only the beginning!

    Congrats on this, to Lakewood (and Woodstock that would have gone deeper in debt due to this illegal and immoral TIF.)

  6. Cautious Voter!

    Are you out of your mind?

    In your house can you reduce your electricity or your gas bills?

    NO, unless you don’t take showers and turn the AC up to 80.

    Maybe you go without cell phones or cable/satellite TV?

    All of those bills will get bigger.

    It is a fact of life.

    All the police officers will get raises, as they should.

    All the public works officials will get raises, and so will the employees inside village hall.

    It will continue to cost more for fire protection and maintaining the sewer and water of your town. It might be 1% or 2% a year, maybe 3%.

    Who knows, but it will go up.

    That is literally the most insane thing I have ever read.

    Do you live in a black hole?

    DO you have a DeLorian and travel back to 1985 and still get your smokes and gas super cheap?

    You had better thank your lucky stars for China, because without their assistance these last 15 years you would not be able to buy clothes so cheap.

    You attack a woman with a MBA from Northwestern, who was doing this for no other reason than to help her town.

    Instead you defend someone who’s goal is to be a politician.

    He found that he can say anything and get away with it like Trump.

    He got forced out of the race by Skillicorn, but make no mistake he has goals to ascend to the County and then the state level.

    These people make $2,400 a year or $100 a meeting.

    It is really the Village Manager and Deputy Manager that runs the town and your surrogate Serwatka made life so miserable for her that she quit.

    Really hard to believe that you all believe this crap.

    Wake up.

    Did you ever wonder why your assessments are not going down at the rate they should?

    NO, you ignore the real problem and listen to some bonehead.

    The state and County is devaluing your homes and you do not even realize it.

    You are more worried about partisan crap.

    If a bank values your house at one amount and the assessor for way more, is there a problem?

    Yes a huge one.

    If everything was assessed correctly, then there would be a huge shortage of tax dollars to pay for the schools, Villages, and fire districts.

    The worst is yet to come and the only way you will survive is more revenue to your town.

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