An email from Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:
Lakewood Village Board Votes To Censure Appointed Trustee, Jason McMahon
Appointed trustee, Jason McMahon, was given a formal reprimand, his actions and behaviour officially “rebuked” and a Resolution to Censure was ratified, by the Board of Trustees, at the public meeting of the Lakewood Village Board of Trustees Tuesday night (July 25th), after Village President, Paul Serwatka and the Board of Trustees, as well as village management and legal counsel deemed McMahon to have made numerous “written, public factual misrepresentations regarding pertinent village information.”
The Resolution to Censure also contends that McMahon’s actions and behaviour at public village board meetings has been deemed, by the Board of Trustees, to be “inappropriate, disrespectful and otherwise obstructive to the effective government of the village” and emphasizes that subsequent to his numerous written, public statements being made, McMahon went so far as to “incur approximately $800 in legal fees, which are paid by the Village from revenue received from property owners.”
The Board of Trustees has deemed such legal fees as “entirely inappropriate” and contends that the fees should not be paid for by village property owners.
At the prior, July 11th, meeting of The Lakewood Village Board of Trustees, each of trustee McMahon’s written, public statements were addressed individually “line by line” by both Deputy Village Manager, Shannon Andrews and Village Legal Counsel, Michael Smoron, who together refuted each of McMahon’s statements and confirmed each as entirely untrue.
Some of the statements specifically addressed and refuted included:
- Headline: “Political Promise to Cost Lakewood Taxpayers 12%“
- “Dissolving the TIF will place approximately $220,000 worth of TIF expenses on Lakewood residents.”
- “This will cost EVERY Lakewood home an average of $150; a 12% INCREASE in our Lakewood property taxes.“
- “Paul Serwatka does not have the authority to accept the resignation of our Police Chief.”
- “Paul Serwatka does not have the authority to appoint a new Police Chief.”
- “By ordinance, the Police Chief is a position hired by the Village Manager typically with Board approval.”
- “An ordinance, removing the checks and balances is proposed for our June 27, 2017 meeting.”
- “Currently, the Village Manager posts the job, reviews all applicants and submits qualified applicants to the Village Board for approval.”
- “Shannon Andrews is our “Interim Village Manager””
Upon Deputy Manager, Shannon Andrews and Village Legal Counsel, Michael Smoron, collectively refuting each of McMahon’s public statements, it was further clarified that each of the following statements were in fact true and accurate:
- The Dissolution of The Lakewood TIF will have no implication on future Lakewood property tax levies.
- The TIF expenditures of approximately $220,000 have already been spent in previous years.
- When the former Chief of Police’s resignation was accepted and the appointment of our new Police Chief was made, Lakewood did NOT have a “Village Manager.”
- Shannon Andrews’ title was “Deputy Manager”. This position does not, and never did exist within our municipal code and does not have any authority over the hiring, firing, acceptance of resignations, or appointments of the Police Chief or any other village employee/officer.
- As President, Paul Serwatka did, in fact, have the authority to accept the resignation of the Police Chief.
- As President, Paul Serwatka did, in fact, have the authority to appoint a new Chief of Police WITH the advice and consent of the board.
- The Previous ordinance which our current board proposed to amend gave SOLE discretion and authority to select, hire, fire and approve policy, of the Chief of Police with ZERO REQUIRED input or approval from the president or board of trustees.
- The proposed ordinance that our current board has since adopted, removed this sole discretion and authority and placed it upon the President and entire Board of trustees, thus adding the appropriate checks and balances.
After addressing trustee McMahon’s behaviour, public misrepresentations and the inappropriate legal expenses incurred by McMahon, the Board of Trustees requested three things of trustee McMahon at the July 11th meeting of the Village Board of Trustees:
- That Trustee Jason McMahon issue a written public statement on the respective public platforms, correcting his factually misrepresentative statements and that he be more responsible as to any public statements made and any dissemination of village related information moving forward.
- That Trustee Jason McMahon modify his inappropriate, disrespectful and otherwise obstructive behavior at public meetings of the Board of Trustees.
- That Trustee Jason McMahon reimburse the Village for the inappropriate legal fees of approximately $800 that he has incurred.
Trustee McMahon’s refusal to take any corrective actions and his refusal to affirm his commitment to work together constructively, for the betterment of the village, moving forward, led the Lakewood Board of Trustees to move forward with a vote officially ratifying, a Resolution to Censure Trustee Jason McMahon.
The Resolution also calls on trustee Jason McMahon to “affirm his commitment to modify his behavior at meetings of the Board of Trustees and be more responsible in his public dissemination of pertinent Village information, moving forward.”
Please See the Actual Resolution Attached or by clicking on this LINK<