Lakewood Village Board Censures Member Jason McMahon

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.”

Lakewood Village Board, Jason McMahon on left.

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.

Paul Serwatka reads censure resolution.

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:

  1.  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.
  2. That Trustee Jason McMahon modify his inappropriate, disrespectful and otherwise obstructive behavior at public meetings of the Board of Trustees.
  3. That Trustee Jason McMahon reimburse the Village for the inappropriate legal fees of approximately $800 that he has incurred.

Jason McMahon recused himself from the discussion.

Trustee McMahon refused all requests.

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<


Comments

Lakewood Village Board Censures Member Jason McMahon — 7 Comments

  1. This is all Mr Serwalka has to say regarding the last village board meeting?

    The time that it took for “Mr Tax Fighter” to type out this letter patting himself on the back for “winning” a petty argument with another board member (again and again and again), would have been time better spent coming up with a plan to address the pleas of the residents of Lakewood over the significant flooding that has taken place over the past several days.

    Unfortunately, Paul is not equipped to do so and the only people who have some basic emergency planning/training who could provide some level of a “plan” – he fired.

    When we all wake up tomorrow morning to yet another set of showers, and find out that Crystal Lake will not “bail” him out (a suggestion mentioned by a resident and not the Tax Fighting crew), I’m sure that he will again be putting pen to paper pushing off the blame to the former President of Lakewood or Jason McMahon.

    Am I wrong?

    I don’t think so.

  2. If there is any blame to assign to anyone, and there is some, that blame absolutely is assigned to former president Smith and former Village manager Peterson who have neglected this issue for more than a decade while their tunnel visions of grandeur kept them pursuing

    -pipe dream developments,

    -the expansion of Lakewood boundaries and

    -the building of beautiful Taj Mahal’s

    rather than applying those millions of dollars and time and energy to providing the essential services they are supposed to such as adequate sewer and water.

  3. Ridding Lakewood of the likes of Smith, Peterson and Andrews is nothing short of a godsend for the village of Lakewood.

  4. They remind me of the Crystal lake crew that keeps spending all our money on expensive flowers to beautify the downtown (That most never see), and fancy pavers (That had to be replaced), and the four phallic symbols on Route 14 (That are totally useless).

    How do useless, stupid crooks like this sleep at night?

    I wonder if any of them have ever had sewage floating in their yards or basements.

  5. Paul is capable of multitasking.

    In this case Jason has stated publicly his honor had been impugned.

    To men this statement has meaning.

    Dealing with this is never a “waste of time” among elected representatives as it shakes the faith of the represented.

    As it stands Jason only left the two diametrically opposed paths of the elected body being dishonorable or Jason is dishonorable.

    Jason….

    You have been weighed and found dishonorable.

    Fix yourself or leave elected life so as not to damage the community further with your low and unappreciated behavior.

  6. Priest,

    Honorable men respect the rule of law.

    Neither State municipal code nor any of our Village ordinances authorize censure. Absent ordinances granting the ability to censure, a Board does not have an inherent right.

    IL Attorney General opinion 91-001 supports this statement.

    However, under Section 2.06(A) in Lakewood’s code it states “the Board shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order”.

    Robert’s Rules of Order Section 61 and 63 authorize censure.

    This authorization gives Lakewood’s Board the ability to censure but it must follow the procedure outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order.

    Absolutely NONE of my rights as an accused were granted including:

    – Neither the society nor the member have the right to make public the charge. RRO
    – The hearing should be held in executive session. RRO
    – Confidential investigation by committee with integrity. RRO
    – The right to due process. RRO

    These are just a few of my rights that were stomped on.

    There was not an investigation.

    Simply an alleged statement of facts in both private and public communication before, during and after this kangaroo court.

    I was under no obligation to respond to an action that so flagrantly violated my rights.

    Please feel free to let me know how something so biased and without basis in law could be purported to pass judgement on me.

  7. First Jason please let me say I respect your engagement.

    Over and over in disagreements in today’s world the snowflake’s unicorn horn falls off and they go running for the hills, even in this comment section.

    This said, Lakewood is a tiny little town where many know one another and the legalistic approach of larger legislative bodies is just not appropriate.

    You received a mild rebuke from your neighbors.

    Some of my best friends in life started from disagreements which may or may not have ended up in fistfights.

    Then we both got humble, owned our personal garbage, apologized while offering respect for the other’s opinion and moved forward.

    Respectfully.

    Offering technicalities for how you were railroaded isn’t respectful to yourself(we all have some stupid lurking inside us) or the many folks who tried to respectfully(publicly and formally rather than passive aggressive backstabbing) help you engage in a more healthy way.

    You and the entirety of Lakewood government are at odds with one another.

    Numbers on one side or another do not denote the righteousness of the varying positions so you may retain your position but you’ve been softly told you are not working well with others.

    Own this rather than quoting chapter and verse.

    Respectfully apologize and offer yourself to a more respectful, if at times vigorous, debate.

    Be the loyal opposition rather than appearing to be a melodramatic jackass to the public at large.

    I’d bet you’ll find forgiving loving neighbors who will, respectfully, trade policy blows with you all day over drinks at their backyard picnics.

    You’ve been rebuked.

    No take backs Jason.

    Own it.

    Move on.

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