Lakewood Village Board Meeting Tonight Cancelled

It seems that not enough members of the Lakewood Village Board were in town to attend the meeting.

Here’s the Notice



The Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Village Board Meeting
Has Been Cancelled
Due to the Lack of Quorum

A Special Meeting is Scheduled on July 17, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.


Lakewood Village Board Meeting Tonight Cancelled — 22 Comments

  1. Ironically the trustees slinging all the dirt and making the accusations are the ones absent while serwatka is ready willing and able.

  2. Paul, I thought you were gone.

    Or dud you leave, but federal farmer stayed behind.

    Good luck in Huntsville

  3. If Paul officially changes his name to Federal Farmer, does he still get to be Village President?

  4. Yes Gene apparently you did think Paul was gone.

    And as usual you run your mouth and speak of things that just aren’t so.

  5. And I am DJ, Shaman of Mc tucky County and for $20 I’ll lift the curse I’ve put on all your trailers.

  6. Gene, if I’m not mistaken, you were on the board when there was a Village manager, an assistant manager and a finance director.

    If I’m not mistaken, you were on the board when Village assets were sold at significantly below market price and then mysteriously purchased by a Village employee.

    If I’m not mistaken, you voted to declare Crystal Woods Golf Course “blighted” in order to create the TIF district.

    If I’m not mistaken, you voted in favor of the phony study saying the TIF district was justified.

    And, if I’m not mistaken, you voted to keep taxes so high that the Village could pay cash for property (at higher than market prices) at 176 & 47, speculating in real estate with the taxpayers’ money.

    If your record didn’t disqualify you from further “service” to the community, the pettiness of your comments as Paul is leaving provides clear evidence of your lack of fitness for public office.

  7. If I’m not mistaken, Gene was also on the board when they spent nearly $300,000 for the residential lot at Redtail and Ackman Road.

    I am told their intention was to build a park at that location. Yet I see no Park.

    Incidentally, I believe there are lots located next door on Redtail drive now that are going for approximately $9,000.

    Another stellar example of prudent fiscal stewardship.

  8. Let’s take one at a time. Lakewood did have a manager and a finance manager / assitant village manager.

    The current administrator has now asked the treasurer to work for the village for pay.

    What’s your point?

  9. Next topic is the tif.

    You can bend the process to appear somehow in doubt, but tif’s are widely used to attract commercial development.

    The tif didn’t deckare property blighted, but rather showed areas of no growth as candidates for commercial investment.

  10. Next is purchase of property at 47/176.

    This was not speculation, but rather purchasing an agricultural property out if bankruptcy at a reduced cost.

    This was done along with engineering for water and sewer and the tif to allow realignment of that intersection by IDOT

  11. Finally, pettiness of coments anout Paul.

    He was a Board member during the sale of a village asset.

    My comments about him result from my great disappointment in a man who promised to serve a term and then quit for an unknown reason.

    For someone who poled as well as he did, I believe he owes the residents the truth.

    Why is he lesving town?

    Why in such a hurry?

    I hope you have questioned your own allegiance to this man.

  12. As far as “Federal Farmer”, use your real name and I’ll respond to whatever you want to discuss.

    Will you be at the Board meefing Tuesday?

    Steve, how about you?

  13. Thank You Steve Willson, you know Lakewood History, the residents need to be reminded or given an Education on the History of Lakewood.

    My gosh Gene Furey, what has your undies in a wad?

  14. Gene, if the TIF is such a good idea how come you lost your election by huge margins while Paul got elected in a landslide campaigning on ending the TIF?

    Why do you say it’s an unknown reason he’s leaving, yet he explained that he found a bigger place in Alabama where he actually pays less?

    That sounds like a pretty good reason to relocate.

  15. Gene, your comments are disingenuous at best.

    The current administration has cut staff and expenses without any degradation in service, something you never sought to do.

    The second point had to do with conversion of Village assets.

    I notice that you failed to deny that happened on your watch.

    Instead you said, “Well, Paul was at fault, too!”

    Your comment is an admission of failure on your part.

    And in fact when the action was discovered – after the fact – you took no action, did you?

    And you failed to disclose it to the public, didn’t you?

    And it was only after Paul was elected Village President that action was taken, wasn’t it?

    The third and fourth had to do with the TIF.

    You did, in fact, have to declare Crystal Woods “blighted”, didn’t you, in order to proceed?

    And you did, in fact, hire a firm that had affirmed 50 out of 50 TIF districts it was asked to approve without ever back checking to see if their opinions were accurate.

    I know that because I inquired.

    When I asked the board “how many TIFs has this consultant reviewed, how many have they approved, and has the firm ever conducted a review to check for accuracy”, the answers were “we don’t know, we don’t know and we don’t know”.

    I know this because I FOIAed the Village for this information and that was the response.

    I only got the facts by pushing – something that you never did, and especially not before the vote.

    As for your statement that TIFs are common, this is true.

    Common and commonly abused.

    The best evidence is that TIFs rarely result in net development, evidence I presented in speeches and meetings without any rebuttal.

    So the idea that the TIF consultant got lucky 50 out of 50 times is like saying they flipped a coin 50 times and it came up heads every time.

    Shall we say highly unlikely.

    As for the real estate, buying raw real estate and hoping it goes up in value is speculation, and in this case with taxpayer money.

    Saying you bought it out of bankruptcy is irrelevant.

    The points were

    (a) you raised taxes by far more than necessary, so much so that you could pay cash for the land and

    (b) buying raw land was a fundamentally bad idea.

    You completely failed to respond to the first point and your response to the second is false.

    It was not necessary for the Village to buy that property in order for IDOT to “fix” that intersection.

    If IDOT wanted to do so, they could have bought the land.

    And we’ll soon find out if it was a “reduced cost” if the current administration sells it and there’s a loss.

    Finally, the tenor of your comments show not only disappointment that Paul is moving, they have been almost gleefully petty.

  16. Steve Willson – Taxes were only cut by eliminating collection of taxes to repair roads.

    For the last two years road repairs have been paid out of reserves.

    Once reserves have been depleted, taxes will rise or roads will crumble.

    This depletion of reserves was done without any understanding with regard to the condition of Village assests needing repair.

    In fact, I asked many questions about proposed budget amendments at the last Board meeting, to which staff did not have answers and the amendments were postponed.

    Your alleged tax cut is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

    I would also challenge your declaration with regard to staff.

    In most instances, personnel costs went up by 7 to 12 percent.

    It really doesn’t matter if you reduce head count when your costs rise.

    More smoke and mirrors.

    Your goal to reduce Village reserves and cripple future Boards from making what you deem “irresponsible decisions” was accomplished.

    However, it was done without regard to the condition of current Village assets and infrastructure.

    It would have been prudent to spend that money on long standing Village issues not burn it with a fake tax cut.

  17. Ah, and as Serwatka slowly fades to black, he still slings mud.

    Interesting that someone at Village Hall reported that the new AL resident was having trouble returning while the others had made clear they would not be able to attend.

    Nothing new here folks.

    For those who educate themselves beyond the partial truth and exaggerations Serwatka has repeatedly been caught spreading will understand that he was over his head in this position.

    Having little to know business understanding, no leadership skills and got by on enthusiasm.

    As stated earlier, a great sargeant but horrible captain.

    As has always been Seeeatk’s MO, he wants others to look bad to cover the trail he leaves behind.

    Sorry Paul, the reign is over.

    Still too bad.

    Wish more people had his fire but had to be directed on benefitting others instead of selfish acts.

  18. Jason —

    Let me be clear about this: you’re saying the prior board left the Village itself in terrible shape with massive amounts of deferred maintenance, correct?

  19. Steve,


    I am saying your pontification over tax cuts and personnel savings are disingenuous at best.

    You, as a person educated in finance, should be able to see right through them.

    They are no more real than the bogieman.

    While I disagree with some of the decisions made in the past, your continued attempt to drag them up and focus on them shows there is no defense for fake tax cuts and a significant increase in payroll.

    I can’t speak to what we have been left with until staff is able to provide a concise financial picture.

    I will say we should have done (what I would call) a reserve study to understand the level of cash we should have on hand (not for daily operations) but for asset maintenance.

    We have a significant issue in the Gates which is, in part, a storm sewer issue which would be paid from the general fund.

    How do you propose to fund repairs without increasing taxes now that we have burned our cash supply?

    Instead, Paul burned cash for a fake tax cut.

    In the end, it is Paul ignoring road maintenance as an annual cost to the Village in favor of a sound bite.

    It is clearly less costly for the Village to pay cash than it is to take out bonds.

    Paying cash, in the long run, provides residents with lower taxes.

    It also prevents debt from becoming unsustainable for a Village our size.

    I am all for lower taxes when it is fiscally possible but this is nonsense and you know it.

  20. Maybe a little different set of questions to help open some squinty eyes.

    The TIF, we, as a board tried discussing options with Serwatka but he had been coached and wouldn’t listen to other alternatives so we voted to pull it down due to the potential multi-million dollar liability to the Village residents…..then what?

    Serwatka and another trustee ran Shannon Andrews out of town although other trustees tried to discuss alternatives but Serwatka wouldn’t listen…..then what?

    Serwatka and another trustee created such a hostile environment and asked for prior CAO Meister to act against her professional ethics and personal morals which ended in her resigning abruptly….then what?

    Nothing against Baxter or Merriman but residents asked for answers during and after the flooding.

    The suggestion was made by other board members to hire another firm with no history to evaluate the flooding, flow calculations, etc. so residents would get a “3rd party” report.

    Serwatka wouldn’t listen and this was never allowed to be discussed….now what?

    RedTail is the only true “clean” revenue source for the Village since it is owned.

    The suggestion was made to establish a strong presence by putting a local brewery in place onsite to establish a flow of traffic, strong sales tax increase and a facility that would bring significant increase in revenue for many years at the tune of a little over $2 Million.

    Another post quoted over $7 Mil but when facts aren’t checked iand simply parroting Serwatka, we can’t expect accuracy.

    Serwatka didn’t want to discuss it and without ANY discussion, allowed another trustee to band aid a compound fracture….now what?

    Serwatka had the police called on him, would divulge CAO Smith’s forcible removal from Praire Grove, why he would point a firearm at a supposed friend (who was shot) and many other questions that he hid from trustees and those who elected him so….now what?

    Anyone getting the sense of trend and why very little in long term benefit was gained by an attempted Monarchy?

    I will state again that having Chief Roth in place and a few other minor changes were good for the Village but not the things a legacy wil ever be made from. Too bad…

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