UPDATE: Lakewood Village President Phil Stephan Wiped Out by David Stavropoulos, Trustee Running Mates Win, Too

No need to change the headline, but the vote totals now are pretty much complete:

Lakewood Village President Phil Stephan has been deposed by challenger David Stavropoulos.

The Trustee candidates running with Stavropoulos

  • Tricia Babischin
  • April Runge
  • Michael Fischer

also beat Stephan’s running mate Pam Eddy.


UPDATE: Lakewood Village President Phil Stephan Wiped Out by David Stavropoulos, Trustee Running Mates Win, Too — 46 Comments

  1. Worth Noting:

    Not trying to be cute, but a legitimate fact:

    Phil Stephan has now set an all new historic record for the village of Lakewood.

    Historically speaking, this is the lowest number of votes EVER received by any Lakewood President.

    I must say this is an accolade very well earned by both he and Jeannine Smith!

  2. Bye Phil, and take Smith with you.

    Geez I told friends two years ago if she could just do her job and shut up, let her people do their job, she could collect over six figures for the next 20 years.

    But no, she can’t help herself.

    Gotta be a know it all and supreme commander, Lith, Pg, and now Lkwd.

    Maybe the public sector isn’t for her but she will never figure that out for herself.

    She’s delusional.

  3. Time to see if this new group is worth a salt.. or if they are typical “all talk” politicians

    Time to send CAO Jeannine Smith packing, and in a hurry!

  4. This election was so much more than the people that were running…

    it was the coming together of an entire community to stand behind the village staff, demand unconditional honesty in the board, and become part of what will likely be the most uplifting and encouraging transformation that we have ever seen.

    Dave, Trish, April and Mike are not only professionals, they are just good people with a kindness that brings the very best of minds together.

    I’m beyond excited to see the many good things to come, and happy to see that our staff is in very capable hands.

  5. Good luck.

    Stephan had a plan and passion.

    Wonder how the new plan will work out….oh that’s right.

    There is no plan!

    Now that the name calling and finger pointing is done, what are you gonna do?

    Too busy acting like five year olds!

  6. “Pamela Eddy gets Fast Eddied, Wiped and Washed Out of Village”

    Go ahead and use that one as a headline if you want.

    You know where to send the Bitcoin and silver bullion…

  7. This will be the first good-night’s-sleep I’ve have in 2 years!

    This WAS a referendum on Phil & his posse.

    Lakewood residents spoke loud and clear!

    This was a community that came together and I too am beyond excited!

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a HUGE margin/spread in vote tallies.

    When an incumbent receives 19% of the vote and the challenger receives more than 80% the incumbent should really consider moving or at least leaving town for a few years.

    Phil Stephan brought nothing but shame upon himself, his wife and his poor daughter.

    It’s one thing to lose an election and say “Hey ya can’t please em all”.

    It’s another to be embarrassingly trounced like this!

    Message from Lakewood to Phil Stephan:

    “Hey little man the entire village wants you gone! And take fat lady Smith with you!”

  9. The president and cao’s despicable behavior this past year cost him the election and most likely her employment here.

    Doug, Ryan, Pam, and Brian, chose to protect the president and cao at all costs.

    They blatetly ignored the issues, the alleged bullying and harrassment, and the employee turnover.

    The remaining board members should all resign.

    Looks like Phil and his minions “bet on the wrong horse”.

    The village is in a much better place now.

    The employees are ecstatic.

  10. YES!! Village business moves to the kiddie table!

    What’s the plan, Dave??

    Can you wipe that smug smile off of Tricia’s face?

    Can you keep Bryan & Amy from submitting FOIA’s?

    Can ANYONE on your staff read a balance sheet?

    Which part of Phil’s agenda will you be changing exactly?

    Will you be hiring back ALL of the incompetent staff?
    (With what money??)

    Have you figured out how much you don’t know yet?

    What exactly are you going to be doing differently?

    Congratulations Lakewood!

    You just hired the equivalent of “hope and change”.

    Whining and bitching galore – not a plan in sight.

  11. Remember that video where Phil and his lackeys stormed the Village Hall yelling “all you employees can be replaced”.

    Guess what little Phil – looks like you’re being replaced!

    Hit the Road Jack!

    And don’t you come back no more!

  12. Jack Marine – what “plan” did Stephen bring to the table?

    Other than taking credit for Serwatkas work and waving the train in on the tracks that Serwatka had laid the only measures we saw Steohan take were to spend stupid money on his “personal clubhouse” at Red tail and firing any staff members who could shine a light on him.

  13. Good Bye Phil………Jeanine, get your resume up to date.

    You two hurt a lot of good people that I care about.

    The worm has turned.

    Pack up and go.

  14. @Jack Marine, your hatred for the current regime is again blinding your view of the reprehensible behavior of the president, cao, and current board members.

    But that is your shtick isnt it.




    The voters have spoken.

    You are in the minority.

    Let it go.

  15. You know what’s funny…in February, Grafton Township voters fired Assessor Al Zielinski, partially due to his incompetence, but also because of FOIA issues, issues with the truth, disdain for the people he served, and how he used the power of his office to benefit himself.

    (He got himself a nice big drop on appeal back in 2018, saving him thousands of tax dollars.)

    Almost no one bought his B.S. and he lost by a vote ratio of 9-1.

    Stephan pulled similar crap to this, but also picked a fight with his police chief, intimidated and fired employees, (including said police chief), sidestepped multiple financial issues, the list goes on.

    But he still had some minions in his corner.

    That is hilarious.

    I guess there is a sucker born every minute.

  16. Of course Stephan carried on the work of Serwatka!

    Nobody is debating that.

    Phil wouldn’t have been there without Serwatka, second, continuing the work of Serwatka was politically expedient, AND third, it made sense for residents.

    Nobody is arguing with that.

    Like or hate Phil – doens’t matter.

    We voted AGAINST a forward-thinking plan, because Stephan presented himself in a less gentile manner than preferred.

    That might FEEL good, but doesn’t mean it IS good.

    Difficult to work for?


    Fought battles he shouldn’t?


    Ran his mouth and acted ridiculous sometimes?


    However – WITH A PLAN that was working for residents.

    The alternative candidates present themselves as really nice people that claim to behave better (but their social media profiles prove VERY different) – and again they have NO PLAN.

    We spent 10 years watching Erin Smith play with her hair, enrich herself and her husband, and kick the can down the road on important issues.

    Serwatka was a breath of fresh air.

    He set it up, Stephan waved it in, and we were headed into the third inning of a winning game. Missteps?




    End results positive?


    So yes, we’d love some decorum along with our municipal overhaul but at what cost?

    This job pays ZERO.

    I’ll bet on a hard-working asshole with a plan over ‘hope and change’ all day.

    So far their plan is “get rid of Phil”.

    Ok – now what?

    We just got rid of Phil, and placed what appears to be progressive leftists in his place.

    The ‘ol tax and spend philosophy is unwelcome, so what’s left?

    Maybe improve village assets to turn a profit?

    (Like Redtail?).

    Or how about refinance Erin Smiths’ disaster water treatment plant so that we don’t pay interest only for a decade?

    (Already DONE).

    How about tackling surface water issues in the village (good start made there, right?).

    How about holding other taxing bodies accountable (good start with the new park).

    How about stimulating home building and commercial development (what would be better than what is underway??).

    What exactly was wrong with all of THAT?

    (YES – I HEARD ABOUT THE DECORUM. Besides that.)

    Just because ANY incumbant is unlikable doesn’t mean someone new is better.

    The fact that nobody is willing to credit Serwatka and Stephan with doing anything right raises my interest because a lot of good came out of those two.

    Show me WHY the new crew is better for RESIDENTS of LAKEWOOD.

    I don’t need them to blow sunshine and rainbows up my ass… I need to know:




    I’m betting they can’t deviate from the current direction very much – they’ll just do it ‘nicer’.

    If they can accomplish that, I will cheer them on while they continue the good work of Serwatka/Smith/Stephan.

    What they might find out however is that sometimes it takes an asshole to get anything done.

    Especially when you’re working for FREE.

    I sincerely welcome the new administration – and hope for the best.

    In other words…


  17. Congratulations to the unite 4

    The village has spoken and finally heard..

    Thank you …

    I do have 3 questions to the remaining board.

    Ryan B, Doug U. and Brian A.

    1) Are you going to apologizes for your actions, false statements and involvement with what you did and said?

    2) Are you going to welcome and work with the new President and fellow trustees?

    3) are you going to retract your false statements against employees and residents?

    Just wondering if you will be man enough to corrected your wrong doings and Owen your actions.

    I guess we will see in the nexts few weeks.

    I wish this new board and President the best.

    You 4 are a blessing to this Village.

    Bring it back to honesty, integrity, morals, and doing the right thing for all.

    Welcome.. 😊

  18. The only bully I see are the ones commenting on this blog like kids on a school yard.

    Mr. Serwatka hand selected Stephan and Smith and now he is bashing them after he conveniently skipped town.


    Who’s the real problem here?

  19. Stephan didn’t carry out Serwatka’s plan. Stephan trashed Serwatka’s plan and destroyed Lakewood’s reputation and finances in the process. Serwatka attempted to implement zero based budgeting but Smith could never get it right.

    They can’t produce a budget without errors and missing numbers (34 to be exact). How do you balance a budget with missing numbers?

    The financials are months behind and so full of errors, they are a joke. And the Board approves this non-GASB compliant trash without a second thought.

    Stephan and Smith never had a plan and still don’t.

    You are missing the rest of the truth.

    Redtail – Spent over $200,000 in reserves renovating an old trailer, attempted to conceal some of it by writing off “old” gift cards to make the bottom line look better.

    Oh…and gave golfers smaller beers!

    Bond refi – Stephan created a train wreck by ILLEGALLY combining the East Sewer fund with Lakewood Utilities PLUS borrowed another $900,000 that wasn’t needed.

    What did he fix?

    Pretty sure he is using bond funds to make bond payments.

    Tackling surface water issues – Inverting one street isn’t tackling any issues.

    Plus the street now holds water in the middle (not safe).

    And still no functional or budgetary plan to tackle the rest of the neighborhood.

    Not to mention Lakewood was FIRED by our engineering firm, Baxter and Woodman.

    I will give him credit for getting Crystal Lake Park District to agree to spend money on a park in Lakewood albeit only in principal and without any idea how to handle the waste water generated.

    Stimulating construction – Renegotiating 176 and 47 by giving away additional tax incentives without State required legal documentation.

    Not exactly stellar for Lakewood.

    Stimulating residential construction by waiving fees and placing them on the backs of existing residents isn’t helping anyone.

    YES, reduce the fees and make us competitive with surrounding communities, but AT LEAST cover the costs.

    The Stephan/Smith “shoot from the hip plan” always becomes a mess.

    I can’t wait to see what professional leadership will do for our Village.

  20. Stephan and Mussolini share several similar characteristics.

    Both Italian.

    Both fascist dictators.

    Both short

    Though Mussolini was quite a bit taller by comparison.

  21. Doug McMahon is the only naysayer in the string of posts.

    He’s too much of a red pimple faced douche nugget to use his own name so he just makes things up.

  22. My favorite story of Phil is how he came into my home, trash talked everybody he could think of, and tried to make me believe he changed the direction of water on a street.

    When I explained to him gravity actually dictated the direction of water, he said something about how hot asphalt has an ability to play with gravity.

    So I checked out this magical street in the gates he was talking about and what I saw was a storm sewer in the middle of the road surrounded by asphalt cracks and water, yes, right in the middle of the street.

    And… You can’t make this up… a chewed up piece of gum right next to the sewer grate.

  23. We can’t even look at Phil Stephen or Doug mcMahan at lifetime fitness anymore.

    Those guys make me sick.

  24. Saw Phil taking down signs today.

    Tried to be friendly and waved hello with the window down and all, and no response.

    No wave back, no smile, just jerk ass body language like it was my fault he had his ass handed to him.

    I was trying to be friendly and neighborly.

    Never making that mistake again.

  25. ?????????? who is this “Doug McMahon”, people always talk about here and make reference to???????

    There is current trustee Doug Ulrich, who had said employees can be replaced and there is ex-trustee Jason McMahon, who comments here.

    Im confused.

  26. Jason –

    If you’re right, I’m wrong, and I’m open to either.

    I’m trying to send the message that nobody has proven anything yet, and thereby we just voted on emotions.

    The country just did that by electing Biden.

    That’s not working out so well if you haven’t noticed.

    We need proof of wrong doing, and we need to be results focused.

    If this new crew can accomplish both, that’s great for Lakewood.

    We need to see credible facts, out in the open.

    Brian Augustine for one is a very upstanding and credible guy – no prior allegiance to Stephan/Smith, yet was trashed as in public because of an accounting argument.

    That’s not his character and it’s wholly unfair to characterize a village volunteer like that without PROOF.

    Do you see my point?

    Bryan Younge trash talks and harasses people…

    Amy Odom does the same…

    Tricia B does the same… and her blog is half truths

    Yes, Dave S seems smart, level-headed, and competent

    April Runge is professional and well meaning

    Don’t know Mike F so no opinion there

    This can’t be that hard to prove in a small village and with all the FOIA’s and legal money spent.

    If Stephan/Smith really screwed up the Serwatka plan, or did something nefarious, then we have to prove it – we can’t just trash people online and say things without proof.

    I’m open to seeing the TRUTH at any cost, sir.

    I sincerely hope that if these allegations were true that they are finally revealed.

    And props to you for speaking kindly of Mr Serwatka – he does deserve credit for what he did – even if you didn’t always get along, hindsight reveals good intentions and good governance.

  27. Jason McMahon all you did was bash Serwatka when he was president and you did the same with Stephan.

    Why don’t you run for trustee again if you have so much to say.

    Who else wants to step up and take an unpaid thankless position instead of whining on the blog?

    Didn’t think so.

  28. The current Board has hidden behind remote meetings.

    While most other communities went hybrid, Stephan and CAO Smith wielded their control of the mute button like a weapon.

    Publicly shaming, insulting, belittling and degrading employees and residents without allowing any response.

    And the Board wonders why residents took to Facebook?

    It was the only place residents had a voice.

    While some votes may have been emotional, I feel the great majority were based on a desire for more transparency and decorum along with a strong financial plan for Lakewood.

    Be assured, the new Board will be looking into all the financial issues they have been attempting to reconcile with CAO Smith.

    Currently, there is a list of over 40 issues that NEED correction.

    I respected Brian Augustine.

    In fact, I pushed for him to be appointed to the vacant trustee seat because of his reputation and glowing, personal recommendations of community members and residents.

    Brian Augustine made his bed when he stopped being impartial and started scolding residents for asking questions instead of digging for answers.

    I personally reached out to him on several occasions, simply wanting an explanation on why he voted a certain way, truly trying to understand a different perspective.

    He refused to communicate.

    On one occasion, I reached out to Brian Augustine asking the Board to follow the rules when it came to the consent agenda.

    Instead of responding to me personally, he twisted my words and had Attorney Smoron attempt to shame and belittle me in a public meeting without allowing me to respond.

    Does that sound upstanding?

    It felt more like harassment.

    Of all the Board members, I was most disappointed in Augustine for failing to remain impartial.

    He was the one I expected to step up and bring decorum back into meetings.

    He was the one I thought would have no problem digging into financial questions and getting answers.

    I agree, the harassment needs to stop on both sides.

    Using trustee comments to drag residents thru the mud, belittling their questions and professions, is completely unacceptable.

    Believing people are asking questions because they are trying to undermine you, instead of trying to help is the root of all these arguments.

    I would venture a guess that Serwatka and I would have agreed more if he would have taken my questions for what they were instead of assuming I was out to get him.

    Open communication is the key.

    You will find this new Board making things very transparent.

  29. Move on:

    I left Stephan alone when my term was up thinking he would do a decent job.

    A year ago, when longtime employees were being let go and financial issues started popping up, I became involved again.

    Not to bash, but to get answers.

    Except I found everything is staged.

    Watch the Board read their cue cards to “spontaneously” discuss removing the Clerk.

    Yet they ignore Stephan’s removal of election documents.

    This Board couldn’t be less transparent if they tried.

    Serwatka is in the past.

    I won’t address it except to say, it may have gone differently with more open communication.

    Jack Marine is correct, hindsight does provide perspective for both sides.

  30. Doug McMahon, you are such a little priss.

    Use your real name or shut your fat, pimply, nasty ass face.

  31. Fat boy Doug, go back to the title of this blog.

    Phil Stephan was WIPED OUT by the voters.

    Phils days are over in Lakewood.

    Nobody gives a shit if you can’t come to terms with that.

  32. The Phil/Jeannine lemmings always cry “show me proof” on all the alleged financial type malfeasances which IS completely fair, but they tend to bypass or IGNORE the documented poor behavior towards residents, the vindictive firings, the employee written complaints, the toxic work environment, the harrassment and bullying, the defunding of the police department, the employee turnover, the negative resignation letters………like its okay and acceptable. And the other trustees should have a level of responsibility too.

    The criticism is fair.

    They deflect to protect or bury their heads.

    The trustee that did bring it to light was ostracized.

    Its mind boggling that people still support, ignore, or make excuses for their collective poor behavior.

    Stop trying to validate their unprofessional behavior.

  33. A concerned citizen reading through all of these comments.

    Wow and pathetic!

    This is a political blog and the rudeness and name calling is beyond immature and showcases the intelligence level of those writing such comments.

  34. Jack Marine – Douchey Doug – we all see through you.

    It’s time to give up, you just look like a very big sore loser.

    Your ridiculous claims are continuously false and your village is in much better hands now.

    Accept it.

    Maybe you and Phil and Ryan should run away together?

    I’m sure Chicago could use a few more narcissistic jerks.

  35. Berman sure has been quiet.

    Someone must have sued his ass.

    Boy oh boy that guy sure had a big mouth.

    By the way my neighbor said his boss received an anonymous package in the mail from him.

    Did anybody else have that happen?

    Or is that just a rumor?

  36. Just read these comments.

    Yeah, I saw Phil taking down the signs too and when he was taking the one down outside of Pam Eddy‘s house he was screaming his head off at her.

    I’m like dude shut up you have neighbors.

  37. Copied this from Facebook. Holy mackerel did you people see this?

    If you have children that ride a school bus, this will be incredibly disconcerting. This is a statement that I received from the school bus driver that pressed charges after Phil Stephan attacked her with children on the bus. This arrest document just might also explain why he has been unduly toxic with the Village of Lakewood police staff.

    I was driving my grade school route home from West Elementary. I had that route for 3 or 4 years. Had his little girl on my bus since she was in kindergarten. Lots of kids, short bus route once you enter that subdivision. Every single day he was in his driveway, staring all pissed off. I make it a habit to wave and smile to all my parents. Some are thrilled, some wave, some nod, he glared. This particular day I missed turning left into “his” subdivision. It was only his daughter and another little girl that got off there. Not a good idea to turn a 40 foot bus around on a road like Lakewood Rd. So I told the girls I’d swing back that way after we dropped some kids off of Palmer Dr. I went directly back (didn’t have to, dispatch said to just finish and swing around and drop the girls last). With the 2 girls, I turned into “his” street using the entrance that would have me dropping his daughter off right in her driveway. As I pull up, I see he is purple in the face!! Almost blue. The other little girl hopped off first, he started yelling: “Where were you?!!! Where is my daughter?!!! What did you do to my daughter?!!! “What did you do to her?!!!” His daughter is scrambling to get off the bus. Once she is out, I see him charging my bus door, all I could grab was a pen to defend myself. I didn’t have time to key my mic to yell for help and instead, as he was putting his foot on my first step, I closed the door on him and floored the bus. I would have dragged had he not backed out! I was terrified. I’ve never seen that look on anyone…. ever. I radioed the garage for help. I called Lakewood Police. They came to me in my bus. I told what happened. They asked if I wanted to press charges. I said yes. We discussed things and decided it would be best for me to bring the bus back to the garage and that I would drive over there in my car. I called them again to tell them that if they were going to have “him” there to apologize, I wasn’t interested and was scared to death to show up. They assured me that he wouldn’t be there. I called my husband to meet me if he could, but he was working late. I get to the Police Dept on Crystal Lake and only one squad and one car. I have the creeps. I call again, they tell me to come in. This is so odd, but I recall so much! The woman cop leaves. Guy cop comes out of the bathroom. Gives me a pen and a form to write a detailed explanation of what happened. The phone rings. I hear the cop saying: “No, do not come here, we will handle this”. I yell across to the cop, “is he on his way over here?” Cop said “no he won’t come here, he is already on probation.” So I am writing my statement, feel that feeling that makes your skin crawl, look over my shoulder to the window overlooking the lake and the F’n Freak is staring in the window. I scream for the cop and then see the cop outside “reasoning” with Freak!!! I’m fuming and scared. I see a car pull away. Cop comes back in. I ask for an escort home. No such luck, only one cop to man the shop. Cop walks me to my truck. I peel out and drive an odd way home in case freak was following me. I guess he could have found me easily if he wanted to. Wouldn’t have been a good idea. My older son met me on my way home.

    I quit driving bus shortly after that.

    All arrest and court records on this case here:


  38. So what’s this I hear about an investigation?

    There’s a rumor floating around a grand jury is looking into things.

    I’ve heard that more than once but what’s this about a homicide investigation coming back to life?

  39. @concerned citizen.

    A rumor huh?

    Please share or add more details about this “investigation”.

    Stop being coy.

    Also there hasnt been a homicide recently or in last 30 years and possibly ever in Lakewood.

  40. I think its safe to call little Phil’s HUGE loss a “slaughter” – but I don’t know about a “murder”.

  41. Not sure.

    Something in Huntley a few years back involving someone in the administration or staff.

    Staged suicide?

    Might just be a rumor.

  42. LITTLE phil and his A$$WIPE

    Sorry about your luck with the Presidential gig

    We now have opening for LITTLE PEOPLE BIG

    WORLD if you fall under the status of midget.

    Otherwise we can still use you as a flying

    Monkey along with your A$$WIPE soon to be

    FIRED cao. I’m sorry the wicked witch has already

    been casted A$$WIPE

    The new President called and said you two need

    to put your coffee in paper cups cause those

    ones are TO GO.

    Shoot I just got a call from the director and they

    don’t want you either. They said you two are

    DIRTY TURDS with big mouths

    The curtains have closed and the fat lady

    has sung.


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