Board Packet Review: October 27, 2020
In spite of the multitude of open questions, our village continues to move forward without addressing any of the concerns of the majority of residents. So, in preparation for tomorrow nights, zoom board meeting, let's review the packet.
First, please remember the the board meeting is remote and only available to the public via zoom.
Before Public Comments it appears that Dan Alexander is being nominated to fill the Trustee seat vacated by Trustee Bryan Younge. What is interesting about this is that there is no resume or qualifications in the board packet. I know in other municipalities it is typical to publicly interview or allow the public to view qualifications of candiates presented to the board. It will be very interesting to see if any Trustee offers any discussion prior to consenting to his placement on the board. I don't know if this is traditional for Lakewood, I only speak to the process in other municipalities and when a board is seeking to be transparent -- this kind of thing would be considered standard.
Additionally, Paul Shaumon is nominated to the Planning & Zoning Commission. I've attended every board meeting since May (and there were no P&Z meetings in that time frame), I find it curious that we've had an open seat on P&Z and we just now are filling it? Again, there is no resume or qualifications in the board packet.
Edited to add: I reviewed previous meetings to learn that in February of this year, Mr. Alexander was selected for the Planning & Zoning Board (though the website was never updated -- which is why I was unaware of his appointment) and attended 1 P&Z meeting to vote for the rezoning required for the travel center. Since then that Commission has not met. This explains the nomination to fill the P&Z Commission opening. I stand corrected on the opening.
Approval of Minutes from 10/13/2020 -- I actually have an issue with the minutes this month. At minute 19.39 in the recording, Phil is heard promising that the financials will be available at the next meeting. This promise should be included in the minutes of the meeting. I again remind Phil that he can't claim that RedTail has "broken even" until he sees all of the costs -- unless what he means is that RedTail has revenues in excess of the budgeted expenses -- which may be true, but if you review that budget, you will notice that most of the expenses are listed as zero or near zero 'due to unknowns due to COVID." So, until there are firm numbers, there's no breaking even. (And I fully expect that RedTail will be profitable this year -- unless there is significant wasted spending, the golf course should make near record profits -- my concern continues to be how are those profits going to be reinvested into the course to sustain it over the long haul -- it is foolish to believe that this level of course use will continue in a post-COVID world.)
Approval of Bill Lists
Item 5: Motion to Approve H R Green Engineering Agreement for Additional Resurfacing Program Services in an Amount not to Exceed $4,460
First, I must commend the CAO for including the details of the budgeting for this line item. However, the memo that is attached is for $300 LESS than the motion in the agenda. Why the difference? Also, can the board please confirm that this is what patched Broadway on the Monday after the last meeting. On June 23, Phil was heard confirming that Broadway was one of the roads that was to be repaved this year when the first HR Green proposal was accepted. I drove down Broadway after Phil said the paving was complete and I have found that it looks like a few shovels of asphalt was thrown into a few of the deeper pot holes -- but I'd hardly claim that Broadway was repaired.
Item 6: Motion to Approve Ordinance No. 2020-(23)– An Ordinance Authorizing Execution of the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network Agreement (IPWMAN)
Item 7: Motion to Approve the Child Advocacy Centers Memorandum of Understanding and Adopt the Child Advocacy Board Protocol for the Lakewood Police Department between January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020
I'm grouping my comments for items 6 & 7 together --- these seem completely standard and I have no questions regarding them.
Then not on the agenda, but thrown in the end of the packet were two odd things:
Photos of new street sign hangers with top and bottom caps for the sign posts. One can hope that these new signs are more durable than the "beaver chewed" posts we have AND that the reflective signs that were put in at Brighton Oaks and Ballard are not part of the new design -- those signs while reflective are too light in the wind and are blowing around as such that they are near impossible to read.
A study of speed enforcement times for Lake Ave. and Loch Glen. Given that the focus of what is sure to be our newest trustee, Mr. Alexander's public comments have been around speeding cars and the safety of our children who play in the street, I'm guessing that this is a nod to his joining the board. I know there was a traffic study that the board instructed the CAO to instruct the police to conduct -- one can assume that this is the product -- but again, without context and information -- it's just a guess.
The question is will we hear a Treasurer's Report? Will we hear any updates from our Trustees regarding the open public questions? Will we hear that the Ethics Commission is being established since we are now putting people on the board and the P&Z Commission? I guess we will wait and see.
Overall this agenda is frankly, fluff. The hard work of running the village is missing from this agenda as are the answers to the questions that the public has. Phil has repeatedly stated that we need a town hall to discuss various things -- and I'm beginning to think he's right -- so how about a town hall, Phil and the Board? How about the board actually answer our questions -- all of them and completely answer them? And since I know it can be done -- no, you don't need to be in person for a town hall -- we can do it over Zoom. You'd need to work on your technology skills, but it can be done.