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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Forward Friday -- Source of Truth

I'm about to write a statement that is so shocking that the second I said it out loud I quickly took my own temperature fearing I'd fallen ill. Mr. Trustee Berman is correct when he says, "You should not get your information from social media." I might need to lay down, I'm a little light headed.

Ok, all joking aside -- if your only source of information is social media it is likely a one-sided, skewed view of the world around you. However, if your only source of information is a politician who is currently trying to convince you the he should be re-elected, you are just as likely to get a one-sided, skewed view of the world around you.

I grew up in a family that got at least 2 newspapers every day. Admittedly this was a time when the local, printed press was not owned by major corporations and expressed decidedly different views. But anyway, my family values were that you get your news from both the left and the right and know that somewhere in the middle is the truth.

It is from this 'find the truth' position that I even began this journey. I started with a question and I asked a ton of people and then I reached out to the village, the board, and residents. I would get told one thing and when I went to verify it to be fact, I'd learn something else. That's where the idea of this site really began -- it began with the idea of creating a single warehouse of the information I've found. To be honest, the original design supports more of that warehouse idea -- the posting of FOIAs and following an issue from question to resolution --- and as time has gone on, I think I may need a redesign. That will be after the election. But I digress.

My approach has always been that I don't deal in rumor. I've been told some seriously crazy things -- but I took the journalist's standard of the two source rule before I said anything. I also held that whenever possible I would post my source information for public scrutiny and to hopefully open the door to questions and challenges. I've had people email and tell me my posts are too long -- and they are -- but I want to share everything I have on any given topic. I hope that you trust me more because I do.

Yes, I have an opinion. I'm not an unbiased journalist who can present the facts and only the facts. These questions and concerns aren't just mine -- they are the residents' concerns and questions -- and because I'm a resident this is personal to me. Yes, I'm running for office and as such I want you to trust what I say. I'm not a politician, I have no desire to run for bigger offices -- I want to serve my community to the best of my ability and to be able to face myself in the mirror.

But all of that said, as much I've tried to pull back the curtain and share every detail I can find, I don't want to be your sole source of truth either. It just so happens that right now, with the administration we have, you won't get the same "here, let me show you how I got to this conclusion" attitude. I do this because I believe that it is egotistical to expect you to just trust me because I said so. I do this because I want to talk to you about what I've found and to do that intelligently, you need to have the same information I have and hopefully you bring additional information to the table. I do this because I think the village is worth my time to really know what is going on.

Mr. Trustee Berman says that there's a reason the majority board doesn't participate in social media -- specifically a Facebook Group that I believe is the only cross neighborhood group in our village. He feels it's not the right forum -- but the forum he choses to use is one where he takes no questions and when he speaks he demeans and belittles residents. Our President Phil says we should trust him without questioning anything that he says. Our CAO/Finance Director/Budget Officer describes those who are critical of her work with profanity (this isn't a rumor -- it's been confirmed by multiple sources). Never. Not once have I heard anyone of these people when faced with a fact that an error was made apologize or even admit that they made a mistake. To listen to them and believe them without questioning would be to believe that they are infallible beings surrounded by morons and those of us who fail to understand their greatness.

The United4Lakewood candidates have demonstrated a willingness to speak with residents -- both supporters and haters. We have stepped in and "shown our work" on everything from our position that the spending is out of control to the toxic work environment. It is hard to face someone who challenges you. It is harder to do it with professionalism and grace. Working with Mike, April, and Dave has been an absolute delight. I've quoted Mike in my day job meetings, I've learned infographic software from April, and Dave has been a sounding board throughout this process. These people have never once told me "Trust me; don't question." They have never said, "You are really in the weeds, aren't you?" They never said, "You don't know what you don't know." No, they shared with me what I didn't know. In a word it is refreshing.

Today marks the first day of early voting. Until March 22nd, you can vote at the McHenry County Administration Building at 667 Ware Rd, Woodstock from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Beginning on March 22nd -- there will be more locations open. You can get the full list here.

I hope that when you compare the quality of the information you get from my research versus the sound bites in a board meeting, you will trust me and my friends enough to vote like this:

The United4Lakewood Team -- together on the ballot. Together we can bring professional leadership to Lakewood -- but more importantly, we leave our egos at the door and bring a willingness to share the details in order for everyone to understand the decisions made.

Don't get your information ONLY from social media. Don't get your information ONLY from the sitting board. Do your own research and if you don't have time -- feel free to read mine and decide if you think I've done a good enough job of researching and sharing for you.

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