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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Meet the United4Lakewood Team

I never expected to run with a slate of people. I fully intended to run on my own independently from anyone else's campaign. But through the nomination petition process and the resulting baseless objection hearings we went through, a group of originally independent candidates were suddenly a team. And I am certainly proud to be a part of this group.

I'd like to introduce you to each of them, but it is far easier to let them introduce themselves. To do this, we set-up a site --- There's a little bio of each of us, a way to get into contact with us, a sign-up to put a sign in your yard, and of course a way to donate to the campaign.

The team isn't just about our bios -- the advanced degrees (yes, plural), a published book, an international speaker, or anything you could find on our resumes. This team is about the unique skills we bring to the table. We each have our strengths and weaknesses they compliment each other. So, indulge me a second to share what I think sets each of this team apart and why I believe they are worthy of your vote on April 6th.

David Stavropoulos -- for Village President

Dave is not the most chatty man I've ever met. He listens with an intensity I admire and respect. Whenever I speak to him, I watch him thoughtfully consider what I'm saying and not what he is going to respond with. I can only imagine that this is why he's a successful Chief Operating Officer. What you don't realize at first is that Dave has a wickedly, dry sense of humor -- one of those that it is easy to think he's deeply serious all the time -- this would be a mistake. But Dave is never flippant. His words are chosen carefully and with great consideration. What he brings to the village is a pragmatism -- his thoughtful, deep planning with the overlay of what is truly practical is actually inspiring. When I talk to him about the village, it isn't grand flashy plans, but simple, deliberate ideas that solve issues first. He has a construction background and not just at the doer level -- he leads teams, he leads projects, he solves problems.

Michael Fischer -- for Village Trustee

Mike is the most personable guy I know. I'm utterly convinced that it's not possible not to like him. But his likable personality isn't based on telling you what you want to hear. It's actually about a acute self-awareness that frankly, I find inspiring. When he and I started talking, before either of us ever thought about running, Mike asked some of the deepest questions about my research. He questioned my numbers, he pushed back on my theories and assumptions. He is quick on his feet when talking, but I've never seen him say something just to have something to say. If he doesn't know an answer, he finds it out. And to be honest with you, he's sent me back to the research more than once -- and my facts are better for it. Why Mike will be an outstanding Trustee is he is a bridge builder. He thinks through things from all sides and asks the tough questions in a gentle manner.

April Runge -- for Village Trustee

April is an absolute force of motivating organization. I've teased that if you want it done you merely mention it to April and the next thing you know, there's a plan, a chart, a phone tree and a hundred people showing up to help. But while this is awe-inspiring to me, her strength is communicating data. She sees data and measurement in a way that is different that anyone I've met (and we work in highly similar fields). April is outstanding with the details. She sees all the little steps in the process that are easy to overlook when you are running at lightning speed. But she's not limited by those details, she has this unique skill to see and understand the big picture and see (and communicate) each step to get there. April also has a huge heart. Her caring for those around her makes all those organizational skills come to life. I firmly believe it is because of her heart that she can motivate hundreds of people to show up with hours notice all to help.

Tricia Babischkin -- for Village Trustee

There is nothing harder in this world than to talk about yourself as if I don't know every one of my own faults and foibles. Here's the thing, if you've followed me at all. If you know me, you know that if I do it, I'm incredibly passionate about it. I don't think there's anything I've cared about doing that I didn't do all the way. I research deep to understand the situation and then I share all that I know. While I like to believe that I'm smart and I do have better than average Excel skills, I believe that what sets me apart is my passion. It drives me to do more and be better -- it does not drive me to fly off half-cocked. I also believe that I am firmly human, fully capable of making errors and the making of them is not a weakness or flaw in my character. It is how we handle those things that sets us apart -- and I believe in owning my mistakes, learning, and moving onward. I also have a deep since of right and wrong. I believe in process and rules and I know no one who is above following those.

As you can see, I'm pretty excited to get to work with Dave, Mike, and April. Realizing that we did not know each other a year ago; understanding that what united us together is a deep seated love for the Village of Lakewood and the residents who live here; and respecting that each of us brings a different point of view, a different set of experiences, and a different skill set, allowed us to form the United4Lakewood. We are united, but we are very different. We have common values, but we don't always agree. However, no matter the challenge or the issues, we respect each other deeply. We believe that from that respect -- we can bring professionalism, transparency, and fiscal responsibility back to Lakewood.

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