Processing Another Goodbye
Before I can even begin to process the meeting, I have to say that it was heartwarming to see all the support for Jan throughout our village. Jan doesn't know this, but she met me the first time I ever walked into Village Hall. She probably won't remember the frustrated couple looking for a notary who needed to get a form certifying the number of hours my permit carrying teen had driven for him to get his license. There's no way for her to know that every time I see his license, I think about her and how sweet she was and told us it was "no bother" when we interrupted her work so she could witness us sign this form. She was the face of the village for us -- new residents to the area, first time in village hall, a smile and that signature laugh that I've come to learn is all Jan.
We heard residents speak of their interactions with Jan. How she's helped them; how she's made their lives easier; how they thought of her as family. Jan is a resident. She is our neighbor and like I've come to learn about Lakewood, when the community learns of an injustice to one of us -- they rally. When the drama gets too much, when you wonder if it will ever end, when you feel like the next 41 days (that's the current days to April 6th) will never come --- I will think about the candles in the photos. I'll think about the residents who got on camera and spoke, and I will think about the strength and poise it took for Jan to speak. And I will stand a.little taller and keep pushing through.
Like every one of those who spoke, every one of you who has emailed, called, or texted me -- I want this drama to end. But despite what Phil and his team would lead you to believe the drama won't end if we turn a blind eye to what's going on in the village. There has been too much uncovered to trust without verifying. And when the Village President openly admits that he 'reviews the agenda with each Trustee to answer questions before the meeting' -- specifically to avoid the spirit of the OMA, he is robbing each of the trustees of the ability to be seen as their own people, he is stealing their ability to be seen as thoughtful, researched, and competent Trustees --- and he is obstructing our ability to witness government in action.
This drama will end. It ends with every vote cast for Dave, April, Mike, and me. It ends when our village elects a Village President and Trustees who value the residents and their ideas, values the staff that keeps this village moving, and longs to serve not dictate. Request a Mail in Ballot today, Early Voting begins on 3/12/21, or vote in person on April 6th.