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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Strategic Vision for Lakewood

As I was explaining my decision to run for Trustee, very dear friend asked me, "Hearing everything you are telling me, why in the world would you take that job on?" My response, "You know me, knowing what I've found so far, how could I not?"

When I began this process, it came from a place that I wanted to understand what was going on. I believe there are at least three sides to every story, I followed the facts to see why our village was so drama filled.

As a strategic planner, I believe you review the history, the financials, the processes to understand what has been successful, what has failed, and what was poorly executed. Then you form a plan to build on success, correct what failed, and put in place process to fix the execution. This isn't rocket science to me -- but it is a methodical, slow, and detailed oriented process. It requires the ability to both see the big picture and break that picture down into manageable steps.

I've shared so many of the things I've found along the way so far -- and there's so much more. Areas where short sighted decisions have (or will) cost us more than they should. Morally and legally questionable decisions that could be costly in terms of dollars or reputation. Heart breaking decisions that have have tugged on the heartstrings of every human who has ever suffered under the reign of a bad manager.

I went back and reviewed how our current board got elected and the platform they stood together on. And in that I realized something -- they have a plan for Lakewood. They have very specific goals for Lakewood that are quite frankly their own agenda -- it appears for their own gain. This plan is painstakingly being carried out without regard to any other priorities or needs of the village. There's no flexibility in this plan, there's no consensus in this plan (except with those who built it), there's no logic to this plan. It is narrow and short-sighted and frankly, it's expensive.

I don't need to detail their plan for them -- they've outlined it so far with their overspending, disregard for IL and Village code, budgeting irregularities, and harassment of employees past and present. The ultimate goal of their plan? I've not figured out if it is the destruction of Lakewood or just their own personal power grab. But I can assure you, it isn't making Lakewood better.

So the logical question is -- "What is YOUR plan?" And the answer is simple. I do not have one, but I have a vision. A vision of Lakewood that is build on fiscal responsibility, trust, and professionalism. A vision for a Lakewood the residents are proud of. But that vision isn't a point by point spending plan of our reserves so that we can not meet the basic service needs of the village. This vision, which I hope is your vision, is that Lakewood's government work FOR the residents of Lakewood. That it have your priorities at its heart. That it is US not ME.

What I have is a desire to work. What I offer is the ability to listen to the needs of the residents and build a plan, make it transparent, make it affordable, and make it executable. What I can do is bring honor, trustworthiness, and decorum to the board. What I stand for is the residents and Lakewood before myself. What I promise is that if you trust me with your support and vote, I will serve you to the best of my ability and will strive to never give you reason to doubt the faith you put in me.

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