TIF Refund Investigation
On the March 23, 2021 meeting, during Mr. Trustee Berman's final word comments he calls into question a refund of the dissolved TIF district funds claiming that two employees and one village officer refunded tax payer monies without board approval and improperly. He called for an investigation. He does seem to love wasting taxpayer time and money with his investigations -- so I thought, as a resident with a history of research, I'd save the village a bit of work. Here's the entire investigation in pictures:
The Original Motion
During the June 13, 2017 meeting, there was a motion to dissolve the TIF District. Included in the board packet was the ordinance and this note from the Deputy Village Manager (who was Acting Village Manager at the time). There are 4 images -- click on them to slide through them.
In the ordinance is a provision for the excess funds:
The Vote to Approve
The board at the time discussed it and voted on it:
Please note -- Then Trustee Stephan (Phil) voted for the motion.
The Refunds Processed
In the meeting on December 13, 2017, the refunds were listed in the pre-paid invoices section of the financials. The distribution was done at the direction of the county per Section 3 of the ordinance. This is everyone who received a distribution. As you will notice that neither the clerk nor the treasurer at the time, as Mr. Trustee Berman alleged, received a payment as neither are in the TIF district.
These refunds were approved by the board at the time:
Notice again that then Trustee Stephan voted FOR the payments.
The Resident Communications
Finally, this was not done in secret as was also alleged -- not only did a letter go out from the village to residents, it was also prominently posted on then President Paul Serwatka's Facebook page.
Mr. Trustee Berman has once again brought false and potentially defaming allegations against residents and staff. Once again he was allowed to do so without objection or correction from the leadership on the board, our current village President Phil. Once again, had Phil wanted to he could have easily put an end to the drama and the allegations because he in fact was part of every single one of those decisions and votes. Once again, Phil failed us. Once again Phil has allowed personal vendettas and resident attacks to penetrate his board meetings. This is the tone and temperament of current leadership and this needs to change.
I'm asking you to vote for the United4Lakewood Team of David Stavropoulos, Tricia Babischkin, April Runge, and Michael Fischer on or before April 6th. A vote for us is a vote to end this insanity. It is a vote to end resident attacks and focus on the business of Lakewood. It is. vote for real leadership and ending a "friends" or "enemies" system of permitting, favors, and back room deals. This is a vote for transparency and honor.