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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Upcoming Board Meeting: Agenda Review

Typically the board packet is updated on the Village's website on Friday afternoon, allowing all of the Board members and the public to review the packet and prepare for the upcoming meeting. However, after canceling the last meeting due to a LACK of agenda items -- I find that this packed agenda that was briefly online Friday and then removed until Sunday morning (getting it public just prior to the mandatory 48 hour rule) very, VERY curious.

First, before I walk through the questions I have regarding the agenda, I want to remind you that the 7/14 meeting was canceled because of a lack of agenda -- however -- of the items on the current agenda all of these are dated PRIOR to the 7/10 date that the board packet would have been published to have the meeting:

  • Special Events Request (June 26 requested; Club followed up because they heard nothing from our CAO until 7/17)

  • HR Green Contract Services Renewal (Proposal Dated: 7/9/2020)

  • Vactor Truck purchase (estimates are from earlier this year and most expired on 7/3/2020)

So -- yes, I see they had nothing to talk about on 7/14 when the meeting was canceled.

Agenda Review

Note -- there's no Zoom for this meeting -- basically eliminating anyone who is a high risk category from attending in person AND the location has been changed

This meeting will be at Turnberry Country Club -- because the room can hold more people; but I do wonder if they will impose the 50 person limit on the meeting.

  • Discussion Regarding Irrigation Well for the Purpose of Maintaining Safe Water Levels to Lake #2

I believe this has been requested by Trustee Eddy. I had the pleasure of speaking with her last week and from our chat on the well, she's not looking to re-vote on it; but wants everyone to be clear on what it is they approved and what it will do. I think this is particularly interesting as I think there's confusion as to how this well will:

  • Aid the Algae situation in the lakes (all of the lakes)

  • Keep the water levels up (as it is only to add about 70K gallons a day -- when on -- and RedTail takes 88K to water the course)

  • Motion to Approve a Service Agreement with HR Green for Building Plan Reviews, Building Inspections and Code Enforcement Services on Demand based on the 2020 Bill Rate Schedule included in the Agreement

If we do nothing else, can we PLEASE get CAO Smith to explain how we are going to at least have the building department breakeven when using HR Green? Since she failed to do as promised an raise the permit fees to cover the increase in the inspection costs -- before we approve this service contract, can we get the permits to cover the expenses?

  • Motion to Approve Schroeder Asphalt Services, Inc. for the Village of Lakewood’s 2020 Maintenance Resurfacing Road Program in an Amount Not to Exceed $160,726.49

This appears to be within budget and needed given the state of the roads. I would like to know what roads this covers.

  • Motion to Approve the Purchase of a 2019-Vac-Coninan Amount Not to Exceed $390,000 and Authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to Obtain Financing with the Village Attorney’s Approval

Open questions on this item (there are a LOT):

  1. This was floated on the budget last year for 1/3 the cost; but was never brought to the board to approve -- why the incredible increase in price and why now?

  2. Do other small villages the same size as us own their own Vactor Truck or do they contract this out?

    1. Confirmed that Lisle, St. Charles, Geneva, and Elmherst out source this work.

  3. Only shows quotes from only (1) dealer/vendor

    1. Where did the other communities purchase their trucks?

    2. Where did the company we out-source to purchase their trucks?

  4. I think there was incorrect data used for the cost evaluation:

    1. The proposal says that last year $50,444 was spent on vac/televising of 23,150 linear feet. You cannot combine televising of the sewers with vac cleaning.

    2. The 2017 quote for televising of sewer at $1.75/linear foot, so for 23,150 that would be $40,500 of the 50,444.

    3. So instead of the 2019 sewer vac total of $66,944 for last year that is being shown, it is really $27,000

  5. Why only (1) years worth of out-source totals shown

    1. Need to see several years’ worth of out-sourcing total?

    2. Is this used every year?

    3. Cannot judge cost savings with only 1 years’ worth of cost

    4. Why are there no bids for continued outsourcing of services? In a brief review of other municipalities, it appears that the single company we have used is not the lowest price AND that we could reduce costs with better due diligence on the out sourcing before buying an expensive, large piece of equipment.

  6. Warranty Questions

    1. Would the warranty be the reason to spend $150K more on a new truck over the $250K used one -- if there's still plenty of life in it after 20 years?

    2. Note -- CAO Smith's proposal claims the $250K used truck would have a 60 day warranty, it CLEARLY says, "6 month warranty" on the proposal.

    3. Proposal states: 7 years on the fan/blower & Vac-on module BUT exhibit for the warranty shows (5)yrs on fan and module and (10)yrs on tanks

  7. The maintenance calculation is not clear:

    1. It states that estimated 5-year maintenance is < $1,000/yr and says it will then double ($2,000?), but $7,000 is used in calculation.

    2. Woodstock vs. Crystal Lake's Maintenance Estimate: Probably best to use higher figure because the following information was not provided: models of trucks, actual age, types of usual maintenance issues.

      1. Proposal states estimated below $1,000 for first (5) years, but then uses the $7,000 maintenance estimate for all (20) years of the life of the truck. It should be:

      2. Maintenance first (5) years = $1,000/yr = $5,000

      3. Maintenance remaining (15) years = $7,000/yr = $105,000

      4. Maintenance total = $110,000 over 20yrs

Real Cost Analysis:

Truck + interest = 452,661

Maintenance = 110,000

562,661/20 years = $28,133.05

Last year’s real out sourcing cost was $27,000

Final -- and likely the most serious question --- Given all the budget issues we have -- including all those I've been pointing out on the site -- HOW can we in good faith spend a half million dollars on something like this? Fix the budget FIRST and then I'm happy to talk about a Vactor truck?

  • Discussion and Direction for Staff to Proceed with the Creation of an Administrative Policy for Traffic Calming to be Returned to the Board for Adoption

I'm happy to see that traffic calming is a priority.

  • Motion to Authorize Direction to Draft Agreement with ICON Builders Brighton Oaks Unit 5 to Waive Impact Fees

Question: Does the board realize that by waiving these fees it can take approximately 15 years of taxes from a new home to recoup the waived fees? Perhaps we consider a modified plan?

  • Motion Directing Chief Administrative Officer Jeannine Smith to Not Respond to and to Disregard Any and All Communication from Trustee Younge

This is interesting. There's no back-up in the packet for this one; but I'm guessing it is related to the item below it. What I can say is that there appear to an awful lot of directions to the staff coming from board members who are NOT Bryan Younge. I just want to point out this little tidbit from our Village Code:

  • Motion to Authorize Investigation of Bryan Younge for Harassment

If it weren't a violation of the gift policy, I would buy our board a dictionary. So, let's look at the key definitions you need to know about this:

  1. Harassment: From a legal dictionary: n. the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone anxious or fearful. A systematic pattern of harassment by an employee against another worker may subject the employer to a lawsuit for failure to protect the worker.

    1. Generally, criminal harassment entails intentionally targeting someone else with behavior that is meant to alarm, annoy, torment or terrorize them. Not all petty annoyances constitute harassment.

  2. Stalking: Stalking generally refers to a clear pattern of conduct through which the perpetrator causes the victim reasonable fear for their safety or their family's safety.

Our board needs to be VERY careful here. Should they vote on this, they could easily been seen as participating in a threat -- which has it's own implications.

"People—lawyers or not—who threaten to start criminal proceedings against others can land in hot water.

Lawyers. Lawyers who threaten to take opponents to criminal court in order to gain an advantage can be subject to discipline for unethical behavior.

Members of the public.It can even be a crime to threaten to initiate criminal proceedings against someone." (edited for length from

But I'll leave you with one thought -- I bolded a little part of the harassment language " attempt to force someone to quit a job" -- if this on the agenda is not harassment of Bryan Younge, especially in light of the three censure motions (two passed) while not equally censoring the other board members for their poor behavior (video on May 4th comes to mind) -- feels like Bryan, who I will freely admit could use a course in tact, would have a case of harassment against the 'majority board' -- or at the very least Phil Stephan and Ryan Berman. (In my non-legal opinion.)

If this goes to court, I will assure you that the one who will lose isn't the board or even Trustee Younge -- it will be each and everyone of us, the tax payers.

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Jul 26, 2020

Regarding the HR Green proposal, we could obtain quotes from other services that may NOT require increasing our permit fees.

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