The "Business as Usual" Trustees

(Recently Resigned, Current and Former)

Trustee, Paul Serwatka 

(Candidate for Lakewood Village President)
Fulfilling one of his foremost campaign promises, when running to be trustee two years ago, trustee Paul Serwatka has been shedding light on, and exposing, many of the otherwise "secret" and unpublicized actions of the Lakewood Village Board.

Board Packets 

Upon being elected in April, 2015 Paul Serwatka began his mission toward transparency by sharing COMPLETE Board Packets with residents along with a somewhat detailed  account of board meetings, via e-Newsletter and social media. 

Prior to this, Board Packets were NOT made available for residents to see. Residents were only allowed to see upcoming Meeting Agendas and past Meeting Minutes.


Paul began sharing Board Packets with residents, in their entirety, via e-newsletter and social media, while negotiating, and at times arguing, with fellow board members and staff who did not approve.  President Smith, Manager Catherine Peterson and trustee Ken Santowski fought to keep Board Packets out of the hands of residents. 


Finally, July 28, 2015 marked the beginning of Board Packets being made publicly available to residents via the village website. Note that prior to July 18 2015, only Meeting Agendas and Minutes are included.   Agendas & Board Packets 

Town Hall Meeting


In 2015, many Lakewood homes were re-assessed by Grafton Township Tax Assessor, Al Zielinski, causing many resident's property taxes to increase exorbitantly. In June of 2015, Paul Serwatka held a series of Town Hall meeting for Lakewood residents. The first of which included Grafton Tax Assessor, AL Zielinski, allowing residents to meet with the assessor, ask questions, hold him accountable and to get a face-to-face explanation on these re-assessments. 

Phil Stephan, Richard Ritchie and Amy Fues Odom

(Candidates for three Open Lakewood Trustee positions)

Assisted in the success of this initiative, to give residents a formal and official voice, helping to bring accountability to our village board. 

Learn more about this initiative in the Northwest Herald Article


The Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government Team, comprised of these four candidates, is 100% committed to putting an end to the reckless spending, as well as the patronage hiring, contracts and bonuses, and the bloated & bureaucratic government that has overtaken Lakewood over the last decade or more.


With these changes alone, this team is confident that they can, in fact, REDUCE Lakewood's Property Tax levy, in the very next year, by an estimated 8 to 10%!


This team also brings innovative strategies to help stimulate residential construction, and continues to consult with local commercial development experts to help to responsibly, and advantageously, expedite Economic Development in our village.


Any Economic Development that would occur, if done responsibly, and advantageously, would enable Lakewood's Property Tax Levy to be reduced significantly further.   

Recently Resigned Trustee, Ken Santowski

(Candidate for Lakewood village president)

8-Year Incumbent Trustee, Gene Furey and

Former Trustee, John Schrauf

(Both running for the open trustee positions at the request of President, Erin Smith 


Board Packets

Trustees, Ken Santowski and Gene Furey both (along with President Smith and Manager, Catherine Peterson) opposed sharing Board Packets with residents. They were of the opinion that the information contained was "not meant for the public's eye."  They repeatedly argued that sharing this information with the public "put the board at risk & opened the board to liability."

These three "Business as Usual" trustees (resigned, current, and former), have proven they are 100% committed to protecting and continuing the status quo bureaucracy of Lakewood government.  

In fact, both Ken Santowski and Gene Furey have voted 8-consecutive years for the Maximum Property Tax Hikes allowable by state law!

Additionally, as the public recently learned, both Ken Santowski and Gene Furey have continually voted in favor of awarding secret, patronage bonuses and raises - for 8-consecutive years - to former village manager, Catherine Peterson - causing her to be among the highest paid municipal managers in the country!


Learn more about this HERE.  

Opposing Views On

New Multi-Million Dollar Village Hall

Which View Do YOU Share? 

Which team's views on Transparency are more in line with YOURS?

Be sure to Get out and VOTE for them on APRIL 4th!



A copy of our report with the State Board of Elections is available on the Board's official website:  (CLICK HERE)

Copyright 2016, Lakewood Tax-Fighter & Better Government Project

The lakewood TAX-Fighter


Better Government Team