Local Editorials

Our view: You can go now, Paul Serwatka

Village President Paul Serwatka speaks at a Village Board meeting June 12 in Lakewood.
Village President Paul Serwatka speaks at a Village Board meeting June 12 in Lakewood.

Paul Serwatka should resign as Lakewood’s village president immediately.

Residents don’t need someone who no longer plans to be part of the community to lead them, and Serwatka’s not only leaving, but he says it’s stupid to live there.

In a story from reporter Ed Komenda that appeared in Monday’s Northwest Herald, Serwatka said the property taxes he paid on his home in the Turnberry subdivision were excessive compared with what he would pay in Alabama, where he’s moving.

“Man, we really were stupid for sticking around,” Serwatka said.

“Lakewood: The stupid people who stick around” would make a terrible village motto. It’s certainly not something any local leader ever should say about their community, and definitely not in the local newspaper. Not unless they plan to quit the next day, anyway.

We’re waiting.

Serwatka seems determined to drag out his tenure, although what happens in Lakewood shouldn’t be much of a concern to him any longer.

In a May 31 story by Daniel Gaitan, Serwatka said he hadn’t moved away, despite neighbors having seen furniture being loaded into a moving truck in front of his home over the Memorial Day weekend. In the same story, Serwatka compared himself to President Donald Trump.

While both have caused plenty of chaos, Trump at least lives in the place he governs and plans to stay there. Trump says a lot of wild things, but he’s never said it was stupid to live in America.

Several residents attended a Village Board meeting last week and made it clear they don’t want Serwatka leading the board any longer.

Some booed him.

At that meeting, Serwatka attempted to have a couple of village trustees removed from the board, until the village attorney told him he didn’t have the power to do that. Whoops.

Perhaps Serwatka has been distracted trying to coordinate moving his family to another state. Or maybe it’s because he’s only been village president for about a year and hasn’t been able to fully get his arms around the job yet.

Whatever the reason, the right thing for Serwatka to do now is to quit. His presence on the board will continue to be divisive, and anything else he tries to accomplish may well be met with bitterness and resistance.

Drop the feuds, wish your soon-to-be former neighbors good luck and move on.

Let the people who want to continue to be residents of Lakewood handle their own affairs.

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