Dan Alexander was appointed to Lakewood’s Board of Trustees during a Tuesday night meeting, although one current trustee was shut out of any discussion or interviews regarding the matter.
Alexander’s appointment comes after the resignation of embattled former Trustee Bryan Younge. Younge has previously said he left his position after being faced with hostility and threats for exposing Lakewood and the village-owned RedTail Golf Club's toxic work environment.
As previously reported by the Northwest Herald, multiple past and present employees of Lakewood Village Hall and employees at the village-owned RedTail Golf Club say name-calling, intimidation and inappropriate comments by village President Phil Stephan and Chief Administrative Officer Jeannine Smith have made the village of Lakewood a hostile place to work.
After Younge’s resignation, the village had 60 days under state law to appoint someone to his trustee position.
Alexander was appointed to the village board in a 4-1 vote with trustees Ryan Berman, Doug Ulrich, Brain Augustine and Pam Eddy voting to approve his appointment and Amy Odom casting the lone no vote.
Odom asked, during the meeting, whether everyone else on the board had discussed the appointment. In response, Stephan said Alexander did have the opportunity to meet with other trustees, but he did not interview with Odom.
“It was concluded that we did not believe Amy was representative of the Village Board, in light of the litigation she brought against the village that continues to drag on today,” Stephan said.
Stephan said documents from the lawsuit would be made publicly available in Village Hall.
Odom and Younge while he was still a trustee sued the village in September, alleging they were denied access to information they are entitled to as village officials. The complaint states that the denial of information is retaliatory and makes it difficult for Odom and Younge to do their jobs as elected officials.
Odom said she appreciates Stephan putting a copy of the lawsuit out there, so residents can read it.
“It's important that everybody understand this is because there's information that I'm not being given,” she said. “I have questions that are not being answered, obviously discussions that I have been completely left out of.”
Lakewood resident Shelby Younge, who is married to Bryan Younge, took issue during public comment with Odom not being consulted on Alexander’s appointment to the board.
“That is not okay. That is not fair. And that is not representing your entire community,” she said. “You can't do that without consulting your entire Board of Trustees, whether or not they have dissented with some of your issues.”
Although Odom voted no on Alexander’s board appointment, she said she has nothing personally against the new trustee, but said she wishes the board had discussed the appointment publicly more.
Trustee Ryan Berman commended Stephan on choosing Alexander as the new trustee, saying he looks forward to getting back to a “cohesive board.”
Berman said he’s known Alexander for a while and he’s a good guy, as evidenced by how hard he’s worked to lower the speed limit in his subdivision.
“I think it was a really good pick," he said. "I'm excited moving forward and I'm excited to get back to doing the things that we're supposed to be doing."
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