Everyone can remember a few months before the April 5 election. Garvey and Ketchmark wrote in their PEP flyers that the village was almost broke and taxes would have to be raised by the VIP Party. PEP told the people that if the VIP Party abated the Special Service Area taxes for 20 percent of the people, that it would cause the other 80 percent of Brookfield resident’s taxes to double.
The PEP Party really scared our senior citizens putting out political fliers stating this as a fact. Many senior citizens really believed that the VIP Party was out of control with spending, there was a lot of waste, too many improvements were being done all around town and that being fair and equable to the people living in the SSAs was the worst thing that could happen to Brookfield.
Well guess what? It all worked. The voters believed what PEP said and the PEP Party won! As a result of their misleading information, lies, and campaign promises, the people of Brookfield were fooled.
Now look what has happened in the past four months under PEP Party control. They admit now that there really was and still is over $10.5 million dollars in cash surplus funds and the village is not broke. This is very good news for the people but bad news politically for President Garvey and his PEP Party. How could the PEP Party save face after saying all those bad things about the VIP Party bankrupting the village?
The first thing President Garvey did was to order the staff to prepare an overinflated budget to show everybody that the village did not have the money in the general fund to cover such a large budget thus creating over a $1.2 million dollar deficit or short fall in the budget.
President Garvey purposely created a shortfall in the budget with an artificial deficit to show us that PEP would make cuts, eliminate waste and lay off village employees. They did all this so they could start firing and laying off any employees that they thought were loyal supporters of the VIP Party without getting hit with lawsuits for political firings.
They have already terminated two office employees, with four Public Works employees getting fired on Sept. 1 and more to come. All of this reeks of unethical politics.
None of this was really necessary. It is all a “smoke and mirrors” type budget process to once again fool the people of Brookfield, and for President Garvey to be the hero who saved the budget and Brookfield.
Trustees Dorobiala and Stevanovich have seen beyond the PEP party political games and voted no on the budget, because they knew in their hearts that it was a big political scheme. The VIP Party trustees knew all along to balance the budget and keep village services at the best level possible, all that was necessary was to vote to transfer a small part of the over $10.5 million in surplus/reserve funds to the general fund account.
While all of these things were happening, PEP was busying thinking of ways to spend the surplus and reserves. They transferred $1.8 million into their budget and are going to spend another $3 million dollars to replace 4-inch water lines with 8-inch water lines.
With all of the spending PEP is trying to do, it will bring our surplus/reserves down below $6 million dollars. It gets better. They will be raising commuter parking rates, vehicle tags, water and sewer charges, garbage pickup rates and many other services. If PEP decides to rebuild any streets with new sewers, and water lines like the VIP Party was doing, they will definitely charge a Special Service Tax to everybody that gets their street rebuilt.
Some PEP trustees are even talking about selling bonds and/or bonding out to raise even more revenue to put in the bank. The way PEP is spending money, raising village fees and taxes to do a lot of unnecessary improvements, the Village of Brookfield will go broke. Talk about not being fiscally responsible and accountable to the taxpayers.
We need to stop cutting necessary staff, the village must maintain the high quality of our important and essential village services or all of our property values will go down. We will soon have the highest paid village manager in the history of Brookfield as of Sept. 6 under President Garvey. Could this be another reason that President Garvey is cutting Public Works personnel? The new manager has a six figure salary with a car allowance and other benefits and also will be getting a salary and benefits from Downers Grove at the same time. Maybe even a big police pension?
The PEP Party lied their way into office, made up stories about people and their families and went around telling people (especially our senior citizens) the sky was falling like Chicken Little. Now President Garvey and the PEP Party must live with the lie everyday. I have faith in the Village of Brookfield and its people. The people will have the final word on all of the PEP Party’s games in time.
? Bill Russ is a Brookfield resident and
former village president.