Smith Changes To Part-Time Lakewood Employee

LAKEWOOD – At his request, a retiring code enforcement officer will remain with the village of Lakewood on reduced hours.

Not all village board members are happy about it.

With Charlie Smith, former Lakewood code enforcement officer, retiring, Jeff Swanson, the temporary code enforcement officer, will take over all of Smith’s projects. Some of these projects include construction projects halfway finished. Swanson wanted to have the opportunity to ask Smith questions as he familiarizes himself with the village code. Smith will only be contracting with the village, while Swanson will still be working for the town and village.

Recently, Busti and Lakewood agreed to share a full-time code enforcement officer.

The contract would split the $45,000 salary between the town and village. In exchange for receiving half of the officer’s time, Lakewood would reimburse Busti $22,500. Payments will be made on a monthly basis.

John Jablonski III, a Lakewood trustee, wanted to know if Smith would be given any responsibilities besides code enforcement on current construction projects.

“As far as I know, he is basically going to be helping through the transition period,” said David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor.

“Concerning my opinion that Charlie illegally issued a permit for the McFadden project that is now underway without bringing back landscaping plans to this board as we requested, I don’t think Charlie should be advising (Swanson) on zoning matters,” Jablonski said.

The McFadden project Jablonski referred to consisted of a 3,090-square-foot express lube and car wash just east of the Tractor Supply Company on East Fairmount Avenue. During the application period, Jablonski reiterated he felt William McFadden, owner of the LUV Toyota dealership at 215 E. Fairmount Ave., didn’t submit a complete application due to the village of Lakewood not having complete landscaping plans or any information on the proposed signage. During the Oct. 28, 2013 village board meeting, Smith said signage work follows the building construction and wouldn’t necessarily require review by either the Planning Board or the Board of Trustees and this project doesn’t require a Short Environmental Assessment Form or Site Plan Review. The only thing the Lakewood Village Board is required to decide is whether or not to approve McFadden’s Special Use Permit application regarding his proposal to utilize the property at 205 E. Fairmount Ave. as a vehicle service facility. The project as proposed was short of other thresholds that would require any additional review.

“I did the original plan review on (the McFadden project), everything was in order. So, I issued the building permit on that,” said Smith in response to The Post-Journal seeking comment. “… I don’t know what is going on (at the village board). The plans are available. John Jablonski wanted to have it as part of a public meeting, but it isn’t required at this point.”

The new motion passed with only Jablonski voting against it. Like the previous motion which would have made Smith an independent consultant, Smith will be working at $32.87 per hour. His hours cannot exceed eight hours a week without the mayor’s consent. The contract will last until the start of September.