Paddock Lake Trustee Howard Schlichting resigns from board

Howard Schlichting

Howard Schlichting, who was elected to the Paddock Lake Village Board in April, has resigned.

In a letter addressed to village Clerk Emily Uhlenhake and dated Sept. 24, Schlichting blames “childish in-fighting” and a lack of “community spirit” on the board as his reasons for leaving.

“Please know that this has been an extremely difficult decision for me,” Schlichting wrote. “I feel that I have failed the voters who put their trust in me.”

In explaining the reason for his action Schlichting wrote:

When I served as trustee 15 years ago, we were able to accomplish a great deal because we all worked together for the common good. I am afraid that the present Paddock Lake Village Board no longer has that sense of community. In fact, I have become convinced that the current board is so divided that very little can be accomplished. At a time when our village is facing unprecedented challenge, I have found this board to be more concerned with childish in-fighting than serving the community or progressing as a whole. Far too much time and effort is spent up-staging one another or sabotaging the good faith efforts of those who try to address the community’s needs.”

In an interview Wednesday night, Schlichting said the stress of navigating the situation was hurting his health. Schlichting retired from his job as a postal carrier earlier this year.

“This was effecting my mental and physical health,” he said. “I was getting very angry.” He added that he has been disturbed by the board situation for months and was considering his options.

The final straw for Schlichting was when he attempted to get Trustee Terry Burns appointed to the Public Works Committee, which Schlichting chaired. Trustee Chris Bucko, a member of the Public Works Committee was having a difficult time making committee meetings and Schlichting had confirmed with Burns that he would be willing to switch committee assignments with Bucko.

But when Schlichting approached village President Marlene Goodson about the swap, he was told he was being disrespectful for not consulting her first, Schlichting said.

The village president makes all appointments to committees.

While that incident involved Goodson, Schlichting said all members of the board need to better focus on serving the community rather than protecting their turf. New blood and younger individuals with fresh ideas and energy would be his prescription for the board.

“People are entrenched in their committees; they’re hunkered down,’ Schlichting said. “I just wish they would — all of them — focus on serving the community good.”

Appointments to fill vacant Village Board positions are made by the village president with approval of the Village Board.

There last was a vacancy when Goodson, then a trustee, won the village president post in April 2009. The resulting stand-off between Goodson and the board on a replacement resulted in the position remaining open until it was filled in the April 2010 election.

10 Comments

  1. Andy says:

    Good article.. We all like to read about the nitty gritty going on in our communities and you did a great job of getting that across to us readers.

  2. Terry Burns, Village Trustee says:

    I for one am sorry to lose Howard, him and I were on much the same page as it related to public works. He, as I do, believed in working together for the betterment of the community. It is truely a shame that President Goodson is unable to share in the same vision due to her arrogance and self centerness. Could this be why that every year now since she has been President, the Village Board has to go through a appointment process to replace Trustees that cannot work under her leadership? Huh.

  3. Jessica Goodson says:

    Mr. Burns, I’m sorry to say that is a typical response coming from such a sore LOSER! It is a shame to lose Howard, but it is all to blame on our childish and immature board, which includes you! If you think you can do a better job, then you run for village president! Oh wait, you did and lost! President Goodson is far from aggogant and self-centered. She has class and is one heck of woman who knows what she is doing and that’s why the residents of this fine village have voted her in numerous times. Mr. Burns, rather than worry about everyone else’s business, you should focus more on doing your job. For one I am disgusted and appauled by this current board and change needs to happen that doesn’t involve immature game playing!

  4. Terry Burns, Village Trustee says:

    Jessica,
    Thank you for your response. I have tried several times to work with President Goodson on a variety of issues over the last year and a half. However she has remained arrogant simply because I had the audacity to run against her. “I will never get along with you because of the election” I believe were the words she used.
    My suggestion to you and other reader’s is to ask any other Village Board Member to provide their assessment of Ms. Goodson’s leadership abilities. You will find they will concur with my earlier statements.

  5. Teresa Pazda says:

    I would like to address Mr. Howard Schlichting’s resignatioin. It is sad to see him leave; but, I feel he singled out President Goodson in a very wrong statement. Whether this board likes it or not, Goodson is president and Howard should have sonsulted her first about the change he wanted to make with Mr. Burns. By not doing so, he contributed to the childish in-fighting that is now and has been occurring. Mr. Burns makes his commentys; because, behind the scenes, he likes to think of himself and president. He encourages the in-fighting in an attempt to make Goodson look bad. Howard, unfortunately, you fell right into his plan. He did lose to Goodson on the village level and he did lose on the county board level. When a whole district speaks, it makes one believe that he should look at his own arrogance and self-centered attitude (Don’t you think? HUH!!!)

  6. Glenda Morey says:

    I would like to point out a false statement in Mr. Burns’ initial response to this article. The first appointment Mrs. Goodson tried to fill was to fulfill her term as trustee. Not “to replace a trustee that could not work under her leadership”.

  7. Ronald Goodson, Unhappy Tax Payer says:

    Trustee Burns,
    In your letter dated 10/01/10 you stated for Jessica and any readers to ask any other board members if they agree with you. This is the first time in Marlene’s vast career on the board that I have felt the need to become involved. I am going to tell you what President Goodson has too much class to tell you. I think it is arrogant and unprofessional of you to speak publicly about what the other board members think? I do not doubt for a moment that you have the ability to get the other board members to rally around the pole with you, since I have seen you do it. As I obviously have no doubt of your ability to spend more time and village resources trying to attack and undo anything that President Goodson tries to do for the benefit of the Village. Trustee Burns, perhaps you should ask yourself if you are bothered by her tone of voice because it is professional and knowledgeable? If you stopped playing games and focused on the village for a change perhaps you would learn something from her. You can be as cynical as you want and you still can’t scratch the surface of her knowledge and experience. Trustee Burns, I challenge you to show the residents of Paddock Lake what you have been doing lately for the betterment of the Village. I know President Goodson can, just ask her. Why were neither you nor any board members at the High School opening of the new sports field, you were all invited? Was it because you thought the award being presented to the Village was only in Marlene’s name? Fooled you, it was made out to the entire Village board. And yet you have the audacity to say she won’t work with the board. Games, games, and now even more games.
    I would like to make a plea to the residents of the Village of Paddock Lake. Is this the local government you want handling your tax dollars? When election time roles around please get involved, not only by getting out and voting but this Village needs new membership on the Village Board. Please get involved in your community and come to the Village board meetings, and then you can judge for yourself what is really going on. We have people losing their jobs and their homes we have utilities and taxes on the rise, yet we have a trustee more concerned about how the Village President talks to him. I truly feel that Trustee Burns needs to get his priorities straight, and try paying attention to the real issues.

    Ronald Goodson

  8. Terry Burns, Village Trustee says:

    Glenda,
    You are absolutely correct. Thank you for pointing out that oversight on my part.

  9. Kathy Christenson Trustee Village of Paddock Lake says:

    First I would like to say as a Trustee and a resident of the Village of Paddock Lake, I am saddened and disappointed with Howard’s decision to resign from the Village of Paddock Lake Board. I for one was looking forward to working with Howard on the board and drawing knowledge from his past experiences while serving the Village. I have no doubt it was a difficult decision for him to make. With that being said, it was disheartening to read in his resignation letter where he stated “that the present Paddock Lake Village Board no longer has that sense of community” and “that the current board is so divided that very little can be accomplished.” I truly believe every trustee currently on the board has a strong sense of community and is committed to doing what is in the best interest of the community, otherwise we would not be serving nor would anything ever get accomplished. In the year and a half that I have been serving on the Village Board I believe as a board, we have accomplish a lot on behave of our community. Do we always agree, absolutely not but I believe we were not voted in by our constituents to go in and always agree on every issue without forethought and consideration for what is in the best interest of the community.

    In regards to the “final straw” Howard spoke of in his interview, it is my understanding that Trustee Schlichting was becoming a bit overwhelmed with the issues and daily operations of Public Works and needed help on the committee. He contacted Trustee Burns who has a great deal of knowledge of the issues and daily operations of Public works and had served effectively on that committee in the past to ask if he would consider switching committee assignments with Trustee Bucko. Burns agreed as long as, Trustee Bucko was in agreement with the switch. Howard submitted his request to President Goodson since as president she makes the committee assignments. That request for help was denied by President Goodson. I ask and I continue to ask “How is this serving our community, how is this doing what is in the best interest of this Village? Ms. Pazda, I ask you as a tax payer, don’t you want your elected officials to serve on the committees where they can be the most effective, productive and use their experience and knowledge to best serve the community? I believe Ms. Pazda, you nailed it on the head, the request made by Trustee Schlichting to have Trustee Burns sit on the committee of Public Works was denied because Howard did not “consult President Goodson first prior to discussing the possible switch with Mr. Burns.” I believe this is the childish-infighting everyone seems to be speaking of.

    Finally to answer Mr. Goodson’s questions “Why were neither you nor any board members at the High School opening of the new sports field, you were all invited?”, yes I was invited as a Village of Paddock Lake Trustee and as a member of the Referendum committee for the Sports Complex, but was unable to attending due to the fact I was visiting my daughter at college for family weekend.

  10. Marlene Goodson says:

    Kathy,
    The remark about me denying the change in committee members is untrue. This was a private conversation Howard and I were having and I did not deny the request.

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