When the city of Woodstock advocated for home rule it was conveyed to us to have a greater control and flexibility over the city’s finances, not as an avenue to raise taxes. Since then we have seen an increase of a 3% in gas tax, one of the highest sales taxes in the county (a regressive tax that affects the poor), a plastic bag tax, an increase in water and sewer bills and the potential of an increased property tax.
Shockingly the city is wiling to spend over a $500,000 in an un-needed layer of city government, the black hole of courthouse renovation, the purchase of the old Die Cast site for potential development, giving away our city owned parking lots and the arbitrarily granting of our TIF money.
Our police and public works departments are still grossly underfunded and undermanned. Do we really need a new brewery rather than a public library space in the Courthouse? Do we really need a 72-plus apartment complex at the Die Cast site rather than an open public event space perhaps for the Farmers Market? Are we going to continue to grant TIF money to special interests?
Our elected officials are our trustees to maintain public awareness and adhere to public opinion, not to govern by mandate. This is our money and we should have input on how it is spent. This should not be a tax and spend local body but was elected to be fiscally conservative.
Where will it end?