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Only Oswego

Letter: Trustee Says Village Can't Afford to Return of the Past

Mar 29, 2015 08:09PM ● By Steven Jack

The upcoming April 7th election is vital to the health and growth of our great community.  

There is a clear choice in this election.  If you want a Village President candidate who has twice this past year supported a sales tax and gas tax increase, voted to appoint her husband to a paid position in the Village and who suggested there was no need to change garbage service even though it meant a lower cost to the residents, then Gail Johnson is your choice.  

If you want a Village President candidate who has supported increasing the wage range scale for over 20 different positions at Village Hall, supported giving away over $250,000 of your tax money to help a business renovate their facility, supported a resolution declaring the Village as Non-Partisan format then admitted under oath that she didn’t read the entire document she voted on and who supports a TIF taking away tax dollars from the school district and our community then Gail Johnson is your candidate.  Gail likes to think of these facts as ‘negative campaigning’. The reality is that FACTS speak volumes and sometimes can be unnerving.  

I’ve lived in this community long enough that I can well remember the days of the Craig Weber administration in years 2001-2007 when growth was rampant, developer special interests took precedence over the resident’s interest and taxes were increased.  A $10 million dollar Village Hall was built that sits over 60% vacant today, over $3 million dollars were spent in revitalizing our downtown district that still needs revamping according to Johnson, dinners were provided to elected officials before each board meeting, and pay raises were given to employees many times without annual performance appraisals administered.  I know these things because when I was elected to the Village Board these are the issues I was confronted with in 2007.  

We cannot afford to return to this period of time.  Our community is 33,000 residents strong with a median income of over $93,000 per household.  Our community is thriving and businesses are locating here - fifty two businesses matter of fact have located here just in the past year alone.  Just this past week the Kendall County Economic Development Alliance stated that local businesses are ‘on fire’ with new growth.  Our Village Economic Development director is doing a great job enticing business to locate in our community and market vacant property.  We have several major projects on the horizon that, if come to fruition, will revitalize our downtown riverfront and other major arterial corridors. 

April 7th you have a choice to send a clear message. Tony Giles, Village President candidate, has supported no tax increases and balanced budgets for the eight years I have served with him.  Tony recognizes the financial strain many of our residents endure.  He recognizes the importance of a vibrant community with various events, activities and clubs that bring our residents together.  Tony supports new businesses locating in Oswego to reduce our tax burden. However, not at the expense of taxpayers through developer incentives or TIF agreements.  Tony supports our Senior Citizens and wants tax relief for them and all residents.  

In his years serving with me, Tony has supported reducing your garbage rates, funding the Senior Center and other community sponsorship activities like Prairiefest, Wine on the Fox, Art Fair, Christmas Walk and many other family fun events.  Despite the economic recession, Tony has supported a balanced budget for eight solid years with continuous sales tax revenue growth every year.  He has held our property tax constant with no tax increase while at the same time continuing to provide you the service of competent police protection, safe drinking water, plowed roads in winter, expedient building permit processing and convenient Village Hall hours for your service. 

The choice is clear this election.  Responsible leadership. Responsible growth.  I encourage you to vote for Tony Giles, Village President and like-minded Trustee candidates, Diane Selmer, Rasma Motykowski and Write-In candidate James Marter.  They all deserve your support and vote. 

Terry Michels, Village Trustee