Message from the Mayor

Summer 2016

What a wonderful weekend we had for the Rose Fest! Besides a few rainy hours Saturday afternoon—which didn’t deter our 2 1/2 year old grandson from riding the carnival rides again and again (and again!) we had sun and moderate temperatures. I think the weather for the Rose Parade was the best we have ever had. Thank you to all that came out to wave to me; I was very touched.

Now that summer has officially begun, I would like to remind everyone to be a thoughtful neighbor. Our children are playing outside and aren’t thinking about the cars going down their street, so please be mindful while driving. Children like to play in our parks, so please make sure you pick up after your dog as you take them out for a walk (that includes your neighbor’s yards as well). Now that many of us have our windows open at night, please remember that the person next door might have to get up for work the next day, so watch the loudness of music and conversation. Please do not park over the sidewalks between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. as we have more and more people walking or pushing strollers. Lastly, let’s all work to keep Roselle looking nice by properly storing your garbage cans, keeping your lawns mowed, and picking up trash around your neighborhood. These are the complaints that routinely come across my desk.

Our state legislature adjourned without solving the state budget crisis and here we go again—another year where the Village Board and the management team will collectively hold our breath, to see when, or if, the hammer will hit us. The House did pass a budget that was unbalanced by 7 billion dollars. It is nice for legislators to be able to say, “I voted to give (insert agency) the money it needed”, but neglectful to say it if there is no revenue to stand behind that promise. It is particularly frustrating because Roselle made all the necessary adjustments during the recession, aggressively pursued economic development, and is in the best financial shape we have been in for a long time. My greatest fear is that it could all be stripped away if the state decides they need our money more than we do.

Freezing property taxes is a popular idea and really gets good headlines, especially during an election year. Please don’t be fooled by thinking this is the answer to high property taxes. The premise is that a taxing body cannot extend its levy greater than the amount last year, so your tax bill should remain the same or go down. However, other factors are at play. There is a relationship between your home’s assessed value and the assessed value of all the other homes in our community. If the tax levy remains flat and one home decreases in value, the other homes assume additional responsibility to pay for the tax levy. 

We have worked to bring economic development to Roselle, to help lessen the residential tax burden. However, if the property tax freeze passes without exempting new growth, then our efforts are in vain. There is a possibility that the Village of Roselle will not receive the extra property value that new growth brings.

Local mayors and I lobby constantly to defeat proposals like this. They do nothing to help the financial disaster that is Springfield, but could do much harm to our communities under the guise of “doing something” about high property taxes. I believe the best thing that could be done is to have Springfield properly fund schools, as this is where the majority of our tax bill goes. Helping reduce local pension and worker’s compensation costs would be helpful as well. Your mayors have been begging Springfield for this type of help for over 20 years and we are still waiting. The Village Board in Roselle pledges to bring you the best local services we can, in spite of what is happening at the state level.

I will not close on a negative note. This is summer—a very precious time for our community because it is so short. Take advantage of all Roselle has to offer: our community pool, Concerts in the Park, our July 3 concert and fireworks show, the Taste of Roselle, stopping to watch a baseball or softball game, block parties, and just visiting with neighbors. I hope to see you at one or more of our events!

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