Every day I wake up with one goal in mind, meeting the expectations of the residents of Crete by making good decisions based on sound business practices, and provide the leadership necessary to achieve the results our citizens expect. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and acknowledging that reality helps define positive change. Good leaders realize that visions must be realistic and attainable. To that end, in 2016 we were lucky enough to secure a $100,000 grant to update our comprehensive plan for the Village. Our residents provided significant input that helped create the vision for our town going forward, a vision that I and the Village Board share and support. I encourage any citizen to come and visit with me at the village hall to personally discuss our goals, vision and any topic you deem as important to you or the community. I truly enjoy interacting with residents.
As we move closer to another election cycle, I want to share some thoughts with you about where the Village is and where it is going. Since the economic downturn several years back, we have been slowly clawing our way back through solid financial management, careful planning and conservative spending practices. These efforts have been manifested by achieving a Standard & Poor’s general obligation bond rating of AA+; a rating that few municipalities enjoy. We have cut our costs by not filling the village administrator and administrative assistant positions, saving tens of thousands of dollars over the last three years. We have recently negotiated a lower rate for garbage collection that also includes a recycling option to lower our landfill costs. We have chosen to lease police vehicles, as opposed to purchasing them outright, by taking advantage of historically low lease rates. This approach does not deplete fund balances and provides for stable budgeting. Stability in local government is one of the most important characteristics of a well-run village.
Going forward we are already planning for decreased funding levels as sales tax, state income tax and motor fuel tax collections are slowly shrinking, but we are determined to maintain the levels of service you have come to enjoy and expect. At the local level, if you don’t grow, you are going backwards financially, so expanding our tax base is vital to the health of our village. We continue to prospect for new retail opportunities by using a professional search service and through our own resources, as well as searching out economic development in the industrial sector. Although the position of Village President is supposed to be a part time, I am putting in more than full time hours to make sure we stay on track and fulfill our obligation to our citizens. I am proud of the fact that we have a very good reputation for getting things done and assisting businesses in being successful. Their success becomes our success and your success.
Please support me when you go to the polls on April 4th. I am optimistic about the future and together we can build a stronger and more successful Village of Crete.