Running our government can be a messy business (or affair, really; government is *not* a business). Regardless, the process has sometimes been compared to making sausage – and nobody wants to watch that. Afterwards, of course, there is always a lot of cleanup, which requires garbage cans. More on that later.
Let me back up for a moment and say that Bolingbrook, and the larger Will County area, are beautiful, wonderful, diverse places to live and grow families and communities. There have been some good leaders who have led this area to become a destination for people and businesses who want to improve themselves and the place where they live. There have also been those who have used their influence to improve their personal positions, with a side effect that those around them have some benefit as well. Often, these latter cases come at some cost, either at the time or in the future.
Unfortunately, one of those times may be now.
The Bolingbrook Village Board, under the direction of the Mayor, has issued Ordinance (18-015), which will provide for the issuance of (not to exceed) $44,000,000 in general obligation bonds, providing for the levy and collection of a direct annual tax to repay those bonds.
The Village currently has very low repayments on $10 million, but this will be ballooning up to $29 million by 2037. Will this reissuance be an improvement, or will it be mishandled in the same way, kicking the financial burden down the road, long after those who have approved it are out of office?
There are real concerns about whether the tax revenues that we have traditionally relied on will continue to fund our budget (and questions about if they ever truly have). Brick and mortar stores are facing growing competition from online retailers; what will happen to sales tax income? As vehicles become more and more efficient and take advantage of alternative fuel sources, will motor fuel taxes dry up? An all-too easy response is to increase the contributions due directly from homeowners – and we’re already seeing evidence of this shift.
See, I told you we’d bet back to the garbage cans.
In a shift from long-standing village practice, homeowners will begin paying directly for waste service this fall. Whether the “toters” are approved for use or not (see previous blog post), this fall residents will start paying for their garbage collection, a cost that has previously been woven into general village costs.
Now, somebody has to clean up all this garbage – literally and figuratively. We can’t just leave it sitting around, getting worse as it is unattended. We need leaders who will address our current concerns, while at the same time being sure to look long-range and ensure a future that is just as healthy and welcoming to residents and business owners.