Concerns about special census, home rule arise at Woodstock council meeting
The Woodstock City Council discussed the merits of conducting a special census and issues related to becoming a home-rule community at its Jan. 19 meeting.
A special census would provide more accurate population information and would allow increased funding from the state because funding is determined by population.
Woodstock resident Lydia Baltalbos expressed concerns relating to home rule and asked what was required of residents.
Councilman R.B. Thompson said Woodstock receives $154 per capita, and if a special census shows a population increase of 1,000, it would mean an extra $750,000 from the state through 2021. Home rule could be established once Woodstock's population reaches 25,000.
Baltalbos also raised concerns about increased taxes that other communities, like Bellwood, experienced once they achieved home rule status.
Mayor Brian Sager said that Woodstock affairs and Bellwood affairs are separate and that assuming the actions of one municipality would be reflected by another would be unwise. He also said that to forgo additional state funding by canceling the special census would be irresponsible.
Following further deliberation, it was unanimously decided to execute the agreement to conduct the special census in Woodstock.