2030 Vision for Woodstock:
Woodstock has a rich and diverse culture. A rural farm community that honors its natural resources. A fascinating manufacturing tradition – typewriters, pickles, continuous cast iron bar stock and so much more. A strong focus on education and innovative programming. An unparalleled creative community: art, music, theater and events. These are a few of the reasons that Woodstock is consistently recognized as a distinctive destination.
As Woodstock looks to the future, it needs to build upon this history and these accolades to continue to be the community of choice in Northern Illinois – whether it is a place to live, work, start a business or visit. In order to turn this vision into a reality, the City Council will need to work together with staff to provide a clear and consistent message.
Not only does economic development generate jobs, but it is the most effective way to stabilize or reduce the tax burden on residents. It should be our number one priority moving forward to retain and attract new businesses, specifically to the McConnell Road and Lake Street corridors.
Creation and approval of the new TIF– which incorporates both downtown and portions of Route 47 - was an important step in promoting economic development in our community. Follow through with projects that are consistent with the newly adopted Downtown Plan will be key to the success of this vision. I will encourage staff and City Council to be proactive in identifying potential developers and mindful of projects that reflect that vision.
Transportation is key to economic development. I strongly support the efforts of the staff and elected officials to widen Route 47 as a part of a state-wide capital plan. I also support the ongoing efforts to partner with Metra to increase the number of train stops in Woodstock. It support tourism and also encourage millennials to live in transit-oriented developments in our downtown area.
There is a need to support our current lodging options and develop more spaces for visitors to stay and park. A unified community calendar is another untapped opportunity to promote tourism. It will require collaboration between the City, the Chamber of Commerce and local nonprofits. Such a partnership will help to provide a variety of events consistent throughout the year and keep scheduling conflicts to a minimum.
Maintenance of our streets is a priority. While there is currently a plan for improving local roads, I would like to explore more aggressive options. There is a tremendous opportunity to increase accessibility to the downtown area via pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths providing a safe connection to the schools, Route 47 and the Prairie Path.
Aesthetics are important and beautification of the entryways into our community should be a priority as we “welcome” guests, as well as a source of pride for our residents. Route 47, Lake Avenue, Washington, Calhoun and Judd Streets are all gateways that could benefit from thematic signage, landscaped medians and plantings.
Most importantly, I will listen to my constituents and represent their interests.