Voter Returns: NO to Econ Dev Coordinator

905 people voted out of approximately 2700 registered.

Article XIII Econ Dev:
520 No
361 Yes

Library :

501 Yes
385 No

Pentangle:

465 Yes
417 No

Gun Control:

707 Yes
186. No

All other articles were approved

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Diana Brown on March 6, 2013 at 08:18

    What about the court house?

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  2. Surprised the Economic Dev position was not approved given its very eloquent defense at Town Meeting and the untimely (or timely for this initiative?) closing of Bentley’s downtown. I wonder if those who voted against it felt that a full-time position with higher pay would’ve been a better idea or that we just couldn’t afford it at all? I thought it was something that would pay the taxpayers back and then some by increasing our tax base over time.

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  3. Posted by Nancy Randall on March 6, 2013 at 08:49

    Whew, that was a squeaker 😦

    On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM, Woodstock Early Bird wrote:

    > ** > Julia Carlisle posted: “905 people voted out of approximately 2800 > registered. Article XIII Econ Dev: 520 No 361 Yes Library : 501 Yes 385 No > Pentangle: 465 Yes 417 No Gun Control: 707 Yes 186. No All other articles > were approved”

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  4. Posted by Margaret (Peggy) Kannenstine on March 6, 2013 at 09:50

    Too bad about the Econ development office; I think it’s short-sighted to say the least. We do need help creating a more diversified economic base in town. Other towns that have done so have prospered. Perhaps it can come up next year!

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  5. Posted by A. E. Norton on March 6, 2013 at 10:12

    That “no” vote on the economic development czar is foolish and shortsighted. This town is in dire straits, and a position like that — and a good person to fill it — is sorely needed. Otherwise we are going to become a nice, pretty little place in Vermont with an aging population, absentee owners, lots of empty storefronts — a sort of “hollow” town with no serious business and nine art galleries. I hope this matter will be reconsidered at some point.

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    • WEB is not the least bit surprised by the voting outcome. Anyone who was listening in local watering holes and on street corners over the past couple of weeks could have told you that the wage-earning public was not on board with this idea. And, no we don’t think it is appropriate to call the majority “short-sighted”. Everyone wants economic vitality, no matter what their income, wage-earner or not. But, Yankees, Vermonters, are not gonna’ throw away $50K when many can’t find jobs themselves. Did this position have a budget, did it answer the question of “How will it help the working Woodstock native?” Sure, more companies in town, potentially better paying jobs. For whom? As one person we spoke with asked, “Will it help my business? I don’t think so.” Even Mr. Kimbell acknowledged this wasn’t a position specifically concerned with filling storefronts. We get that and think the bigger picture IS more important.

      It is irrelevant what they pay an economic development coordinator in Boston, or even Hanover. The working person of Woodstock did not buy PT work for 50K.

      Is the economic development coordinator idea a bad one. Absolutely not. Absolutely, this should come up again next year. Back to the drawing board. In the meantime, we can all consider the potential benefits of such a person to our community. Those with the political pull to do so might also consider taking action on known areas for economic development — the list is already long.

      Rather than a one-time economic development coordinator, how about some tax breaks for new businesses expecting to employ 5 or more people? Put the dollars where they will count. But, please don’t insult those who had real issues with paying someone so much (yes, so much!) for un-specified benefits: That dog didn’t hunt. WEB

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  6. Posted by Bob Pear on March 6, 2013 at 20:00

    Although I agree we need local jobs, I believe it might be short-sighted to employ a local in this position. Perhaps we should seek someone with “fresh-eyes” and a wide world view, seeing what has worked for other communities and someone that would not feel the pressure of stepping on anyone’s toes.

    Regarding tax breaks, Woodstock should have a tax abatement program in place for derelict, (e.g., Alsup and Jungle), properties. Barre, VT has successfully implemented this program. What it allows is a tax break initially for a developer or improver of a property to encourage improvement of a property. How it works- after the improvement is completed, instead of a “tax jump” on the newly assessed value of the property, the valuation of the property would remain at the present unimproved listed value, (no loss to the taxpayers), and gradually increase over a 5 or 10 year period until it reached full taxable listed value, (gain to the taxpayers).The developer benefits by a savings in the beginning while trying to recoup the costs of the improvement. The taxpayer benefits down the road by getting a property on the tax roles at the higher valuation at the end of the abatement period. And in the end, our local economy benefits as a result.

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    • Posted by Nancy Hoblin on March 7, 2013 at 09:48

      Good thoughts Bob. The Eco position should have well developed goals and yes, the person should not be a local. Fresh blood is needed in this little village that is rapidly showing signs of the ill-health it has had for years. There are other businesses in the town/village that do not depend on tourism, but too few and employing too few people. Our tax base is eroding and those of us who work for a living are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain our homes and pay always increasing taxes. Something must be done and the sooner the better.

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  7. I dont know where the debate or town interest stands on this, but it seems to me an important step to help turn the town into a draw for businesses and relocating families to have fiber optics. I know that a entire road of private citizens in Sharon raised the money to have a non profit fiber optics company install for them. After a year those people get a return on their investment…. Interesting no?


    Lina Tans

    http://www.epitomeyoga.com

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