A press release from Jim Tobin:
Woodstock Seeks to Reach Further Into Taxpayers’ Pockets
Woodstock—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their updated analysis of salaries and pensions for Woodstock municipal government employees.
“Woodstock government bureaucrats are trying to seize the opportunity to steal even more of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash by adopting Home Rule for its greedy empire building,” stated Jim Tobin, TUA president.
“There are currently more than 300 full and part-time employees for a population of less 25,000!
“Fourteen of those employees make more than $100,000 a year and 157 of those jobs are pension eligible.”
“At least fourteen of the current Woodstock pensioners will collect more than $1 million in largely taxpayer-funded pensions, while the average Social Security (SS) beneficiary will be lucky to see about $400,000 in lifetime payments.”
“Home Rule will give the Woodstock bureaucrats the power to tax and regulate, virtually without limit, anything they want without the approval of voters through a referendum. If a measure is good for the constituents, it should stand up to a referendum. This is one of the most important controls that voters have over their local government and there is no good reason to give it up and hand that power over to bureaucrats,” urged Tobin.
“Never forget that 80% of municipal taxes, including property taxes, go to pay government employee salaries, pensions, and benefits and that number is climbing as the state continues to make necessary cuts.”
“Woodstock city officials state it would be ‘irresponsible of them to not take advantage of getting the extra $151 in shared state revenue per person’ for the city, and that the city has a history of keeping taxes low for residents by not taking the property tax extension limitation law. Just where do these officials think that ‘state revenue’ comes from? The sky? All revenue comes from us, the taxpayers.”
“To help the average taxpayer understand the problem, we list the names of the pensioners and the amounts they collect in retirement,” added Tobin. “It really hits home when people see the names of their local ‘civil servants’, people in their community that they know at least by name, and the stunning amounts they collect from taxpayers.”
“Timothy J. Clifton, retired from the Woodstock Municipal Government [as City Manager], tops our Woodstock list and ranks 230 in the state of Illinois with a very comfortable $112,998 annual pension! The accumulation of those payments, over a normal lifetime, will reach about $2.9 million. His contribution to that gold-plated pension was only $342,341.”
“[City Manager] Roscoe Stelford, III, tops the list for our highest current Woodstock salary. This poor ‘civil servant’ takes in about $155,000 in salary alone! This doesn’t include the gold-plated pension and other benefits he gets!”
Click the links below to view the following data:
“We need constitutional reforms that change the Home Rule statute to leave taxing power with the taxpayers’ approval and reforms that eliminate the political pensioners as a protected, elite class,” said Tobin.
“The era of smoke and mirrors to siphon wealth from the hardest-working middle class is over. We need to send a loud and clear message that their pattern of reckless empire building is no longer acceptable. Illinois is in a financial meltdown and if we allow local officials to pick up where the state has left off, there will be few choices left for taxpayers but to revolt or vote with their feet,” concluded Tobin.