Woodstock Library election October 3 will feature contests of opposing views

Six candidates will compete for three seats on the Woodstock Public Library District Board of Trustees in the October 3 budget vote and election.

Opponents to a proposed new 12,000-square foot library building have assembled a slate of three candidates — James Dougherty, Julie Szabo and incumbent Jesse Jones — in an effort to oust incumbents Dorothea Marcus and Howard Kagan and keep Leslie Gerber from being elected. Full profiles of all six candidates will be in a future Woodstock Times edition.

Voters will also decide on a $641,744 budget with zero tax levy increase. Spending will increase $3102.12, or 0.48 percent over the current $641,744 budget, while the tax levy will stay the same at $585,544.


Trustees were able to keep the levy flat by using prior year surplus funds to create a fund for unanticipated health insurance costs and unused vacation time that must be paid when someone ends their employment. That cut $5000 off the 2020 budget. Additional savings came from increased interest earnings, changing cleaning contracts and taking advantage of a co-op for heating oil to name a few.

Since the proposed budget does not increase the levy, a defeat will not result in any changes because an austerity budget will allow for the same levy as the current year.

The election day was moved this year from the first Thursday in September as an experiment in an effort to encourage larger turnout. The September date was close to Labor Day, possibly reducing turnout because people have not returned from summer vacations. Trustees had explored holding it on the traditional November election day, but found that may necessitate special action from the state Legislature. They settled on the October date as a compromise.

The polling place is open October 3 from noon to 9 p.m. in the library reading room.

Absentee ballots will be available soon.

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