I am Guillaume Williams, 47, but most people know me as Gill. In March I celebrated 25 years with my life partner, Scott Cooper, of Reinbeck, and we were married in 2009. I have been a citizen of Reinbeck since 2001 and have been employed at Family Foods as their Bakery Manager since 2002. I chose to run for Council Member at this time for several reasons.
1. Lack of leadership. Though the previous administrator is no longer with the city, a part of the failures of his tenure was the lack of checks and balance, oversight and supervision of general affairs and operations. By design our city government only works if boards and committees made up of elected and appointed officials actively seek accurate information and take the necessary actions to maintain and improve the welfare of the city.
2. Fiscal responsibility. I can appreciate the efforts of previous councils to rebuild our cities infrastructure with the soccer complex, aquatic center, and the enhancement of the Memorial Building, however, they have left the city with additional yearly expenses for maintenance and upkeep. Our challenge now begins with replenishing our general accounts, and managing our debt as we explore creative ways to address the conditions or our streets, and assist in the fire department's desire for a new vehicle that would require a larger storage bay and for the repairs to our public pool.
3. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) are funds to subsidize redevelopment infrastructure and other community projects. It is important to remember that a portion of these funds are taken from property taxes from designated areas, that would otherwise go to our general fund, to the county, and to the school district. This has been an outstanding tool for the city redevelopment, however, when the city is struggling to meet its own expenses, TIF should not be awarded to projects that are not going to generate revenue. That is not to say other projects are not worthy of allocation, but put simply, not at this time.
4. Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). The 1% sales option tax that was passed by the citizens of Reinbeck and overturned by the council at that time, could have generated more than $70,000.00 each year. I would suggest that if the citizens want the streets reworked, the pool repaired, or to meet the needs of the fire department that this might be something to be reviewed. I would be in support of revisiting the 1 % tax option if it is specific to a project, and sunsets when the financial requirements of that project are met.
5. Will of the people. It would be my contention that on matters of controversy, that those conditions be brought to a public ballet. Some projects or ideas might be a hard sell, but it is the charge of the council to explain its position and encourage the vote outcome that they desire. When the public has voted, that is their will, and the Council should respond in kind.
Reinbeck has strong businesses and is filled with kind and generous people, who deserve a reflective government. I offer my service at this time and to those that have served the public, I thank you.