Roach vows to rein in taxes and protect city assets

O’FALLON – Herb Roach, candidate for Mayor, expects the City of O’Fallon to “live within its’ means.” He refuses to make empty campaign promises. Mr. Roach promises to work with City Council to rein in the taxes and fees that burden residents and businesses.

Mr. Roach stated, “My opponent must have forgotten that the Mayor presides over City Council meetings, but only votes in case of a tie. The City Council represents each Ward and votes to set policy and approve tax levies and fees.”

O’Fallon’s charter defines O’Fallon’s government as a “Weak Mayor, Strong Council.” According to Mr. Roach, it just hasn’t functioned that way under the current administration.

“As an Alderman, I have consistently spoken out against tax increases because that is what the residents of my Ward ask of me as their elected representative. I voted seven times to reduce or freeze the City’s portion of property taxes.” Roach says, “We will roll back the most recent property tax increase. Cash reserves currently on hand can easily meet this need for revenue while preserving the amount needed to keep O’Fallon’s good bond rating.”

Reducing burdensome fees paid by O’Fallon businesses and residents is another commitment Roach makes. He says, “We will not add new fees or increase the cost of current city fees for services. We will study our current fees to assess whether the fee can be reduced or eliminated and will apply best business practices to simplify processing methods for those that are needed.”

Roach is committed to freezing Water and Sewer rates for one year in order to review costs, determine future needs and reduce debt. He will investigate reducing Administrative and other related costs that are paid out of the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds.  According to Mr. Roach, millions of dollars have been spent out of the Water Fund on non-water projects over the years. This could help reduce future water costs.

Mr. Roach expressed concern about his opponent’s plan to give rebates from the Water Enterprise Fund.  He states “Mr. Goodwin’s Water fund rebate plan is unwieldy and could be very unfair to O’Fallon residents. His promised “refund” to all rate payers depends on Council support and wise analysis of current needs and the needs for expansion of the utility to keep pace with growth.”

Mr. Roach wondered about the impact of Goodwin’s plan.  “Will people that have paid for only one month of water receive as much as those paying in for years?  Will he give 20 percent more back to Fairview Heights ratepayers because they pay 20 percent more for water?   I think Phil forgot that a large portion of Fairview Heights residents have O’Fallon Water.”

Candidate Roach guarantees residents that he will not allow the Council to sell or lease O’Fallon’s publicly owned Water and Sewer Systems. After considerable study of cities who entered into agreements with private water companies, Roach came out in opposition to the privatization of the Water and Sewer Systems.  He led the movement for City Council to place the question on the ballot for a public vote.

“The Sale or Lease of our public utility was never formally put to rest. That is a real concern for residents.”  said Mr. Roach.   “My opponent now calls this ‘our Greatest Asset,’  yet two years ago he spoke out in favor of the sale or lease, stating ‘the city is looking for creative ways to fund O’Fallon’s future’. ”

Mr. Roach wants the Water Fund to be used wisely. He will work to assess long term needs, not short term election promises.

To achieve his commitment to residents and businesses, Mr. Roach encourages all citizens to vote and to actively participate in City Government.

Herb has an important message for the people of O’Fallon:

“Your Alderman represents YOU as they make decisions for the entire city.  I commit to creating a transparent and respectful City government, but I cannot do that without the help of all citizens. YOU need to help by sharing your needs, concerns and energy with me and with your Ward’s elected representative. Together, we will work toward Smart Growth, debt reduction, lower taxes and sensible spending. I will keep ALL citizens at the forefront of decision making as we commit to a city government ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’ of O’Fallon.”

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