Election time is approaching quickly and so I felt like I needed to post about some of the things we’ve done over the last 4 months or so for the people of Fredonia. As you know I was appointed by the village board to replace a trustee who vacated her position. Like all of those who call to serve I jumped in both feet, and tried to hit the ground running.
1. Codification Ad Hoc Committee – A small group of trustees and village employees set out to clean up some of the ordinances and worked to bring the entire village ordinance book up to date and re-reference to state code. This project took more than 50 hours of work so far and will likely need 10-15 hours to complete. The current state of this project is that the code book is with the firm who recommended the changes to apply the edits the committee and employees have made. This will then be reviewed by the village board as a whole and adopted into law once discussion and public hearing are completed.
2. Parks – This committee is putting together many great changes to Fredonia parks. We are currently sponsoring Fredonia Baseball which has had a change in leadership. We are developing a planned park for the land just west of the post office which is very exciting and a fun project to be a part of. This new park will be a very attractive entrance to our community which will enhance the value of the entire village.
3. Public Works – As the chair of this committee public works will be doing many things this year to make Fredonia a better place to live. Improvements in infrastructure such as new waterline and new roads, the approval of funding to last 5 years for road maintenance and repairs, sidewalks and sidewalk repairs, and an Eagle Scout Project which will end up with a new(used) warming house at the ice rink which has been planned and funded by Eagle Scout Candidate Mason of Fredonia. Mason has pushed this project for more than 2 years and has finally gotten over his last funding hurdle. We are all very proud of his efforts.
There are many other things cooking in the village and so I am looking forward to getting the election behind us so we can continue to make Fredonia a better place to live.
One thing I did want to spend some time on is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Being a good neighbor.
You might ask yourself what it means to be a good neighbor. I bet for everyone it’s a little different. As someone that has very good neighbors I feel very lucky. Lucky that I get to come home to a community after a day at work and relax. I don’t worry about a lot of things here in Fredonia which many other communities fear every day. Crime is low here, kids are good here, people are friendly and warm as you meet them. Fredonia is a great place because of people like my neighbors Jean and Scott Franzen, although Jean doesn’t mince words, she cares for the elderly and asks for nothing in return. She watches my dog buddy and my house when I am away on travels. Jean will do anything for people she cares about and often does things from her heart that people don’t even see. People in Fredonia are like this, which is why I love living here and makes serving the people very easy.
I believe that there are also some great neighbors who are running in this election. Joshua Haas, a great family man and a person who will not let you down. Richard Abegglen has also been very active in the community and at every single meeting since I have been appointed. These two family men are worthy of your respect and your vote.
Both of these gentlemen also support the NOSD school update referendum. Spending the entire month of February on the re-coding of the ordinance and a much needed vacation to Palm Springs, CA., I actually waited to collect information on the projects included in the 14.95 million dollar spend. My opinion is that there are some necessary repairs as part of the referendum, which should have come from capital budgets (roofing and such typically comes from a capital spend as part of a yearly planned budget), the technical lab updates are far from enough to put Fredonia on the cutting edge of the techno-manufacturing industry. In one of the videos the shop teacher talked about replacing a drill press which was manufactured in 1971. What should be done is a robotics lab, and a manufacturing technology department. I am familiar with this as a good friend of mine has been supporting the Watertown High School in consulting their manufacturing technology center. Ron and Patrice Roehl own a robotics firm in Johnson Creek and I’d love to introduce them to the folks here at NOSD.
Some specific items in the referendum are band-aids and not long term solutions. Personally I don’t care about an auditorium but understand that a good looking school will attract new families, which then attracts business and industry. I truly wonder if an entirely new school wouldn’t be a better option. I’d ask the question if waiting 2-4 years and banking funds during that time and asking for a new school in 2022 wouldn’t be the right path. My belief in this referendum is that it’s not nearly enough and the district will no doubt need another referendum in the coming years. This feels a lot like throwing good money after bad.
What is more important, however, is that we have an obligation to our children and ourselves to provide them with the best schools possible. Being fiscally conservative isn’t about not spending money, it’s about being smart about it. We do need these repairs, albeit in my opinion they are woefully inadequate and more needs to be done.
For this reason I will support the referendum but will not hang my hat on it. I will not publicly endorse or condemn it. We have more fish to fry. Lets get through this and figure out how to get our school system to the next level. I’ll encourage NOSD folks to find resources in the community and go easy on the taxpayer. As community leaders we need to teach people how to fish and not simply provide them their supper.
My biggest goal in the village is to help attract and retain new business and help my fellow trustees create a downtown district which is attractive to local type businesses we can all enjoy visiting.
I am also on the ballot for re-election, and I’d appreciate your vote on April 3rd.
The question on my mind for each of you is; How can I help you neighbor?
Rudy McCormick – Trustee, Village of Fredonia