FORESTVILLE – Forestville Mayor Linda Aures addressed the community at her final meeting recently, having faced challenges and for the most part having delivered on promises.
“It is with very mixed emotions that I stand before you in this my final meeting as the mayor of the village of Forestville,” she said.
She described her term with four D’s: discovery, disclosure, deciding and delivering.
Aures said during her term the board discovered that records were incomplete and policies to manage local government were inadequate. She added that the problems facing the village are “multifaceted” and blame cannot be placed with any one official or employee.
She said she promoted disclosure and transparency by encouraging the board to discuss matters in public meetings, instead of workshops.
She also emphasized the difficulty of many of the decisions the board has faced, calling them “elusive” and “between a rock and a hard place.”
“In running for mayor, I promised to give the taxpayers a voice, to reduce taxes and to do the business of government better. … While reality may have proved more challenging than the promise, I stand here before you confident that with a lot of help, I met each of those goals,” she said.
She explained by prescheduling meetings, encouraging board discussion and public comments before and after the meeting agenda and inviting the public to be involved in committees, Aures satisfied her first goal.
She said although the village is facing previously outstanding obligations, the board was able to reduce taxes for the first time in many years.
According to Aures, village government practices have improved and she is proud that the elections will be moved to November beginning in 2015 and that a village website with meeting minutes and financial information will be launched soon.
Aures said she has been working with Mayor-Elect Kevin Johnson to make the transition smooth and passed the gavel to him at the meeting to symbolize Johnson becoming the new mayor of the village.
She also thanked all the people who helped and supported her.
The village board will hold its reorganizational meeting April 7 at 7 p.m. and its regular meeting April 8 at 7 p.m.