By Marianne Mueller


Rockton Village resident Bryan Northrup addressed the board at the Special budget meeting.

“I am here to speak on tax dollars provided for the Old Settler’s Days Festival. “As a board you have hard choices with limited resources; especially now. The board has a history of limiting tax levy increases. The board has also supported OSD over the past 15 years. OSD always pays for other items it receives; such as beer, entertainment, beer, advertising, stage rental and more. Why doesn’t it pay for the services it receives from the village?”

“As a private organization I don’t believe tax dollars should support OSD any further. There has not been any other private organization even close to receiving this amount of tax dollars. Northup asked, “If I want to have 20,000 people at a concert at a park would I have to pay for services provided by the village?”

Northrup referred to a Rockton Board of Trustee minutes from Aug. 21, 2018. “Atty. Szeto said that donations should represent everyone in the community. Atty. Szeto advised that Mr. Winters had a conversation with him about discussions about donations in general and that municipalities should be mindful of their donations to not for profit organizations, but this at the discretion of the Village Board to do this as long as there is a public purpose being supported by the funds. Mrs. May inquired if the village should keep track of their donations by demographics and Atty. Szeto advised that there is no set rule; but the village should be able to articulate if the public asks what the public purpose is. “

Northrup inquired, “What is the purpose for the tens of thousands of tax dollars given for OSD?”

“The Rockton Lions Club is a great organization, but OSD needs to stand on its own. As village trustees you have been charged with overseeing the limited tax dollars available. Northrup directed his final comments to village Trustees who are members of the Rockton Lions Club. “I hope your decision on this will take precedent over being a Lions member.” Thank you.

Northrup spoke out after seeing that there were two candidates running for Village President. “I called Trustee Winters, Trustee Peterson and all of the board members. I raised my concerns during these conversations and had different responses from everyone I reached,” Northrup said.” At that time Rockton Village President candidate, Trustee Dave Winters agreed that the spending of these tax dollars needs to stop.    

“As a taxpayer in the village I want to know the justification for spending the money. This is about the board spending my tax dollars. I am looking for the tax dollars to stop being spent. Nothing justifies the extra police payroll,” Northrup said.”

During the meeting Peterson and Winters briefly discussed this subject. In response to Winters asking if it might be possible to add an extra fee Peterson, who also serves as Head of Entertainment for OSD said, “I have checked with other events in the Stateline area that are charity events. They all have the same partnership where they pay for services given by Public Works or police. They don’t generally ask to be compensated. You don’t find any non-profit event paying back the municipality. The police are not the only security at this event.”

“There is a process for that type of thing, based on our budget. We have to plan for it,” Trustee Jodi May said.

“This should be a discussion between the Lions Club and the Village,” Peterson said. “There are venues that have added a facility fee, but this is a not for profit event.” Both Peterson and Winters agreed that this was a conversation worth having.

Trustee Scott Fridly said, “We shouldn’t put too much time into this just because one person called last Friday.”

May asked if the rules could be waived to allow a member who was in attendance from the Rockton Lions Club to speak. Village President Dale Adams who attended via computer said that since they were 45 minutes late and the rules should stand. “They were here when we went into Executive Session,” May replied. Peterson said, “We don’t want to set a precedent.”

In 2019 the Village committed to a cash donation of $5,000 plus an In Kind donation of hours from the Public Works and Police Department for services such as set up and taking down for OSD. Total yearly contributions to cover Police and Public Works range around $40,000, which includes all cash donations.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.