Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Woodstock Court on the way

At Tuesday's Woodstock City Council meeting the Council will consider, and most likely establish, a new Administrative Adjudication Program. Three ordinances are proposed and will be voted on Tuesday night.

You can read Ordinance titles on the Agenda for Tuesday's meeting through the link on the homepage of the City's website at

For more detail, go to City Hall or the Woodstock Public Library and read the information that Council members have received.

What kind of tickets will go to the Adjudication Court (like Crystal Lake recently formed)? City Code violations, red-light tickets (as soon as the City adopts an ordinance and contracts for cameras), and anything else that can be wrestled away from the McHenry County Court.

Here's the question. How does this ball get rolling without notice to the public? Who authorized the City Manager to direct the City Attorney to prepare these ordinances? And at what cost?

What is the cost/benefit ratio to the City? How many tickets does the City expect to write and process through this new court? What are the estimated fines and court costs for each of the next five years? How much will the judge be paid? Has a judge already been selected? (yes)

The City is under a hiring freeze. How is it going to handle hiring a new judge? Oh, just make it a contract position; then we won't have to show him as an employee? What is this? The Federal Government's way (and the State of Illinois way) of expanding government. Coming soon to Woodstock.

Now, maybe the City Council did discuss this in public and I missed the news. Were any public hearings held?

How could Council members discuss and authorize this legal work without discussing it in a public meeting? Or did they?

If you want to put your two-cents' worth in on this, be sure to attend Tuesday night's meeting at City Hall.

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