Once again - about the front page article in this week's The Woodstock Independent (July 15, 2009) - you have to read between the lines to get really steamed up.
Recall that about 18 months ago the Woodstock City Council agreed to lend its good name and credit backing to the Resurrection Retreat Center, so that the Center could get a lower interest rate on bonds or some kind of loan than it could get without Woodstock's participation. The Woodstock City Attorney said the City of Woodstock would not be on the hook, if the deal soured.
Remember the comments at the City Council meeting that justified this action? Visitors to the Retreat Center would be coming into Woodstock and spending their money. Sounded good at the time.
In the second paragraph of the front-page article appears the insightful information that the Center "...had operated as a center for high school students and other groups for several years. Because the center was used less and less for retreats in recent years, ..." Huh? Why didn't the City of Woodstock find this out before they put its good name on the line?
We all know what big spenders high school students at a retreat are. They stay on the property; they don't go into town and spend money. They don't visit the merchants on the Square with wads of loose cash or gather in the eateries or buy tickets at the Opera House.
Did anyone ask these questions then?
OK, you can't cry over spilled milk. But you can go forward with eyes wide open into future deals. And Grace Hall is one of them.
Now is the time to think of the questions they will wish two years from now that they had asked.
What are those questions?
Oh, I forgot about Bull Valley's being asked to annex the Center. Read the article. The people asking Bull Valley to annex the Center don't even live in Bull Valley!