Northwest Herald Campaign Questionnaire
Name: Darrin Flynn
Office sought: City Council
Occupation: Co-Owner – D&A salon|apothecary, 106 N Benton St
Director, Account Management – Estee Lauder Companies
Education: Western Michigan University
Elected offices held: President, Greenview Terrace Condominium Association 2011-2014
Committee Member, 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting 2011-2014
Board of Directors, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Board of Directors, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Board of Directors, Miss Woodstock Scholarship Pageant Program
Social Media: DFlynnforWoodstock - Facebook
1. What is your largest priority for Woodstock if elected?
Based on my interaction with the community prior to and since announcing my candidacy for Woodstock City Council, it has become clear to me that the priorities for the majority of the residents of Woodstock are: road conditions, real estate taxes and the availability of social options (shopping and dining being the top two). In my opinion, these are not standalone issues, these are all tied to economic development. In order for a community to flourish economically and culturally we must create and maintain an environment that is welcoming to new business and residents alike. Attracting and supporting new business and residents will result in a broader tax base that will directly affect our ability to responsibly allocate a larger portion of the city’s budget toward infrastructure improvements. That will directly equate to better road conditions, a sense of “getting what you are paying for” in regards to real estate taxes and with the community supporting commerce, dining and entertainment here in Woodstock, it will be a draw for new business and more cultural options going forward.
2. What changes should Woodstock make in the future?
Progress cannot happen without change, and change is difficult for some. I feel that we all need to embrace progress and welcome the changes that are in the best interest of the community in order to grow. It is possible for us to work toward a bright prosperous future while preserving the historic hometown charm that is Woodstock.
3. How do you feel about Woodstock’s video gambling?
I understand how polarizing something like video gaming can be and sympathize with those that battle with addiction of any kind. With that said, I feel that the current ordinance of one license per 1,000 residents is adequate and does not allow for Woodstock to become the Las Vegas of the northwest suburbs. Revenue from video gaming in conjunction with the hotel tax provides funds used to promote tourism and grants for cultural events in our city.
4. How do you feel about Woodstock's TIF district?
The TIF passed unanimously by our sitting city council. I feel that it will be the responsibility of the new city council to make sure that the right decisions are made going forward that will positively impact the economic growth and fiscal strength of Woodstock as a whole.
5. How do you feel that Woodstock should work with the school board on housing within the TIF district?
Housing within the TIF district should be planned with the millennial and empty nester in mind. That said, there will be families that will be drawn to a more urban environment to raise their children. It would be most appropriate for the city of Woodstock to work with D200 in regards to impact fee’s for new construction homes within the TIF district.
6. What should Woodstock attempt to do with the Old Courthouse?
The Old Courthouse is a jewel in the crown of Woodstock. A jewel that must be available to the community and tourists alike. The challenge will be finding a use that will ultimately allow the Old Courthouse to be sustainable and adaptable to future use.
7. What else should voters know about you?
My position with the Estee Lauder Companies requires me to plan for future retail trends and consumer habits while being held accountable to shareholders to deliver profits. I feel that given that experience as well as being a local business owner, I will offer a fresh perspective for Woodstock and will work toward resolution of Woodstock’s challenges in a way that is forward thinking and fiscally responsible in collaboration with the other members of Council. I commit to the residents of Woodstock that I will be an independent thinker and will work for the best interest of all of Woodstock.