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Dear Editor,

I have previously served on the Godfrey Village Board with Trustee Mark Stewart, and I’m really surprised at his change of attitude regarding tax levies. I continue to follow the Board’s actions because I am a village resident and I care about Godfrey.

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Recent campaign material distributed by Mr. Stewart proposes a cut of the village property tax levy by 50% over four years and he wants to expand the Godfrey business district to include all village businesses while cutting the sales tax by 50%. Mr. Stewart was first elected to the Godfrey Village Board in 1997 and has been the Board Finance Chairperson for the past 13 years. His voting record on the Board shows he has voted against the reduction of the tax levy. For example, as chair of the Finance Committee, Mr. Stewart voted to maintain the 2014 tax levy for the next year. When the committee’s tax levy proposal was presented to the Board for approval, a motion was made to reduce the tax levy by 2%. Mark Stewart and two other trustees voted against the reduction which resulted in a 3-3 tie on the motion. Mayor Mike McCormick cast the tie-breaking vote to reduce the tax levy.

So why does Mr. Stewart now say in his campaign material he wants to cut taxes by 50% when he voted against a 2% reduction? Why didn’t he support tax reductions during his lengthy term in office? Especially while he served as chair of the Finance Committee?

It is obvious he is playing politics. He is promising the voters anything to get elected and not be held accountable for his actions for the past 24 years. The Village of Godfrey doesn't need another politician who makes empty promises as part of a negative political campaign. We’ve had enough of that style of politics at the state and federal level. We don’t need it at the local level.


Gary Ayres

Godfrey, IL

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