Two new members of the Woodstock City Council were sworn in and two incumbent city officials were re-installed during a brief ceremony May 2.
Jim Prindiville and Gordie Tebo took the oath of office before beginning their terms as members of the council. They joined incumbent Councilman Mike Turner and incumbent Mayor Brian Sager in being sworn in at the City Council meeting.
The new councilmen replaced RB Thompson, a longtime incumbent who did not seek another term, and Joe Starzynski, who lost his re-election bid.
“I always want to serve others as I expect others to serve,” Thompson said during the meeting. He thanked his colleagues and family for their support, as well as the people of Woodstock “for allowing [him] to serve these 18-plus years” as a councilman.
Thompson served on the council off and on since 1995, when he was elected alongside Sager, who is now in his fourth term as mayor. Sager was a councilman from 1989 to 1993 and from 1995 to 2005.
“Once an educator, always an educator,” Sager said of Thompson, a former Woodstock High School math teacher. “He worked hard to educate all of us on the council.”
Starzynski, Sager said, “exemplifies the community spirit of the city of Woodstock.”
“I thought my time here as a councilman was just an extension of my service,” Starzynski said. “… I think that’s the best way to lead.”
Starzynski was elected to the council in 2013. Turner took office in 2005.
Prindiville previously served on the council from 2001 to 2005. During his new term, he said he’ll focus on expanding the city’s tax base and adding jobs.
“That’s No. 1,” Prindiville said. “No. 2 is I want to see us do more for infrastructure, particularly building our roads, and I want us to find a way to finance that without raising the sales tax.”
Tebo concurred with Prindiville. In addition to attracting more businesses to Woodstock, Tebo said he thinks residents are most concerned with the state of the city’s streets.
“One thing we really have to do is work on the roads. That’s so hard, because it’s so much money, but we can’t neglect it,” Tebo said. “Well over half the people who have stopped me in the past month since the election have mentioned the roads.”